At our Halloween party last year the best costumes were definitely Bloody Mary and the Boy-with-pencils-stabbed-into-his-head-and-body (also extremely bloody). They were the kids of a frugal and creative friend of mine, who proudly made the costumes herself, spending very little and putting the rest of our store-bought outfits to shame. I admit that I love surfing the web (months in advance, like an obsessed woman) for Halloween costumes, but when I think about how much I actually spend for these costumes to be used once or twice (or more if you get the younger siblings to re-use), it really isn’t funny.
The other day I thought I’d go through all the costumes/dress-up items we had, and we had three very large plastic boxes filled to the brim. Far too much. None of them were homemade of course, since I am completely talentless when it comes to sewing of any kind. If you must know, I actually hate it! But as one of my mantras this new year (it was my birthday last week) is to SAVE money and SPEND less, I am really really going to try and get creative with some homemade costumes this year.
Here’s what I found online, with a few of my favorite ones (fun and easy!):
1. The Robot – My 4-year-old son loves robots, and this is great for using recycled items around the house. You can go on the high side with spending (one parent spent $40 making one), but this “Candybot” seems easy and thrifty enough. With used boxes of different sizes, some paint and maybe some tin foil, a homemade robot could be yours for the taking!
2. The Dorothy – Ok, so this is an Ebay item, but still great I think. The Wizard of Oz is beloved in our household, and I thoroughly approve of a timeless costume like Dorothy, rather than some TV star who probably will be forgotten by next year. And with its unbeatable price of $5, including the ruby slippers and D’s wig, I say it’s a fab purchase.
3. The Lego Boy (or Girl) – Which kid doesn’t like LEGO? I like how you’ll be able to find your child easily in the sea of Halloween costumes. And there’s a big chance little brother or little sister will want to use this one again. It takes less than an hour (I kid you not) to make this bright little number, so no excuses for us busy Moms!
4. The Mummy – When a little boy swathed in bandages came trick-or-treating at my house last year I thought it was the cutest thing. It’s one of those costumes that are incredibly cheap, easy and pack a good punch! Simply buy (borrow or beg) gauze or bandage rolls, apply, and hey presto! You have an authentic yet spooky costume. Add a bit of red paint and grey makeup and things get even scarier!
5. Cheap and Cheerful – You can actually spend NOTHING at all this Halloween by going with the old Charlie Brown classic – the white bed sheet with holes. How charmingly retro! For more costs-next-to-nothing ideas, the Dollar Stretcher has some very simple tips – like a Nerd (her son won first prize with this!), Angel (use the same ghost’s sheet and make a halo with kitchen foil) and the very cute Heart playing cards made from cardboard and cut-out hearts! Would be perfect for twins, I think.
6. More Ideas Like Making Fake Blood– For lots more simple ideas you can do in mere minutes (from Rappers to Deviled Eggs), and making your own props (like no-sew capes, hooray!) and makeup, this page from Mahalo is a veritable one-stop resource for all of the above.
7. Ask For Donations! – Now here’s an idea that’s nice for Mom (and the Earth), but might not fly so well with the offspring. If a family member or friend asked me if they could borrow a Halloween costume for their kid, maybe something one of my kids have outgrown, I’d happily say yes. A chance to recycle and free up space at home! So ask around and chances are you’ll get a great costume thats only been worn once or twice. Borrowing might have a better success rate with under 3’s, but I say give it a whirl anyway.