17 DIY Children’s Halloween Costumes Inspired By Family-Friendly TV Shows And Movies

by Stephanie Kaloi

My kid has historically loved to pick one idea for his Halloween costume and then change it about three days before Halloween, so I instituted a rule a long time ago: I’ll buy exactly one children’s Halloween costume a year, and if he changes his mind, we have to come up with something that can be made at home.

We’re big fans of TV and movies, so the idea of DIYing a costume based on a show that my kid loves is definitely not foreign to us.

It turns out that it’s also not foreign to a ton of people! So many families have come up with their own spins on popular characters, including Harry Potter, the fairies from Sleeping Beauty, and even Arthur.

Luckily, you can pull a lot of costumes together without a lot of effort — and they can be super cute. Here are 17 ideas for children’s Halloween costumes that you can pull together all by yourself (probably).

1. Harry Potter

This Harry Potter costume is so adorable it is almost painful. Look at those little shoes! I absolutely cannot handle it. While you don’t even have to get this creative to put together your own Harry Potter ensemble, it’s not too hard to pull off.

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2. Mario

OK, OK: I know that Mario is a video game, but if you were around in 1993, then you probably also recall the absolute masterpiece that is John Leguizamo’s Super Mario Bros, the movie. So it counts! Probably.

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3. Charlie Brown

Watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is one of my favorite Halloween traditions, and this little Charlie Brown costume is pretty perfect.

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4. Winifred Sanderson

OK: I get that Hocus Pocus might not be family-friendly if you have very young children in your family (and I speak as a mom who showed the movie to her kid way too early), but this costume? This costume is everything.

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5. 'Star Wars'

There is definitely more than one Star Wars-themed costume on this list, because Star Wars is just one of the best things on the planet, even when it’s problematic. I love this family costume because it’s clear that it was put together with a lot of items that the family already had on hand, and maybe a few things they found elsewhere. It’s cute! It works.

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6. Elliott, Gertie, and E.T.

I am absolutely in love with this sibling costume idea! It doesn’t hurt that E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is one of my favorite movies of all time. This costume is also super easy to pull off — you can even use clothes that your kids can wear again.

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7. The Muppet Babies

I recently rewatched The Muppet Movie with my 11-year-old, and that makes me extra love this costume! Unfortunately, little Fozzie doesn’t seem as enthusiastic.

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8. Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf

This is another sibling costume idea that is super cute and also really easy to put together yourself. For starters, your kids can definitely wear clothing that they already have, since you only need the key features for the costume to become clear: a red cape and a wolf hat.

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9. 'Grease'

I understand that Grease might be another movie that isn’t exactly family-friendly if you have young children, but it’s a pretty fun film to watch with older kids. More importantly, these costumes are so cute, and they’re a great idea for siblings or friends who are part of your pod.

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10. Harry Potter (again)

Yes, friends: We are doing two Harry Potter costumes because they are both just impossibly cute! Look at how proud this little kiddo is of the ensemble. It’s perfect.

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11. Captain America

This costume is actually the result of a lot of ingenuity! When the original Captain America costume that the family ordered didn’t arrive, they decided to make their own — and it looks amazing!

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12. BB-8

Here’s another Star Wars-themed costume, this time for the kid who wants to do their own thing without everyone else joining in. This little pod is adorable, and possibly something you can DIY if you’re especially creative!

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13. 'Monsters, Inc.'

Hello! I love this sibling costume idea! These Monsters, Inc. costumes could be refashioned for boys who prefer pants instead (but remember, tutus are for everyone!).

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14. Kermit

Here’s another Muppets-themed costume because hello: How cute is this baby?! I also love how easy this costume would be to put together.

15. Elliott and E.T.

Here’s another Elliott and E.T. costume that includes your pet! This is definitely one that older kids can get into, also.

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16. The 'Sleeping Beauty' Fairies

Here’s another costume that could be complicated but doesn’t have to be: DIY Sleeping Beauty fairies! I love how simplistic but beautiful these costumes really are.

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17. Arthur

I saved this one for last because it’s basically the cutest thing I have ever seen in my life. It would also be really easy for just about anyone to replicate — even adults!

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