Need some costumes ideas for Halloween? Store shelves are lined with costumes, but why spend your hard earned dollars on a pre-fab costume that your children will wear once and throw away when you can make your own costumes from old clothes and other items you already have around the house? As promised in my Green Halloween primer, here are some great ideas for simple, eco-friendly Halloween costumes for you and/or your kids. Got a few great ideas of your own? Post them here!

Black cat: Black sweat suit, black headband (attach two black felt ears), old black scarf or boa to use as tail (attach with a safety pin). Use black eyeliner to draw on cat eyes and whiskers.

Cowboy/cowgirl: Jeans, flannel shirt, bandanna, boots, cowboy (cowgirl) hat.

Ghost: It doesn’t get any easier than this one. Cut two eye holes in an old sheet (if you don’t have an old one, you can pick one up at your local thrift store.) Jazz it up by using a permanent marker to add spider webs, chains and a face.

Mummy: Dress child in an all-white or all-black outfit. Cut an old sheet into long strips. Attach strips with masking tape to child’s clothes and wrap loosely around legs, torso and arms. Use white face paint all over face.

Ninja: Black turtleneck, billowy black pants, black belt and a sword

Pirate: Red pants, white billowy shirt (open at the collar) balck belt, black boots, black hat, one dangly clip-on earring, one black eye patch.

Princess: If you can’t find an old princess dress at your local thrift store, seek out any material that is frilly and/or sparkly that can be pinned around your child’s waist as a skirt. (Try a fancy pillowcase or tablecloth). Make a crown out of aluminum foil. For special effect, add glow in the dark stars all over the costume.

Scarecrow: Old jeans, flannel shirt, straw hat, boots. Cut an old newspaper into thin strips. Using duct tape, attach the newspaper strips to the inside cuff of each pant leg and the inside cuff of each shirt at the wrist. Use red face paint and black eyeliner to make red cheeks, and black “stitching” around mouth and eyes.

Spider: Black sweat suit, two pairs of black tights. (Cut the legs off of the tights and stuff them with old newspaper (4 legs total). Attach 2 legs to either side of sweatshirt with safety pins. Using black sewing thread or safety pins, attach the lower leg on the left with the lower leg on the right in front of child. Next, attach the middle leg on left to the left sweatshirt arm and the middle right leg to the right sweatshirt arm.)

Zorro: Black pants, black shirt, cut mask into strip of black felt, black belt, black shoes or boots, sword.

See also:

Halloween music

Cheap Halloween costume ideas

Homemade Halloween costumes

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.