Kids wearing DIY halloween costumes

Recycled DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is a holiday that the kids love – but with the price of costumes these days and with multiple kids it can be expensive. I decided to try my hand at making some recycled Halloween costumes and was thrilled with the results.

Thankfully my kids are pretty flexible and open to ideas and when I mentioned skipping the annual trip to The Halloween Store, they were actually OK with it. I gave them semi-free reign in the creation of their costumes and let them use their creativity to come up with ideas using things around the house and with a little help from mom – they were so proud of their final recycled costumes and could not wait to show their friends!

Saving money and being kind to our planet are great goals and we can achieve this by reusing items you already have. So, for Halloween, I really try not to buy brand new things. I might make an exception if they can be used and re-used many times and are made from eco-friendly materials.

Recycled DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

The first step is to look at our clothes and craft material. Definitely get the kids involved at this stage as they may be inspired by something they see! After that, if we think we still need things to complete the chosen look, we resort to friends, families and social media groups promoting some sort of ‘local freecycle’.

After digging through our house my kids decided on the following for their costumes.

  • Grim Reaper for the 8 year old
  • Vampire for our 11 year old
  • M&M for our 12 year old – this one was unexpected and not that spooky but she and her friend were absolutely determined!

Resources For Costume Items That Are No or Low Cost

  1. Thrift shops
  2. Check out eBay and Craigslist for cheap second hand costumes
  3. Pinterest is an endless source of ideas and inspiration (see link to favorite boards below)
  4. Friends with kids for some costume swaps when kids grow out of them
  5. Check local freecycle groups on social media such as the Buy Nothing Project

DIY Costume Inspiration

broken black umbrellas make great bat wings
Broken black umbrellas make great bat wings

DIY Bat Costume

I found this online and loved the creativeness! The perfect example of what a Halloween costume from reused items should be. While this is a costume I would not use on little kids because they may hurt themselves, the big kids and adults should love it. As you can tell it is a bat costume but it is made almost entirely from a repurposed black umbrella. Evil Mad Scientist Laboratory has the instructions for this spooky piece.

DIY Grim Reaper Costume

grim reaper diy costume
Grim reaper diy costume and scythe

This year, our 8-year-old decided he wanted to be the ‘grim reaper’. When my kids come up with brilliant ideas for their costumes, I always fear for the worse – lots of fun for them, a lot of work for me!!!

So the grim reaper was no different. A quick look in my wardrobe and I came across a long black skirt of mine which made for the perfect outfit. My partner Mark sat down with him and they made the scythe with cardboard, alumnum foil and bamboo stick. We completed the spooky look with some black make up around the eyes and nostrils and white powder all over his face. He was a happy boy and it was a pretty effortless job for us! Win-win!

balck skirt for diy halloween costume
My black skirt tuned out to be the perfect grim reaper costume

Best Halloween Inspiration Boards on Pinterest

As usual, everything DIY and crafty. I resort to Pinterest. So here are some of the boards I recommned:

We hope you feel inspired! Happy Trick or Treating!