Last Minute Halloween!

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Quick & Easy Costume Ideas for Your KidsEvery mom knows that time is of the essence when making life happy and healthy for your child, and that is ever true around holidays and special seasonal times. If you are a mom who is struggling to come up with ideas late in the season, and is short on time and money this Halloween, then read this quick guide of tips for making Halloween party outfits that are easy and often use materials you have around your house or that you can buy on a dime!

The Mummy:  Grab a roll of toilet paper and get to wrapping up your sweet little one like a mummy! This outfit works well with strips of old white T-shirts or sheets, as well. Be creative, and make sure to wrap the toilet paper or cloth strips lightly. You can leave your child's face free and simply wrap a few strips around his or her forehead. (Make sure they go to the bathroom first!)

The Gardener:  If you have a pair of overalls, a plaid shirt, a sun hat and a watering can, then you have an instant gardener outfit! To add to the novelty of this outfit, you also could fill a basket with flowers or vegetables. When your child collects candy, he or she can trade your neighbor for it with a flower or fruit. Add a small garden tool sticking out of a pocket.

The Olympiad:  Celebrate the Olympics by outfitting your child in running shorts and a T-shirt. If it's warm outside, try goggles and a swimsuit, and if it's cold, try a track suit (or even add stripes down the side of some old sweats). Make your own Olympic gold medal with a piece of yarn and construction paper.

The Pumpkin:  Who doesn't love a cute pumpkin? Outfit your child in an orange T-shirt or sweatshirt and orange sweatpants. Use a black permanent marker to draw eyes and a mouth on the T-shirt or sweatshirt. Make sure to put cardboard in between the shirt or sweatshirt layers to prevent the marker from bleeding through the layers. Plop a green knit hat or headband on top for the finishing touch.

The Ghost:  Who hasn't been a ghost as a child?  It's the easiest costume of all. Find an old sheet at your local thrift shop, cut out some eye holes and a small mouth, if desired. Embellish with a marker (using cardboard behind the face).So what if you are a little late to the game this season? There's still time to outfit your child in some terrific duds for the ultimate candy season! Moms who want easy, quick and affordable Halloween costume ideas need look no further. You will be ready for the neighborhood party in no time by dressing up your child in one of these cute costumes!

Start Costume Shopping Early!

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As Halloween approaches, the countdown is on. Do you know what your child will be wearing? Halloween is easily becoming one of the hardest working holidays for moms. So here are a few tips to help save time, money and tears.

Start early

The more time you have to plan ahead the better. Especially for homemade costumes, adequate preparation is a necessity. As soon as possible, start getting ideas from your children; however, remember that they are prone to changing their minds often so do not run out and buy an expensive outfit that you will not be able to return. When you do have an idea on what type of fairy, superhero or creature your child will be, start looking in thrift shops and secondhand stores for any lower priced items or accessories. With time on your side you can also call on family and friends to provide hand-me-down options. For example, a relative's old nurse’s scrubs or a friend's too-small uniform can be a great way to save money and recycle at the same time.

Encourage creativity

Zombies are definitely back in style, and any old clothes can be repurposed into a whole new undead version with a little make-up and scissors. The sky is the limit; do not feel trapped into traditional characters. Plan ahead and look for unorthodox ideas that can be made at home. Creations like these can be endearing and comical, and are usually the popular stand-outs for festive enthusiasts.

So you have decided to forgo the Halloween madness of costume shopping and are taking your child’s fate into your own hands? Where to start? Arts and crafts stores are a great way to find individual pieces that you can use to enhance an original outfit. Also with a little tailoring, and a lot of faith, a few yards of fabric can make a whimsical wizard or a baby bumble bee. When buying for multiple children, outfits like these can save money and provide a theme for the entire family. For example, the materials needed to make a farmer, animals and a scarecrow can be found in your closets and in a craft store.

Plan ahead, find your creative flair, and stay safe -- and you can take a lot of the stress out of Halloween and find yourself having a scary good time.

It’s Not Too Early to Choose a Costume

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Having a tight budget does not mean that your children can't have a fabulous Halloween. Making homemade costumes for children doesn't have to be limited to those who are talented with needle, thread and sewing machine. Plenty of no-sew costumes look great.

Dress-Up Ideas for Girls

Fairy and princess outfits are popular for little girls these days. Thankfully, these ensembles are very simple to recreate. Don't settle for cheaply-made, expensive store-bought dresses when making your own is so quick, easy and inexpensive. To make a lovely tulle skirt suitable for a princess or fairy, you will need a length of quarter-inch waistband elastic and several yards of tulle. Knot the elastic around the child's waist so that it fits comfortably. Trim the excess. Cut the tulle in 12 to 18 inch wide strips, and then tie the strips lengthwise onto the waistband. Continue in this way all around the circumference of the waistband. Outfit your little girl in a leotard and tights topped with this skirt. For a fairy, you may want to pick up a pair of wings at the local dollar store and add a flowered headband. For a princess, an inexpensive tiara and wand can be found at the same place.

Other easy ideas for girls might be Little Red Riding Hood or a gypsy. For Red Riding Hood, simply wrap a red tablecloth or shawl around your little sweetheart, and secure it under the chin with a safety pin. Give her a basket to carry, and she will be ready to head to Grandma's house for trick or treat. If she would like to be a Gypsy, dress her in a brightly-colored tiered skirt and peasant blouse. Add a gaudy fringed shawl or scarf and plenty of bangle bracelets. Don't forget large hoop earrings.

Dress-Up Ideas for Boys

If your little fellow likes Charlie Brown, recreating his favorite comic book character is simple. Buy a bright yellow T-shirt and black fabric paint. With a sharp pencil, sketch in the distinctive zigzag pattern along the bottom hem of the shirt. Tuck cardboard or several layers of newspaper inside the shirt to prevent the paint from bleeding through it, and paint the zigzag using black paint.

A solid-colored hoodie can be many things. On a white hoodie, you can glue floppy ears made of felt and black felt circles to make your boy a Dalmatian puppy. Alternately, an orange hoodie can be decorated with pointed ears and black stripes to make a child a tiger. Use your imagination, felt and fabric glue to create interesting outfits out of hoodies.

Loads of costume ideas are available for creative parents who have a little time and some ingenuity. However, since Halloween is in just a few weeks, you may want to get started right away.