Traditional Halloween Costume Ideas

Traditional Halloween Costumes.


Over the years, several designs pop up over and over, year after year. If your kids are looking for a traditional costume, try one of these on for size!

Cowgirl costume.


  • blue jeans
  • western shirt
  • cowboy boots
  • cowboy hat
  • neckerchief
  • bandana
  • toy gun and holster
  • sheriff’s star
  • rope

Dress in blue jeans, a western shirt or flannel shirt, and cowboy boots. Top with a cowboy hat and tie a neckerchief or bandana loosely around the child’s neck. Carry a rope as a lasso and attach Sheriff’s star to shirt. Adorn the outfit with toy gun in holster.


  • black tux or suit jacket
  • black pants
  • white dress shirt
  • red silk carnation
  • top hat
  • stuffed bunny
  • magic wand

Pin silk carnation to breast pocket of black jacket. White gloves are a nice touch to this costume, but not necessary.


  • denim bib overalls
  • plaid flannel shirt
  • rope or twine
  • straw hat
  • gloves and boots
  • straw or shredded raffia
  • corncob pipe

Dress child in overalls and shirt. Stuff the pockets full with straw or shredded raffia. Tie twine or rope around waist for a belt. Add a few touches of straw to the hat, gloves and boots. Plaid and polka dot patches are a nice touch to denim jeans, but not required. Finish off with a corn cob pipe.


  • lacy or frilly nightgown
  • nylon scarf or crepe paper streamers
  • ribbons, sequins, fake jewels
  • gold foil
  • poster board or party hat
  • string elastic
  • tape
  • glue
  • cardboard tube/paper dowel from clothes hanger

Tape together a poster board cone hat or use a party hat. Decorate with glued on sequins, fake jewels, glitter, etc. Attach scarf or streamers to top point of hat. Punch holes on sides of hat, tie on elastic string. To create a princess scepter, use cardboard tube covered in foil, glue on sequins and fake jewels and attach ribbons to the end.



For a Fairy, cut a star from poster board, cover with foil, attach to dowel from hanger, tie ribbons underneath the star.

Miss America

Make a cardboard crown and spray paint it gold with glitter. Then make a sash from fabric or sheets and write Miss America on with fabric paint.


Add a veil made from netting and a plastic headband. Carry a bouquet of silk flowers.


  • about 40 frozen juice can lids
  • silver tights
  • black or gray gloves
  • knight helmet
  • cardboard
  • silver spray paint
  • plastic sword

Punch small holes in juice can lids for wires to be inserted through. Thread the wires through to create a suit of armor that will drape over child’s shoulders. Be sure to leave a hold for the head! Cut cardboard in the shape of a shield and spray paint silver. A nice touch is to paint on a coat of arms.

Pirate costume.


  • red & white horizontal stripe shirt
  • black jeans or sweat pants
  • boots
  • bandana
  • gold clip-on hoop earring
  • toy sword
  • plastic eye patch
  • face paint for mustache
  • small stuffed toy parrot (optional)

Fringe bottom of black jeans by cutting slits at the bottom of pant leg. If using sweat pants, tuck them into the boots. Tie bandana around child’s head with knot sticking out at side. Clip on earring and put on eye patch. Attach parrot to shoulder of shirt with double sided tape or a few hand sewn stitches. use our face paint recipe above to create a brown or black mustache. Add a wide belt with large buckle as an added bonus.


  • white dress or white sheet with arm and head holes cut out
  • clear spray paint
  • glitter
  • white chenille sticks (enough for halo)
  • clothes hangers
  • sheer white cloth or netting

If you decide not to use the dress and to make your own, spray the sheet lightly with some clear spray paint and dust glitter on it before paint dries. Make halo from chenille sticks, twisting together until long enough to wrap around head. twist another chenille stick (or two) straight up and form halo from remaining sticks. Make the wings by bending clothes hangers and wrapping in white cloth or netting. Cloth or elastic strips can be used to attach wings to body backpack style. Ready made wings are also available, inexpensive and safer for use by children.


  • white or tie-dyed sweatshirt
  • red sweat pants
  • three pom poms, bright colors
  • fabric paint, different colors
  • colorful store bought wig, or yarn wig
  • craft glue

Using craft glue, attach pompoms down the front center of the sweatshirt. Using fabric paint, draw swirls, stars and other fun shapes on the front and back of the sweatpants. Paint face white and paint on a red nose, or purchase a clown’s nose. Top with colorful wig. Oversized shoes are optional, but not recommended for smaller children.


