Live, Love, Blend:
Super Simple Costumes for
a Super Complex Family

There is no such thing as a simple holiday for a blended family.  Blended schedules, blended traditions, blended expectations.  Thank goodness we can ease into the big holiday season with a relatively small scale holiday, Halloween.  Now just because the 31st falls on a Thursday this year, don’t think you’re off the hook for needing costumes.  Parties always fall the weekend before, so if you have all your kids/step-kids on the 2nd, 4th and 5th weekends like we do, then you know that means the whole blended bunch will be gathered together and all hopped up on sugar for a frighteningly good time.

Please tell me I’m not the only mom/step-mom who struggles with these 2 major dilemmas when it comes to costumes for the family…

– not enough time

– not enough money

Sure, it would be great to run down to our local scare store and buy the whole gang matching themed costumes… but on our budget that’s just not gonna happen.  Besides, we could never all agree on one theme anyway!

So over the years I’ve done my share of last minute costumes on the cheap.  Some worked better than others, but I’ll share them here in case you too have waited til the last minute and are running short on ideas.  The most important thing to remember is DON’T STRESS over trying to make it perfect, they won’t remember those details.  They’ll remember the FUN!



Dracula is a classic.  Kids love that he’s scary.  Mom loves only having to buy a black cape and maybe a little white makeup.  Just pair it with a white t-shirt and black pants and you’re all set.  I used my own black eyeliner and red lip liner for extra effects. No, I’m not a make-up artist, but perfection isn’t the goal here, just happy kids.




Mummy costumes are great for a chilly night because white or off-white long johns go perfectly underneath the wrapping, and it works for a girl or a boy.  I used muslin to wrap, but I think something softer might work better for kids.  This one was a little stiff and itchy.  Or maybe I should have washed it first (like I said, it was a last minute costume).  Oatmeal makes an interesting facial accessory for the added crusty look.  You can also use coffee to stain your costume and make it look older.

Read more: You Think Halloween Is Scary? Here Are The Things That Terrify A Mom! (VIDEO)



At first I felt guilty for taking the REALLY easy way out.  I bought both of these shirts at WalMart.  But once I dug through the Halloween box and found several fun colors of make-up to bring out the zombie and vampire expressions, this turned out to be a pretty successful last minute idea.  And did I mention CHEAP?!  Note the re-use of the black cape from a previous year.  Hey, don’t mess with a good thing.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 (Mostly) FREE Fall Family Activities



Okay, this costume was neither cheap nor simple, but I did get it on clearance for 75% off so I just couldn’t pass it up.

Parents and Step-Parents need to have a little fun too, so here are a few ideas for quick & easy adult costumes.  Again, remember the main point is to make this a fun family holiday.  You want your blended family to remember the costumes and candy, not you turning into a wicked witch trying to make it all perfect.


– Over the Top Sports Fan – if he has lots of fan gear already, this one’s easy.  Just add face paint.

– Doctor – Scrubs make a great instant costume

– 1950’s greaser (if your man still has hair) white t-shirt & blue jeans, plus a leather jacket, if you have one


– Bubble Gum stuck to a Shoe – dress all in pink and attach an old tennis shoe to your head with a pink bandana

– Crazy Cat Lady – buy little stuffed cats from the dollar store and attach them to a bathrobe

– Witch – You can’t go wrong with a classic.  Wear your own black dress & add a hat and some striped tights

Read more: Pixie Dust Central: 5 Best Things About Halloween Season At Magic Kingdom Park (Video)


No matter what your family dynamic, quick and easy costumes are a fun way to create lasting memories. In fact, the ones that do go wrong are usually the ones you’ll be laughing about in years to come.
That’s the whole idea as you work to blend your family: create smiles and memories and traditions that will last long after the candy is gone.

What are some of your favorite Halloween traditions? Let us know in the comments below!


andi parker

Andi Parker is a sweet but stubborn wife, and a motivated, multitasking mom of five. Kids include two “originals”, boys ages 13 & 9, and three “steps”, boys ages 18 & 14, and a 7-yr-old girl. Andi works as a TV Producer for a Christian TV Network and freelances as a Traffic Reporter for an NBC affiliate. Her heart is set on sharing victories and life experiences in order to encourage and inspire other blended family working moms… or any gal who’s ever had to juggle a man, a job, kids, friends, chores, etc. Andi blogs at LiveLoveBlend.com.