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Three Easy Halloween Costumes

Three Easy Halloween Costumes by Primary

Halloween is almost here! Do you have plans? If you’re looking for kids’ costume inspiration, here are three easy-to-make costumes, using our favorite clothes from Primary

Three Easy Halloween Costumes by Primary

Jodi Levine (remember her week of outfits?) is the former crafts editor for Martha Stewart Living and an all-around creative genius. We challenged her to put together three make-at-home costumes that were good even for people who are hopelessly uncrafty (like us). She came up with a spider, frog and lion, using solid-colored kids’ basics from Primary as the base.

FROG

Three Easy Halloween Costumes by Primary

Three Easy Halloween Costumes by Primary

“We caught frogs in a pond once once,” says six-year-old Ivy. “They felt so gross!” What about her favorite Halloween candy? “I like all the candy. I like licorice. I love chocolate. I don’t even know!”

You’ll need:
Primary’s green kids long-sleeve T-shirt
Primary’s green kids leggings
Primary’s green kids winter hat
Fabric or tacky glue or “Heat n’ Bond” (for adding felt spots)
2 ping pong balls
Black paper or felt or a black Sharpie (to make pupils on the eyeballs)
Scissors
White glue
Velcro dots for fabric (or hot glue)
Assorted shades of green felt for stomach and spots

First, make the eyes. Draw two circles by tracing a coin on black paper or felt, then cut them out and glue each one onto a ping pong ball. Or, just draw the circles directly onto the balls with a Sharpie. Attach the eyes to the hat using Velcro dots or hot glue. Next, cut assorted felt spots and an oval stomach patch and adhere to the shirt using fabric glue, or create felt patches using Heat n’ Bond (per package instructions). Alternatively, you can lightly stitch patches on with a simple running stitch and then remove the patches after Halloween.

NOTE: If your child isn’t feeling very frog-like, this costume can easily be adapted into an alien/monster/cyclops costume. Just add or subtract eyeballs as you wish!

LION

Three Easy Halloween Costumes by Primary

Three Easy Halloween Costumes by Primary

“Lions are both scary and cool,” said Samo, doing his best to channel both of those things. What about his favorite Halloween candy? “I like bubble gum.”

You’ll need:
Primary’s kids yellow hoodie
Primary’s kids yellow long-sleeve T-shirt (optional, for layering)
Primary’s kids yellow leggings
Brown and/or orange twisty balloons
Balloon pump
Scissors
Yellow or regular masking tape
Glue dots
Yellow and tan or light brown felt (for stomach and ears)
Fabric glue or “Heat n’ Bond” (for adding felt)
Yellow and brown twisty balloons (for a tail)
Face paint (optional)

First, inflate about 16 twisty balloons so they are around 5″ long. TIP: To get the right length, inflate the balloon fully, twist off a five-inch segment at the tip and deflate the rest, tie and cut.
Next, add a strip of tape to the edge of the hood where the balloons will be attached. Add a glue dot to the smooth tip of each balloon and adhere to the tape strip. Keep adding more balloons to encircle the hood. Adhere the balloons to each other near the base with a glue dot on either side. Cut a felt belly and adhere to the shirt using fabric glue or Heat n Bond (per package instructions). Finally, create the tail. Knot the closed end of an un-inflated yellow twisty balloon, then inflate it, and knot off the other side. Knot a smaller brown twisty ballon, or some brown un-inflated balloon “fur” to one of the ends, to resemble the fuzzy end of a lion’s tail. Use the knot on the other side of the balloon to safety pin or sew the tail to the back of the sweatshirt.

NOTE: If lions aren’t your child’s thing, you can easily adapt this tutorial into a sweet flower costume! Affix balloons to the hood in whatever color you’d like, for “petals,” and swap out kids green leggings for “stems.”

SPIDER

Three Easy Halloween Costumes by Primary

Three Easy Halloween Costumes by Primary

“I literally have three books about spiders!” said Anton, who was jazzed to play this role. “They’re actually good because they eat mosquitos.” He especially loved the moving legs and the fuzzy faux fur tummy. “It’s so cozy!”

