Here we are. October is in full swing and your kids still don’t have their Halloween costumes picked out. The kids have a million and one ideas, that involve everything from tattoos to hair dye to elaborate (read: expensive) costumes. But as busy moms everywhere must do to survive, we forbid any discussions of Halloween costumes until at least September 1st. We sure as heck don’t buy anything until October, because we know our kids will change their minds a million times. But then October actually comes around and we all start to panic.

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Gone are the days when the costumes we got for Halloween were worn just on Halloween. Oh no, today we have costume parades at schools, trunk or treat events with the unit, fall fesitvals, and more events than October has days. And they all creep up on the calendar as early as mid-month.

So if you’re reading this and thinking, I have plenty of time to start/finish/shop/brainstorm those costumes. You don’t. Cue the panic. We’re not joking.

But we do have some ideas. Ideas to help you stay on budget, avoid hours on Pinterest, and make even the most creative elementary schooler happy. Ideas you can buy, make, or put together. Ideas that will make everyone happy, including you. So grab your PSL—or mulled wine—and get brainstorming.

Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas for Busy Moms

Kids of all ages like to dress up for Halloween, so why not indulge them? Sure it can be simple or complicated, but most of all, it should be fun!

Traditional Costume Ideas

Witches, scarecrows, professional athletes, animals. Some of the most loved costumes are the traditional ones. And they’re also the easiest to find! Hopefully, you have a few of these in the closet already or can snag one from a friend in a pinch. But if not, make sure you save one for wearing again next year!

Halloween Costume Pro-Tip:
Go to Wal-Mart or Target the day after Halloween to snag some ubber cheap costumes for next year. Even if they don’t end up wearing them for Halloween, they still make for some awesome dress up clothes throughout the year.

Trendy Costume Ideas

For younger children especially, the popular TV characters and superheroes are often what they want to dress up as. Luckily, there are so many options in the store for these types of costumes. If you didn’t get a chance to shop early, you may be looking at last year’s trendy options in a secondhand store. But don’t let that stop you. And maybe next year you’ll start earlier. But probably not.

Halloween Costume Pro-Tip:
Put out an ISO post on your neighborhood Facebook page for a character your child loves. Chances are there is some other military family trying to purge themselves of at least part of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume or Descendants costume. You can then improvise with face paint or regular clothing like leggings to make the rest.

DIY Costume Ideas

We all dream of adorable family photos with themed costumes. We float the idea each year, starting the brainstorming for with our kids. They all agree at first and we spend hours looking at these costumes, trying to find the perfect ones for everyone in the family. But then they change their minds and you’re left being a random supporting character from a Disney movie while they are ninjas or fairies. And then you just look crazy.

If your kid decides to dress up as something unique, you may not have the option of buying something from the store. Piecing together a Halloween costume is kind of like a scavenger hunt. But making it—and having them help—creates all types of memories and teaches them skills they’ll need later on. Like when they’re a parent doing this. We found some awesome DIY ideas—and even some family ones—over on Life on East Powers Drive’s blog.

Halloween Costume Pro-Tip:
Amazon is your best bet for DIY costumes, and even character-based ones. You can find all the pieces for your child’s randomly, yet very imaginative, dinosaur fairy ninja princess. And the best part? You don’t have to walk into a single store and risk them changing their mind once again once they see all the other costume ideas.

Baby-Wearing Costume Ideas

Are you trick or treating with a baby this year? Ditch the stroller and incorporate the baby carrier into the costume. This gives you an excuse to dress up too! Or perhaps even better, get your spouse involved and build the costume around them wearing the baby. Babywearing is awesome, especially in costume. Get creative with these ideas from Make It, Love It.

Halloween Costume Pro-Tip:
If you don’t want to wear your baby the whole time, you can also decorate a push/pull wagon as part of the costume idea. It also gives you a place to put all your, errr, their candy.

Pregnancy Costume Ideas

Some of the cutest Halloween costumes are for pregnant women. Isn’t that how it always goes? Cutest clothes, cutest costumes. Check out these simple but fun ideas from Mother Rising Birth. If you’re pregnant this year for Halloween, take advantage of these awesome costume ideas. Just make sure to take some great pictures, because you probably can’t rewear this one next year!


When in doubt, check out the Amazon Prime for costume pieces and ideas. That two-day delivery will save you in many last-minute situations. We’re with you every step of this parenting journey, which means we want to know what you decided on for costumes. Tag us on Instagram so we can see which of our Halloween costume ideas you decide on! Oh, and you’re welcome.

WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out Trunk or Treat Ideas Under $15

Top Halloween Costume Ideas For Busy Moms

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Photo Credits: Life on East Powers Drive, Make It Love It, Mother Rising Birth, Pixabay

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