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For most thrift stores or stores like "Savers", the proceeds go to a charity like the American Red Cross, for example. Being thrifty to me, doesn't mean "cheap" as some family members have called me, it means saving money that I can use elsewhere!
Check your local dollar stores for accessories you can use to make your costume. For example, this year my niece will be a lady bug. Target has lady bug wings for a dollar. She'll wear black sweat pants with a red sweatshirt top with little black duct tape circles stuck to it. My daughter got a pair of fairy wings for a dollar at Target. We're planning on pairing this up with a dollar tiara, leotards and a body suit. I guess she's going to be some type of fairy ballerina/princess with this one. (I don't sound too sure, do I?)
By Tanja from Malta
I also do the garage sale circuit frequently, and buy costumes in excellent condition for next to nothing. I put the larger sizes aside in a trunk for future use. In the winter, my brother's little kids also wear the warm fuzzy costumes for dress up on a daily basis! (This also works with Christmas decorations too!)
A red sweatsuit can morph into a ladybug using a similar process and so on. If you can use the costume as regular clothing it really costs you nothing as children have to have clothes to wear no matter what. Let your imagination go and you will be surprised at what you can come up with. You might even create a front loading washing machine out of a large box that would hang from the shoulders of an older child with straps. Cut a circle from heavy clear plastic, cut a larger circle from cardboard and paint it silver. Poke a few holes in the box "before" attaching the 2 circles, and stick a few articles of clothing in so that they stick out a bit.
Glue the plastic onto the back of the silver circle and glue both onto the front of the box. Voila, a washing machine with a few items spilling out of it.
The one thing that all of these costumes have in common is that the main thing required to make them is imagination - not money. If you include your child in making them you have created a real treasure - a happy childhood memory. Cherish them, they grow so fast. God bless, Shari
One year she thought that she was too old to dress up, but at the last minute, wanted a costume so she could compete in the costume contest. I was at work and had very limited resources. What we ended up doing was using my eye pencil to draw a circle around her eye, and then we took a piece of construction paper and punched 2 holes in it and threaded yarn through it so that she could wear it around her neck. I then took a magic marker and put a large letter "P" on her sign -- she was a Black Eyed Pea! She won 2nd place in the contest, for an idea that we came up with and executed in about 10 minutes!
Another year, she was "White Trash". We took a clear trash bag and filled it with crumpled white papers and cardboard and then labeled it "White Trash" and tied it around her neck.
You're only limited by your own creativity and imagination!
Feel free to post your ideas below!
No need to spend a lot of money on Halloween costumes. The Dollar Store has a lot of children's toys and things that you can make a costume with. For girls, fairy wings and a wand, play jewelry, and gloves can make a cute fairy.
The best solution we found was to shop the week *after* Halloween for the following year. For instance, my daughter wanted us all to be characters from the Wizard of Oz. We could not afford the costumes in time for Halloween 2010, but they were 75% off the first week of November!
When my daughter was young, we'd go to the local Salvation Army Store and get her a prom dress or some old outfit that she could tear and make look all ragged. Paying a couple of dollars was the best way to go for something she'd only wear once.
I got a brand new Minnie Mouse costume on Freecycle. I saw from the pictures that the trim in the front was damaged, and it was pretty obvious. I decided to take it anyway, as I have lots of trim I have bought at garage sales.
Creating or coming up with a homemade Halloween costume is easily done by searching through someone else's closet! Simply ask a friend or sibling if you can pick a costume from their closet.
My husband is a viking for Halloween, because a few years ago we found him a marvellous plastic viking hat complete with horns. This year, we added other plastic elements from the Dollar store.
Keep your eye out all during the year for items to possibly toss together to make inexpensive Halloween costumes during your everyday wanderings out while shopping.
Don't buy a new costume for you or your children this Halloween. Buying Halloween costumes on eBay can save you a lot of money.
Do an internet search for face painting ideas. Last year I found a great fleece lion costume for $5.
This time of year, you get all the sale ads for halloween costumes; save them!
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Where can I get a non-sexy costume cheap? One I can wear in public around kids and one I can also have fun at work and public with.
Theressa from Westerville, Ohio
I had the best time last year with a costume I believe I found on this site. I wore white pants and an oversize white sweatshirt. On the sweat shirt I had whipstitiched (could also glue) a yellow oval made from scrape material. I dotted a little red glitter all over the front, then wore a hair band that had devil horns and attached a red devil tail to the underside of the sweatshirt so it hung out the back. No one could figure out what I was - and what was I? A deviled egg, of course!