Embroidery ideas: 6 Halloween costumes you can embellish with your embroidery machine

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"Whether you want to customize a premade costume or go full-DIY, embroidery allows you to make anything happen with your outfit – you can’t find that at a store."

With Halloween around the corner, retailers across the country are stocking their shelves with the same costumes you saw last year, and the year before that – and the year before that.

If there’s something people look for on Halloween, it’s customization – and, of course, free candy. With originality being imperative to the Halloween experience, we’ve witnessed an emerging trend: costume seekers deviating from the traditional Halloween-store look. Instead, former store-goers create their own ensembles or seek a professional to produce a one-of-a-kind piece. That’s where embroidery comes in.

We’ve compiled a list of top-selling Halloween costumes with some ideas on how to embellish them with your embroidery machine. So whether you own a garment decorating business, or you’re a crafter looking to create your own costume, these embroidered Halloween embellishments will surely set you apart from your local Halloween store. And no; we’re not going to tell you to stitch the word “sand” on a witch hat and say you’re a “sand witch” – although that would be genius.

Sports

Perhaps one of the most sought after Halloween looks, your child’s sports costume (or your own) doesn’t have to look the same as everyone else’s this year. Creating your own sports costume will separate you from the mob of baseball players, football players, basketball players, cheerleaders and more. Ditch the generic party store design, personalize a logo, and stitch it on a solid-colored jersey or sports tee. It’s that easy. If you own a business, you can offer customers the option to personalize sports gear with desired names, numbers and colors. Other items you can customize: cleats, cheerleader bows, caps, gloves – virtually anything you can think of. The best part: You don’t even have to wait until Halloween. People need sportswear all the time.

Witch

Now you can make sure everyone knows which witch you are with a monogrammed witch hat. Embroider your initials across a hat or stitch a memorable design that’ll leave an impression. The witch costume capped at number one among adults over 35 and placed second among adults 18-34, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). The same survey also ranked the witch costume number six among children under 18. With the costume’s overwhelming popularity among all ages, it’s needless to say there’ll be a lot of witches casting spells on Halloween. So if you’re thinking about being a witch, embroidery will be a quick fix that’ll surely set you apart from the masses.

With a wealth of Halloween embroidery logos on the market, you can customize your witch hat or garment with pumpkins, black hats, brooms, spider webs, cauldrons, crescent moons, ghosts and more. You can also embroider different colored patches on your garment for authenticity. If you enjoy puns, you can stitch the word “sand” on a witch hat and be a “sand witch.” OK, we promised we wouldn’t suggest that – but we couldn’t help it.

Pokemon GO

Video game character costumes ranked sixth among adults 18-34 this year. The first thing that comes to mind when you think of video games in 2016? Pokémon GO. As the smartphone game that took over the summer, Pokémon GO is a top pick among Halloween costume hunters this year. You can create your own version of an Ash Ketchum costume by embroidering a similar green logo on a red and white cap. Costume seekers who prefer different accessories can embroider the green L-shaped logo on a red and white hair bow, head band or ribbon. You can also change it up by embroidering a Pokéball or a design of your favorite Pokémon character instead.

If you prefer to dress up as a Pokémon, you can embroider the character’s features on a blank garment. If you choose to make a face mask, you can easily craft a Pikachu mask by stitching red circles to recreate Pikachu’s rosy cheeks and black triangles to fill in its ears. You may also stitch on a nose and mouth depending on the size of the mask you want to wear. Remember, the greatest perk you get from custom apparel is the ability to deviate from the norm, so we encourage you to get as creative as you want!

Occupational

What is it about occupational costumes that attract Halloween shoppers so much? That’s a mystery we’ve yet to solve. What we do know: All occupational attire incorporates some form of embroidery.

With a custom garment, you don’t actually have to become a doctor, police officer or firefighter to have your name stitched on a uniform. You can simply embroider your last name on a premade uniform for quick and easy personalization. You can also accessorize by customizing a logo and stitching it on a matching cap. In minutes, you’ll have a personalized costume that’ll top the other Halloween partygoers.

If you’re looking to sport a fun group costume, you can assemble your own police force, fire team or military and make it as authentic (or as ridiculous) as you wish. You can have some fun with medical costumes, too. Add a unique touch by embroidering your own logo and naming a fictional hospital. Our favorite: The love doctor costume. Stitch the name “Dr.  Love” on a pair of scrubs and design a logo that reads “Mend Heart Institute.” Hey, everything’s a thing.

Animal

Another timeless favorite, the animal costume is perhaps the most popular last-minute ensemble for all Halloween procrastinators. If you’ve ever scrambled for a last-minute costume and settled on cat ears and a black outfit, then this information is for you. You can create your own animal mask by embroidering the animal’s nose and mouth on your preferred material.  A timely favorite, the snapchat dog filter costume is among the top costumes in 2016. You can easily recreate the look by stitching a snapchat-inspired dog nose on brown fabric and adding the signature brown freckles as a finishing touch. As a bonus, you can incorporate another 2016 trend into your costume: the cloth choker. You can wear a choker as a dog collar by embroidering your preferred nickname on a cloth-based choker. You get two-in-one because you can wear the choker whenever.

Superhero

You think we’d forget the timeless superhero costume? Superhero costumes are the number one Halloween look for both adults and kids in 2016, according to the NRF. However, this is no pop culture fad. Superhero costumes have continuously withstood time. And because we’ll be seeing them forever, you might as well stand out among the other DC or Marvel superheroes.

You can save money by embroidering clothing you already own. Just imagine any superhero you want to be, and embroider his or her logo on the garment for an inexpensive, customized alternative.  If you choose to use a superhero costume from the store, then you can customize accessories to match it. For example, you can embroider the Superman logo on a store-bought cape. You can also customize hair bows, head bands, gloves and more.

To make an even bolder statement, come up with your own idea for a superhero costume. We recommend the latter because it can be equally as hilarious as it is epic. Just imagine the impression you would make – you could even end up with your own movie.

Note: All of these ideas can be spun into exciting group costumes. For example, you can form your own baseball team, police force, gang of superheroes, coven of witches – you name it. If you run a business, you can try reaching groups of consumers who want a one-of-a-kind group costume.  It might be a good idea to create samples to engage prospective customers. Run them on your website or in print if you have the budget for it! If there’s one thing Halloween shoppers love, it’s group costumes.

The takeaway: Both adults and children love to stand out on Halloween, and embroidery is a quick and inexpensive fix. Whether you want to customize a premade costume or go full-DIY, embroidery allows you to make anything happen with your outfit – you can’t find that at a store. Business owner or DIY expert, these ideas will get you thinking of ways to apply garment decorating in all occasions.