Halloween DIY: How to Win at Costume Procrastination


I am guilty of being a Halloween costume DIYer – and every year I try to DIY my boys’ costumes I do it with days (sometimes hours) left until the big day! I don’t know why I am so bad at planning out how to properly coordinate my time to get it done sooner, but here I am the night before Halloween putting together my 6th Halloween costume this season. For the past 2 weeks my oldest son has had countless dress up days at school where he obviously couldn’t go as the same character each time. Now my youngest son has his turn tomorrow at daycare where he cannot be “something scary” – this rules out his official Halloween costume of the Hulk (trust me, his Hulk Smash impersonation is scary, this is a safe choice for us). 


I decided to make him a jellyfish, since that is my costume for Halloween too. It is easy, simple, and so cost effective! Plus I can actually use the umbrella’s after Halloween (it is a win-win!). I found several ideas online and decided to mesh the suggestions together to make my own concoction. To get started I bought the following:

  • 1 adult bubble clear umbrella
  • 1 child bubble clear umbrella
  • 6 LED blue Fairy lights (battery operated)
  • large googly eyes
  • shiney, silvery wrapping string
  • iridescent garland

During the process I also decided that I needed a sparkly silver sheer tulle fabric roll to fill in the empty spaces of the umbrella, but this was an after the fact thought!

To get started I used 4 of the LED Fairy lights on the adult umbrella, and 2 strands on the child umbrella. I threaded the lights throughout the metal frame.

Next, I threaded the silver tulle through the metal frame to fill in the empty space. Then to create the tentacles I just randomly tied the gift wrapping ribbon to the frame and ends at varying lengths. I only had one set of large googly eyes, so my son was the lucky one to get those on his umbrella! I am pretty impressed with how easy this costume was (and cost effective!). The majority of the materials I found at the dollar store, the most expensive part was the umbrellas ($10/each).



Robot & Spectral Ghost

My oldest son is convinced that if he dresses up as something spooky for Halloween then no one will try to scare him because he scares them first! It is a pretty ingenious thought and is the reason why he has chosen something spooky the past few years. Last year he was a Spectral Ghost and I think we nailed it! My youngest was a robot and both costumes cost me less than $40 total, and took less than a day to make!

For the Spectral Ghost we only needed:

  • 1 adult grey shirt
  • Halloween, glow in the dark decorative fabric
  • Halloween decorative chains
  • Halloween decorative lantern
  • makeup

Since the fabric we purchased was already distressed with holes we barely had to do anything for this costume! I painted on the makeup, pinned the fabric to the adult grey shirt, threw the chains over his neck and he carried the lantern. It was so easy and done in 10 minutes!


For the Robot we needed:

  • 1 medium to large sized box
  • 1 cereal box
  • silver spray paint
  • paint
  • 2 large bolts
  • 5 metal washers 

I cut 1 end of the cereal box, and 1 face to create the “head”. On the medium sized box I cut 2 arm holes, and cut out the bottom for his legs. I spray painted several coats of the silver spray onto the boxes. I also used pieces of the cut out to create a screen and spray painted that. Next I painted the washers & bolts in different colors to be the gears for the robot. Once everything was dried I superglued it onto the boxes. This costume cost me less than $8 and was done in 2 days. My son was the happiest little robot ever!


I always have such elaborate dreams of being the perfect Pinterest mom who created Halloween costume masterpieces for my kids, but life always gets in the way. For not being an extremely crafty person, and for someone who waits for the last minute, I found these costumes so easy to do. Hopefully next year I can give myself just a little more time!