We first started incorporating our son into our Halloween costumes when I was pregnant, and we’ve continued to do so ever since. Getting everyone involved makes wonderful memories that will stick around long after we’ve devoured all the candy. Since making costumes from scratch gets expensive quickly, we usually raid our closets, visit the thrift store, and gather some household supplies. If you don’t want a pre-made, out-of-the-box costume and also don’t have oodles of time to spend at a sewing machine — especially if you’re also planning a Halloween party — try one of these simple DIY options for your family. And then send out these frightfully fun Halloween party invitations!

Where’s Waldo Family

I loved searching for Waldo as a kid, so I think this is a fun costume for adults and children alike. It should take you less than an hour to throw together a Where’s Waldo family if you’ve saved costume-planning until the last minute. All you need are a few items from your closet paired with some craft supplies.

– Red and white striped shirt (onesie for babies)

– Blue jeans or blue jean skirt (tights for babies)

– Red or white knit hat

– Large pom-pom from a craft store

– Needle and thread or hot glue gun

– Circle glasses

– Any accessories you want to add like a backpack, purse, lunchbox, etc.

All you really need for this one are some clothes you hopefully already have, a few hats and pom-poms from the dollar store and craft store, and some nerdy glasses. Sew or hot-glue the pom-pom to the top of the hat, put on the clothes, and you’re good to go!


Paper Doll Family


I used to have a little paper doll family, and I loved dressing the mom, dad, and kids up in all sorts of outfits. I had a few costume booklets, but I especially enjoyed making my own outfits for the paper dolls out of cardstock or construction paper, ribbons, fabric, markers, and glue. Now I can do it all over again, only on a larger scale. With some foam board, fabric, buttons, ribbons, and whatever else you want to use, you can turn your family into paper dolls! I’ll be preserving these memories in a perfectly-themed Halloween collage.

– Foam board

– X-acto knife

– Construction paper, fabric, buttons, ribbons of your choice

– Hot glue gun

– Sharpie

– Strong twine

Use the rough measurements of your clothes as a model when drawing out the clothes from the foam board (and don’t forget to include the fold-over tabs). Cut out your designs with the X-acto knife. Poke a small hole on each side of the waist, or wherever you’ll be covering up with fabric, ribbons, or buttons. Tie a piece of string on either side and use it to hold in place on your body. You can make paper doll dresses, pants, shirts, or hoodies.

Minion Family

If your kids are anything like my son, they probably love the Despicable Me movies. Dressing up as minions is an easy way to please everyone in my family, and this is a pretty simple costume to make. Mumble some gibberish and you’re good to go!

– Thrift store overalls for each member of the family

– Yellow t-shirts (or baby onesie) for each person

– Yellow knit hats (or white hats spray-painted yellow)

– Black pipe cleaners

– Duct tape

– Canning jar lids

– Black elastic

– Gru minion label printed from the internet

– Iron-on paper (or tape)

For the squiggly strands of Minion hair, stick a few pipe cleaners through the top of each yellow hat. For each pair of goggles, take the outside rings and bands from two canning jar lids and duct tape them together. Then, attach to black elastic with a stapler. Depending on how detailed you want to get, you can also print off a minion logo on iron-on paper, or just attach with tape.


Sushi Family


I figured at least one of these costumes should be something delicious-looking, and what’s more delicious than sushi? If you want, you can also dress one person up in all black clothing to serve as the essential bottle of soy sauce. Like the rest, this is a pretty easy costume to throw together last-minute, perhaps even while snacking on actual sushi for inspiration.

For each person:

– Decorative pillow (varying sizes for adults and children)

– Pink or orange pillowcases (depending on salmon or tuna)

– White paint

– Wide black ribbon

– Foam

– Green spray paint

– Green shower loofah or green and pink felt strips

– Headband

– Hot glue gun

For the seafood, pop the pillow case onto the pillow and secure with elastics. Use the white paint to add some detail to the tuna or salmon. After it dries, attach the thick black ribbon to the pillow with glue or pins. Tie it around yourself and there you go! For the wasabi and ginger, you have several options. Start with a plain headlock and hot-glue either pieces of green and pink felt in some sort of wasabi and ginger shape, or you can use a green shower loofa. If you have extra time, you can spray-paint some foam green and cut out some cucumber sticks to stuff in alongside your fish.


Donuts and Krispy Kreme employees


Everyone in our family loves donuts (of course), although I do try to keep a cap on our sugar levels. But holidays are for eating sugary treats, and in this case, dressing up as sugary treats! This fun idea involves dressing up your kids as donuts, while the parents dress up as Krispy Kreme employees. So cute!

For kids:

– Cardboard pieces or foam boards (large enough for the size of donut you want to make)

– X-acto knife

– Light brown/beige felt

– Pink felt (or whatever color you want the frosting to be)

– Scraps of felt in other colors for sprinkles

– Stapler or hot glue gun

– Fiber fill/stuffing

– Twine or elastic

Draw the donut shape on your foam and cut out the donut ring shape with an x-acto knife. Place the ring onto the felt that you’ll be using as the donut color, and hot-glue to the ring’s inner circle. Start gluing the outer ring, but leave a space to stuff with fiber fill or stuffing. Once you have a fluffy donut shape, finish gluing up the sides. Repeat the process by tracing another ring in a slightly smaller shape (for the frosting) onto the pink felt. Place hot-glue on the donut shape and then add little sprinkles from scraps of felt. Finally, attach the twine or elastic to the donut to serve as a shoulder strap.

For parents: All you need is a dark green apron, a free Krispy Kreme hat, and an empty/leftover donut box.

What will your family be wearing for Halloween this year?