Easy Halloween Costumes For Busy Parents

Odds are, you're a busy parent. I think that's part of the job description, right? Busy, overworked, underpaid, spat on, pooped on, judged - parenting. The holiday season is fast approaching, with Halloween as a kick-off of sorts. It's like a practice run and a way to threaten your kids into good behavior; "Stop hitting your brother or I will take away your trick-or-treat candy!"

I'm joking. Sort of.

Last year, I was VERY MONTHS PREGNANT with my daughter over Halloween. My son has perfect dirty blonde curls - seriously, he gets comments all the time - and I wanted to take advantage of his look. Our family jokingly refers to ourselves as hobbits. I somewhat resemble Frodo Baggins a la Elijah Wood. My husband is shortish and furry. And we are homebodies, mostly. It fits. With that in mind, I wanted to dress up as Samwise, Rosie, and their tiny kiddo hobbit. But was buying Hobbit family costumes an option? NO. I needed us to look like we were straight off the set, not straight out of a small plastic bag and dressed in weird shiny polyester fabric.

So I set to work sewing our costumes. I spent way too many hours at Joann's fabric, seeking out the best deals and color-matching cotton broadcloth. Patterns were purchased, notions gather, bolts of fabric lugged to the counter to be cut. After I dragged everything home, I diligently started cutting fragile tissue paper to make patterns. After that was cut and pieced together, I traced them onto the fabric. Then I cut that out. Then I pinned it. Then I sewed it.

And I had made, like, a collar. Not even a very good one.

People, I had bitten off WAY more than I could chew. Don't be me. Don't tell your VERY MONTHS PREGNANT self that you can sew three full hobbit costumes.

Try one of these super low-effort costumes that will make all the other parents jealous. Not because your kid looks like you paid a thousand bucks for that dinosaur suit - but because they'll look timeless and effortless. And because all the other parents will know you didn't pay $60 for it!


Black pants, black shirt. Slap a cat-ear headband on their head from Claires, or make one out of pipe cleaners. Stuff a black sock with tissue paper and pin it to their waistband. Draw on their face with those Crayola Ultra Washable markers. BAM. Cat.


Basically all of the above, but change the shape of the ears and nose. BAM. Dog.


I love this one! Cut a neck and arm holes in an old pillowcase. Better yet, use a paper bag. Who cares? Grab some felt and hot glue felt arches onto the pillowcase or bag. Finish it off with some glued-on pillow stuffing - tada! It's a rainbow! Maybe you can even throw on a yellow beanie to represent the sun. And - oh! Oh! Give them a POT OF GOLD to carry for Trick-or-Treating!

James Dean

This one couldn't be easier. Slick your kiddo's hair back with some pomade or gel. Choose a pair of straight-legged dark denim, and pair it with a plain white short-sleeved shirt. Roll the sleeves of the shirt to give it more accuracy. You might need to explain it, but hey - who cares?

Paula Dean

Just put your kiddo in a floral top and jeans, tease their hair to the breaking point, and have them carry around sticks of butter. Ok, I'll be honest, I just made that one up.

A Tree

Ok, bear with me. I kid you not, I begged my mother to be a tree when I was in elementary school. She put me in a brown sweatsuit and carved a tree-top shape out of foam core. She stapled an elastic strap around the face-hole in the tree-top shape. I could stick my face through the hole and be...IDK a face in a tree top. Whatever. Then I glued a bunch of fall leaves to the tree. Super easy.


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