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Oct 17

Homemade Hallowe’en Costumes: Trick or Treat?

One of my favourite parts of autumn is Hallowe’en. I have great memories of pouring my bag of candy out on the living room floor and sorting through it, followed of course, by the candy trade negotiations with my sister.Halloween costumes

Even as an adult, I have many happy memories of Hallowe’en. I remember well Hallowe’en night in my first house. I had a dinner party and all conversation stopped as we started to hear the sound of kids running through the leaves (swish, swish, swish) and the knocking at the door.

The enthusiastic shouts of ‘Trick or Treat’ from ghosts and goblins brought smiles to everyone’s face and we equally enthusiastically took turns answering the door and handing out pieces of candy from the big pumpkin bowl.

As the hour grew late and the stream of trick or treaters slowed, the group conversation resumed and many around the table admitted that they were glad that costumes had not been required for my gathering. Last minute and ‘Do It Yourself’ Hallowe’en costume horror stories started to flow like blood in a low-grade slasher movie.

Homemade Hallowe’en costumes are sometimes the product of a creative imagination and personal ambition. More often than not, however, they are a product of lack of planning or a desire to save money.

CTV shared some interesting statistics just before Hallowe’en last year: “About 50 per cent of all searches for Hallowe’en costumes and decorations typically come within five days of the event, according to Google Canada’s figures.” And “searches for makeup have grown about 30 per cent over the past few years.”

So …the countdown is on! Hallowe’en is just around the corner and it is time to get on top of costumes! And the big question is always – what to be!

Many news outlets and costume sellers are talking about a shift in the top choice this year. The ‘princess’ has been knocked out of her tower and replaced by super heroes. How unchivalrous! Fortune Magazine reported the top ten list of kids Hallowe’en costumes this year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation:

  1. Action/Superhero
  2. Princess (knocked down from number one but not out completely!)
  3. Animal (Cat, Dog, Lion, Monkey, etc.)
  4. Batman Character
  5. Star Wars Character
  6. Tie: Witch AND DC Superhero (excluding Batman)
  7. Frozen Character (Anna, Elsa, Olaf)
  8. Marvel Superhero (excluding Spiderman)
  9. Zombie
  10. Spiderman

The best news about this list? If you have left it late and the costumes shops are sold out, you can make some of these yourself and without dire consequences. If none of those costumes strikes you or your kid’s fancy, look online for ideas. There are many articles and sites with some pretty interesting and fun ideas. A few we particularly liked:

  • For adults: French Kiss (Kiss face make-up, striped shirt and beret and a baguette!)
  • For mom and baby: Popcorn vendor (Mom is vendor… baby (with some crafty help) is popcorn!
  • For kids: Bat (using a black broken umbrella!)
  • For the entire family, without forgetting Nanny if she wants to join the fun: Scooby Doo and his gang

Recommendations for making “the making of the costume” as painless as possible include:

  • Set a deadline for making the “what to be” decision. Enlist the help of your nanny or babysitter. They spend a lot of time talking with your kids and can be a great help in getting your kids to come to the final answer.
  • Get to the dollar store and/ or craft store asap. Not only to do you want to ensure you get the supplies you need but you will likely discover you have to make another trip. This is much happier when you have given yourself time (i.e. not at two o’clock in the morning the night before Hallowe’en!)
  • Practice applying make-up a couple of times in advance of Hallowe’en. Practice makes perfect and happy trick or treaters!

And don’t forget to get your candy bowl sorted before the stores are out of all of the good stuff. The CTV report last year stated Skittles, M&Ms and the classic candy corn as the top searches.  No tricks – all treats! Happy Hallowe’en!

If you or someone you know is looking for a Nanny, check out qualified candidates in your area at is a Canadian portal designed to help you find local caregivers in your area, easily and quickly. The caregiver who is right for your family is only a click away.