Costumes: Literary-Inspired

Homecrafted Halloween

From classic tales to contemporary favorites, kids love dressing up as characters from the pages of books. Click the thumbnail photo above to see the whole costume and click through to find out how the costumes were made and for the link to submit your own!

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Thing 1

aka: Addison (6 months)
location: Nashville, TN
age group: infant
difficulty level: not especially easy (but worth it!)

materials: Super soft blue yarn for the hat, Jersey knit for the footie pjs, felt for the applique

description: Costume's creation can be found on my blog!
Thanks Jill!

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Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat

aka: Marlowe (17 months) and Ellis (4)
location: Philadelphia, PA
age group: toddler and child
difficulty level: semi-easy

materials: fleece, dye, felt, cotton clothes

description: For the monkey: I needed something the 17mo would wear. I used a pair of his jammies as the outline. Cut out two, and then slit up the back and attached with velcro. Very simple, and no hemming with non-fray fleece. Followed pilot cap tutorials for the hat.
For the Man with the Yellow Hat: Covered a thrift store sombrero with yellow felt with a glue gun. Then dyed thrifted white shirt and pants with yellow dye. (that was fun!) Thrifted boots and belt. Made the tie out of yellow felt. And just glued the polka dots on.
Thanks Jeannette!

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Alice in Wonderland

aka: Keaton (10 months)
location: Knoxville, TN
age group: infant
difficulty level: semi-easy

materials: quilting weight cottons for blue dress and white apron, white tights and black mary janes from a consignment store. wagon decorated with flowers from the Target dollar section and playing cards tied on with ribbons.

description: See how I made the costume here.
Thanks Julie!

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Little Red Riding Hood

aka: Faye (1)
location: San Francisco, CA
age group: toddler
difficulty level: semi-easy

materials: Long Adult-sized skirt. Vintage Bias Tape. See more photos of the costume here.

description: Created a pattern using a toddler-sized coat for measurements.
This was Faye's first Halloween costume.
Thanks Deanna!

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Peter Pan

aka: Atticus (3)
location: Seattle, WA
age group: toddler
difficulty level: super easy

materials: Tights, T-shirt, Felt, Hat, Rope

description: Atticus changed his mind from vampire to Peter Pan just leading up to Halloween. So, we bought some green tights, put a white shirt on him, and bought a Peter Pan hat. We already had the jacket in our dress up clothes, but it would be easy to make out of felt. I also made some gold felt shoe covers that he refused to wear. And the belt to hold it all together didn't last long. The greens are all different, but so are the real Peter Pan's. He absolutely loved it.
Thanks Emily!

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Angelina Ballerina

aka: Rowan (2.5)
location: State College, PA
age group: toddler
difficulty level: super easy

materials: Pink and white felt, batting, thread, hair elastics, ribbons, pre-made ballerina costume from the hand-me-down box, tights, a t shirt and shoes we already had, washable markers, a silk flower pin I already had.

description: The only sewing was the ears and tail out of felt and batting, which was easy and didn't require a pattern--I just eyeballed it. I added a bunch of ribbons, a flower, and used washable markers to give her whiskers and a pink nose. The ears were attached to hair elastics, which I used to give her pigtails. They worked great, and stayed perky all night. She was comfy, warm, and absolutely adorable as one of our favorite book characters, Angelina Ballerina. See more on my blog, The Dreamers and Me.
Thanks Ronica!

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Oompa Loompa

aka: Enzo (5 months)
location: Petaluma, CA
age group: infant
difficulty level: not especially easy (but worth it!)

materials: White canvas fabric for pants, green fake fur fabric for hair, brown store bought shirt with striped collar and cuffs added, and white tights with drawn on stripes, felt shoes

description: I made a pattern for the overalls from a pair of pants that fit, tweaking it for the shape. I copied a hat we had for the "hair" wig. And after not finding brown striped fabric, used a fabric pen to create stripes on a pair of tights.
Thanks Megan!

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The Man in the Yellow Hat

aka: Noah (3)
location: Pullman, WA
age group: toddler
difficulty level: semi-easy

materials: yellow fabric, yellow rit dye, yellow and black felt, yellow paper, pop bottle, straw hat, tape, hot glue

description: I made the yellow pants, dyed a white button up yellow, made a tie out of yellow and black felt. My husband made the hat out of a straw hat, cutting the top off and replacing it with an upside down pop bottle. He taped it together and covered it in yellow paper. Lastly we put a strip of black felt around the base of the hat.
Thanks Rachael!

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Little Red Riding Hood

aka: Annabel (16 months)
location: Ypsilanti, MI
age group: toddler
difficulty level: super easy

materials: Fleece fabric, basket, white dress and tights.

description: My toddler was going through a "bag" phase last fall when I came up with the idea of making a Little Red Riding Hood costume for her. I used a simple cape pattern and made her a hooded cape out of red fleece, then dressed her in a white dress and tights. I pulled an old Longaberger basket from my closet for her to carry and she was ready to go. She loved it! Best of all we can keep the cape for a long time for playing dress-up.
Thanks Heather!

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As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.