Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

Homemade Halloween costumes

Five creative Brooklyn parents share the inspiration-and shortcuts-behind their handcrafted Halloween designs.

  • Ballerina Bat and Crayon

  • Ballerina Bat and Crayon

  • Ballerina Bat and Crayon

  • Ballerina Bat and Crayon

Ballerina Bat and Crayon


Designer: Jenna Park

Neighborhood: Park Slope

Occupation: Freelance art director/designer and co-owner of confectionary company Whimsy & Spice

Child: Mia, 5 and Claudine, 2

When did you start making costumes?
My kids are still young, so I haven't been designing their costumes for very long. But my mom made a few costumes for me growing up. Then, once I became interested in sewing and fashion, I made my own. Even when I didn't have time to tackle a full-blown sewing project, I'd still assemble something small.

Where do your ideas come from?
The kids usually dictate what they want. Last year my older daughter felt conflicted because she really wanted to be a bat but most of her friends were going as ballerinas and princesses. We compromised and I created a ballerina bat costume, with a black tutu and bat wings that I made out of heavy black felt with stiff wire and glitter.

What's been your favorite costume?
A blue crayon getup. I made a very simple shift dress out of felt. I cut out the elements of the black Crayola logo from felt, sewed the black background onto the dress and attached the letters with glue. I made a basic cone-shaped hat and stuffed the inside so that it would stand nice and tall for the crayon point.

What supplies are good to have on hand?
Face makeup and a really great accessory go a long way. There isn't a rule that you have to transform yourself into a recognizable character for Halloween. Try out a wig, a pair of wings or a great hat. And take cues from your kids. They have really imaginative ideas.

Joel Potischman | Melanie Conklin | Jenna Park
Jennifer Yun | Jennifer Ward


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