1. All purpose costume cape
What do a wicked witch, a superhero, a prince or princess, and a vampire all have in common? A cape, of course! It’s easy to turn an everyday outfit into something fit for a Halloween bash with the edition of a quick and easy cape. The most basic version is a rectangle of fabric hemmed on three edges and with a drawstring channel stitched into the fourth—make sure it’s one of the long edges. Thread a length of ribbon through, and your cape is ready to tie on and go! More elaborate versions can be lined, or cut in panels to eliminate some of the bulk at the neckline. Add embellishments, a hood, or even pockets to make your cape your own.
2. Trick or treat drawstring bags
Turn a Halloween necessity into a costume accessory with a matching trick or treat bag. A simple drawstring bag is all you need—this version is lined, and even has looped drawstrings you can use as handles. Embellish your bag to match your trick or treater’s costume, and the look is complete!
3. Spooky felt garlands
This is a great project to get the kids involved in! Cut Halloween shapes like ghosts, bats, and pumpkins from sturdy felt. If you want to get extra creative, layer different colored felt pieces together to add features like eyes or a jack o’lantern grin. Stitch these in place by hand. Depending on the look you’re going for, you can either stitch these felt characters to a length of ribbon, or connect them with thread by running them through your sewing machine and not clipping the threads between them. If your sewing machine has an automatic thread cutting feature, remember to disable it before trying this last method.
4. Quilted cobweb table runner
Subtle, but suitably spooky, this is the perfect decor for a more grown up Halloween celebration, though of course the kids will love it too! You can use a simple black table runner, or use your favorite piecing techniques in festive Halloween colors to create your top layer. Sandwich it together with thin batting to add a bit of dimension, and a backing fabric, being sure to secure it well using your favorite technique (like basting spray, safety pins, or hand-basting). All that’s left to do now is quilt! Don’t worry if you don’t have a long arm quilting machine. A table runner is small enough that most domestic machines can handle it. Keep the excess out of your way while you work by rolling up the ends. Stitch your spiderweb quilting pattern, and your runner is ready for a Halloween feast.
5. Scrap fabric pumpkins
Do a little stash busting with these quick and easy cuties! Stitch together rectangles of fabric into a longer rectangle—this will give you a striped pumpkin—or opt for a solid color. Stitch along one narrow edge, then hand stitch along the bottom, drawing it closed. Stuff your pumpkin, then gather and close the top in the same way you did the bottom. If you want to add a stem, slide a stick into your pumpkin before you gather the top. To add ridges, wind embroidery floss or twine tightly around the stuffed pumpkin.
6. Halloween applique skirt
If you’re not ready to go all out on the costume front (or maybe you’ve got to work on Halloween), you can still give a nod to the day with this twist on the poodle skirt. A simple circle skirt in plain or patterned fabric gets a Halloween facelift with the addition of spooky appliques, like bats, cats, or ghoulish ghosts. To create appliques of your own design, cut your shape out of fusible interfacing, and apply it to the wrong side of your fabric, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to test your fabric first to make sure it won’t melt!
7. Kids’ space explorer costume
Who wouldn’t want to explore the final frontier? Especially when that final frontier is the neighborhood on trick or treating night! If your kids are outer space obsessed, give them the perfect Halloween ensemble. The design depends on your sewing skills. If you’re a beginner, stick to drawstring pants and a basic top with a raglan sleeve. Done in a metallic silver, this is the perfect outfit for explorers ready to offer greetings from Earth, Mars, or another far off planet. If you’re ready for something more advanced, try a jumpsuit with a front zipper for a more utilitarian look.
8. Mummy costume
This one is almost more about ripping than sewing! Use lightweight undyed muslin torn into long strips, and stitch them in layers to a white or light grey sweatshirt and sweatpants. For extra credit, wind a few more onto a hat and stitch them in place, making sure to leave some trailing down as if the mummy is coming unwound!
9. Ballgown hoop skirt
No one will ever see this layer of your costume, but everyone will see the effect! A hoop skirt takes a fluffy princess dress to the next level, adding volume that no amount of crinoline can match. Bridal stores sell these to keep wedding gowns aloft, but you can make your own relatively easily. Check out this tutorial for a complete breakdown.
10. Upcycled fairy wings
Use old nylon tights or hose to create translucent wings! Shape wing frames from sturdy wire (a bent coat hanger works well) and pull the hose over them. Pull tight, and stitch in place. Wrap any exposed wire in felt to dull sharp edges, then stitch both wings to a rectangle of felt to hold them together. Add elastic loops to make wearing a breeze, and then embellish to your heart’s content!
11. Monster plush friends
Teddy bears are fine for most of the year, but sometimes you just need a monster on your side! Check out these adorably ferocious little beasts that will keep all the bad and scary monsters at bay.
12. Halloween bunting
Another festive alternative to fake cobwebs! Cut triangles of Halloween fabric with pinking shears so the edges won’t fray. Sandwich one edge inside double-fold bias tape, pinning in place. One line of stitching and your bunting is ready to hang.
13. Black cat pillows
It doesn’t get easier than this project! Embellish plain black pillows with white embroidered whiskers and the addition of buttons or plush animal eyes. Bonus points for adding a Cheshire-cat grin!
14. Easy dinosaur costume
The perfect last minute kids’ costume! Stitch triangles of fabric together along two edges, then turn and stuff them. Stitch them closed, then hand-sew them to a brightly colored hooded sweatshirt in a line running down the back. Use smaller spikes on top of the hood, and the biggest the bottom of the sweatshirt.
15. Pillowcase pumpkin costume
All you’ll need is some orange fabric, black fabric paint, and wide green ribbon. Cut two square panels to form the costume, and paint a friendly jack o’lantern face on one. Once it’s dry, stitch the two panels together along the long edges, stopping ¾ of the way up. Press your seams open, and press the seam allowance flat along the ¼ you haven’t joined. Stitch that seam allowance down to form a finished edge. Hem the bottom, and roll the top down and stitch to form a casing. Turn your pumpkin right side out, and thread the ribbon through the casing at the top, running up one side and down the other. The ribbon holds the two sides together. Gather and tie, and the costume is done!
16. Felt Ghost-ers
How do monsters avoid water stains on their coffee table? They put their drinks on ghost-ers, of course! This is another easy project for kids to help with. Cut pairs of matching ghost shapes from white felt, with black felt accents for eyes and mouth. Hand-stitch the features in place, then stack the felt layers together and blanket-stitch around the edges to join them.
17. Batwing hair clips
A Halloween alternative to a hair bow. Cut bat shapes from a non fraying fabric like felt, or use an anti-fray product, or clear glue, to prevent fraying. Layer several bats together and stitch down the middle. Gather along this line, then wrap a length of black satin ribbon around the center (as if it were the middle of a bow) and stitch the ends out of sight at the back. Sew or glue the bat-bow to your preferred hair clip.
18. Hungry monster candy stash
Once your trick or treaters return home with their loot, they’ll need somewhere to stash it. This adorable monster will keep it safe!