Back in the dark ages of the ’80s/’90s, when my mother was a stay-at-home-mom who really needed a creative outlet, she would take us to the fabric store in the mall (that was a thing!) to choose our Halloween costumes in the beginning of October and then devote the entire month to sewing them herself. To this day, I feel very guilty that I am unable to create such beautiful handmade costumes for my kid. But unlike her, we busy (and possibly unskilled) parents have a secret weapon in the homemade-costume game: We can buy the best Halloween costumes from the talented makers of Etsy.
This is the perfect option for so many of us. It lies between grueling hours trying to learn how to sew and burning ourselves with hot glue guns and the often cheap-feeling ready-made Halloween costumes available at stores. This is even better than both of those options because these Etsy makers don’t just know their way around a needle and thread, they also put in the time to think up original costume ideas, so your child doesn’t have to be one of 100 Paw Patrol or Frozen characters on the block. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those!)
We happen to think that the best Halloween costumes for kids have to meet certain criteria: They should be comfortable enough for children to keep them without tears; they should be easily recognizable (or at least look good if they’re obscure); and they shouldn’t be too scary, offensive, or inappropriate for children. The Etsy costumes we selected here meet all of those standards, plus they are all deadly cute.
One thing you should know about buying a costume on Etsy, if you haven’t bought from the retailer before. These are small, independent makers, often working out of their bedrooms, basements, and living rooms. That means that they have a limited supply ready made, and may need a few weeks to make your costume on demand. If you see a costume you love, double check that the maker will be able to ship it to you in time. The good news is that if they can’t, there are hundreds of other options awaiting you!
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A version of this story was originally published October 7, 2020.
Here are some of our picks for the Best Halloween costumes you can buy your kids on Etsy right now: