8 Easy Last-Minute Halloween Costumes for Kids

When time is short and you need something right now!

Homemade halloween costume Sam I am
This homemade Halloween costume features a popular character that your preschooler is sure to know -- Sam I Am!. Amanda Rock

Maybe your preschooler doesn't like the Halloween costume she chose after all. Maybe she spilled on it. Maybe it ripped. Maybe you ordered it and it never arrived! Whatever the reason, October 31 is here and you need something -- quickly! Putting together a last-minute Halloween costume can be stressful, but it truly doesn't need to be if you just take a deep breath and take a look around at what is available to you.

If you've got a preschooler in the house, chances are you've got all you need to whip up something -- first step: be sure to check the costume/dress-up box! And ask other people! Post a note on Facebook or ask family and friends if they have a costume your little one can borrow. But if that doesn't turn up anything, then here are some quick-and-easy ideas for creating a great last-minute Halloween costume that won't break the bank or require a trip to the store:

  • Sports superstar Do you have older children? What about your neighbors? Do they have any old athletic uniforms from youth sports teams? Maybe someone has an old jersey they have lying around. Pair with leggings, sneakers, and socks pulled all the way up to the knees, and you've got a kid who is ready to play ball. If you have black face paint, throw on a little eye black as well!
  • Princess To that end, did any of your older kids (or your neighbor's kids) dance in recitals? Those costumes can definitely be put to good use again. You'll need to make changes based on what you have, but usually the addition of tights, makeup, and a crown works wonders. 
  • Sam-I-Am Sam-I-Am (shown) just needs a yellow shirt and an orange or red winter hat (if you have one) to get started. Make a homemade sandwich board tied together with ribbon that on the front that says "I Am Sam" and on the back says "Sam I Am." Draw green eggs and ham on a paper plate and you are good to go! 
  • ​Harry Potter/Hermione Granger Everyone knows who the most famous wizard and his best friend are. If you've got a black cape, you are all set! For Harry, place your child in a white dress shirt and tie or all black clothes. Add some play glasses and draw a lighting bolt on his forehead. For Hermione, try to braid your daughter's hair the night before so it will get kinky and curly when you release it from the braids. Add a white dress shirt and black or pleated skirt or again, all black. For the wand, find an appropriate-length stick in the backyard.
  • Baby If you've got a younger child at home, or lots of supplies leftover from when your preschooler was smaller, this one is easy. Put your child in a pair of pajamas that have feet, stuff some toilet paper or tissue in the diaper area to make it bulky, throw on a bib, and give your child a pacifier. Ta da! A big baby!
  • Mario and Luigi This is really cute if you have two kids you need costumes for! If your child plays video games, then they will know for sure who these two digital brothers are. All you need is a red (Mario) or a green (Luigi) shirt and a pair of overalls. Add a black mustache with black face paint and your little one will be the hit of the neighborhood.
  • Bag of jelly beans or gum balls You'll need a large, clear plastic bag, one big enough to cover your preschooler. Cut holes in the bottom and sides for leg and arm holes. Fill the bag with inflated (not with helium!) balloons. Secure the bag closed at the shoulders with simple knots. 
  • Person taking a bath Dress your child in all white or all blue (or a combination of both). Attache white and blue balloons all over their clothes. Add a shower cap, a rubber ducky, and a scrubbing brush, and your child will be the cleanest in the neighborhood!

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