You’ll need:

Primary’s kids black long-sleeve T-shirt
Primary’s kids black leggings
Primary’s kids black hat (optional)
2 pairs of child’s black tights
Scissors
Batting (stuffing)
Safety pins
Thin fishing line or string or button thread
Long sewing needle (helpful but not essential!)
Two black hair elastics
Faux fur (optional)
Fabric glue or “Heat n’ Bond” or a needle and thread (optional, for adding faux fur)

First, create four spider legs. Cut the legs off the tights to about the same length as the shirt sleeves. Cut off four equal pieces of batting, roll them up, and stuff them into each of the legs. If you’d like, you can cut to taper the batting rolls before stuffing them in, to make the legs pointy, then cinch by tying thread around the midpoint of the legs, to make them look segmented. Tuck the cut ends of the legs inward and either safety pin, hot glue, or sew them to the shirt. (TIP: Try the shirt on your child before doing this, to find the right spots for the legs!) Thread your needle with at least 15″ of the fishing line/string/thread. Knot the end and sew through the bottom stuffed spider leg, then straight up through the next leg, and finally, tie onto a black hair elastic. (When looped onto the arm, this will allow the legs to move when your child lifts his or her arms.) Repeat on the other side.
Optional: Cut a faux fur belly and adhere to the front of the shirt either with fabric glue, Heat n Bond, or with a running stitch.

Three Easy Halloween Costumes by Primary

How cute are they? If Halloween is cold where you live, these looks are super easy to layer for warmth. And the best part is, Primary makes the most comfortable, high-quality clothes (we love love love them) that kids will enjoy wearing them, both on Halloween and long after. See their full selection here.

Are you excited for Halloween? If you have kids in your life, what are they dressing up as this year?

(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Primary, a brand our family loves and wears all the time. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Cup of Jo running.)

  1. Clare says...

    So cute!
    Also – small world! Samo’s mom and I were in a book club in DC together a long time ago. She’s hilarious and brilliant and has a fantastic wardrobe – I’m surprised I haven’t seen her featured yet for her week of outfits.

    • Melody says...

      Oh my gosh… hi Clare!! That DC book club is one of my favorite memories ever. So much fun. And thanks for all the kind words; I don’t remember ever being any of those things, but I remember a lot of wine! :)

  2. Carolyn says...

    My daughter was a “baby carrot” (orange felt material cut into the shape of a carrot and then with a bib and a pacifier hanging around the neck) that I used a glue gun to put together and a foam #1 finger that you see at sporting events (we painted the foam blue and on the “hand part” put her name #1). Just type in #1 foam finger Halloween costume on the internet to see pics. They were both very easy to make and very cute. She especially loved the foam finger. Parents magazine and their website have great ideas, that’s where we got the baby carrot from.

  3. Leanne says...

    Just posting here to say I love what Primary’s all about (gender neutral colourful mixable options) and I wish they shipped to Canada.

    • Jen says...

      Me too! I send them an email every couple of months to see if anything has changed! Nothing yet!

  4. We love primary! We’ve used their basics for costumes forever. We’ve done a baby chicken, mermaid, labradoodle, Audrey Hepburn, meteorologist, koala and this year we’re channeling Mary from Hocus Pocus. :)

  5. Rusty says...

    Love the step-by-step for great creations.

    There is a BUT though…..balloons are no longer ‘cool’. Theyre a key micro-plastic that kills sea creatures (yep, I know, so fun, but more deadly).

    Also, that’s a lotta waste unless parts are reused. Just sayin’.
    One Earth.
    Not too many chances left. Make better choices in every way, every day!

    • Robin says...

      Agreed! So cute but I’d love to see a costume where the clothes really could be worn again (hot glue spots seem like they would ruin clothes for future wear …). Face paint plus creative use of basics? Household objects? Or what you can do with secondhand finds maybe.

  6. Christina says...

    Halloween here is only about 20 years old, and unfortunately only the scary part of it made it across the ocean… It makes me so sad to see only scary costumes and I do my best to inspire my children to be black cats, bats or ghosts and not vampires or zombies. Therefore I really appreciate the spider! If anyone has ideas that are scary but not scary, please tell!

