DIY Children’s Costumes

Children’s Halloween costumes don’t always have to be expensive and store bought.  With a little bit of time and creativity parents can save money and have fun making Do-It-Yourself (DIY) costumes at home. Simply use materials like sweatshirts, felt, ribbon, cardboard, coat hangers with glue and a dash of imagination to transform these everyday items into something kids will love. We’ve listed easy DIY children’s costumes and local stores to purchase materials from.


ANIMALS – Cow, Pig, Dog, Zebra, Leopard, Giraffe

  • Hooded sweat shirt in a coordinating color for the animal chosen (pink for pig, brown for dog/giraffe, white for cow/zebra)
  • Felt or fabric to create stripes, spots, ears, tail, etc
  • Fabric glue
  • Optional – plastic mask

Cut felt or fabric to glue onto the sweatshirt to create an animal-like pattern.  Use spots for cows or giraffes and stripes for zebras. Parents can cut ears and tails out of the material and glue them on.  A plastic mask can be painted to match as an extra accessory for the costume.



  • Two metal coat hangers
  • One pair of white stockings
  • Duct tape
  • Elastic (medium width)
  • Optional – silver glitter and glue
  • Silver ribbon
  • Wooden dowel (approximately 12”-18” long)
  • Cardboard
  • Aluminum foil
  • Foam floral circle
  • White sweatshirt
  • White leggings or pants

To make wings, straighten hooks and place on flat surface with the now-straight-hooks overlapping onto the twisted part of the hanger. Wrap together well with duct tape to secure, making sure all edges are covered. Form hangers into wing shapes. Cut legs off stockings and stretch each one over a hanger, tying a temporary knot to secure in place. Re-form hangers if necessary and adjust tension on stockings so they fit securely. After tying a more secure knot, cut off excess. Tie two pieces of elastic around the center of the wings (where duct tape is) to create arm bands for child to wear wings.  Wings may be decorated with glue and silver glitter as well. Wear the wings over an outfit consisting of a white sweatshirt and white leggings or pants.

To make the wand, cut cardboard piece into two stars. Glue wooden dowel to one star.  Cut strips of varying lengths of silver ribbon and glue onto cardboard next to the wooden dowel. Glue the other cardboard star on top. After glue is dry, wrap star and dowel with aluminum foil to make it a silver wand.

To make the headband, take the foam floral circle and wrap it with a silver ribbon or aluminum foil. Glue varying length strips of ribbon to the back of circle to create a flowing veil.



  • Packaged rolls of tulle
  • Thin colored ribbons (color coordinated to costume)
  • Elastic

This No Sew Tutu is quick and easy and great for various costumes from princesses to ballerinas. Cut equal lengths of tulle and tie it around elastic that is measured to fit around the child’s waist. For a fuller looking skirt, use more tulle.  For an added detail, bows of colored ribbon can be tied to the tulle towards the top. Use the No Sew Tutu as an added accessory for the angel costume listed above or for a simple ballerina costume when worn with a leotard and stockings.



  • Black pants
  • White shirt
  • Red material approximately 4”-6” wide (long enough to create a headband and sash around child’s waist)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Cardboard approximately 12”x8”
  • Optional – Black eyeliner pencil, eye patch.

Parents can leave the black pants and white shirt in their original form or alter them by cutting a zig zag edge design along the cuffs. Cut the red material to length to create a waist sash as well as a headband for child (again, a zig zag edge can be cut).  Create a simple sword by cutting a sword shape out of cardboard and wrap it with aluminum foil.  Draw a beard and mustache stubble with black eyeliner pencil. Add an eye patch as an optional accessory.


Places to Find Craft Supplies on Long Island:
AC Moore Arts & Crafts
Where: Locations in Levittown, Carle Place, Hauppauge, and Holbrook
Contact Info: Please visit website for details

Ace Handicraft
Where: 314 Hempstead Tpke, West Hempstead, NY 11552
Contact Info: (516) 292-1478

Island School & Art Supply
Where: Locations in Medford, Oakdale, St. James, and Seaford
Contact Info: Please visit website for details

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores
Where: Locations in Westbury, West Babylon, Holbrook, and Centereach
Contact Info: Please visit website for details

Michaels Craft Stores
Where: Locations in Levittown, Westbury, Massapequa, Huntington Station, Oceanside, Manhasset, Commack, and Bayshore
Contact Info: Please visit website for details


By Pamela Boccia


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