What are you ideas for thrifty Halloween costumes, treats, parties and decorations?
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Costume: Bunch of Grapes
I saw this idea in a family magazine and thought it was so cute: blow up a lot of purple balloons and tie them together to resemble a bunch of grapes. Affix to your trick-or-treater and finish off the look with a bright green leaf made from cardboard or heavy construction paper.
Get a clear lawn bag (45 gal.) or trash bag (33 gal.), cut out the appropriate holes for legs and arms. Fill with various colored balloons, (tie off at the bottom so the balloons don't fall out. Tie a scarf around your neck to simulate a fancy ribbon, and attach a sign on the bag "Jelly Beans."
I had a neighbor one-year build a Scarecrow outside by the steps to his house. The Scarecrow was propped up sitting up against the house for about 2 weeks before Halloween. The Scarecrow had a large straw hat pulled down over its face.
Halloween night my neighbor crawled into the Scarecrow body and came "alive" when trick or treaters" got close.
- Amy - Houston
A cardboard box can become almost anything you can imagine. Cut a hole to fit head and shoulders through, add straps to keep it up around your chest, add cardboard wheels and a steering wheel, paint with racing stripes and a number for a race car. Paint it brown and put UPS on it for a delivery truck. With slight detailing changes it can become any vehicle your child wants it to be.
Stick just your head through the bottom of the box. Glue cheap plastic place settings on as well as a paper table cloth or paint the table cloth on. Using paper plates create a platter around the head.
Be a Jack in the Box. Put the box upright, paint it white and put a door on the front. You are now inside a refrigerator. Use your imagination.
The Floor of a Movie Theatre: Glue a bunch of candy wrappers, popcorn and empty cups and junk to your clothes (old ones).
A Character from The Birds (Movie): Tear up an old shirt and glue on several craft store birds (you can get packs of 10 for under $10 at some stores this time of year) and dribble fake blood over your "wounds."
A Lamp: Go to the thrift store and get an old lamp shade, cut two eye holes in it and wear it on your head.
- Holly and Jane
I made myself a spider/fly costume and it was so scary it scared the kids and I had to take it off.. I bought one of the Spider rigs they had in the store where you fill the body part with fiberfill or something very light.. The legs on them are about 4 ft long and hang down nicely. This cost me $1.00. I dressed myself in a fully black outfit of just plain slacks and shirt.. (had this in my closet).
I took some cardboard and made it into half rounds for the fly's eyes and they were painted green and placed to the sides of my head with bobby pins. I bought the webbing you use around the yard or house and covered myself all over with the web.. (fifty cents). I blackened my face with the halloween face stuff they sell for $.99 and used white around my eyes and mouth.. I had also made that little tongue that sticks out of the fly's mouth and wore that for a while, (pipe cleaners). For $2.50 I had myself a great costume and some grownups, at a party I went to, didn't even know who I was.
1 c boiling water
1 pk (4 servings) orange-flavored gelatin
1 can (6 ounce) frozen orange juice concentrate
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add frozen orange juice, apple juice, cold water and stir to blend. Chill. When ready to serve, pour orange juice mixture into a large punch bowl; add lemon-lime beverage and pour over ice cubes. Garnish with thin slices of orange on which you have made faces with thin slices of black jelly candies. Makes about 25 servings ( 4 ounces each).
Tip: Moisten knife with water when cutting black jelly candies so they won't stick to the blade.
Years ago I made a fairly easy and relatively cheap costume that won a prize (gift certificate) in a local Mall costume contest. I designed a world globe out of blue material, a little elastic, and felt pieces. Basically, you stitch a straight line one inch wide on the top and bottom of the material (36" wide) and run the elastic through it. Cut out the shape of countries from the felt and either stitch or glue them on the material in the general position they appear on the globe. Then, stitch the ends of the blue material together to create the large circle. The costume fits under the arms and above the knees for easy walking. Stuff the entire globe with wadded up newspapers to make it puffy and round.
For the past 5 years, thanks to BookCrossing.com, I have given away books at Halloween, but I also plan for the kids who aren't thrilled by reading.
When the back-to-school sales arrive each year, boxes of 24-count crayons go on sale for as little as a dime a box. I stock up on those to use as treats at Halloween. I also provide candy.
Upon arrival, I encourage the kids to choose a book and then a treat. School supplies usually go faster than the candy, except with teens.
Instead of giving candy etc, give them a nickel or some pennies. Tell them to put them in their piggy banks and that will teach them the art of saving instead of taking all the time.
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers come in individually wrapped packages (about 2 oz. ea). Also some companies have individually wrapped pretzel packages. The kids love them and they make a great snack in the lunch box. Hope this helps.
- Karen and Amy - Charlotte, NC
A couple could each take a brown plastic garbage bag, cut openings for the head and arms, then tape a "M" with masking tape or colored tape on the front of each and go as a pair of M & M's.
- Rita W.
I have a metal plant stand that is about 3 feet tall & 10 inches in diameter. (It is like fake wrought iron) It is the perfect size for a midget scarecrow.
We buy a pumpkin, paint a funny face on it with leftover craft acrylic paint and magic markers, put the pumpkin on the top of the plant stand and dress it up in old clothes from the rag bag.
