Kids love to play dress-up! If you’re looking for ways to encourage imaginative play in your home, try these ideas using everyday household objects that will allow kids to mix and match their clothing. These clothes can be made from found objects or purchased at a thrift store. They’re perfect for encouraging the development of creativity and problem-solving skills.

Not only does dress-up add to the ambiance and appearance of the party, but it’s also an excellent way to give gifts! What little boy wouldn’t enjoy 24/7 access to ninja costumes and abilities? How many little girls do you know who wouldn’t want the ability to transform into their own Cinderella princess anytime they choose? Costume trunks are more than simply toy chests or storage boxes. They make playtime into a genuinely unique event, allowing the imagination to go wild. Here are some dress-up costume ideas for kids that you can quickly implement into your child’s play at home:

Fun Animal Masks to Make with Your Kids

Look through magazines or online to find animal pictures and print them out on heavy paper (make sure the print is as large as possible). Cut out the images and secure them to a piece of cardstock using glue or double-sided tape. If you want, decorate the backs with additional pictures of other animals. Fold one end of a piece of ribbon (about six inches long) toward the center, then secure it to the back with hot glue.

The kids can use this as an elastic cord to hold up the masks on their faces. Your child’s friends will have an absolute blast trying on animal masks and having them interact! Punch two holes in each image and tie them together to make a mask that your child can wear on his face – he’ll be ready to become one of these wild creatures!

Star Wars Hooded Cape: A Fun and Easy Costume Project for Kids

Take an old baby blanket or sheet and create a hooded cape. Secure the cape with safety pins so that you can easily remove it – this way, your little one can take his new garment off when he gets too warm. Use paint markers or fabric paint to draw stars all over the cape and on your child’s face and hands before putting it on. You can also put a faux hood partway on your child’s head, drawing stars on the rest of his face before he pulls it down around him. Star Wars fans will love to explore the galaxy in this costume, while fairy tale lovers can pretend to fly through the air as they jump from place to place!

Turn Old Boots Into Adorable Dress-Up Shoes for Your Child

Take a pair of old boots and use them as an inspiration for creating your child’s new dress-up shoes. Cut out different colored felt or craft foam in the shapes of flowers or other accessories. Glue or sew the felt pieces to the tops of the boots. Decorate with sequins, glitter glue, and other craft supplies. Glue them to the shoes using tacky glue, making sure they are evenly spaced around each boot’s surface. When you’re done decorating, your little one can wear his new shoes with dresses and skirts for special occasions.


Crown for Your Child’s Costume: Fun and Easy DIY Project

To make a crown, start by cutting out four heart shapes from a piece of red poster board. Draw a circle in the middle of each heart and cut out small holes for threading. Use tacky glue to adhere these pieces together, then paint gold or silver lightly around the outside edges if you’d like. Cut out a piece of elastic for your child’s head, then thread it through the holes before putting on the crown.

The result is a cute accessory that your little one can wear with almost any costume to make it complete! Glue a strip of felt inside the hole so that you can tie the crown on, then let your child wear it with his princess or knight costumes. Once you’ve done this, try using household objects to create other costumes for kids. You’ll be amazed by what can be done with just a little creativity!

Turn a Plain Dress Into an Awesome 80’s Costume 

To turn a plain dress into an awesomely awesome 80’s costume, put on some legwarmers and add safety pins to the sides of the dress along with buttons for decoration. Don’t forget to add suspenders in true retro style, too. Finally, make a headband using the same type of ribbon you made your dress and attach it to your child’s ponytail with bobby pins for creative thinking.

If you have some time on your hands, you can also create an old-fashioned radio for her to carry around during this costume. If you don’t have any safety pins available, use this time to teach your child how to sew and let him create his decorations.

Boxer Costume for Kids: How to Create an Authentic Look

Put on the boxing gloves and headgear and use a marker to draw in some bruises and bandages. You can even add some blood around your mouth, just like boxers do! Most of all, have fun playing-pretending to box with your little one! Wear black sweatpants with this costume for an authentic look. When you’re done dressing up, your child and you can fight it out in the living room to see who’s the ultimate champion.

Make an Easy Hungry Caterpillar Costume for Your Child

Stretch out an old sock and fill it with dried beans or rice until it is slightly larger than your child’s foot. Use a marker to draw on some hair (or glue natural hair onto the sock if you can find any) and a face. Make sure to draw a smiling mouth and eyes. Cut out another hose and slide it over the first one, making the caterpillar’s skin look like a whole realistic piece of clothing.

You can make the sock as straightforward or as elaborate as you want – for example, if your child is playing around with his food one day, make him a Hungry Caterpillar costume by gluing tiny bites of pasta, vegetables, fruit, and meat onto the sock to look like a caterpillar’s diet!

Easy Feline Costume: Dress Your Child in a Black Leotard and Face Paint

Please dress your child in a black leotard and let him play dress up around with face paint to create an illusion of a cat’s whiskers. Use dark colors like black, blue, or purple. Draw a cat nose and whiskers on the face paint and use white paint for the eyes if you’d like to make them look extra-bright!

