What to do with your Halloween Costume When Halloween is Over
Reuse or Recycle It. Just Don't Throw It Out!!
Halloween. The yard has been decorated. The costumes put on and the pictures taken. The candy has been given away. Everything's done and it was a great night. Now comes the aftermath. Going through kids' candy and rationing it out so they don't eat too much at once. Cleaning up the decorations and putting them away for next year.
Yep, it's all covered....except for the costumes. What do you do with the costumes? You bought each kid the perfect costume so they could be exactly what they wanted for Halloween. You either made the costume, putting in hours of work and love into the costume or you bought it and paid a decent amount of money for an outfit that would only be worn for a few hours on one night.
Now these Halloweeney masterpieces are obsolete....Or are they?? Here I have compiled a list of things you can do with your gently used Halloween costumes that don't involve throwing them away.
Saving the costume is a no-brainer under certain circumstances. If you have more than one child, you can save the older children's costumes so the littler ones can wear them when they get bigger. Or you can save yours or your teenager's costumes for reuse another year. Costume accessories such as wigs, hats or jewelry are also great for saving because many times they can be reused in a completely different costume.
In future years, when you pull the costumes out of storage, you can just clean them up and reuse them. You'll have free costumes for years to come. Of course, if you want you can also tweak them. Some costumes are easy to change. For instance, you can take a monkey costume and change the ears and tail to make a dog costume. The possibilities are almost endless.
Photo by Rich in MN
Play With It
If you are lucky, you will get your child a costume he wants to keep wearing over and over and over again. This happened with me and my son one Halloween. He wanted to be a Jedi for Halloween, so I went out and bought him Jedi robes and a light saber. He LOVED his costume. Throughout October, all he would do was ask me if he could wear his Jedi robes and play with his light saber. (Did I mention that he's a complete Star Wars freak?) He was SO happy the day he got to wear it at a Halloween party. Then after Halloween was over, he kept putting on the robe, picking up the light saber and pretending to be a Jedi. I think he wore that Jedi robe until he outgrew it. And that light saber is still laying around somewhere in his room.
You can do this with your child's costume too. Halloween costumes make great additions to a child's dress up box. Put your child's costume there and see how much she plays with it. Some good ideas for costumes children will love to keep wearing after Halloween are princess, cowgirl, and fairy costumes for girls. Boys will love to keep playing with cowboy, fireman, and super hero costumes. Costumes from popular kids' movies are also great choices. The best costumes for this, though, are the ones that your child absolutely loves. That Jedi costume was definitely the best Halloweeen costume I ever bought.
Photo by abbybatchelder
Trading costumes with a friend is a great way to reuse them after Halloween is done. Find a friend who wears the same size and you're in business.
Better yet, hold a neighborhood costume exchange. Have everyone bring their gently used costumes to one central location. They can also bring clothes and accessories that can be used as costumes. The person in charge arranges the costumes by size and type, making sure to keep all pieces of a costume together. Then, at a designated time, everyone comes over and picks out a new costume to wear next Halloween.
Costume exchanges can be organized for any medium to large group of people. It could also work well with churches and clubs. This can be a fun way to give old costumes new life.
Photo by Sahaja Meditation
Halloween Costume Exhanges
Here is a collection of videos about Halloween costume exchanges that people have organized so that more costumes can be reused.
These days it's really easy to take old things and sell them to make a little extra money. It is no different with Halloween costumes. Your best bet is to hold onto your costume until September or October. Then list your costume on eBay or Craigslist. This will get you the most money since this is when people are looking for Halloween costumes. Of course, if you just want to get the costume out of your house, you can list your costume as soon as Halloween is over, but you won't get as much money for it.
Photo by Images of Money
eBay Costume Deals
Here are some of the many costumes that are being auctioned off on eBay.
Decorate With It
Another thing you can do with an old Halloween costume is to turn it into next year's great Halloween decoration. You could stuff it with newspapers and straw and turn it into a scarecrow. Or you could hang it on a frame with a mask or a Jack 'O Lantern head. You could stuff it and lay it on the grass for a creepy graveyard scene. Another idea is to put your old costume on a life-sized skeleton. Add a wig for a creepier effect. You could have lots of fun wtih all of the creative things you can do with your old costumes.
Photo by soundfromwayout
If you don't want to save your child's costume and you don't want to resell it or trade it, you can always donate it. There are lots of charities out there that will take your gently used costume. Then next Halloween they will either give it to a needy child or resell it in their thrift shop.
I have found some charities, which I have listed below, that take donations of Halloween costumes. However, this is not an exhaustive list. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of local charities that will also take your donation of a gently used Halloween costume. One good place to donate is your local women's or homeless shelter. Many children are served by these organizations, and many of them have no way of having a costume unless it is given to them. These children definitely need our help.
Donating a Halloween costume is a great thing to do because it keeps the costume from cluttering up your house, it helps a good charity and people in need, and you can write it off on your taxes. When you donate your used Halloween costume, everyone wins. And that's a really good thing.
Photo by adiything
Halloween Donation Video
This video is about a school that collected costumes to create a costume bank for less fortunate kids. It made it so that every year costumes are available for children to borrow so nobody in the area will be without a costume.