    • Emily says...

      What country are you from, Christina? I live in Czech Republic and I feel like only the scary part cake through here, just like you say.

    • Christina says...

      Emily, I live in Sweden. Interesting how it seems to be the same in several European countries, apparently in Spain too (comment from Laura C just below ours). Such a pity, because Halloween seems to be so creative and fun, not just scary!

  7. Laura C. says...

    Oh my, I love this ideas!! Just one thing that I don’t like of our imported Halloween, here i Spain we have taken Halloween for “The Scary Festival” and EVERY COSTUME is: ghost, pumkin, witch, vampire, zombie, regular monster, bloody monster, mummy, more vampires, more witches, scary nuns&monks, devils, Freddie Krueger.
    If you want to see another type of costume, you’ll have to wait to Carnival.

    • Laura C. says...

      these*, sorry

    • Christina says...

      Mummy is actually one of the “kinder” costumes I have made my children wear. So easy and flexible and easy to layer lots of warm clothes underneath. October 31st can be really cold in Sweden.

  8. Awads says...

    i don’t know much about fabric glue, but does that glue then ruin the articles of clothing? i would hope to get more than one use out of those pieces!

    • Marisa says...

      I was feeling the same way. Seems like a waste to buy brand new clothing only to glue stuff on it for a halloween costume. Better to go to a second hand shop to do that or use stuff you already have…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you can definitely reuse them afterward! you can wear them as pajamas or use them as play costumes at home OR if you want to remove the patches, you can safety pin, duct tape, or lightly sew on appendages and spots!

  9. Ceridwen says...

    Halloween has really taken off in Australia now. My kids love it! I’ve been telling them they don’t have to dress as scary things of zombies….this will provide good examples!

  10. Amy Vos says...

    This is super cute but I can’t quite get past ruining brand new clothes to make a costume. Charity/opshop/thrift shop clothes already exist and don’t require new resources to be made- it seems pretty wasteful and not environmentally minded to purchase new items only to cut up and glue things onto. Just a thought!

  11. Ragon says...

    I often use primary’s basics for costume starters. This year she is Fawkes the Phoenix from Harry Potter (red long sleeve tee, orange leggings, red felt wings, red and orange tutu). Last year Hedwig the Owl (white leggings and tee, felt wings and mask). The year before, The Princess in Black (black dress and leggings with a felt flower added, black cape and mask).

  12. Serena says...

    Cute! Not cheap though. “Primary” at Old Navy or Target is way more budget friendly ;-)

  13. I loved her week of outfits and I’m still giggling about Oh Maybe! These outfits are amazingly darn cute also!!!

  14. Nat says...

    We don’t celebrate Halloween but will keep these ideas in mind for future recitals or plays that may require an animal costume. In the meantime, I got some much needed fall basics for my little one. Excited to get them soon. Thanks for the promo code!

  15. MM says...

    Baby’s first flight (11 weeks old flying Delta) will be on Halloween so bought a primary purple onesie to make into a Delta flight attendant. Making a scarf, delta pin with her name on it and handkerchief this week.

    • Madi says...

      What a cute idea! I’m sure y’all will be super popular with the crew. Safe travels!

    • Katie says...

      So cute!!! Have a good flight!

  16. alice says...

    I did the spider costume with my youngest two years ago, he was almost 2 at the time and it was the cutest. People STILL talk about it, including him. It was a lot more diy and rough around the edges than Anotn’s version, but so much fun. Highly recommended.

  17. Megan says...

    My daughter is going to be a Pokemon trainer, with a Primary skirt and top. I love this because then she can just keep wearing the clothes and it’s not just a one and done costume.

  18. Sasha L says...

    Has anyone seen the dog in a spider costume, terrifying absolutely everyone, video making the rounds?? Omg, it’s the best.

    • Kim says...

      I’ve seen it and it’s so cute!

  19. Sri Latha says...

    What is Anton’s favorite candy? I am using this as a poll to see what candy kids are into now :D Fruit by the foot is my most likely choice, but bubble gum seems fun as well!

