Creative Halloween Costumes Using Recycled Materials

Halloween can be one of the best holidays of the year for a little one. It is the one day where they get to dress up and be whatever character they would like. Most parents find themselves spending a large amount of money buying costumes. This does not have to be the case. There are plenty of regular household items which will create a picture-perfect Halloween costume. Wanting your little one to have a fantastic costume, yet hesitant to spend a fortune on an outfit? Discover four easy, do-it-yourself costume ideas, all made from recycled materials! 

#1: The Soda Scuba Diver: This costume uses items thrown right into the recycling bin. According to the HGTV article, “3 Halloween Costumes You Can Make from Trash,” this requires: 2 (2-liter) bottles, silver spray paint, electrical tape, duct tape, aluminum tape, four feet of vinyl tubing, a laundry detergent cap, suspenders, hot glue gun and sticks, decorative felt sheets and scissors. Remove the labels from the plastic bottles. Spray paint them a metallic silver. After the paint is dry, wrap two rings of electrical tape around each bottle. Wrap the two bottles together with colored duct tape. Place the ends of the vinyl tubing inside the bottles and secure with aluminum tape and duct tape. Cut the tubing in half and attach both ends to either side of the detergent cap using hot glue, as this will be the mouthpiece. Next, slide the suspenders in between the two bottles to secure. Create flippers out of felt sheets by cutting out the shape, including holes for the feet. By wearing all black, this will mimic a wetsuit!

#2: Ice Cream Scoops Costume: All children love ice cream. This year, why not let your child dress up as his or her favorite dessert? For this costume, also from the HGTV article, you will need brown or tan card stock, a brown permanent marker, scissors, a craft knife, a hole punch, a hot glue gun and glue sticks, 3/8” wide elastic, pom poms in pastel colors, ice cream cone template (can be found online) and a curling ribbon. First, have your child pick a color ice cream, then have them wear an outfit in only that color. Next, using an ice cream cone template, print template onto card stock and cut out cone. Using a brown marker, draw parallel lines along the paper, rotate, then draw more parallel lines to create a crisscross pattern reminiscent of a waffle cone. Cut three 12” pieces of curling ribbon. Use the scissor’s edge to create curls, then glue the curled ribbon to the inside top of the cone. Then, insert the tab in the slit to form the cone and secure the seam with hot glue. Create holes opposite each other near the cone’s base for a chip strap. Cut a 12” piece of elastic and insert into the holes, then tie them off. Add pompoms to the hat for a final addition!

#3: Brown Paper Fisherman: This fisherman costume, also found from the HGTV article, requires only brown paper bags! Start by cutting a large paper bag in the shape of a vest. Keep it simple with two armholes, a larger head hole and a cut down the center of the front. Use a second bag to cut out square pockets, by cutting out rectangles and folding one side over. Accent by using a black marker, then glue pockets on with hot glue. With the remaining bag pieces, cut out fish shapes, and color them with markers. Create a hole in the fish’s mouth using scissors or a hole punch, then attach the fish to the pockets using twine and hot glue. If you have fishing supplies, consider adding fishing bait within the pockets. Ask your child to wear a button-down shirt, khakis, a bucket hat and boots. Add a fishing pole to complete the look!

#4: Recycled Snail: From the Clean River website article, “10 Scary Sustainable Halloween Costumes Made from Recyclable Waste,” this costume can work for both humans and pups! Pick a solid color to wear from head to toe, with suspenders. For a dog, you will need a harness so that you can attach the shell to it. For this costume, you will need five yard waste bags (rolled up), a headband, tape or glue, and pipe cleaners. First, roll up the waste bags into a circular snail shell, taping the entire shape together with packing tape at the end. Next, secure shell to child’s back by fastening onto suspenders, or a dog’s back by fastening it to the harness. Next, create an antenna by using pipe clears and a headband. For a dog, this may be a tad tricky, but you can try to fasten these to their collar. Your snail is complete!


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