Halloween costumes don’t need to be complicated or fancy, they just need to be spooky!
But fear not the spectre of sewing and crafting that awaits you on 31 October because we’re here to help. Scroll down and you’ll find 10 ideas for easy Halloween dress ups. Some of them are so easy, you can knock ‘em up the night before. Some are creepy. Some are just plain cute.
But first, here’s some factoids about Halloween to get you in the mood
Halloween – a contraction of All Hallows’ Eve – is celebrated on 31 October, which down here in Oz is in the spring.
However, the origins of Halloween are thought to date back to the ancient Celt’s Samhain (“summer’s end”) festival which actually marked the beginning of winter; a day when the natural and the supernatural worlds were believed to blur into one.
The Samhain festival involved lighting enormous bonfires (to ward off evil spirits) dressing up in the heads and skins of dead animals (you can see why kids still dress up in spooky costumes) and taking predictions for the future from the druids (to ease the community’s anxiety about the onset of a long, cold winter).
Trick or treat: no really
Above all, the Celts believed that this was a day when spirits roamed the earth. As a way of pacifying the evil spirits they left out treats and gifts for them. This practice probably evolved into what we now know as “trick or treat.”
Then the Romans got in on the act
There are various versions of Halloween-type celebrations across many cultures throughout history. They all occur around the same time: at the end of the northern hemisphere autumn.
In 1000 AD the Romans declared 1-2 November All Soul’s Day. Also known as All Hallows Day or All Saint’s Day, it was a church-sanctioned day to honour dead souls and saints. The night before became known as All Hallow’s Eve.
In the interests of empirical unity (with the Celts now part of the mighty Roman Empire) a lot of the Celts’ Samhain traditions were fused into this day.
What’s with the dress ups?
The Romans dressed in costume as a tribute to the dead souls, the Celts who were notoriously superstitious, dressed up in costume as a safety measure; to camouflage themselves amongst all those ghosts roaming the earth on 31 October.
So when you’re thinking Halloween costumes, think spooky. Because it’s important to blend in on this creepy evening of dead souls – ooooh!
Now you’re in the mood, try these 10 easy homemade dress up ideas for Halloween!
1. Paint your face for Halloween
Looking for the simplest Halloween solution? Two words: face paint. You’d be amazed how spooky a black and white face can be. Add a cloak (for a ghoul) or some shredded clothes (for a zombie) and you’ve got yourself a creepy outfit.
2. Make this easy last-minute Halloween costume
Short on time? Under the pump? This spooky ghoul outfit is a cinch!
3. Create a cute black cat costume
Most little girls have a cheeky cat inside them they are desperate to release. A black cat is spooky and cute for Halloween.
4. Make a cool bat hat costume
If you’ve got a boy or girl who isn’t into fancy dress, this bat hat is a good compromise.
5. Dress like a witch
If you’re looking for something fabulous and you want to put a bit of time in, try this jazzy witch outfit.
6. Create an easy Dracula costume
Make this easy black cape (below), add fab face paint and hey presto! You’ve got yourself a Dracula costume!
7. Create your own skeleton costume
Got a black hoodie? Add face paint and a skeleton printable and you’ve got yourself a skeleton outfit.
8. Make homemade monster masks
If you’re just looking for a fun craft activity that can also double as your trick or treat outfits, try making these monster masks with your kids.
9. Create a homemade Harry Potter or Hermione costume
Instead of being one of the ghouls, your child can be a ghoul-fighter by dressing up as Harry or Hermione to roam the streets on Halloween.
10. Make your own fairy princess outfit
Okay so it’s not exactly scary (unless you have an aversion to pink!) but some little kids just won’t be told. If you’ve got one of these, here are some fairy things that might be suitable for Halloween.