All Hallows Eve or Halloween is celebrated on 31 October. It’s a chance to explore some ghastly fun, eat loads of sweets, and dress up a bit! In recent years, it has gained popularity in South Africa as an opportunity to play dress up with the kids, have a break from routine with party fun, go trick or treating, or just enjoy some extra jollies at home!
Making Halloween costumes shouldn’t be a stressful or expensive exercise. You can start out by checking what you already have, and getting or making a few bits and bobs to supplement or modify an existing costume. Here are a two ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
To get a cowboy or cowgirl outfit together, you will need a pair of jeans, a checked shirt, and some boots if your child has, (takkies will do just fine if you don’t). A scarf, a cowboy hat, sheriffs badge and toy gun can be purchased fairly cheaply from a toy store, or you might have these in the toy box already!
What makes this outfit special is that you can add a horse!
You Will Need:
- 3 X Cardboard boxes approximately:
- 60 x 33 x 25cm (body)
- 18 x 18 x 21cm (neck)
- 30 x 18 x 12,5cm (head)
Note for the boxes: These are approximate sizes and do not have to be exact. A packing box would work well for the body, and 2 shoe boxes would work for the neck and head.
- Craft knife and metal ruler
- White glue and tape
- White and brown water-based paints and brush
- Scraps of fabric or wool for the mane and tail
- Two buttons
- Two lots of 85cm ribbon about 4cm wide
How to make it:
- To make the horse, start by cutting the entire top off the largest box, and cutting a hole in the bottom (near one end) that is large enough for your cowboy or cowgirl to fit through. Turn the box upside down so that the hole is on top. Stick the box for the neck vertically onto the body and the head on top of this. Using some cardboard scraps cut out two ears and glue them to the top of the small box.
- Now, your horse can start coming to life! Paint it white and let the paint dry, then paint brown splodges to make some cowboy horse Pinto markings. Tear 3 x 35cm fabric strips for the mane, and glue them between the ears. Tear another 3 x 40cm strips for the tail, cut a slit in the body and push the strips through, taping them in place on the inside. The fabric strips can be replaced with wool if preferred.
- Cut four slits for the straps, 5cm on the outsides of the hole for the body, and thread the ends of the two ribbons through so that one ribbon is on each side of the hole, securing them on the inside with knots. Glue your button eyes on, and your child will be ready to name their horse!
This is a lovely outfit that can be made up from clothes you already have, a few fabric shop extras, and some face paint!
Start by sourcing some leggings and a long-sleeved top, either in black or yellow. You might already have these, or be able to get them from a discount clothing store.
To make the rest of your little lion you will need:
- Faux fur in a brown shade similar to the picture. You will need to purchase approximately 1,5 metres of the faux fur
- Scissors, a needle and thread
- Black eyeliner or face paint
- Some elastic hairbands (if your little lion does not have long hair, you can purchase an Alice band and make some ‘ears’ from cardboard, and tape them to the band.) Alternatively, many costume or toy stores might have a ready-made Alice band with ears that would be suitable)
How to make it:
- Once you have your leggings and top, put them on your lion and measure where you would like to sew the fur onto the leggings, as well as the sleeves, and make a mark. You will use roughly 30cm for each of the legs, and 20cm for each of the arms.
- Take off the clothes, and pin and sew the ‘fur’ around each of the legs and arms of your outfit. Then, use the remaining 50cm of fur to pin a V-shaped ‘mane’ in place around the neck of the top, and sew it into place.
- Using eyeliner or face paint, create a black nose and whiskers.
- You can then create two high ponytails. Secure them with elastics and plait them, twisting them back on each other and stiffening with additional hairbands so that they stand up, or use the Alice band.
Enjoy Halloween this year, happy trick or treating! If you found this useful and made one of these outfits (or any other homemade Halloween outfit) we would love to see the end results!