Handmade Halloween Costumes

By Lisa Storms

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Tools used

  • RazorEdge™ Softgrip® Scissors (8")
  • Cutting Mat (24" x 36")
  • 3 Piece Rotary Cutting Set
  • 1/4" Circle Hand Punch
  • Circle Shape Template (8 1/2" x 11")
  • Ovals Shape Template (8 1/2" x 11")

This year I came up with a monster costume for my son. I had lots of other costume ideas, but when I went shopping for a sweat suit found it difficult to find specific colors. This makes a monster a great costume option since monsters can be any color! And they are versatile for both boys and girls. And just plain cute. (Or scary if you wish.)


I, obviously, went for cute! I asked my son what kind of monster he wanted to be. One request was to have a bunch of tentacles like an octopus. To save on time, I compromised and added 'suction cups' under the arms to mimic tentacles.

These are very easy to make. Trace the smallest circle from the Circles shape template multiple times onto white craft foam. Tip: Use a Sharpie marker so you don’t need to worry about smudging. Simply cut right inside traced line. Punch the center of each circle with a 1/4 inch circle hand punch and adhere to sweat shirt arms using a glue gun. This technique would of course work well for an octopus costume as well.


There are not any rules when it comes to monsters as they are full of imagination, so just have fun! I grabbed my Circles shape template again and went crazy tracing and cutting out felt circles (I use Razor-edge Softgrip Scissors which cut through felt like butter) to add fun and texture. I have found that my Circles shape template is one of my top go-to tools in my crafting collection. Even when Iím not using it paired with the Ultra ShapeXpress to cut out cardstock and paper, it is a great tool for tracing assorted circles. I love that it is sturdy and versatile with many circle sizes all in one place. A must-have in my opinion!


I used a rather unexpected material for the horns. Kitchen sponges! I wanted something that could stand on its own without adding much weight and came in fun colors. I’ve been using sponges a lot in crafting lately.

To create a simple horn template, cut out a large oval using the Ultra ShapeXpress and Ovals shape template from cardstock. Move the oval over a little and cut an oval shape from one side and snip off a straight edge as shown. Trace onto a sponge and cut out. I used thick, soft sponges so I could kind of 'sculpt' rounded edges.


I used a low-temp glue gun to attach the horns, foam balls for eyes, craft foam teeth, and a felt tongue. Iím so glad my son said he wanted its tongue sticking out, because I think itís just the cutest!


For my daughter’s costume, I came up with a ruffled skeleton!


My daughter is obsessed with ruffles. I’m pretty sure I’ve sewn ruffles onto just about everything she owns. So why should her costume be any different? Skeleton meets trendy.


Use a rotary cutter with an acrylic ruler on a cutting mat to cut out strips from a white t-shirt. Tip: When purchasing a shirt to cut up, buy the largest size. Shirts are usually the same price regardless of size, so you might as well get the most bang from your buck.

Run a long basting stich down the center of each strip (I just did this by hand). Pull material to gather, knot, and pin to a black shirt for machine sewing.

Tip: If I were to make this costume again, I would add the arm 'bones' to the front of the arms instead of down the center of the sleeves so they would be more visible from the front.


I pinned a bow (at my daughter’s request) to the white hat I purchased to be the top of the 'skull'. To make your own felt bow, check out the directions from my lemonade stand article here.

These are two examples of creating fun, one-of-a-kind costumes quickly and easily. Try these or come up with your own ideas to craft up a memorable Halloween.