Easy DIY Halloween Costumes: Bumbling Bee

If you want a super-cute, super-easy costume to make (or your little one is obsessed with bees, as mine was), try this simple yet adorable DIY bee costume.

The summer when she was two, Kimmie became obsessed with bees.  My in-laws brought her a book about bees when they came to visit, and that was it: Kimmie announced then and there, in early August, that she was going to be a bee for Halloween that year.  From then until October 31st, whenever you asked Kimmie what she was going to be for Halloween, she was quick to respond, “A bee!”  And at least once a week, she announced this fact to everyone she met: “Guess what?  I’m going to be a BEE for Halloween!”

If you want a super-cute, super-easy costume to make (or your little one is obsessed with bees, as mine was), try this simple yet adorable DIY bee costume.

What you need:

Fortunately, bee costumes are pretty easy to make.  All you need is

  • A box of black trashbags (preferably the kind with drawstrings at the top – “kitchen” or 13-gallon size);
  • A roll of yellow duct tape;
  • Some newspaper;
  • A long-sleeved black shirt and pants to wear underneath;
  • Black shoes or boots and a black hat (with antennae made out of a black pipe cleaner) are a nice finishing touch.

How to make a Bumbling Bee costume

The easiest way to do the stripes is to put them on when your kiddo is actually in the bag.
The easiest way to do the stripes is to put them on when your kiddo is actually in the bag.

The tricky part of this costume is the fact that it’s easiest to make when the child is actually in the costume.

Preparation:

  • First, I cut two half-moons along the bottom seam of the trashbag, to make leg holes.
  • Then I cut two more (one on each side) along the side seams, near the top, to make arm holes.  Meanwhile, Kimmie was on the floor, crumpling sheets of newspaper into balls.
  • Next, I had Kimmie step into the costume – a perfect opportunity to discuss the fact that the costume was, in essence, a plastic bag, and we NEVER put plastic bags over our face, NEVER NEVER NEVER.  (For this reason, I definitely wouldn’t try this costume on anyone younger than two, and suggest you use your own judgment on whether your two-year-old is mature enough to follow such instructions.)
Once you have yellow duct tape and a black plastic bag (kitchen-sized if you're making this costume for a kid), all you need is crumpled newspaper or scrap paper with which to stuff it.
Once you have yellow duct tape and a black plastic bag (kitchen-sized if you’re making this costume for a kid), all you need is crumpled newspaper or scrap paper with which to stuff it.

Adding the stripes:

  • After Kimmie had stepped into the bag, I dropped crumpled newspaper balls into the top until her bag was roughly pear-shaped. (I had to make the leg holes a little smaller with some clear packing tape, to keep the newspaper from falling out at the leg holes.)
  • Once it was pear-shaped, I gently tightened the drawstring at the top, then tied the ends together over one shoulder.
  • Next I rolled a few stripes of duct tape around her, starting in the back with each stripe, and aiming to make the ends on each stripe meet in the back again.

Final tips:

  • After we had the yellow stripes done, it took a little grownup help to get her into and out of the costume each time, between untying/retying the drawstrings and re-stuffing/rearranging the newspaper filling into the right shape.
  • We found that having a large shopping bag handy to hold the costume when not in use was helpful.

Kimmie liked being a bee so much that on November 1, she announced she was going to be a bee again the following year for Halloween – a commitment she stuck to. We used that large shopping bag to store the costume in the basement until Halloween rolled around again.

The costume was so easy to make that when Kimmie wore it for her second Halloween, I made an adult-sized copy for my mother to wear while taking Kimmie around the neighborhood.

Best of all, though, were all the comments we got on the adorable bee costume.  I try not to let myself get sucked into the arms race of one-ups(wo)manship that seems to exist among parents. But I will admit that my heart was bursting with pride at the preschool Halloween parade, when I overheard other parents commenting on how cute the little bumblebee (Kimmie) was.

From a distance, Kimmie’s costume was indistinguishable from a store-bought one. After a few minutes, I couldn’t resist mentioning whose cute kid that was – and where I’d purchased (the items to make) her costume. They were floored to learn that they were marveling over how adorable my daughter looked in a trash bag stuffed with newspaper and covered with duct tape!

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If you want a super-cute, super-easy costume to make (or your little one is obsessed with bees, as mine was), try this simple yet adorable DIY bee costume.

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34 thoughts on “Easy DIY Halloween Costumes: Bumbling Bee”

    1. LOL both of mine were a ladybug the year they were an infant – I think Essie was a ladybug the first time Kimmie wore her bee costume 🙂

  1. Omg such a cute costume!!!!! I love making my daughter her conscience each year so she can be unique and stick out!!

    1. Oh, I love it! Making our own kids’ costumes is definitely fun (and memorable for them), don’t you think?

    1. Exactly! Our only challenge was finding BLACK trash bags because most stores in our area seem to only carry WHITE ones of that size, for some reason…

    1. Haha – my challenge-to-self, frugal (cheapskate) that I am, is to always figure out how to DIY something with minimal cost AND minimal sewing. Not that I can’t sew, but I really don’t have as much time to do so as I’d like.

    1. LOL “bee”! We loved it too – I was SO glad I’d stuck it in our storage space when she decided she wanted to wear it again!

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  3. Oh.my.gosh. I love this!! And this would be a great costume for my teen girls as well. Heck, I would love this!! Thanks Flossie for a great tutorial 🙂

    1. So glad you liked it, Nicole! (And yes, it works for grownups, too – my mother went trick-or-treating one year with the girls and me in a matching costume made according to these instructions, and it looked as good on her as on my 3-year-old!)

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  5. What a simple and creative idea! I love how you create such cute costumes with items that most would have at home! I try to do this as much as possible.

    1. So glad you like it, Kassi! Homemade costumes are the BEST, aren’t they? Do check out the other posts in this series, too!

    1. *Thanks* Nicole! You’re right – I was really floored at how nicely it came out, but the cherry on top was when the crowd at the preschool parade was sure it was a store-bought costume from a distance, and could not BELIEVE they were oohing and aahing over a trash bag, newspaper, and yellow duct tape! 🙂

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