Creative Costume Ideas For Kids - By Lillian Vernon

(ARA) - Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love the outdoor decorations and I enjoy seeing the creative and clever costumes our neighbors dream up for their children -- everything from superheroes and pop divas to cartoon and fairy tale characters, animals and even insects. One thing I’ve noticed is you don’t have to be a magician or an artist to make an imaginative costume, even at the last minute. Here are some ideas that are sure to put a smile on your child’s face!

These are some supplies you will need to get started:

* Scissors; needle and thread; ruler or tape measure; pins; newspapers for pattern-making; cardboard for construction; colored markers; fabric paint; stickers; construction paper for ears and noses; glitter for space creatures, princesses, fairies; pipe cleaners for whiskers; yarn for hair, and feather boas.

* Felt -- it’s colorful, inexpensive, and doesn’t unravel. Netting, tulle and fake fur also come in handy and little girls’ just love to play dress-up with these.

* Assorted items from around the house such as plastic funnels, buckets, paper towel rolls, gallon milk containers, paper plates, aluminum foil and bubble wrap.

* Glues to avoid sewing including white craft or fabric glue, hot-melt glues used with a gun, fusible webbing when the adhesive is activated with the heat of an iron, a roll of basting tape, a temporary two-sided tape and spray adhesives.

Having assembled your supplies, now you’re ready for some creative costume fun:

* Start by dressing your child in a leotard and tights, a sweat suit, or a T-shirt, turtleneck and jeans. These become the base to build on and are ideal for creating insect and animal costumes like a bumblebee, lion or alligator. Black is a perfect color for pirates, devils, witches, magicians, vampires, mummies, and skeletons. Use reflective white tape for skeleton bones and wrap white gauze or felt strips around the entire body. A spider is easy to make using all black. You’ll need several pairs of black gloves and long black socks. Stuff the socks and gloves with fiberfill and attach one glove to each sock; attach each spider leg to the base costume. Add a black baseball cap with black pipe-cleaner antenna glued to it.

* A plain white sheet is the perfect base for ghosts, angels, saltshakers, toga-clad Romans and pandas.

* A box with large arm and head holes cut out is versatile. Square shapes work well for dice, a gift package, a hedgehog, porcupine, TV or Jack-in-the-box; rectangular boxes are perfect for longer-shaped costumes like a pencil/crayon, a tree, a domino, a thermometer, a carton of milk accompanied by a box of cereal or cookies, to make two costumes, a favorite candy bar, or a rocket.

* Old-fashioned cardboard is good for many costumes. Cut out a front and back and attach both sides over the shoulders with strong cording or Venetian blind tape and decorate. You can design a playing card like the king and queen of hearts, a chocolate chip cookie using a beige-felt circular cutout with chocolate-brown chips, a magazine or newspaper called “The Halloween Daily Planet” with amusing headlines on the front and back.

Masks and other accents add the finishing touches:

* Make sure they have smooth edges and generous eye and nose holes for safety.

* Face paints and theater-style make-up will come off easily if you coat your child’s face first with a thin under-layer of cold cream. Test for sensitivity and color fastness on a small patch of skin. Lightly powder the finished face to set it. Colored or glittery washout hair sprays are always fun.

* Add-ons can be hats, scarves, veils, wigs and hairpieces; jewelry like large gold-toned curtain rings can be used as earrings; fake eyeglasses, and false eyelashes.

* Props to buy: Stick-on noses, theatrical warts, scars, fangs, eyeballs, quirky ears, long nails, fake beards and mustaches. Voice-altering masks are devilish too! For safety, buy glow-in-the-dark face and costume accents or a reflective strip to run down the back of a costume or on the arms.

The best thing about Halloween costumes is that after the merriment, your make-believe fantasy figure is transformed back into a little angel!

For more costume ideas, log on to or call (800) 901-8758.

-Courtesy of ARA Content


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