The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

Halloween Costumes: Dressing Up on a Budget Shouldn’t be Scary

October 4, 2013

“What do you want to be?”Halloween Costumes on a Budget

Ask a child that question any day of the week and you’re likely to hear “doctor,” “lawyer,” “teacher” or even “computer geek” but ask that question around Halloween time and you can forget the career track. Expect to hear answers ranging from “angel” to “vampire.”

Dressing up for Halloween is a time for kids to indulge their fantasies but sometimes the associated price tag is enough to make parents want to hide under the bed. If store-bought costumes break the budget or if you want a costume for your child that other kids won’t be wearing, consider making one yourself with our budget friendly Halloween costume ideas. Think of it as creating your own little angel or monster!

Witch: The story here is basic black. Create a cape from a piece of inexpensive black cloth such as felt or fleece, and then sew on some ribbons. Add a black T-shirt and long black skirt from a thrift shop. Visit a novelty or Halloween store to find a must-have pointed hat, or borrow one if you can. Make a few fake warts from puffed wheat cereal colored with face paint, and then paste them on using a mixture of flour and water, or a white glue that’s safe for skin and easy to remove. Your little witch will be almost ready to fly!

Princess or fairy:  You can recycle a dance recital outfit for the ultimate in budget friendly Halloween costumes. To complete the look, add a tiny crown and wand from a dollar store, and get creative with some glitter makeup. To morph a basic princess outfit into a fairy costume, you could purchase wings online for less than $10 or else make your own out of tulle and pipe cleaners or cardboard using online tutorials or videos, if you wish.

Clown: Limit your purchases to face paint and a red plastic nose. The clothing can be any combination of oversized, brightly colored duds from dad or an older child. Sneakers are fine for footwear, but select your child’s brightest pair. The inventories of older relatives may be a source for a wig and a hat. Voilà, you have a costume!

Superhero: Superhero garb tends to be distinctive and elaborate, so don’t knock yourself out trying to put together a perfect match. Have no fear – you can create a budget friendly superhero costume! Focus on the basic color scheme (think blue and red for Superman or Supergirl) and then head to the closet to find clothes that match those colors. Visit a fabric store to buy cloth to make into a simple cape, on to which you can apply a superhero’s logo. Add an inexpensive mask and some face paint, and you’re done.

Vampire: Dig out some black clothes from your child’s closet. Black sweats are good enough. The cape can be made from a simple piece of black cloth, cut a bit on the long side to emphasize the vampire’s dramatic persona. (Make sure the cape is not so long that it poses a tripping hazard.) Limit your novelty purchase to the fake fangs. Wet your child’s hair, slick back with a little gel and hairspray, and you’ll get an enviable “Dracula” look.

Angel: This costume is simple and sweet, and shouldn’t bedevil your budget. Dress up your angel in white clothing, a foil halo, cardboard wings adorned with glitter and feathers. Then stand back and admire your heaven-sent child!

After Halloween, find a place to store your homemade costumes and accessories. Siblings can reuse wigs, capes, wands and other items from your budget friendly costumes on Halloweens. You’ll be storing up some happy memories, too!

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Categories: Saving Money
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