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Budget Friendly Costumes - Tips for Cutting Costume Costs

October 4, 2010
Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Your next Halloween costume doesn't have to cost a fortune. You can make your own costume for cheap by using items you already have around the house. In fact, a homemade Halloween costume not only helps you pinch pennies, but it ensures that your look will be totally unique and truly memorable!

Best of all, making your own costume doesn't need to be complicated or time-consuming. With a small amount of creativity, just an iota of craftsmanship, and a few easily obtainable items, it's simple to put together a costume that will steal the show.

To help, we've put together a few budget-friendly tips for creating a fabulous homemade Halloween costume:

Open Your Mind

Anything can inspire a costume look for ideas in magazines, on TV, or wherever you go. A character from your favorite book, a favorite (or hated) celebrity, politicians in the news, something from your kitchen. Print out a photo of any celebrity and wear it as a mask. Pick any object and make a human-sized version out of posterboard, fabric or a cardboard box. Take the pieces from your favorite game and attach them all over yourself. Or even browse online costume retailers; you can make your own homemade version of something they sell. Or maybe you'll see one piece--like a cape, mask or hat--that can spark inspiration for something great!

Use What You Already Own

And you can save big by starting with what you already have. Check out your own closet...and your husband's closet, and your kid's closet...you get the idea. Those pajamas can be turned into a genie costume, that old bridesmaid dress can become a princess gown, your husband's big orange sweatshirt can make a great pumpkin costume! And don't forget to consider last year's Halloween costume in a whole new way. Maybe that fairy dress can be re-imagined as a Tooth Fairy costume this year. Or the bunny costume you wore 3 years ago can be dirtied up and turned into a Dust Bunny costume!

Go For the "I Didn't Try Very Hard" Look

Rather than bother with an elaborate Tin Man costume, with silver make-up, tin legs arms, etc., just settle for sticking a funnel on top of your head. Or, instead of a complicated bunny costume, just stick a cotton ball to your behind, and call it good!

Tag Along

Is your wife or best friend wearing an elaborate costume? You can be their partner without the hassle. She's a mouse? Dress in yellow clothes and go as her cheese. Or let your partner go all out with an intricate vampire costume, and all you need are two bloody puncture marks on your neck to be his victim.

Don't Overcomplicate

It's not necessary to drag out the sewing machine, or even needle and thread. Do you even need to even put a hem on that cape? Probably not. And if you must, how about using glue? Or just throw in a couple of staples. Need a vest? Just grab any old t-shirt and a pair of scissors, cut off the arms, collar and bottom hem, and make a cut up the front. Done.

Get Your Kids on Board

If kids get their heart set on an elaborate (and thus expensive) costume, then it'll be hard to steer them away. Beat them to the punch and encourage them to brainstorm some ideas first. Once they narrow down the type of costume they want, you can start working with them to decide the best and most economical way to put it together. Get them excited about homemade costumes by browsing for pictures of great costumes online.

Reuse, Recycle

Hit the thrift stores and garage sales to pick up great pieces for your homemade costume, or shop eBay! Check with your friends to see if they have kids costumes to trade. And don't forget to donate your costumes when Halloween is over--others will love them!

Save Even When You Buy

If you're set on buying a costume, you can still pinch pennies. Look for discounts and shop around. Most costumes are available at more than one store. And buy early. That will give you the best chance at a good price, and will leave you time to make an exchange in case there is a problem. And watch shipping costs if you buy online. You can usually find a place that offers free shipping if you buy at least 2-3 weeks early.

Make your own accessories

The costs of accessories can really add up. You'd be surprised what you can put together if you use a little creativity. Need a crown? Don't pay for one when you can make a great one out of cardboard, foil and the jewels from an old costume necklace. Don't buy a fake beard when you can simply cut some fur off of an old stuffed animal and attach it to your face with spirit gum.

 
 

 

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