Kid's costumes: Do you buy 'em or make 'em?

I make costumes for mine, though I don’t sew. (I jerryrig, is what I do.) I get to do some artsy-craftsy stuff and it usually turns out real well. Of course, it’s looking like this year is going to be different. One kid wants to be a vampire and I think teeth-making is beyond me. The other…well, I’m gonna take a stab at making a car out of a cardboard box. I have a feeling I’ll be sifting through the leftovers at Wal-Mart come midnight Thursday. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen a store-bought costume I like.
But I digress. Tell me if you buy yours or make 'em, and what you think about it all!

We don’t have time to make 'em so we buy 'em.

We don’t do Hallowe’en with as much enthusiasm this side of the pond, but three friends and I are going as the Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse - Death, War, Famine and Pollution. I don’t think this is the sort of answer you’re looking for, as my three friends and I are perhaps a little old for this (in my defence, it’s not trick-or-treating, it’s a party) but the answer to the question is a bit of both. Death’s costume has proved the most difficult, and involved actually making it out of thick black material, and War’s costume was sewn out of heavy red velvety stuff, but everything else, we bought - plastic scythe, leather gloves, lots and lots of crisp packets, copy of the Atkins Diet, etc…

Count me in as a jerryrigger, and a darn good one, too, if I say so myself. Fusible interfacing and fabric glue are my two best friends, although I can sew if need be.

So far this year I have turned a vest, a skirt and a ruffly blouse into a Renaissance wench costume, a set of sweats into a Scarecrow, a gingham baggy dress into a nearly-perfect (and perfectly adorable) Dorothy of Oz costume, a pillowcase into a red crayon costume and yet another set of sweats into a Cat in the Hat costume. In case you’re interested, it takes almost exactly nine yards of sequin ribbon and a kabillion hot glue sticks to cover a pair of size 8 women’s shoes.)

However - I buy things like vampire teeth.

Once upon a time when I was a stay-at-home-mom, yes, I sewed them. I made some awesome ones too - a skunk, an astronaught, a leopard, and a frog.

Now, however, I laugh sadly at the concept that I could possibly have the time to do that! I let their dad buy 'em. He lives in the nicer neighborhood for the kiddos to trick-or-treat in anyway.

I like to make them for my kids. They like it a lot too.

We don’t do Halloween much here, but Mrs. Apollyon is an avid costumer so we’ll be finding excuses for getting Jr. into costume.
Current project is a “Malfoy” outfit – hey, the kid’s a blondie, wadda gonna do? :slight_smile: This has included knitting a rather nice Slytherin scarf.

(Aside: She’s also knitting a cast “set” of Harry Potter teddy bears for Xmas presents).

Older daughter, age 3, is getting a home-sewn princess outfit, because I couldn’t find any princess costumes at the store that didn’t say Barbie on them. As a plus, she is the only dark-green princess in a sea of pink and lavender princesses–it seems every 3-yo girl wants to be a princess. Also she looks vaguely authentic in a semi-medieval gown. So I’m pleased, and the thing ought to last for years, it’s so darn big. I can’t say I really felt that I had time for it, I’ve got 3 urgent sewing projects already–but oh well.

Baby g, six months, is a store-bought bee.

My son wants a ‘good one from the store’ rather than a crappy one mommy makes.

Oooohkay. Mommy’s quite a seamstress, but that’s just the way kids are. I make my own costumes and have been sewing for years and years.

I don’t know that I can say “I” make the costumes. The kids come up with wildly impractical ideas, they tell me what they plan to do, and I help them adapt the original concepts into something that’s possible. The only sewing that’s ever taken place is a little bit of hand-tacking, and the hot-glue gun has been an invaluable tool. We use cardboard, 1- and 2-inch foam, felt, and various remnants and scraps of material.

