With two girls, Halloween the past few years has meant one thing…princess costumes! This year, I wanted the girls to be a little more imaginative. I also try to steer them away from the more commercialized costumes. So when they said they wanted to be a butterfly and a flower, I figured out how to make them costumes and added special touches to make the costumes different for each girl. My favorite part was that Delaney (the flower) asked me, "What kind of flower is pink?" I told her "My favorite pink flower is a peony." Now, she tells everyone that she is going to be a pink peony for Halloween!

Beth; Mundelein, Illinois
Head on a Platter Costume

I made 10 Halloween costumes from items I bought at dollar stores. I use things like dish rags and trash bags for skirts and cardboard boxes for robots. This is my "Head on a Platter" costume!

— Kathy; Calabasas, California
Little boy dressed as President Barack Obama

It was Obamamania when Halloween 2008 rolled around. My son Donovan, who was 5 at the time, could pass as a mini Obama. I went to a thrift store and found a beautiful blue suit with a patriotic red tie. My little Donovan was Barack Obama, no mask required!

Karena; Portage, Michigan
Couple before and after

My boyfriend and I look forward to Halloween every year! Last year, we dressed up like rock stars. As you can see, we don't really look like rock stars in real life.

Lindsey; Alexandria, Virginia
Spider baby

My little girl, Lola, is my daredevil! She wanted to be Spiderman for Halloween and loved it when her daddy held her upside down so she could "crawl" on the ceiling. It was hilarious!

Kasi; Fulton, Illinois
A little boy dressed as superman

It's my little boy Gabriel's second Halloween, and he is all about being Superman. He loves to wear his costume and "fly" around the house singing, "I'm Superman!"

Alisa; Houston, Texas
Trisha and her husband

My husband is somewhat obsessed with Transformers. They meant a lot to him growing up and still do. He displays his childhood collection proudly and takes pride in getting a new generation of kids involved. The countdown to the live action movie started years before its release! So, of course, he had to be the "good" leader—Optimus Prime—for Halloween! To coordinate, I decided to go as one of my favorite childhood toys as well, a Lego. Both costumes bring back lots of happy memories for us and for so many more people!

Trisha; Canton, Georgia
Britt's son dressed as a lobster.

Not only did my son love to be dressed as a lobster, he loved the pot too! He refused to get out of the pot. So I carried him around at a Halloween party for an hour and a half. My sister-in-law dressed as a chef.

— Britt; Geneva, Illinois
Debbie dressed as Cher.

I love Halloween! It's my favorite time of the whole year. I'm way too old to go trick-or-treating, but I do like to go out and make people laugh. All of my costumes are homemade, and Cher is my inspiration. It is so much fun to dress up and not be yourself for awhile.

I have many costumes including: Harpo, Olive Oyl, Elvis, Pinocchio, a fairy, a baby, a cowgirl with a horse, a tie-dyed bird, Cher as a mermaid, Cher from the '60s and Cher as Laverne Lashinski. Laverne says the tiger stripes drive men wild…they can't take their eyes off of her!

— Debbie; Omaha, Nebraska
Codie's son Cayd

Last year my son Cayd, who is 7, of course wanted to be your standard scary guy or hero. I came up with the idea of Cousin It. Of course, he had no idea who he was, so we rented The Adam's Family so he could see who he was and if he wanted to be him. He actually agreed! The costume was a hit, and needless to say, we watched The Adam's Family until Halloween. This year, he has agreed to be Alfalfa. I think he is finally understanding that it is about being unique!

— Codie; Johnson City, Tennessee
Andrea with her husband and seven children

In December of 2006, my husband and I welcomed the latest additions to our family. Our triplet sons, Anderson, Austin and Aidan, joined their four older siblings. When our eldest daughter, Abbey,found out that we would be a family of seven, she came up with the idea that we should be Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for Halloween.

So with the help of my most wonderful mother, we set to work. The costumes for the dwarfs and the prince are homemade; we had to alter the Snow White slightly. A lot of hours and hard work, but the payoff was great. Everyone in our community loved it! We had even made the paper for the second time since giving birth to the boys.

