Asian-inspired Halloween Costume Ideas

younger sister and brother wearing taiwanese stinky tofu costumes - Asian-inspired Costumes

Halloween is my favorite day of the year. I love costumes and have been making them for years. Now that I have children, creating costumes is a fun way for us to bond and foster creativity. For this post, I am rounding up my favorite Asian-inspired costumes for kids, including some of my own creations! Since my children and I are learning Chinese together, we often find inspiration from Taiwanese and Chinese culture to support our language learning.

Need some Halloween costume inspiration? Look no further! I’ve included links to the items you will need to create each costume. I also suggest checking your local Buy Nothing Facebook group to save money and also reduce waste. For many of my projects, I get most of the supplies from my neighbors for free! Their trash is my treasure. Not only am I saving money, I feel good about saving things from the landfill.

Sushi Burrito Costume

child wearing a sushirrito sushi burrito costume with a tempura shrimp hat

My daughter’s favorite food is sushi, so it’s about time I created a sushi costume for her, and not just any sushi—this year she’s dressing up as the Sumo Crunch sushi burrito from Sushirrito! It’s a huge burrito-sized sushi stuffed with surimi crab, tempura shrimp, and veggies, then rolled in red panko flakes. You could say she went right from bottle to burrito!

baby eating sumo crunch sushi burrito from Sushirrito

Most of my time was spent brainstorming how I would create this costume and browsing the craft store for ideas. Once I found all the supplies, it only took 4 hours to complete the sushi burrito costume.

How I created the Sushirrito costume

First, wrap the foam around the child to measure the size. After cutting off the excess, glue the two ends together to create a tube shape and trim the foam at the top to create Sushirrito’s signature diagonal cut shape. Cut an oval of foam to fit the top of the sushi burrito then glue the piece to the inside of the tube, about 1.5 inches from the top edge. Cut a hole for the head with a slit to make it easier to get on. Cut arm holes.

Next, hot glue the red sherpa fleece to the foam and trim off the excess. The red material is a perfect match for red panko flakes! Cut the bath mat into smaller pieces. Remove any foam. Glue the pieces to the top of the sushi creating a ring of “rice”. Cut the green felt into abstract vegetable shapes. Glue the yarn that looks like surimi crab and the felt vegetable pieces to the top of the foam. Make sure to cover the entire top so that no foam shows through.

The tempura shrimp hat is a bit more complicated. For one-off costumes, I generally wing it and do not bother creating a template. I cut two triangles and lined the inside with fabric from an old pillowcase. Fill with fiber fill. Cut the orange felt to look like the shrimp’s tail and sew it to the top of the shrimp hat to close up the hole.

Here are the supplies I used to make a child-size sushi burrito costume:

Taiwanese Stinky Tofu Costume

Asian-inspired costumes — stinky tofu costume

DIY Stinky Tofu Costume

This is another no-sew project that cost almost nothing!

The base of the costume is a thermal box liner that came with our Hello Fresh order. I simply cut out holes for the head and arms. The fabric cost only $5 for 2 yards, which was enough to make two tofu costumes. I couldn’t believe my luck in finding this fabric. It looks just like fried tofu! The fabric is wrapped around the box liner and held in place with hot glue.

For the pickled vegetables, I cut random shapes out of the felt and hot glued the pieces to a headband.

If you can’t find a thermal box liner, a cardboard box will do in a pinch.

Here is a list of supplies I used to make the stinky tofu costume:

Monkey King Costume

Who is the Monkey King

My kids are very much into Monkey King, a mythical character that is the topic of many online Chinese classes. Although Monkey King is a fictional character from Chinese novels dating back 400 years, it seems that he is experiencing a revival. Somewhat recently, Lego produced a cartoon series called Monkie Kid and a line of Monkey King Lego sets. So when I asked my son what he wanted to be for Halloween, the answer was of course “Monkey King!”

Easy DIY Monkey King Costume

To create the costume, I layered the Perseus chest plate over the red ninja suit to create a detailed effect and spray-painted the accessories bright metallic gold. Bonus, the Perseus costume and ninja suit can still be used separately for next year! I actually cut the sleeves off of the ninja suit and use the discarded sleeves to make strips of ribbon to wrap around my son’s arms. It’s really the extra details that make the costume.

