Looking to 'go green' this year for Halloween? We have found some excellent Halloween costumes, all made from recycled materials that we couldn't help but share! So if you've got a child who would give anything to be a real-life transformer or a Star Wars enthusiast that is dying to fight the forces of evil, read on for some awesome tricks, tips and ideas!
You may also consider checking out our Green Living online directory section, if you and your family love bein' green year round. Here are five of our favorite local organizations and businesses that offer a wide variety of products and services that help benefit the environment and our own healthy lifestyles.
Giddy up, cowboy!
Can you imagine being able to make a fantastic Halloween costume by just reusing your grocery bags? You're in luck! Marthastewart.com features this "cardboard cowboy" costume, made from recycled brown-paper grocery bags and trash-compactor bags. Check the website for detailed instructions on how you too, can recreate the Wild West in your neighborhood while trick-or-treating this year.
Your very own Wall-E
Our friends over at The Daily Green featured this adorable WALL-E DIY children's Halloween costume on their site and it was too great for us to pass up. We love how realistic it looks with the discoloration on the mask and the treaded feet. If you're curious how this homemade WALL-E costume was constructed, here are the instructions with before and after pictures.
However, if you're looking for a simpler robot DIY costume, we'd recommend checking out BenA1974's Flickr pictures of his son's easy-to-make homemade robot suit. A couple of boxes, some tinfoil, silver arm tubing and you're little one will be ready to hit the streets for treats!
What big teeth you have...
This is one crocodile that is too fantastic to hide in the bayou. Made completely from cardboard and butcher paper, Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories' homemade crocodile costume will be a fun and easy hands-on project for your ferocious little one.
And, who says it has to be a crocodile?! This costume can easily be made into an alligator, dragon or any dinosaur of your choice, with a simple addition of paint, markers or a plated tail. Check the website for instructions and get busy crafting your very own little monster!
Creature of the evening
Once again, our friends over at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories have really outdone themselves with this awesome DIY recycled bat costume. Perfect for all ages, the bat costume only requires an old umbrella for both the wings and the ears. And like the crocodile, consider taking this idea and running with it -- possibly a bird? A plane? A butterfly? The sky's the limit!
Eco-friendly samurai warrior
Wow! The things that you can do with a little paper and cardboard! Instructables.com's recycled samurai costume for kids is made with an old calendar, a handful of home office supplies and a good dose of creativity. Your little warrior will love adding his own personal flair, color and decorations to the body armour while constructing this easy-to-make sustainable costume. More details available on the website.
Mama's little pup
We love Care2's great insight for this cuddly little animal costume. Simply take an old pillow, forgotten stuffed animal or cotton balls and glue the stuffing on an old t-shirt to create a little lamb, puppy dog, cow or other soft and cuddly animal of your child's choice. Check the website for more information on material ideas.
Hey there, smarty pants!
Flickr's mecredis offers a fantastic photo tutorial on how to create this DIY recycled Rubik's cube Halloween costume that is perfect for both kids and adults. The greatest thing about this costume, is that it can actually function as a human-sized puzzle!
Intergalactic super robot
Our Big Earth's recycled robot kids costume has all the buttons, gadgets and color to be the envy of the neighborhood! Your child will certainly scare up some treats after completing his homemade robotic super hero look. Our Big Earth includes detailed instructions on how to snazz up this plain cardboard box with pictures to guide you and your child through the entire process.
May the force be with you!
Thanks to Flickr's mcj2burn, now everyone can learn how to make their very own Star Wars Scout Trooper costume. Handmade using PVC pipes, foam core, hot glue and plenty of other recycled materials that can be found around the house, this costume will be sure to spook away all of your youngest's intergalactic enemies.
Check out Mahalo.com's video and instructions on constructing your own homemade Storm Trooper. Note: as a safety warning, Mahalo recommends not using a toy gun as it could be mistaken for an actual weapon.
Also not to be missed is mcj2burn's photos of his homemade spaceman costume -- TOO cool!
Transform me... Into a monster truck!
Got a monster truck lover in your home? Transform your child into a rough and tough, clever truck-or-treating transformer for Halloween, compliments of our friends over at Five Hens. With little more than some cardboard boxes, old plastic bottles and paint, your child will be truckin' around the neighborhood in no time. Five Hens includes photos and an easy printable pattern to follow, making this an excellent, hands-on art project for both you and your child.
However, if you're looking to make an actual Transformer character, such as Bumble Bee or Optimus Prime, we recommend checking out these YouTube videos for ideas on how other families are constructing these awesome two-in-one costumes -- even the adults can't seem to get enough of the action!
There are so many fantastic Halloween costumes that can be created primarily from using recycled materials and cardboard boxes. Here are ten additional ideas for creating your very own one-of-a-kind masterpiece for this year's trick-or-treating fun:
This article was originally published in the fall of 2010.