— Andrea; Vancouver, Washington
Christie's son dressed as a monkey.

This is a picture of my son, Trevor, in his first Halloween costume at 6 months old. Although a monkey is not original, we've been told time and time again how adorable he was in this costume…proud mom or is he really that cute?

— Christie; Orlando, Florida
Estela and her husband dressed as sushi rolls.

My husband Pete and I are total sushi fanatics! If we had our way, I seriously think we would eat it every single day. I am proud to say that I came up with the idea to dress up as sushi rolls two years ago for a Halloween party. Since sushi costumes are hard to come by, I made them from scratch. My husband's had to be comfy and easy to move around since he was the DJ. We called him "DJ Spicy Tuna" for most of the night!

— Estela; Queens Village, New York
Heather and her family dressed as Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

I am a Halloween junkie! I love dressing up and all the fun with the kids. I'm always trying to come up with unique "couple" costumes for my husband and me to wear. He's not a big fan of the costumes, but he goes along for the ride. I work hard to find things that work together but that won't be too over the top for my husband. I don't really care if I have anywhere else to go…I always dress up.

My favorite was the year we went as a cup of wonton soup and a soy sauce packet. It was a lot of work to make, but fortunately, I was out of work so I had plenty of time. We've gone as weather and a weather man.

After I started having kids, it's gotten a little bit harder. We went as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, firemen, a family of pirates, and this year, we are all superheroes.

— Heather; Danville, California
Nicole's son dressed as Donald Duck.

Now, I don't know about how original it is, but tell me this kid isn't adorable! His name is Austin, and he's 18 months old. I understand, as his mother, I may be biased, but please this boy should be next to the word "cute" in the dictionary. He is the spitting image of his father too. I gained 60 pounds when I was pregnant, but his father gets all the credit. (The dimples are from my side of the family, everything else is his.)

— Nicole; Lugoff, South Carolina
Sharon's grandson dressed as R2D2.

My son is a fiberglass and airbrush artist. My grandson has been taken with Star Wars since his Uncle Turtle introduced all the movies to him one day when they were both home sick. My son made the R2D2 costume out of a garbage can. It had all of the sound effects and the blinking lights. It even had the projection eye with the video of Princess Leia. My grandson rode inside and put out a little scoop for the candy. Everyone got a big kick out of that. My grandson really loves the costume, and it has a very special place in his room.

— Sharon; Ormond Beach, Florida
Maggie dressed as a Hershey's bar.

I designed and created the Hershey's with Almonds chocolate bar costume, as this was the favorite candy bar of my boss. Everything that is on this candy bar wrapper is on my costume—front and back. It was so much fun wearing this to work. I won first place for most creative!

— Maggie; Whitefish, Montana
Lori and her family dressed as KISS members.

I have a wonderful husband, Mark, and two great kids, Emma, 11, and Nicholas, 7. Halloween is always fun around our house, and we attempt to create a family look each year. It all started back in 2001 when we were a Star Wars family, with our then 10-month-old son Nicholas as Master Yoda.

I try to hand make as much as possible to save on the cost, but it's all about the fun! This year, 2008, we plan to be a group from the storybook Little Red Riding Hood. Emma will be Red, Mark will be the wolf, I will be Grandma and Nicholas will be the wolf in Grandma's clothing. We have most of it together already and look forward to a fun Friday night Halloween this year!

— Lori; Atlanta, Georgia
Rowena's kids dressed as a chicken and Colonel Sanders.

I met my husband 21 years ago on Halloween. Since then, [it's] my favorite "fun" holiday. We waited almost 10 years before we decided to have children, so they make this holiday even more special.

This year, my husband and I are going, sans the children, to a charity costume party, and I am modifying these costumes for us. I am pretty darn sure that we will be the only ones dressed like this!