If your child is uncomfortable with face paint, you can draw whiskers on his cheeks with eyeliner or use a marker. Put on some high-heeled shoes for this one — they’re perfect for making your little one look like he’s ready to prowl the streets! How cute is that? If your child has black pants, you can dress him in them with the leotard for a super easy feline costume.

Turn Your Child Into a Favorite Animal: Fun and Easy Ideas

To turn your child into his favorite animal, create some ears out of felt or foam and let him use markers or crayons to decorate them. You also can give him an old cane and let him pretend that he’s an older man who needs the club to walk. If he can’t walk in your shoes, you can add some feet to the end of the cane and pin them to his shirt! He’ll love wandering around and asking for treats from everyone! If you’d like, add in a long white beard and mustache with glue or markers so that your little one can be Santa Claus in his animal costume too.

You can also create a tail for your child by attaching a piece of Velcro onto the back of her shirt and pants and letting her connect it when she wants to transform into an animal. Dress up like a family and make it a group costume.

Quick and Easy Christmas Tree Costume

Wear some green shirts and pants and tie long strips of green felt on yourself to look like a Christmas tree. You can even attach green ornaments from the dollar store to complete the look. When your child is done dressing up like a Christmas tree, you can become a candy cane by tying red and white stripes around yourself for this quick and easy costume idea. Use some fabric paint or markers to draw the star on the top, then wear this costume at Christmastime or whenever you’re celebrating the December holidays.

You should wear this homemade costume only occasionally because your child will quickly outgrow it. Also, the materials may not be suitable for all climates because you will need to wear this for hours at a time in most cases. You should wear long sleeves and pants when dressing up with your child not to become too cold.

Create an Elf Costume for Your Child: Fun and Festive Ideas

Add small bells around your child’s ankles and give him a red dress shirt with black suspenders for an adorable and festive elf costume. You can also add a pom-pom or bell to his hat for some extra flair. When your child is done dressing up as an elf, you can become Santa Claus with a bit of face paint and a redshirt for pretend play. Draw on a white beard and mustache, and make sure to bring the presents when you go out!

Your child will love showing off his elf costume, and you’ll love watching him enjoy this simple and easy homemade outfit. Draw a belt on the shirt with fabric paint, then let your child’s imagination run wild as he plays around in his new business.

An elephant, seahorse, or frog looks like the perfect animal for your child to play pretend, but those costumes can be hard to create on your own. Try purchasing a onesie animal costume from a local store like Walmart or Target for those unique creatures. They should be warm and comfortable for your child to wear during his dress-up time, plus they are relatively inexpensive too.

Wheat Box Costume: An Easy and Inexpensive Costume

Paint an old cardboard box brown and cut out holes for stalks of wheat to peek through. Draw some seeds on the Wheat Box with markers or paint if you’d like. Stuff the box with brown-colored tissue paper or shredded paper to make it look like a sheaf of wheat!  You can also add a hat with corks or pom-poms on top to give the appearance of grain in the field when you’re finished dressing up.

Your child will love showing off his costume! If he’s having trouble carrying the box around, ask him to bring spoons or something else that represents picking crops for these homemade Halloween costumes to make sense. You can also add in a pair of pants and suspenders if you’d like so that your child looks a little more realistic when he’s in character! When you’re done, tape the box shut and let your child carry it around for an original Halloween costume that is easy to put together on short notice for self-expression.

Easy Disney Princess Costume Ideas for Kids

Dress your child up like Ariel, the mermaid, with a seashell bra and some red hair. You can also try dressing her up as Cinderella by placing a black headband, bow, and wand in her hair, then wearing a long blue dress that you can buy from any local shop.  Your child can even dress up items like Belle from Beauty and the Beast with a yellow shirt, black skirt, headband, wand, and some flowers around her wrists for this homemade costume play idea. You can also try painting some stars on your child’s face with fabric paint to make it look like she is wearing makeup like Belle!

This simple outfit is perfect for any Disney fan, and it won’t cost you too much money to put together. If you’re looking for inspiration, ask your child what her favorite Disney movie is and create a homemade costume around the characters she mentions the most. One of her friends might even like dressing up as a character from the same film! When you’re finished, take your child out trick-or-treating with her friends on party night.

Turn an Old T-Shirt into a Cute Robot

Turn one of your child’s old t-shirts into a robot by cutting out the sleeves and drawing on some bolts. You can also use markers, paint, or fabric paint for the job, making sure to remove his name from his new creation if desired.  Let him carry around stuffed animals in his robot arms or wear an old pair of jeans that he can walk around in – be sure to give him a flowery shirt underneath, so he doesn’t feel too chilly!

You don’t need any fancy sewing skills to make this costume. Cut the sleeves off your child’s shirt and add some extra fabric so he’ll be comfortable in his homemade outfit. To complete the look, draw some bolts onto the front of your child’s shirt, then let him carry around some toy tools to achieve his robot costume.