I run a yardstick through the planter just under the head and this becomes the arms (the clothes will hide it). This year she's wearing cutoff jeans, a black sweater, white gloves, and a colorful kerchief.
It only takes about 5 minutes to put it all together (not counting the face-painting, which my teenage daughter takes her time on because she considers each one to be a fine work of art!)
Since we don't cut the face on the pumpkin, it lasts us through the whole month even when it is still hot here in coastal NC. And the clothes can just be thrown away when we're done since they've been sitting out in the weather and they were castoffs to begin with. The yardstick & plant stand come back into the house. No muss, no fuss, not much expense, but it looks really cute!
- Ginger W. - Wilmington, NC
Warning: These mixtures could stain clothing & hurt eyes, so be very careful while applying. Adult supervision recommended. The makeup should come off easily with soap & water. See additional warnings after recipes.
-purple eye shadow
Stuff some cotton balls inside your lip to puff it out. Rub eyeshadow on the puffy area. A little yellow and green eye shadow around the edges will help it look real.
1 T Plain gelatin
1 T Hot water
Mix the gelatin with the hot water and apply to your face with a popcicle stick working fast. To get a layered look, apply more of the mixture over the first application.
2 Drops red food coloring
1 Drop green food coloring
1/2 cup Corn syrup
2 T Milk
Mix together. It looks like blood but tastes like corn syrup.
3/4 c Flour
1/3 c Unpopped popcorn
1 c Water
2 T Corn syrup
2 Drops red food coloring
2 Drops yellow food coloring
Mix the flour, water, popcorn kernels, food coloring and 1 T of the syrup. Dip the cotton balls in the remaining syrup and stick to your face. Press the flour mixture over the cotton balls and other areas. Tilt your head back and let it firm up. To
quick-dry, use a blow dryer on *LOW* for about 3 minutes. It won't dry completely, but it will stop it from dripping off your face.
I must admit that I am an intelligent person and would be able to follow these instructions but some of these ideas do really concern me.
Putting hot water on your face to seal it to make it look scar-like. Blowing something dry on your face with the blowdryer.
Scary thought in some people's minds.
Editor's Note: Thanks for your caution. We hope that our readers will always use common sense when using any tip but it's always good to mention possible cautions.
*Take care when using these makeup recipes that you let the gelatin/water mixture cool enough so that it will not burn the skin and make sure to use the hair dryer on the lowest setting and keep it far enough away from your face that you will not burn yourself.
I have a small appetite so I often order the kids meals at fast food places, which usually come with a toy. I save these toys all year round and hand them out to trick-or-treaters. I have also bought canned sodas when they are on sale for .25 or less per can, then dropped a can of soda in the trick-or-treaters' bags. They are usually thrilled because the bag gets heavy so fast, it feels like they have a lot of goodies!
costumes -- (for a guy) pin cheap rag or plastic baby dolls to a solid color outift, and tell everyone you are a "babe magnet".
For a fun, fairly inexpensive Halloween costume, dress all in light blue, glue clumps of cotton balls (or better still, the more inexpensive cosmetic balls that aren't real cotton!) onto the costume in different spots, and carry a small mister bottle with water in it and every so often lightly mist the air: you're a weather forecast, partly cloudy with occasional showers!
2004 I am going as a "Gold Digger" wearing black pants and sweater, have a yellow ribbon banner ... like Miss America ... with Gold Digger in black letters.
Might even add some foam for big boobs. Did that last year when I went as Dolly Parton with a blond wig and homemade guitar! (got a prize for that).
Will attach some vintage "diamond" like pins to outfit and add flashy rings & gold bracelets, etc. and carry a small camp type shovel that I spray painted gold. I added a psychedelic bow on the shovel handle and a few photo copied dollars glued to it.
I am going to try to get a friend to go as a "sugar daddy" carrying jewely and waving fake dollars! I will make a sign saying "Sugar Daddy" for him to wear or carry a sign ... if he will agree to it!
It is not only the kids that have fun ... seniors do too!
If you are into video games (like our family) you'll like this idea (which we did for this year).
1 pair Blue Sweat Shirt and Sweat Pants (NOT Dark Blue, more of a medium or bright blue is best)
Old childrens or adult bicycle helmet (round kind)
Spray Paint (99cents a can): Red, Blue, Yellow
Testors Model Paint (for details) same colors, plus black (99 cents a bottle)
Flash Light (blue handle, c size battery size)
Picture of Mega Man (can be found off the internet)
Paint the helmet and sweats with the same design as the picture of Mega Man, using the black paint to outline the colors (to make them stand out)
Spray paint the lens of the flashlight yellow
Our 6 year old son loves it! We are even making one for our 4 year old daughter, but with Red being the dominate color!
Always loved this idea for a no cost costume. Dress all in black. Safety pin a bra, one sock, lint from your dryer and a few other articles of clothing onto your outfit. Congratulations, you are now STATIC CLING!
Last year for halloween, I dressed up as a witch. I bought a witch's hat and wig at Walmart. I had a black blouse and long black skirt in my closet and a white hooded cape that I dyed black. The 3 girls are my granddaughters. The little one is my biological granddaughter (pirate princess).
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