Originally published October 2018. Updated for 2020:
The very best Halloween costumes are homemade. You don’t need to be crafty to make them, either. You just need an eye for the essential details, a few basic tools (duct tape and glue guns are helpful for most projects), and the time to assemble parts from different places. Cardboard boxes are useful if you have a small child intent on being a train or a ship or some kind of vehicle, or robot — or robot vehicle.
Here are some resources for those who are at work on original costumes:
The big thrift stores do a brisk trade coming up to Halloween. Among the useful items they carry: hoodies and sweatpants in all colors of the rainbow. These sweatsuits can be the base for all kinds of critter costumes. For example, add ears, a tail and some markings to a yellow sweatsuit, and you have yourself a perfectly serviceable Pikachu.
These places are also good for accessories, be they cheap plastic helmets or silly shoes.
They’ve got a hilarious variety of fabric and notions, plus a variety of craft supplies that just might come in handy for your Halloween costumes. Need foam? Golden duct tape? Glue of any kind? Have a look around here.
You never know what kind of treasures you will find in this Greenwood crafting oasis (open at limited capacity for COVID precautions), so it’s worth taking a peek at what they have. Also, if you need space and equipment to assemble the costume, you can find it here. Seattle ReCreative’s maker space contains a variety of useful tools, including a sewing machine, serger and a mat cutter. Call 206-297-1528 in advance if you would like to use the maker space.
If you have a sewing-intensive costume, you might want to call on the expertise of Made Sewing Studio. You can rent a machine there, take an online class, or ask them for advice.