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Halloween Costumes: To Make or Buy?

Let’s talk about Halloween costumes, shall we?

We all know that I’m so uncrafty it hurts, right?  Yes.  Good.  (Don’t be fooled by my tutorial posts, they’re so easy a monkey could do them.)  Well, even though I’m a disaster with scissors, every year around this time I start to have mixed feelings about Halloween costumeage.  I would love to create adorably clever costumes for my children with only a cardboard box, a little paint, and googly eyes.  But alas, it’s just not in my blood.

I don’t come from a family that’s big on Halloween.  The majority of my Halloween costumes were re-purposed dance recital costumes (Costumes? Is that what they were called?) but most of the time they didn’t really make sense.  One year my sister and I danced to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and so I guess we were glittery, skirt-wearing sailors…?  And this one year we did “Yankee Doodle Dandee” so we were…well, I don’t know what.  See what I mean?

Not every year was a recycled dance costume though.  One year Mom decided to make my costume from a pattern kit…

I’m a bear, right??

Given my history with Halloween costumes and craft failures in general,  it’s easy to see why I might be a bit gun-shy about attempting to create a magical escape into pretend and candy for my beloved offspring.

Let’s take a walk through time at my children’s Halloween costumes thus far:


Miles (Age:  3 Months)

Costume:  (Store-bought) Dog



Miles (Age:  15 Months, definitely at the hard to photograph stage)

Costume:  (Store-bought Tin Man)


Miles (Age:  2) and Spencer (Age:  8 Months)

Costumes:  Mario & Luigi (Made at home!  Success*!)

This year??  Miles wants to be Mickey Mouse and Spencer wants to be – well, he’s 19 months old, so he just wants a cookie and Mommy.  I’m thinking Goofy for him.  In classic Me form, it’s now 2 weeks from Halloween and I have no idea what I’m doing.  I figure by the time I track down all of the necessary components for adorable Mickey Mouse and Goofy costumes at thrift and second-hand stores, I could have just bought a costume online.

So yeah, I’m that mom.  Store-bought costumes.  For shaaaaame!

How about you?  Have you created a disguise of merriment and wonder from construction paper and pipe cleaners?  Will your kid be wearing the same costume as every other kid on the block?  Do you need to join me on the Bad Mommy couch?

*Success — I guess it’s a success if you count making your kid scream in agony while you painted a mustache on their upper lip.

UPDATE:  Check out this update from Krista!

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About Krista

Krista is a full-time working mom of two boys, currently aged 6 and 7. She lives in Kentucky with her husband, Brandon.


  1. I took a store bought zip up hoodie, added felt spikes and have made a tail for my dino loving 4 year old. So, mostly homemade I think? I don’t think linking in the comments is very nice so you can see it on my blog if you’re interested. Love the Mario and Luigi costumes!

  2. Zaira – That is so stinking cute! I love it!

    And feel free to link to posts! We’re blogger friendly! (We have an excellent spam filter to catch all the real spam!) 🙂

  3. I’m right there with ya! I’m super un-crafty and usually buy costumes pre-done, or at leas with lots of store bought accessories. This year my 3 yr old is going to be a hockey player again and we already have everything (he was this last year, and I’m anticipating for years to come-he’s very focused on being a hockey player lol). My 5 yr old has just changed her mind from being a rock star to now wanting to be a pirate. I have pants and that’s it-I need to get an eye patch, bandana, shirt, and then the sword/hook kit Meijer has. My 7 yr old has no clue what she wants to be, and later this week I’ll take her to the store and have her pick out a costume. Last year I put her costume together myself and no one had a clue what she was :/ This year she’s in her school costume parade so lots of pressure there lol!