My kids have been Mew (a Pokemon costume they don’t make commercially), Gir, Mimi, and Gaz (characters from the Invader Zim cartoon), and this year they’re characters from Ruroni Kenshin, a cartoon that hasn’t hit the merchandising stage yet. The girls always have to tell people what they are. The costumes are usually rather flimsy, and they have to be mended in between wearings (say, to a party, school, and then trick-or-treating), but they only have to last an aggregate of about 10 hours and then it doesn’t matter if they fall apart. The children enjoy these handmade creations far more than a printed plastic sheet from the store.

We generally buy–but this year decided to be a Game Cube™.
My son’s eleven–it’s been fun working on this together (it involved a big box, box cutter, spray paint)–as it probably is his last year doing this door-to-door.

I’ve done both. This year, we happened to find the costumes the kids wanted on sale at good prices, so we bought them. In the past, I’ve sewn them myself, too. For three years running flodjunior wanted to be a race car driver, so I made a suit he could use as a sweatsuit later on, and basted sponsor’s patches on it. This year he wanted to be a soldier. Totnak hasn’t been much for costumes yet; he was Woodstock one year (I was Snoopy), which I made, and this year he has a boughten jack-o-lantern costume.

Used to sew them for Mini2U - he’s been Barney, a Power Ranger, a Leopard - and then I realized that he really didn’t care, would prefer a store bought one for $19.99 than one I sewed (with materials costing upwards of $60) and so I figured, heck with it.

Oh - LifeOnWry - fusible interfacing? Fabric/Craft Glue? Stitch-Witchery? I AM THE QUEEN of That Cool Stuff - I made Curtains for my front door using old pillow shams I didn’t want anymore and Stitch-Witchery, and a hot glue gun! And they look DAMN GOOD!!! Fight ya fer the crown… :smiley:

Bring it, babe. I’ve Wonder-Under’d fabric over hat boxes, lampshades and picture mats, StitchWitchery’d my husband’s suit pants (we were in a hurry) and reupholstered furniture with a staple gun and old quilts.


Made 'em for the past 5 years, now I work full time so I bought one “sighs”. I did however stamp him a Halloween t shirt with pumpkins and painted lots of loopy swirly vines all over it so I feel a little creative.

I’m certainly not the queen by any means–more of a monarch in training kind of thing. I love Halloween and have always made the kids costumes. They’ve been puppies, lambs, Po from Telletubbies, Harry Potter, Buzz Lightyear, pumpkin… I’ve also made my own costumes: Jeannie, Mae West, Bride of Frankenstein.

I could probably get off much cheaper if I went the store bought route, but I enjoy doing this every year and now that the boys are older they have fun helping out.

All Crafty Royalty joking aside, I’ve been wanting for years to write a book on making Halloween costumes out of thrift store finds. Missy2U and InternetLegend - email me? I’d love to brainstorm with other creative costumers.

I made mine as well. The toddler is going to be Blue, all that took was a pair of blue footie pjs, some darker blue fabric paint, a bit of felt and stuffing for the ears and tail, and a hot glue gun.

The baby is going to be a bouqet of flowers. I bought a bunch of inexpensive silk flowers and pulled off the blossoms. I glued those all over a baby skull cap, and then glued some leaves to the sleeves and buttons on a pair of green feety pjs.

No sewing involved, but still homemade and very, very cute, IMO.
I can’t wait for Halloween. This will be the first year trick-or-treating with the toddler and I just know he’s going to love it.

So all you seamstresses out there, I’ve been thinking of making myself a pioneer costume/dress-- so useful. Any favorite patterns or ideas? I’d love to get a “simple, easy, and authentic” look (ha!). Any help welcomed…

I’ve made myself a Renaissance gown and it was pretty simple. Go to JoAnn’s (or whatever discount place is near you) and check out the easy patterns–Simplicity, Butterick, et al have their own version of easy patterns, and it’ll tell you the level of difficulty right on the package. I’m completely self taught and don’t consider myself a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination and I can make costumes with these patterns without much difficulty (just to give you an idea of how easy they actually are :slight_smile: )