Some parents sincerely enjoy making elaborate, punny Halloween costumes for their kids. And to them we say: Bless. However, Halloween is on a Thursday this year, and if you’re like us, you’re probably working that day, and you’ll be getting home right before trick-or-treat starts (Hamilton County is 6-8 p.m., by the way).
Do yourself a big favor and don’t reinvent the costume wheel: You don’t want to sew. You don’t even really want to iron-on. You definitely don’t want to spray paint anything. Most of these costumes can be thrown together with items already found in your home. Best of all: These projects are so easy, your kids can actually help create them without making a huge mess. So let’s all lean way back from Halloween DIY and break out some tried-and-true costume favorites:
- Witch: You know the formula: hat, broom, cape. Anything else is gravy. Green face paint makes it Broadway.
- Cowboy or Cowgirl: If you have a cowboy hat, you can just hunt up some jeans or a jean skirt and pair it with literally any shirt. Bonus points for plaid. Triple Word Score for actual cowboy boots.
- Jazzercise Instructor: This one’s for the grandmas in the house: The ones who actually took this hallowed exercise class, and especially the ones who taught it. The needs are few: leotard over the leggings and bunched up socks over the ankles. Hair in the requisite side-ponytail. If you have an old boombox laying around, please take it with you.
- Cat: It’s the standby costume of college girls all over the world, and that’s for a good reason: It’s dead simple. Everyone owns a black shirt (right?) and cat-ear headbands can be found at any costume shop (or made with felt or paper in a pinch). Black eyeliner makes a nose and whiskers.
- Dracula: Speaking of costume shops, you don’t have to lay out for a pre-made Dracula mask. Just pick up some fake vampire teeth and a black cape and get out there. Slick back your kid’s hair if you’re feeling ambitious.
- Harry Potter: The single franchise character on the list, because it’s just so easy: plastic glasses, lighting bolt on the forehead, and done. Got a striped scarf? Ten points to Gryffindor.
- Lumberjack: Suspenders and flannel should be enough, but go ahead and get a fake beard, or draw one on, to really hit home the lumberjack vibe. And this should (really) go without saying, but don’t give the kid a real axe. Make one out of construction paper and foil if you can’t find a plastic one.
- Ghost: We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the OG phone-it-in kid costume. Just don’t use a Buzz Lightyear-printed fitted sheet, and you’re good.
Honorable Mention: Stick Figure
It’s a trend too funny to ignore. This requires the smallest crafting commitment: Hot glue some glow bracelets to the arms, legs, and hood of your kid’s sweatsuit to make a person shape. Then turn the lights off and laugh and laugh.