Fresh Ideas

7 Easy Upcycled Halloween costumes for Kids

Let’s face it—Halloween costumes are not cheap. Luckily, you can look to things you already have lying around the house to make a great costume without spending a scary amount (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves!).

Try one of these seven ideas from some of our favorite blogs, or use them as inspiration and start hunting around the house for ways to upcycle this Halloween.

Costume Idea #1: Mini George Washington
What you’ll need:

Little Washington
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • White paint
  • Fabric strips

To get started:

Cut a strip of fabric to the size of your child’s head. Then paint the toilet paper rolls with the white paint, letting the paint dry. Next step, stretch the strip of fabric on a table then glue the toilet paper rolls to the strip. Let the glue dry and then try the wig on the courtiers. If you are feeling extra inspired you can do another row of rolls and fasten it as the back of the hair. Continue reading the tutorial.

Image and tutorial courtesy of

Costume Idea #2: Literary Fairy Princess
What you’ll need:

Literary Fairy Princess
  • A piece of fabric, 3-4 inches wide, cut to fit your child’s waist
  • Safety pins
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • 1 old dictionary

To get started:

First take a scrap of fabric 3-4 inches wide and cut it to just a few inches longer than what you want the waist to be. You want just a few inches of overlap to make it easier to put on and so there is no gap in the back. Next lay the strip of fabric out flat and begin gluing on the rolled papers in rows along your strip. Continue reading the tutorial.

Image and tutorial courtesy of Lilliedale Blog.

Costume Idea #3: Lego Time

What you’ll need:

Lego costume
  • Cardboard box (16” W x 29”H x 11”D)
  • Utility knife
  • Tape
  • Wood glue
  • 8 2”H x 4” diam. craft boxes without lids
  • Spray paint color of your choice

To get started: STEP 1: Cut off the bottom flaps of a box (ours measured 16″W × 29″H × 11″D) with a utility knife. Tape down the top flaps. STEP 2: To create head and arm holes, trace a dinner plate on the top of the box and saucers on each of the box’s sides. Continue reading the tutorial.

Image and tutorial courtesy of

Costume Idea #4: Crafty Corn on the Cob
What you’ll need:

Corn on the cob
  • Hot glue or fabric glue
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • 3 cardboard egg cartons
  • 1 old green sweatshirt
  • 1 yard of green felt
  • Yellow paint

To get started:

Cut sleeves off a green sweatshirt. Turn in armholes and glue raw edges. Give 3 paper egg-carton bottoms a coat of yellow paint. When dry, glue to front of sweatshirt for kernels, as shown. Cut 1 yard of green felt in half. Pull on felt to create irregular edges. Fold and glue along each side of egg cartons, as shown. Continue reading the tutorial.

Image and tutorial courtesy of

Costume Idea #5: Super Simple Angel
What you’ll need:

Simple Angel
  • Gold pipe cleaners
  • Pencil
  • Hole punch
  • Coffee filters
  • White cardboard
  • White shoelaces
  • Tape or glue dots

To get started:

Make a halo shape by twisting the gold pipe cleaners into proper form. Draw the shape of two angel wings on cardboard; cut them out. Decide on the most comfortable spot for your child to wear her wings, then punch 4 holes in the cardboard. String shoelaces through them to tie around your child’s shoulders. Continue reading the tutorial.

Image and tutorial courtesy of

Costume Idea #6: Brown-Bag Safari Guide
What you’ll need:

Safari Guide
  • Brown grocery bag
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Kraft mini envelopes (in natural)
  • Buttons
  • Glue stick

To get started:

Measure the paper bag against the child. Mark holes for the arms and head; cut these out. Glue envelopes on the front of the vest to create pockets. Glue buttons on the envelopes. Let dry overnight. Continue reading the tutorial.

Image and tutorial courtesy of

Costume Idea #7: Recycling Bin Baby
What you’ll need:

Recycle Bin
  • Cardboard box
  • Blue paint
  • White tape
  • String
  • Scissors or box cutter
  • Clean and empty recyclables (like milk and juice cartons!)

To get started:

Take your box and paint it blue. When it dries, use the white tape to create a white recycling symbol on the box. Use the box cutter to carve out a decent size hole for your tot’s waist. Don’t make it too big, as you will fill it with recyclable items. Continue reading the tutorial.

Image and tutorial courtesy of

If you’re really a trash-to-treasure devotee, this one is for you:

Costume idea: Milk Carton Christmas Tree
What you’ll need:

Christmas Tree
  • Stapler and Staples
  • 2 cans of green paint
  • Flat craft sequins
  • Hot glue or craft glue
  • 399 half-pint milk cartons
  • 18″ diameter wooden ring
  • Suspenders
  • 4 bungee cords

To get started:

Collect milk cartons from your school (with the permission of the cafeteria crew, of course). Empty & clean the milk cartons by giving them a bath, opening the tops. After washing them, turn upside down, drain water from tub and let them dry. You can toss them in a garbage bag for the next step.Continue reading the tutorial.

Image and tutorial courtesy of

Of course you can find all of these costumes and more on Pinterest.


Choose Cartons

The Choose Cartons initiative by Evergreen Packaging is focused on raising awareness among consumers about the attributes and importance of sustainable packaging, so they can make informed decisions at the grocery store. From helping to preserve fresh flavor to being made with renewable materials, cartons are a smart, responsible choice for a number of reasons. Shoppers who care choose cartons.

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