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What to do with your Halloween Costume When Halloween is Over

Updated on October 1, 2014

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.

Click here to buy the poster of this picture.

Save It

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

Trade It

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.

Resell It

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

Donate it

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.

What do you plan to do with your Halloween costumes when Halloween is done?

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    • kburns421 lm profile image

      kburns421 lm 

      6 years ago

      Wonderful ideas!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Theses are all fantastic ideas. I know I have a bunch of costumes from my childhood still in storage, I should definitely donate them to a good cause

    • Seasons Greetings profile image

      Laura Brown 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great idea for a post. Now what do you do with all that candy? I throw a lot out so I don't end up eating too much of it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens!

    • iPadGeek profile image


      6 years ago

      Lovely! Several ideas out of this lens now. Especially thanks for the link to find a nearby exchange

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      its fun to be with halloweenes............yipeeeeee

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      its interesting ....amazingly

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Piecemeal it out to become other costumes of course!

    • blessedmomto7 profile image


      6 years ago

      We wear ours as dress up or pass them down to the younger siblings.

    • jlshernandez profile image


      6 years ago

      Great idea to recycle old Halloween costumes. I usually keep them and resuse them in a different year or different occasion. Blessed ******

    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 

      6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      We usually donate them, unless there are components like wigs that can be used year after year, and I'll store them. Thanks for sharing these tips. Blessed!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      great Idea

    • emmaklarkins profile image


      6 years ago

      Great subject! I like to keep mine, never know when they'll come in handy!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Great idea! Blessed. Please add this to the non Zazzle plexo on my Halloween Zazzle and Blessings 2011 lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great idea and nice article! I would save it for another year or give it to my younger cousins.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      My kids had a dress-up closet and played "in costume" most of the time. I love your additional ideas, though. Very comprehensive list, nicely done!


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