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Looking for a last-minute kids’ costume? Here are our top picks

We’ve all been there. Time gets away from us and we realize we don’t have enough time to put together that show-stopping Halloween costume. The stores are picked over and options are limited. That’s when you don your superhero cape and take matters into your own hands.

You don’t need to break out the sewing machine or tool chest for a great, last-minute DIY costume. A few everyday items can be purchased or repurposed for a charming and cheeky trick-or-treating sensation.

  • Minions. Find one yellow hooded sweatshirt, one pair of blue denim overalls, one pair of goggles, and voila! These popular animated characters from the Despicable Me film franchise are available as ready-made costume kits in plenty of stores, but you may find that the DIY version is every bit as charming.
  • Mummy. Grab the toilet paper — or better yet, a few rolls of reusable elastic bandages — and wrap your little person head to toe. If she can see, walk, and eat candy, you’ll have a winner on your hands.

Boy wearing a mummy Halloween costume.

  • Robot. If you have a box, you have a costume. Cut out holes for the head and arms, wrap the box in aluminum foil, and lavish with space-age adornments. A metal colander makes a great helmet.
  • Repurpose the PJs. No kid wardrobe is complete without at least one pair of pajamas depicting a favorite movie or TV character. Find that Disney princess nightgown and add a simple tutu and tiara. A toy microphone and a bit of glitter paint can re-create a pop star. Harry Potter PJs come to life with a pair of glasses and a lightning scar drawn with an eyebrow pencil.
  • Pro athlete. If your child likes sports, there’s likely a jersey of his or her favorite athlete on hand. Pull a ball or helmet out of the equipment box to complete the ensemble.
  • Ghost. In a pinch, this one works every time. Find a sheet, cut out the eye holes, adjust the length for safety, and let the good times roll.
  • Make use of balloons. A bunch of white balloons could make a quick cloud or marshmallow. Purple balloons transform your child into an adorable bunch of grapes. Just steer clear of vampires.
  • Lego bricks. Find a cardboard box or two and attach plastic drinking cups along the surface in regular intervals to mimic the “studs” of a classic Lego brick. Paint it your favorite color and you’re ready to go.
  • Octopus. Find four pairs of stockings or tights and turn them into “tentacles” by filling them with balled-up socks, tissue paper, or anything else that will add volume. Attach the tentacles to a belt or skirt, then complete the look by adding large googly eyes to a matching hat or beanie. Clam or oyster shells make another great accent.
  • Scuba diver. Find or paint a pair of all-black pajamas and two empty plastic 2-liter drink bottles. Clean the bottles and paint them silver or blue to mimic oxygen dive tanks. Secure them around the body with black electrical tape, add a snorkel mask, and dive into the festivities.

These DIY and last-minute Halloween costumes can be a lifesaver in a pinch. Whether you’re ordering online or making it yourself, these ideas will ensure your kids will never be left out of the fun — and might even become the life of the party.

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