We get a lot of our materials for homemade costumes from things lying around the house, recycled cardboard, and thrift stores. Although some costumes have taken a lot of time, most take little time and cost very little to make.
Every year we try to top the costume worn the year before, but sometimes this can be difficult. Like this epic Spartan costume that won my son first place in the school costume contest, uhm, wow, five years ago. It involved lots of foil, black fabric, and cardboard. The helmet is actually crafted around a hard hat and was quite heavy. His shield is actually a plastic trash can lid covered in foil with the Spartan upside down V added to it. The photo isn't the greatest, but it was an awesome costume. The helmet sits on a shelf in the garage if anyone wants to borrow it!
Then there was the headless costume that gave his little brother a scare. It got a lot of attention around the neighborhood as the kids went trick or treating. It's actually an easy costume to make. We got the instructions from a book but there are several tutorials around the web. The pants actually come up under his arms.
The little one's first homemade costume was a cow. He was going through a phase of mooing everywhere. I just took brown jersey pants and a matching brown hoodie and painted spots on them. I cut hooves out of black foam and twisted little paper horns covered in masking tape. Then I crafted a tail out of wire. Some people confused him for a puppy, but that's ok. He was so stinkin' cute either way.
Last year little one was Puss In Boots. This costume came together after he started wearing my western boots around the house, clunking everywhere because they were way too big. About this same time he watched the movie Puss In Boots. It was also fairly easy to put together. Black fabric for the cape, a store bought hat with a large feather. orange pullover, and some make up. He had a blast walking the neighborhood in this costume and nearly everyone got it.
This year the little one wants to go as Dr. Who. Should be pretty easy to do though I wonder how many people in our neighborhood will get it. I told him I was going as River Song. She is one of my favorite Dr. Who characters because she kicks butt. Nothing scares her. Little one wants me to go as the Tardis. Who knows. There is still time.