Applying the three R’s to your kids’ Halloween costumes

| October 28, 2014
halloween costumes

This Halloween, dress your kids in costumes made from things you already have. From Greger Ravik.

If you’re a forward-thinking, highly-organized parent, you’ve likely already crafted the perfect Halloween costumes for your kids. But, if you’re like some of us and have been so busy that you only just noticed that November is nary a week away, you may be looking for some help in the costume department. The best costumes are both environmentally friendly and easy to throw together at the last minute.

Last year, we brought you five costumes you could make with cardboard. This year, avoid running out to the nearest costume store for the usual polyester fare, and cobble together a clever costume with things you have at home. Here are just a few costumes that allow you to reuse stuff you can find around the house, reducing your impact on the environment.

Johnny Appleseed

Take a large scarf or small blanket and tie it around a stick for Johnny Appleseed’s bindle. Then, place a lightweight pot atop your child’s head. He can use the bindle to carry a few apples and, of course, loads of candy!


A striped shirt, suspenders, black hat, red scarf around the neck, and makeup are all you need for a passable mime costume. (That, and a commitment to silence!)


Whether you child does ballet, soccer, or baseball, you can break out the uniform he or she already has for trick-or-treating. Make the look more Halloween-ready with some homemade fake blood or zombie makeup. However, zombie ballerinas and zombie soccer players should take care not to wear their ballet slippers or cleats while trolling the sidewalks.

Bubble Bath

A shower cap, rubber duck, and bathrobe are enough to get the point across, but for a more elaborate costume, take white balloons (you may have some leftover from birthday parties), blow them up and pin them on. Then, tape rubber duckies, loofahs, and other bath toys to the “bubbles.”

Static Electricity

Pin socks and clean underwear to your child’s clothing. Spike up his hair (maybe some actual static electricity will come in handy here), and have him carry a laundry basket or laundry bag for candy.

The Morton’s Salt Girl

All you need is a bright yellow dress or rain coat, yellow shoes, an umbrella (preferably purple or blue), and some salt to have your child go as the iconic logo.

Pig in a Blanket

Pig makeup, some ears, and a blanket will keep your child warm and in a punny costume all Hallows’ Eve.

Take a look at this video from Save On Energy for even more ideas for greener Halloween costumes, and have a happy and eco-friendly Halloween!

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About the Author ()

At SmartSign, Monica manages and contributes to various blogs. Prior to joining the SmartSign content team, she helped produce and manage content for online publications, including and Monica studied journalism and French at New York University and attended the Columbia Publishing Course, where she learned the ins and outs of book, magazine and digital publishing. She grew up in Philadelphia, Tucson and Central New Jersey, but has called New York home for the past six years, and has lived in Brooklyn, specifically, for the last two. When not reading up on the latest in waste management for RecycleReminders, she enjoys reading long-form journalism, contemporary fiction and restaurant menus.

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