Create a costume that your child will love

For many of us homemade Halloween costumes were the norm when we were young. This year, get back to the basics by working with your child to create a costume. Most of us have plenty of items and supplies around our home and when we don’t, one quick trip the hobby, craft, or thrift store may be all it takes.

Making your own Halloween costumes is a great opportunity to flex your creative muscles. Here are some great ideas.

Just wear (really specific) normal clothes

Costumes that require non-elaborate, specific clothing and one or two basic accessories are far too overlooked; some examples include: Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, Orphan Annie, Katniss Everdeen, [Where’s] Waldo, garden gnome, lumberjack, Lucille Ball, Cowgirl/boy, pirate, Raggedy Ann/Andy, Minnie Mouse, and more. You get the idea.


Lots of good animal costumes can be created from plain colored sweatpants, sweatshirts, and hoodies. Especially if you own a hot glue gun. With the right color pants and shirt, all is needed is a tail, some drawn-on spots or stripes, ears (fastened on a headband or a hood), and an oval of fur attached the belly.

Never underestimate a cardboard box

Empty boxes are fun for kids no matter the reason or time of year, but when Halloween rolls around, boxes—especially big ones—can be fashioned into an endless number of wonderful costumes, including: any appliance, dice, robots, Lego, food packaging (popcorn, cereal, juice box, candy, etc.), deck of cards, box of crayons, fish tank, Rubix Cube, smart phone, jack-in-the-box, and vehicles (airplane, car, fire engine, tractor, etc.) are just the beginning.

Enjoy the process. It really can be a fun time for you and your kids to get your creative juices flowing.

 Find materials for your costume at a local thrift shop

Many resale stores go all out for Halloween. Check these out.

Fort Collins:

  • arc Thrift Stores, 2701 S College Ave.
  • Brand Spanking Used,227 S College Ave.
  • Flamingo Boutique, 227 S College Ave.
  • Goodwill, 315 Pavillion Ln.
  • Repeat Boutique, 1502 S College Ave.
  • Thrift Rite, 3609 Timberline Rd.
  • Unique Repeats, 1025 Pennock Place # 103
  • Wear it Again, Sam, 140 S College Ave.


  • arc Thrift Stores, 3131 Garfield Ave.
  • Garment Gal, 239 E 4th St.
  • Goodwill, 935 E Eisenhower Blvd.
  • McKee Thrift Avenue, 428 Cleveland Ave.


  • arc Thrift Stores, 2401 27th St.
  • Bargain Box, 1706 9th St.
  • Flip Flop Thrift, 980 37th Ave Ct.
  • Goodwill, 2510 West 47th Ave.
  • Thrift Rite, 1020 26th Ave.