I dread going to the Halloween store with my children. In five minutes, I can spend $100, it is on something that won’t fit comfortably, is not well made, and that will be worn for less than an hour. My son has begged me to be an ape. He then refused to wear the mask because it made him too hot and he couldn’t see well. He was a headless ape. He did the same thing when he pleaded with me to be a werewolf; the mask was itchy and hot. Again, a headless werewolf and money that was wasted but he promised and I fell for it. Again!
I miss the days where I could buy a fuzzy cute costume and they would wear the costume for three years in a row. Those days are gone but that does not mean that I have to keep going down the rabbit hole of insanely expensive and wasteful costumes. Not when the kids only wear the costume long enough to run around the block, get candy and then rip the costume off and eat the candy.
To solve this problem, I’ve come up with some clever ideas to help others, like myself come up with cheap and simple Halloween costume ideas.
- What’s in Your Closet Now? The easiest place to start is in your own closet. For example, my daughter has cheerleading outfits and leotards from gymnastics. She can be a cheerleader or gymnast for Halloween and I won’t have to spend any extra money. My son, he has just about everything he owns in camo, throw some green face paint on him and an orange vest, he is a hunter. A warm coat, a witch’s hat and some colorful tights and gloves, you have the cutest witch on the block! It’s all in the closet anyhow, so use it!
- Garage Sale, Yard Sale and Thrift Shops Baby! Do not buy anything new when there is some thrift shop out there with the perfect costume call your child’s name. In addition, if your child knows well in advance what they HAVE to be for Halloween, start looking early!
- Ask Your Friends. If your child has to be Captain America, post to Facebook and see if any of your friends have a costume you can borrow or if there is a trade you can make. Maybe you have a princess costume in the closet they need.
- Think Outside the Box. Use a cardboard box, cut holes for the feet, arms and head and paint little squares all over it. BAM you have Steve from Minecraft!
- Support a Local Business. Have your child be a pizza delivery person from their favorite pizza restaurant. Ask the restaurant for a t-shirt and a pizza box. I bet they would love to help your little one!
- Shop Clearance. Halloween costumes go on-sale the night of Halloween or at least the next day. Take advantage of the deep discounts and score some costumes for next year or sell them on eBay or at your next garage sale.
If you need a last minute costume idea, do not break the bank. Get creative and think simple. The sky is the limit if you can get the kiddos to help you think of something they can make. Encourage them to not be like everyone else and come up with something new, something unique. They might surprise you!