Somehow this year Halloween has snuck up on me. I can hardly believe that it is just a little more than a week away. The stores are full of brightly colored bags of candy and racks of poorly made character themed costumes.
Honestly? I try not to buy into the madness. I like to help the kids make costumes out of things we have on hand instead of buying one use costumes that will rip in an evening and not fit the next year.
This year Princess has decided to be a rock star. Again. Although she tried to talk me into buying an entire new outfit I resisted. We compromised with her putting together a “stylish” outfit from things she already has, using leftover glitter hairspray & real makeup, and maybe ONE new sparkly accessory. Preferably from the Dollar Store!
Buddy has waffled. First he wanted to be a ghost, so I headed out to find a sheet. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a plain white sheet at the thrift store? Everyone buys colors or patterns now. I finally found an off white/cream sheet for $3.
Then he changes his mind and says maybe he’d rather be a robot. I had visions of a complex costume involving tin foil & boxes and an inability to bend ones knees. . . so I bring up the ghost idea again hoping to do a classic parental redirect. He says “Maybe I can be a Robot Ghost!”. Great, so now I envision the robot costume, done in white with white face paint and hair color. . . I decided to let the topic rest for a few days.
This last Monday Buddy came up to me and told me he had made a final decision on his costume. “Mama” he says “I want to be a giant EYEBALL!”.
Original dreams of a wire frame and cloth or white trashbags bowed to reality. . . there is no need to make this whole concept harder than it has to be. After all this costume just needs to stand up to a 15 minute parade in school and then an hour or so of trick o’ treating. So I am going with a simple sandwich board style creation.
Here is my concept:
I plan on making it out of cardboard and maybe using duct tape (love duct tape!) to make the straps. He’ll just wear solid black underneath.
In my circle the adults don’t usually dress up for Halloween-we are too busy shuttling the kiddos around for trick o’ treating and then trying to keep them from pinging too much on sugar at the annual family style party afterwards. That may change as the kids get older-I personally would love an excuse to get all dressed up!
There are plenty of inexpensive and clever costume ideas that can be made out of items you either already have at home or can pick up for a pittance at a thrift store.
Inexpensive Halloween Costume Ideas
Gypsy: Take a flowy skirt, white top (off the shoulder is nice but not necessary) & tuck some scarves into the waistband. Add a scarf around your head, some hoop earrings & bangles and go heavy handed with the eyeshadow.
FBI Agent: Wear a suit & sunglasses, thread one earbud up under your shirt into your ear. Spend a time covertly talking into your watch.
Farmer: Get denim overalls (or just jeans), plaid shirt, bandana & a straw hat. Have a piece of hay in your mouth and carry around a pitchfork or a watering can as a prop.
Farmer Variation I, Scarecrow: Add straw (or brown paper bags cut to look like straw) around wrists & ankles. Use eye liner to draw “stitching” around neck and on cheek.
Farmer Variation II, Cowboy: Add cowboy boots and a Stetson
Hooker: Buy the tacky clothes you can find at the thrift store, add too much makeup, jewlery & hairspray.
Doctor: Buy at the thrift store or borrow from a friend scrubs &/or a lab coat. make a nametag on the computer & use a childrens toy stethescope around your neck.
Doctor Variation, Mad Scientist: Give yourself some crazy hair with lots of gel, give lots of wild eyed looks and carry around a beaker-if you can add dry ice to have smoke pouring out the top all the better! Feel free to print out a name tag on the computer “Dr. Frankenstien” or “Dr. Insanity”. . .
50’s, 60’s, 70’s or 80’s: The thrift store has a plethora of out of date clothes! Find the best stereotypical example of a bygone decade and wear it with pride!
Bridesmaid: Most women probably have something in the closet to use for this one. Dress in that lime green dress, shoes & purse that your friend Sally INSISTED you’d be able to wear again-see! She was right!
Bride: Pull out your old wedding dress, or if that is sacriledge then find one at the thrift store. Add Dollar store flowers, a veil or tiara (cheaper the better-again dollar store is your friend)
Bride/Bridesmaid Variation, Beauty Pageant/Prom Queen: Add a sash (paper or fabric, lettering can be done with a metallic sharpie)tiara, bouquet of fake roses and borrow some rhinestone jewelery. Throw in your best Pageant wave & you are ready!
Nerd: Pants hiked up to high with the hem too short, white socks with dress shoes, masking tape on your glasses, a pocket protector (or pocket full of pens, and a bad shirt. Grease your hair back into a true nerdy hair do and spend a lot of time laughing nasally.
Classic Reporter: Wear a suit and a fedora, tuck a sign that says “press” and throw an old 35mm camera around your neck.
80’s Jogger: Find an old track suit (velour preferrable!). Add running shoes and wrist/head bands (can be quickly made out of a terry towel if necessary). Say things like “no pain no gain!”
Chef/Cook: Apron & Chefs hat (if you can find one). Carry a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon.
Playboy Bunny: Black leotard or bathing suit, nylons, heels, bunny tail (Made from cotton balls?) and bunny ears (headband & construction paper?)
Variations on all: Zombie or Vampire version. Just add gorey face paint and fangs as necessary.
What other ideas do you have for easy & inexpensive Halloween costumes?