Luckily Javier has only been through three Hallowe'ens so far and hasn't wanted anything particularly complicated (I was very happy his urge to go as Eve from Wall-E was short-lived).
Last year when he was three he agreed it'd be cool to go as a monster, so I improvised up one monster suit:
(I had to mess with the contrast and brightness a bit to make it clearer.)
I bought three dollar-store tee-shirts, a pair of kid-sized green jogging pants, 'ghoul' facepaint and the cool skull necklace. At home I cut the pants as you see them, then made jagged cuts on the collar, sleeves and hem of larger shirt. Finally I cut the brown shirt into strips. Putting the costume together consisted of putting Jav into the pants and two tee-shirts with the larger one on top, then safety-pinning the strips onto the shirt. Finally I gelled his hair into spikes and did the makeup, which I couldn't do nearly as well as the package anyway but was certainly hampered by a three year-old wanting to help. He won 'Scariest Costume' at the block Hallowe'en party though, which was awesome.
Here's a better picture of Javier at the party. Because we live in Texas, I was actually more concerned that he'd be too hot in two shirts and cotton pants, but the weather was cool enough to allow it.
This year he wanted to go as a kitty, which was even easier. I bought a Snake Eyes Costume from the G.I. Joe movie, then added a white tee-shirt which Javier already owned and a sparkly cat-ear headband and sparkly-bowed tail. I'll admit that I did also offer Javier a non-sparkly cat mask because I didn't want any of the generally--shall we say--more traditionally-raised children in our development to give him grief about it, but Javier was adamant that sparkles were the way to go. And hey, why the hell can't boys like sparkles? (Not to mention, why the hell can't boys dress as cats? There were no cat costumes for boys over toddler-age in any of the stores we checked.)
Anyway, I got black and white facepaint and white hairspray as well, but even though Javier was more patient this year, I was a little disappointed with the results. The white greasepaint was so thick I had to wipe it off to draw whiskers, and the black color stick didn't really work at all. The hair gel and white hairspray looked great, however. This is the result:
(You can't see them, but he had a pair of my black socks because he wanted black kitty feet.)
And a closeup:
All-in all I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself. I hadn't tried to make anything costume-like in years, and I wasn't sure I could manage it. I also remembered being embarrassed by my own costuming attempts as a child. I (obviously) know nothing about makeup and I can't sew a seam, but Javier ended up looking fine all the same. Mostly, though, I hope he'll remember how happy his mommy was to spend this time and effort for one day of the year. He's certainly worth it, and I want him to always know that.