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Last Minute DIY Military Costumes for the Kids

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Tomorrow’s Halloween and you suddenly realize – you have nothing for the kids to wear. This seems to happen to us every year, things get busy in October and we keep thinking, “We’ll just pop in and grab a costume at…” and then we never do. We’re left the day before Halloween wondering if anything will even still be available.

If you’re in this situation, never fear. As a military parent, you’ve got a lot at your disposal to dress up your son or daughter (or even yourself!) as a service member for the day. From dog tags to badges, you can find it either in your home or on post, or at one of the local stores.

The best parts about this kind of costume are that it’s cheap, and it’s eco friendly. You’re not out buying all new costumes no one ever wears again.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fabric Paint: Check your local craft store. (Michaels, Hobby Lobby) Be sure to get colors you need; green, blue, black, brown, etc.
  • Dog Tags: Extras around the house, but nearly every shop on base/post with clothing carries these for a few dollars.
  • Boots: Snow or heavy boots work in a pinch here – especially if your child is wearing long pants.
  • Cover: If you can find a white, green, blue, black cap, you can use your fabric paint to add the other touches needed.
  • Camouflage Clothing: Our clothing store actually sells small versions of Dad and Mom’s cami’s and other gear. Check to see if they do the same near you. If not, Army Surplus carries these, as do outdoor clothing/gear stores.
  • Plain Shirt/Pants: If you can’t find camo clothes, look for a white or solid colored (black, green) pants that you can fabric paint on instead.
  • Badges/Ribbons: My husband has velcro ones that easily attach onto his clothing, saving the trouble of ironing or having to sew them on.
  • Face Paint: Pick up at any store like Target, WalMart – but check to see if you have some left over from last year. In a pinch, pencil eyeliner works really well for small details.

Raid the closet for any other things you can use for accessories (make sure to check first as some of the gear the military gives out is $$$ and can cost a lot to replace as well – out of your family’s paycheck). Anything you can’t find a fellow military member might have. Keep in mind that you’re going for a general look, not the perfect uniform. That will save you a lot of stress and headache while doing this last minute.

Where to find some of the gear:

Toddler Winter Boots from Sierra Trading Post

Short Sleeve Camo Shirts from WalMart 

Camo Tie-Dye Kit from Michaels


Then check out these sites for more ideas:

DIY Military Costumes from ehow.com 

DIY Army Girl Costumes from ehow.com 

Child’s Armed Forces Pilot Costume from Costume Super Center 

Child’s Navy Admiral Costume from Costume Super Center 

Delta Force Child’s Costume from Costume Super Center 

Camo Guy Costume from Michaels