The skirt is a gold vinyl fabric that was cut to shape and hot glued under the belt. No sewing is needed! For the crown, I used pipe cleaner because it was all I had but you can get thick wire from the hardware store. To save money, I got most of the costume pieces from my local Buy Nothing Facebook Group. If you don’t have that kind of time, you can purchase the costume pieces.

Here are the supplies I used for the monkey king costume:

Chef Costume

Asian-inspired costumes — Chinese restaurant chef costume

This was a really quick last-minute costume I threw together. I wanted a paper chef hat as we see at Chinese restaurants so I had to make one but it was so easy. Again, it’s all in the accessories!

Here are some items to create your Chinese chef costume:

Sriracha Hot Sauce Costume

Asian-inspired costumes — father and baby sriracha costume
Asian-inspired costumes — sriracha t-shirt

Years ago, my friend and I made a sriracha hot sauce costume. As you can imagine, this Asian-inspired costume was a hit! When he and his wife had their first child, baby Boba, I made a sriracha baby onesie for her very first Halloween. Onesies are currently not available but you can purchase a youth-size Sriracha Shirt on Etsy.

Here are some green hat options to complete your sriracha hot sauce costume:

Steam Bun Costume by Bitty Bao

Bitty Bao costume Materials:⁣

Totoro Family Costumes

This adorable Totoro family costume theme was is from @crystal.z.lee, mama and author. Her book, Kai the Butterfly, follows the butterflies’ migration through Taiwan. A Unicorn Named Rin is a story starring China’s mythical palace unicorns. Crystal’s books introduce Chinese and Taiwanese culture in a fun and magical way.

Totoro Costumes

Vietnamese Pho Noodles Costume

Asian-inspired costumes — baby pho noodles costume

Photo credit @madeleineolivia2018

This is one of the most adorable baby costumes I’ve seen and have saved this image for years. I still don’t know how she got that bowl around her baby!

DIY Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup Costume

Ebi Nigiri Shrimp Sushi Costume

Asian-inspired costumes — baby sushi costume
Photo credit ting and things

This is another one of my favorite baby costumes. It’s so creative and fun and actually not too expensive to make. You can sew, hand-stitch, or even hot glue the fabric. The wasabi and ginger hat is the perfect finishing touch!

DIY Sushi Costume

Get the DIY instructions to make this sushi costume at ting and things or get a similar sushi costume on Etsy.

You’ll notice you can reuse a lot of the materials from the Vietnamese Pho Noodle soup costume.

Here are the items you will need to make this Ebi nigiri shrimp sushi costume:

Another quick DIY alternative is to wrap a black sash around this shrimp backpack. As a bonus, you can use it after Halloween!

Cup of Noodles Costume

Asian-inspired cup of noodles costume

Not into DIY? This cup of noodle onesie with a matching hat is cute and comfortable.

Get the Cup of Noodles costume from Etsy

Pocky Costume

pocky costumes at the Pocky Museum in Taipei

These Asian-inspired costumes were from the Pocky Experience in Taipei. If you want to DIY this costume, you just need a big box and a poster-size print of the box design for the front. Paint the rest of the box to match. It will likely be cheaper than printing all the sides.

Boba Pearl Tea Costume

bubble milk tea boba costume
Image Credit 何郁菲

DIY Boba Costume

This bubble tea/boba costume was created by one loving mama. I was not able to find her original post, but here’s a list of the supplies I would use to recreate this adorable boba milk tea costume.

Fur-baby Asian-Inspired Costumes

This post would not be complete without the detailed and creative costumes from Buster and beans, a trio from Taiwan cooking up your favorite Taiwanese foods. Check out their IG for more puppy and human costume inspo.

Dogs and own dressed in soup dumpling costumes
Photo credit @busterandbeans Soup dumping costume
Dog and owner dressed in diy Tatung rice cooker costumes
Photo credit @busterandbeans Tatung rice cooker costume

Got a favorite? Want to share your DIY costume? Post a comment below and let me know.

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