“A Hobo is a person who works to travel and travels to work. They are known as Itinerate workers. Many have been printers, masons, electricians, carpenters, field workers, long shore men and factory workers. A hobo will always work for what he needs.”

  • large men’s pants
  • large dark sport coat
  • shirt with patches
  • tie
  • old hat
  • stick with a bandana tied to the end (stuffed with newspaper)

Get dressed and carry stick over shoulder! You can add a “dirty” look by using the recipe for bruises here or paint on a scruffy beard.


  • black hooded sweatsuit
  • long strip of black cloth,
  • long enough to wrap around head and hang down a foot or so
  • cardboard
  • aluminum foil
  • long stick or broom handle
  • paper towel rolls
  • black construction paper
  • twine

Cut eye holes in black cloth for mask. Make machete from cardboard and wrap in aluminum foil. Use the long stick or old broom handle for a bo. Using two paper towel rolls, connect them with piece of twine and cover with black construction to create num-chucks.

Rock star costume.

Rock Star

  • wig
  • sunglasses
  • toy or cardboard guitar
  • wild clothing (be creative!)
  • leather jacket
  • spiked dog collar
  • clip on earring (cross or hoop works well)

Instead of a wig you can spike your child’s hair with gel and hair spray and then spray with temporary hair color. Carry an electric guitar. Make your outfit as crazy as you like and top off with sunglasses and leather jacket. Don’t forget to clip on the earring and put the *spiked collar around their neck!

*spiked collar not recommended for children under 5 years of age.

Movie Star

  • long white dress or nightgown
  • long white gloves
  • bracelets
  • necklaces
  • rings
  • *fancy dress up shoes
  • sunglasses
  • feather boa
  • make up

Put dress or nightgown on first, then gloves, then jewelry over the top of the gloves. Paint on a pretty face with Mom’s make up or by using our make up recipe (top of page). Paint a beauty mark under one eye, level with the bottom of child’s nose. Finish off with sunglasses, feather boa and dress up shoes. *dress up shoes not recommended for children under 5 years of age.


  • tie-dyed shirt
  • fringed vest
  • bell bottom pants or jeans
  • beaded necklace and/or peace sign necklace
  • sandals
  • rose tinted sunglasses
  • bandana

Dress in t-shirt, then vest. Put on necklace(s) and sunglasses. Tie bandana around head as a headband and put on sandals. Voila!


  • poofy long sleeved blouse
  • long skirt
  • 4 or 5 scarves
  • clip on hoop earrings
  • necklaces and bracelets
  • black boots
  • fake eyelashes

Tie a few scarves around your child’s waist and one around her head. Add earrings, necklaces and bracelets. if you child can stand it, use fake eyelashes and finish with purple eyeshadow and bright lipstick.


  • black sweatsuit
  • black cape or piece of black material
  • strip of black cloth
  • strip of red cloth
  • toy or cardboard sword
  • black boots

Tie cape on over sweatsuit. Cut eye holes on strip of black cloth for mask. Tie strip of red cloth around waist. Carry toy or cardboard sword.

1950’s Greaser

  • black or blue jeans
  • white t-shirt
  • loafers
  • white socks
  • sunglasses
  • plastic comb
  • leather jacket (optional)
  • chewing gum

Slick hair back with styling gel. Get dressed, adorn sunglasses, put comb in back pocket and chew gum!

1950’s Girl

  • light colored short sleeve blouse
  • big skirt
  • saddle shoes
  • white socks
  • scarf

You can use a plain skirt or make a poodle skirt. They are quite simple: literally a circle with the waist and hem finished, and an applique. Sewing stores have many patterns. Put child’s hair in a pony tail and tie with a scarf.

Copyright 2000, Amanda Formaro


❖ Similar Categories: Thanksgiving Crafts, Autumn Crafts, Holiday Crafts & Special Days
Click HERE for Even MORE Art Lesson Plans

Imagine the freedom of done-for-you art lessons.

The KinderArt Club features standards-based art lessons which are designed to work in small or large group settings, with a range of ages (from 5 to 11 years). So, you don’t need to plan multiple activities, regardless of the grades you teach.

Just log in, print and teach. It’s that easy.

JOIN the club today!