8 Creative Halloween Costumes from Local Moms

Halloween is my favorite holiday. There are no family obligations and I get to watch “Hocus Pocus”  and “Practical Magic” on repeat without judgment. My family didn’t celebrate Halloween when I was a kid, which is probably also why my inner child loves to watch my boys grow up enjoying the holiday. But when the holiday rolls around, it can be hard to think of creative Halloween costumes for the three of us.

I try to buy Halloween costumes secondhand as often as I can— we were pirates last year because that’s what my five-year-old chose at Goodwill— but I will also happily click “add to cart” when necessary.

This year, the boys have their minds made up and my thrifting expeditions have not been successful. They’ll be dressed as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this Halloween {Donatello and Michaelangelo, in case anyone else’s home has been overtaken by TMNT fever}, while their mom rocks a yellow jacket and red wig to be the Turtles’ best friend, April.

I was really hoping that the Mario Bros. obsession would last through Halloween so I could be Princess Peach, but here we are.

If the children in your life haven’t dictated this year’s Halloween costumes yet, then these seven Houston moms can serve as inspiration. Whether you’re baby-wearing or want a costume with a matching trick-or-treat station, these incredibly innovative moms have you covered.

A Precious Trader Joe’s Purchase

A baby dressed as a Trader Joe's paper bag for Halloween
A baby dressed as Trader Joe's produce

Shelly Bishop dressed her then 2.5-year-old as a Trader Joe’s paper bag. The mom of two knew she’d want to wear her youngest so she could easily chase after the oldest.

“I realized logistically for Halloween I’d want to use my Solly baby wrap which was this tan color,” Shelly says. “My husband and I were brainstorming items that color and I think he actually suggested a bag of groceries!”

Shelly created the costume by sewing IKEA’s plush toy produce onto a cotton bonnet from Amazon. “It was light-weight and didn’t bother her,” she says. “I love fun(ny) Halloween costumes and this one is still my favorite.”

Hold Me Closer, Tiny Elton John

A family dressed as Elton John and his songs for Halloween
Courtesy of Sarah Anderson Hendon

It isn’t often that you see personifications of Elton John songs walking down the street. But Sarah Anderson Hendon’s family Halloween costumes were inspired by her daughter’s hair at the time which reminded Sarah of the famous singer.

Her daughter’s Elton John costume was pieced together from items bought at Amazon, her son’s “Rocketman” was bought at Costco and Sarah used a Barbie they already owned for her “Tiny Dancer” outfit. Her husband became “Crocodile Rock” thanks to a crocodile headband and bowtie from Amazon.

Little Shop of Horrors But Make It Cute

A baby dressed as Audrey II from Little House of Horrors
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Ullrich Merz

Any fans of Little Shop of Horrors will recognize this adorable costume inspired by Audrey II, the human blood-loving plant. Kaitlyn Ullrich Merz’s sister suggested the costume since Kaitlyn’s daughter is named Audrey. The outfit started with a simple Old Navy hoodie.

“I used felt and pipe cleaners for the teeth and mouth, and greenery, letters and foam bubble from Michaels,” Kaitlyn says. “We had so much fun!”

An Out-of-This-World Family Ensemble

A family dressed in a space theme for Halloween
Two boys dressed as a moon and a rocketship

Every kid goes through a space stage—my sons still want planets and moons on everything. Malorie Melson leaned into the space theme for her family’s Halloween costumes, crafting a moon and spaceship out of cardboard with battery-operated lights.

“For the space shirts, I grabbed two plain black T-shirts and splatter painted with grey and hot glued painted styrofoam spheres that were cut in half,” Malorie says. “I added some glitter here and there to give all the costumes some dimension.”

It’s the ‘80s, Baby

Ever want your kid to wear creative Halloween costumes, but they beg to be Pikachu for the third year in a row? Leigh Guerra-Paz has found a compromise that lets her kids dress as they want, while letting the parents have some fun as well.

“When it started, I would dress my kids up as an ‘80s singer. (Lionel Richie, Hall and Oates, Elton John and his tiny dancer, George Michael) and take pictures and then they could trick or treat on whatever costume they wanted. Then it turned into ‘80s movies (Karate Kid, ET, Back to the Future, Top Gun and Big, so far),” Leigh says. “So anything ‘80s because it’s fun throwback for us parents!”

This Big-inspired costume was made completely from scratch, with her 4-year-old as Zoltar and her 8-year-old as Tom Hanks’ younger self.

What’s Your Starbucks Order?

A family wearing Starbucks-themed Halloween costumes
Courtesy of Leah Leftwich

We’ve all been there. It’s the Starbucks drive-thru and you just want a cold brew, but the kiddos are begging for cake pops. Leah Leftwich turned that common occurrence into charming costumes.

Her husband’s costume was purchased from Amazon while the boys’ custom aprons were bought on Etsy.

“I made my Frappuccino costume,” Leah says. “{I} used my Cricut to make the Starbucks logo to attach to my dress. A wreath circle with fabric tied in knots around it. A painted paper towel tube tied to a headband.”

Two boys behind a replica Starbucks' drive-thru for Halloween
Courtesy of Leah Leftwich

She used the Cricut to transform a play kitchen into a drive-thru and crafted the giant cake pops.

“We got lots of trick-or-treaters taking photos with the cake pops as they passed the house,” Leah says.

Beloved Book Brought to Life

A family dressed as characters from "Brown Dog, Brown Dog, What Do You See?"
Courtesy of Crisita Carmen H Atienza

Crisita Carmen H. Atienza’s husband suggested the family dress up as characters from Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle, their son’s favorite book at the time.

Crisita’s mother-in-law, Nana, made the bear costume for the baby, while mom was purple cat, dad was green frog, Nana became white dog and their family’s actual white dog became a goldfish.

“We thought it was especially funny that though we had a white dog,” Crisita says, “we decided to dress him as the goldfish.”

Do It For the Kids—Whatever It Is

Two boys dressed as rainbow kitties
a family dressed as rainbow kitties for Halloween

Sometimes your kid wants to dress as something that you’ve never really heard of before, but you go along with it anyway because that’s what parents do. That’s how Stephanie Wilson Pretorius found herself designing rainbow kitty creative Halloween costumes.

“{The} oldest told me how to place it…was very particular!” Stephanie says.

The whole family got into the rainbow kitties theme. The yellow stripe in the middle was reflective, and then Stephanie added glow sticks to the costumes to make the boys even more visible at night when trick or treating.

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