Halloween can be super overwhelming for parents. Especially when there are so many options and expectations of elaborate and creative costumes. You can buy, you can make, you can Pinterest until your heart’s content. When I was growing up I had some awesome costumes and many were homemade. And not just slapping something together, like my mom took out the sewing machine and everything! I mean look at this masterpiece:
How cool is that?! That’s a lot of love put in that Hershey Kiss costume. I always said I wanted to make my kids costumes. I feel like I’ve made a solid effort over the last 7 years of being a mom, but let’s be honest, the time, money and patience that goes into making costumes for every kid is not for me. I have made a point to make at least one kid’s costume every year. But even just buying costumes at a retail store can be crazy expensive! I need that extra money to get a bag of Halloween candy before I get the Halloween candy because I’ve eaten the first bag. Don’t judge me.
So over the years I’ve come up with some tricks to getting creative with my kids costumes while also living on a budget and very little extra time.
Check your inventory
First and foremost, check out what you have. It’s amazing the things you can come up with just from looking around. Think diaper boxes, dress up bins, mom’s make up, dad’s hats or ties or old craft supplies. Even kid’s regular clothes. There are a lot of costume ideas that use bib overalls, which many kids have in their closet. Also check with the inventory of those around you. A friend or family member may have an old costume that you could borrow and then it won’t cost you anything. We got this super cute candy corn witch costume when looking through some old stuff in my mom’s basement. Cute AND free!And as I mentioned, diaper boxes work GREAT for costumes. Here’s a couple I’ve done with them. Both times this kid was the hit of Halloween! The John Deere tractor had working headlights and the Lego costume only cost me $5 to make!
Reinvent old costumes
Have a costume from an older kid that you could take pieces from to use on a younger kid? You might be surprised what you can come up with. Have glasses from a nerd costume? Use them to make an old man costume with them. How about an old white tulle skirt? Add a black felt eyes and mouth and you’ve got a ghost. For this costume, we had a pink tulle skirt already made from a previous costume, so I pulled out my trusty pink glue gun and added some white polka dots, some shoulder straps and a pretty pink bow and voila! Minnie Mouse!
A little Tulle goes a long way
While we’re on the subject of tulle, get yourself some! There are so many great costume ideas that utilize tulle. It’s SUPER easy to make a tulle skirt/dress, then just add the desired embellishments and you have a whole lot of costumes you can make. And tulle is relatively cheap, and often goes on sale. Below you can see a couple more tulle costumes I’ve done in the past. My twins were salt and pepper for their first Halloween and on the right Millie is sporting a cookie monster costume while her twin brother was a cookie. Nom nom nom!
Check garage sales and online sale sites
I live in a small town but we have a whole bunch of sale sites on Facebook. This allows people to sell their gently used stuff without having a full on garage sale which can be great for times like Halloween. Many people will post old costumes for a fraction of the price. Or just check garage sales like I did when I came across this super cute giraffe costume. It was on the last day of the sale so everything was half price, got this bad boy for $3! It was really just luck because I wasn’t looking for a costume but it worked out great and my little guy got a lot of compliments. Garage sales tend to be in the spring and early summer but don’t put Halloween out of your mind just because it’s a few months away.
Buy small business
Sometimes once you’ve gone through your inventory you realize you just need one item to finish off your costume. This a great time to buy small business! There are a ton of places like Etsy that have unique items to help finish off a costume. You get away with keeping costs down and you will likely make the day of that small business owner. I found this onsie on Etsy to make this little dude look like Charlie Brown. I had a 6 month old bald little boy, I couldn’t NOT do Charlie Brown. Getting the onsie was the only purchase I had to make for this entire costume. Perfect!
Have fun with it
Don’t make it a stressful time. Come up with something with you and your child together. Kids have great imaginations, let them roll with it. I start asking my kids what they want to be in September because I know they will change their minds a million times before October rolls around. So I can at least start thinking about what we have around the house that we could use to keep it both creative and within the budget.
If you’re like me and you love getting creative but don’t have a ton of extra cash or time to spend on costumes, it really is possible to have a successful Halloween. This year is up in the air yet for the kids on what they are doing. Except the 5 year old is determined to be Steve from Minecraft. I think that will be my homemade costume this year. Wish me luck!
Happy Halloween to you and yours!
Don’t forget to have a little fun today!