The Halloween Costume Conundrum

Proud parenting feat, Halloween edition: My seven-year-old son is a costume snob.

Since he’s been old enough to say “trick or treat,” my little man has turned his nose up at disposable drugstore costumes, polyester wigs and plastic accessories.

His predilection for quality costumes may have begun with his original babysitter, who painstakingly made him a Where the Wild Things Are wolf suit when he was three. He wore it year-round for two years straight, including two Halloweens in a row.

Or maybe his sense of costume snobbery is in his blood. As a kid, I was lucky enough to have a mom and grandmother who sewed, and I remember making fairly sweeping judgments about the kids who wore a vinyl mask and cape combos in the annual primary school parade.

I’m not nearly as crafty as the generations before me, and I have certainly bought the odd costume. Last year, at his urging, my son and I disguised ourselves as Finn & Jake from the bizarre show Adventure Time. Every aspect of our get-ups were purchased. But we have kept those costumes in the dress-up bin, along with Harry Potter’s tie, glasses and cloak, multiple pirate hats, and a random assortment of bandanas – and we’ve busted them out throughout the year. They’re keepers.

My son’s back to his DIY roots this year, pulling everyday overalls and workboots from his closet – and borrowing a hard hat and headlamp – to create a homemade miner’s costume.

Here are a few DIY, eco-friendly tips for Halloween disguises:

  • Suggest dressing up as your child’s sports hero. They’ll be over the moon to receive their favourite player’s jersey, and they’ll get to wear it again and again.
  • Have an old, grey, too-small suit kicking around? Squeeze into it (or visit your local thrift shop for one) and pop on a red bow tie. Voila, you’re Pee Wee Herman!
  • That snorkel and mask are just gathering dust between tropical vacations. Pull them out, pair them with a rash guard and shorts and re-live the warmth this Halloween!
  • One of my most impactful grown-up costumes ever was Jerry Seinfeld. I dug around my closet for some tight-ish waist-high jeans, a button down shirt, and white running shoes, and then pulled my hair back, leaving a bit of puff at the front. Jerry can also be channeled with a simple puffy shirt!
  • Whether you have kids or not, start a Mr. Dress-Up style tickle trunk, so costumes aren’t discarded after one wearing.
  • Organize a costume swap, before or after Halloween, so the tickle trunk is always loaded and ready to go with fresh costumes, any time of year.
  • The internet is loaded with additional inspiration for all ages. This Pinterest board from greenkidcrafts.com has plenty of low-impact, low-effort ideas (gotta love the Eliot & ET get-up!).

Share your eco-friendly costume ideas with the AHAALiving.com community on Facebook and Twitter!

    Are you AHAA?