Costume Craft

Create a couple of easy but inspired Halloween outfits.

It's easy enough to visit a pop-up Halloween store and let the kids pick outfits they'll likely wear only once. But with a little planning and lots of creativity, you can create some truly memorable costumes. If your family participates in making them, too, please note there should be adult supervision at all times. Below are two concepts that will help your imagination take flight.

Hot Air Balloon Costume

Whimsical and adorable, the Hot Air Balloon costume is sure to garner compliments from your child's peers, and your friends, too!

Supplies:

  • 30-inch red latex balloon
  • Helium tank (party stores can likely blow up the balloon for you without having to rent a tank)
  • 36-inch balloon netting
  • Gold spray paint
  • 10-inch foam floral hoop
  • Red parachute cord
  • Red woven cotton straps
  • Red duct tape
  • Red felt
  • Brown lunch bags
  • Rubber bands (½ yard)
  • ½-inch foam sheet
  • Basket large enough to fit around your child
  • Utility knife
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Pilot's cap
  • Pilot's jacket

Instructions:

  1. Use the utility knife to cut out the bottom of the basket. Line the inside edge with duct tape so there are no sharp points.
  2. Crumple a lunch bag into a ball, and stuff it inside another lunch bag; tie with a rubber band. Repeat to make three other "sandbags."
  3. Use the gold spray paint to coat the sandbags, floral hoop, and balloon netting. Let the pieces dry for 30 minutes.
  4. Cut the red felt into small triangles. Thread the red parachute cord through the spokes of the basket, leaving an arc on each side, and knot at the ends on the inside of the basket. Glue the triangles to the cord to make pennant flags.
  5. Thread the red straps through both sides of the basket, as far apart as your child's shoulders. Glue the ends to the straps on one side, then place the basket on your child to measure where to cut the ends on the other sides. Glue remaining ends in place.
  6. Tie red parachute cord from the basket corners to the floral hoop. Hold the hoop level and at a height tall enough to leave room for your child. Tie the sandbags onto each corner of the basket with red parachute cord.
  7. Cut the foam into 2-inch strips as long as the sides of the basket. Hot glue to the top of each basket side. Completely cover each piece of foam with red duct tape to form a cushioned rim to the basket.
  8. Cut 4-inch strips of red felt, and glue them end-to-end to form a scarf. Cut the ends with scissors to form a fringe.
  9. Inflate the red balloon, and place it in the gold netting. Have another person hold the balloon while you tie the netting to the floral hoop, keeping the length even on all sides.
  10. Dress your little one in the hat, jacket, and scarf. Place the basket over his head, and help him pull his arms through the straps. Your child is now ready to fly!

Bubble Bath Costume

Supplies:

  • 9-inch clear latex balloons
  • 5-inch clear latex balloons
  • 5-inch pearl white latex balloons
  • White shirt and pants
  • White elastic
  • Hot glue gun and sticks
  • Rubber cement
  • Rubber ducks
  • Blowing bubbles
  • Safety pins
  • Wagon
  • White fabric (enough to cover the wagon)
  • Packing tape

Instructions:

  1. Wrap the wagon in the white fabric, securing it to the underside of the wagon with packing tape.
  2. Blow up a whole bunch of each size of balloon (no helium needed). Blow each balloon to close to full size, then slowly leak out the air until it reaches its roundest shape. Tie it off.
  3. Use the rubber cement to attach balloons to the fabriccovered wagon and to each other. Start with a ring of the largest size balloon around the edge of the wagon. Build up the "bubbles," varying size and color as you go. Leave a gap in the balloons on one side so a child can easily get in and out of the "bath."
  4. Cut a piece of white elastic slightly shorter than the circumference of your child's head, and hot glue its ends to form a headband. Hot glue the tied ends of 3-4 balloons to the elastic loop to complete the bubble headband.
  5. Glue or safety pin several clusters of balloons to your child's shirt (have him put the shirt on first).
  6. Use rubber cement to adhere rubber ducks to a few of the bubbles. You can also add bathtime props like scrubs, washcloths, and soap. Give your child blowing bubbles to add to the fun!