Outdoor (ish) Themed Do-it-yourself Halloween Costumes

If your like me, you’ve procrastinated making your child’s Halloween costume.  Now, with less than a week to go, you’re frantically looking through your cloth scraps, first-aid kits, and compost pile for something you can strap to your child and call it a ‘costume’.  “But I look like a soggy English muffin” your child says, looking in the mirror.  “Nonsense!” you parry, “That’s the darndest unicorn costume this side of the Mississippi!”

For the sake of your child, we’ve put together a small list (well, it started out small) of nature-esque costume ideas that you can throw together with ease.  Well, most of them, some are probably a little to advanced, but we’re craft-challenged.

Lions, tigers, and bears oh my! Use stuff already on hand to make simple animal costumes (by animal, we refer to the biological kingdom Animalia, including insects, jelly fish, and other interesting critters–yes, we’re biology geeks).

  • Use prefabricated clothing and add on to it to make any number of simple animal costumes  Here are designs for an owl, shark, and a bee, or an octopus using a hooded sweatshirt and stocking cap.
  • Use tube socks to make a different version of the octopus.
  • Use an umbrella and some canned paint to make an adorable bat.
  • Make a scary crocodile out of a cardboard box, or a really cool bird mask out of a cereal box.
  • And you have to check out this amazing, and simple jelly fish costume, made out of bubble wrap and ribbons.  My personal favorite.
  • Here’s a simple, well-thought out owl costume for a little guy or gal.
  • Here’s a really cool peacock costume–okay, it’s a little expensive to buy the feathers, but I’m sure you guys can think of a cheaper way…

Dr. Livingstone, I presume? You can easily dress your child as any number of famous naturalists or as an outdoorswo/man.  For example…

  • Got some of your outdoor gear laying around?  Dress your little one as a climber, a kayaker, a surfer, or an intrepid hiker.  For a climber, you can go old school loop some rope over one shoulder, add knee high socks, suspenders, long shorts (yours), and a belt full of carabiners.  A pick axe or walking stick will complete the picture.  For a kayaker, you can use a helmet, nose plugs, life jacket, maybe some goggles, and a paddle.  Use cardboard to create a mini-kayak strapped to their mid-section.  Fashion a surf-board from styrofoam or cardboard and deck your child in swimming trunks and flip-flops.  Don’t forget sunglasses.  Add red blush (the creamy kind) to shoulders and noses to make a fake sunburn.  You get the idea…
  • And let us not forget the safari costume (love the rolled up maps in a pack that go with this one), imitating the great explorers of the last century.  Here are instructions for a safari hat (the pith helmet kind).

Shrubbery! Turn your kid into a plant for Halloween!  Flowers, trees, vegetables…

  • Here’s instructions for an easy homemade tree costume.  Or, this tree costume uses camouflage clothing for the trunk instead of paper–might be easier to walk around in than paper…
  • This is the easiest most adorable flower costume I can think of–easily adaptable to any age from 2 to 12. Ms. Stewart also has instructions on how to make a rose or get some neighborhood kids together and create a flower bouquet.

Out of this world! Sick of things terrestrial, aquatic, or aerial?  Shoot for the stars!

  • Here are directions (including pdf of the pattern) for a shooting star costume.  Simple enough your child could decorate it!

Anymore links to add to the list?  We’re sort of addicted to looking at costumes now.

4 Comments so far

Comments Feed
  1. Jen

    Sweet. These are fabulous ideas. Fortunately, I decided not too procrastinate this year. Next year, please link us up again, as I am sure to forget… and procrastinate.

    • Jen – I will, I already have an idea for next years Halloween costume post… I will also try not to procrastinate my post!

  2. Bonnie

    I agree–the jelly fish is the best! Put a glow stick necklace around the brim of the hat and twist another into a shamrock on the top and you are one of the Aequorea species.

    • Bonnie – I love that idea!! Ari is going to be all over it.


    I'm Lindsey. I'm an environmental educator, my husband's a biologist. The outdoors is infused into everything we do; which explains why I'm better at mud pies than home decorating. More About Me

    I don't blog alone! Meet outsidemom contributer Olivia