  20. Jane I. says...

    I love this SO much! My mom made all of our costumes as kids. That’s the only way to go in my opinion. I love when children look like children. If a kid came to by door dressed like this, they would get ALL the Reese’s!

  21. Jennifer says...

    My son is super into tarantulas right now- so these costume ideas are fantastic. He’s not really into dressing up, but I bet creating his costume like this would be the Best Buy in. Thanks, COJ!!

  22. Jan says...

    Anton again rocking an outfit!!

  23. Kate says...

    Haha, I was also like wait a second, that spider looks familiar!! Love seeing Anton in the spotlight, I know he is a little shy sometimes…

    Also, my teacher heart can’t help but mention that insects have six legs and spiders have eight! This costume could totally be made for either, and I love how creative the multiple legs are! Mentally filing this away for when my baby gets big enough… !

    • Kate says...

      Ohhhhh. HIS legs are 7 & 8! Got it!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes haha! his legs and arms make 8 :)

  24. k says...

    and just like that, my kid finally picked a halloween costume. Spider it is!

  25. Riri says...

    They’re all cute, but that spider is missing two legs!

    • Riri says...

      Never mind, not when you count Anton’s legs as well.

  26. I love all these costumes! Definitely I will use this to make one for my son. I can picture the spider. Anton is such an amazing model! This year my son is going to be a monster. First time he said he wanted to make a costume. So we made one last weekend.

  27. celeste says...

    Fun! My son’s going as an inflatable t-rex (he makes me laugh every time I see him from behind) and my daughter’s going as Audrey from Descendants 3. Descendants costumes are big in my house.

  28. Taylor says...

    My five-year-old wants to be a rainbow for Halloween, so I did get her a costume vest from Target, but also got Primary’s rainbow leggings, rainbow dress, and a yellow tee for layering underneath. Love their stuff!

    • Anonygirl says...

      I love this so much.

  29. Joslyn says...

    Funny timing! I just ordered a yellow dress for my daughter and a red onesie for my son from primary this weekend. They are going to be the cutest bottles of ketchup and mustard you’ve ever seen. Our street shuts down the weekend before Halloween and we do a pumpkin race (pumpkins on wheels) down the hill. We picked out a hot dog shaped pumpkin in an attempt to win the most creative prize.

    • Vicki says...

      This is so cute! Hope you win!

  30. Lillian Chang says...

    So adorable!!!

    Side note: this is maybe the BEST sponsored post I’ve ever seen. Well done!

  31. Katie says...

    After a quick glance at the “You’ll need” list, I do not consider these easy! Easy is ordering a costume from eBay ;)

    • Tis says...

      lol Yeah, I’m out at “glue”. Last year, I dressed my blonde-haired kid in his black jeans, converse shoes, red-striped shirt, and put a stuffed tiger in his arms. Calvin and Hobbes! lol I’m afraid we peaked in grade 3.

  32. Lara says...

    Anton!!!!
    Was Toby there??

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, toby was the enthusiasm provider/kid wrangler! during the shoot, he kept saying “let’s hear it for Frog!!!” etc. and keeping the energy up! :)

    • Stephanie says...

      Joanna, I love hearing this about Toby. I’ve learned so much from how you teach your boys to be kind and to be encouragers—some of the most important values I’m hoping to instill in my own boys (who are a couple of years behind Toby and Anton). I know this could be read as a fun comment about him being a hype guy, but it’s often the little moments that reveal strong character. <3

  33. Alissa M says...

    One of my 8-year-olds is going as a spider, with a black beanie, black Primary leggings, and a black Primary long-sleeve with four additional legs made from tights.

    Great minds and so forth. :-)

  34. THIS is the way to do a sponsored post right! It feels so thoughtful in a way that most of those post thank you. As a reader I just wanted to share! I hope to see more where adventures and content can connect in such an authentic way.

    • … in a way that most posts aren’t ;)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much, robin!

    • Jennifer says...

      Totally agree!

  35. nadine says...

    so cool! i want Anton’s costume too!

  36. lesley says...

    These three costumes are fantastic!!

  37. Meghan says...

    OMG ANTON!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha he loved it so much and wore it for the rest of the evening! can’t wait to bust it out again on halloween :)