Upcycle Costuming

Making costumes for Halloween is the treat of the season. When I was little it was pretty simple. I wanted to be a “fairy princess.” I kid you not, I requested that every single year for quite some time. I put on a fancy little play dress and Mom would make me a little wand and a cardboard crown.

As an adult I have been guilty of creating cosplay costumes for myself and my husband for Halloween. I still carry on this tradition for my boys. I have never felt the need to spend much money on having Halloween. That is probably because of the fun I had in those early costumes I wore.

Last year my Big Boy was infected with a serious Pokemon obsession. He wanted to be a Pokemon for Halloween. I convinced him that dressing up as Ash, one of the main characters of the Pokemon cartoon show, would be cool. (I thought Ash would be easier for me to make compared to a Pokemon.)




The main components of this costume were upcycled. I went to the thrift store and found a blue vest and a white trucker-style cap with a big logo on the front. Little Bear also found the main component to his costume there, a Batman mask.




Big Boy’s costume didn’t require alot of sewing that time around, just alot of painting. The bottom edge of the vest was painted yellow. The hat was painted with lots of red paint. I used the iron-on fuse stuff to iron a white piece of fabric over the logo and paint the correct logo on it that Ash wears.

This year Big Boy is back into Pokemon again! I have finally consented to make him his costume of an actual Pokemon. He is going to be Pikachu. We have already acquired a yellow hoodie from the local thrift store. I have spent some time using a seam-ripper to take off the dark colored numbers that were on the front.




I see some more fabric painting in my future.

My Big Boy does not care if his costume is the “real” thing and I have a thrift store full of fabric goods down the street. This is something that I choose to do to live more sustainably, just because I love it and I can. 🙂

He always gets lots of compliments!

Be inspired and create your own upcycled costumes! You never know what you can create until you try. Use our ideas to get your creative going.


King Boo from Mario Cart:

Simple, long costume tunic made from a white sheet.

The character’s face drawn on the front with permanent markers

Cardboard crown with printed off image of character taped on front



Tin Man from Wizard of OZ:

One side of a produce cardboard box with one short side cut out, and large notches in other sides for arms and head

Glue on an old shirt as a covering, with buttons in back

The top of a gallon vinegar container with a cardboard tube taped on spout and elastic for hat

Another gallon vinegar container with cardboard tube taped onto spout for “oil can.” A hole was made in the upper part of container to put candy in




Little Bear’s lion costume in this picture was upcycled from one of his brother’s old shirts and some scraps. He even had a tail. It was super cute!

I’d love to hear about your spooky upcycles!

Join me on Friday for a simple upcycle tutorial to accent your look on Halloween.








2 responses to “Upcycle Costuming

  1. Pingback: R2D2 Upcycle | Upcycle Shed·

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