— Rowena; Mount Clemens, Michigan
Geri with her two sons

October 1989—Nintendo was new, money was tight, and we couldn't afford the game! Got creative and brought the game to life. My active 4-year-old loved it; the baby just rode along! I used clothes we had for Mario and Luigi—cute and simple, my fave of all time! I'm fun-spirited and silly, even from the beginning. I didn't know how important it would be…no idea what a parenting ride I was embarking on.

See, my oldest has ADHD and my youngest has autism, both diagnosed a few years after this photo. They are 23 and 20 now. I had forgotten the simplicity of how it all began. The photo made me reflect. It speaks volumes—working with what you have, allowing a sense of humor is key too. My kids are different and silly. I embrace and celebrate it; never fought it. They are who they are now—silly, accepted and loved unconditionally.

— Geri; Arlington, Texas
Stephanie dressed as a box of Tampax.

I was a box of Tampax for Halloween 2004. I worked for a start-up marketing company. We were not very p.c. I wanted to be funny, original and shocking without being too gross. I also wanted to make my costume for under $30. I ended up spending about $21 and winning a lot more. First, my husband and I got a dishwasher box, and I painted it blue. Then we cut out a hole for the arms and head, leaving the flaps in tact.

Next, I took two blue poster boards. Using a real box of Tampax, I drew on the poster boards to replicate the front of the real box. Then, I took contact paper and formed a circle, taking off just enough of the sticky part to make a perfect circle. I filled each one with batting. Last, I took the yarn and braided it and tied it to my waist. It kinda hung out of the box all day. My arms were sore from the box, but it was worth winning our office contest!

— Stephanie; Roseville, California
Rachel's daughter dressed as Velma.

I'm a huge pop culture fan, and since my mom always either sewed or "put together" our costumes growing up, I try not to buy my girls' costumes from the store. My daughter Helen was just over 3 years old last year, and I thought I was done picking out and making her costumes for her due to her forthcoming independence (she had been Princess Leia, Wonder Woman and Annie from my choosing). This was okay since I had my newest daughter Audrey around.

However, Helen saw a Scooby-Doo cartoon, and I had it! Luckily, Helen played along since she got to be Daphne (hardest part was finding a nonpatterned, purple, long-sleeved dress), but my favorite part was putting together my 4-month-old Audrey's Velma costume. I still giggle when I see her hair (made from a foam headband and felt) and her pipe cleaner glasses. Such troopers are my little ones.

— Rachel, Santa Clarita, California
Renee's children

When my son, Grant, was 3, he decided he wanted to be Mr. Peanut for Halloween. My mom and I racked our brains and eventually came up with this. He loved the costume so much, he wore it again last year!

Last year my daughter, Rylee, couldn't decide what she wanted to be so we made her a chicken costume. She loved it! We even used it in a parade for our county fair.

— Renee; Casper, Wyoming
Michelle dressed as Hello Kitty.

Hello Kitty is my idol. When I was young, our family did not have any money to buy Hello Kitty merchandise, so I was so happy a few years ago when Hello Kitty was brought back by Target. I decided to buy anything and everything Hello Kitty. I have an entire room that is decorated in Hello Kitty, and my classroom where I teach middle school is decorated with Hello Kitty. I thought it only appropriate to be her for Halloween. Try finding an adult costume that is Hello Kitty! So, I made it myself.

— Michelle; Grand Rapids, Michigan
Kim's sons dressed as french fries and ketchup.

I wanted to do something creative for Halloween and was brainstorming with my older son. I was trying to explain the difference between dressing up as a "thing" and a "person" since I find "thing" costumes more amusing. After throwing out a few suggestions, he suggested McDonald's french fries, and it was perfect! And what better costume for a little brother than a packet of ketchup! The costumes were surprisingly easy to make and a big hit. The problem is that I now have to live up to these standards.

— Kim; Kirkland, Quebec
RJ dressed as a pirate

Like all little boys, RJ was torn between being a "good guy" or a "bad guy" (or a dinosaur) for Halloween. Fortunately for us, First Mate Tigger helped show off The Dread Pirate RJ's softer side.

— Allison; Toledo, Ohio


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