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Finding Inexpensive Halloween Costumes For Kids

Updated on October 15, 2007

It is that time of year again. Halloween is right around the corner. With 4 kids needing costumes, this could cost me a small fortune. I prefer not to spend money on costumes specifically for Halloween though. We have acquired a lot of costumes and parts of costumes over the years that should make do. We have also learned to think creatively and frugally.

We have a huge bucket of dress up clothes. The children have received dress up clothes for numerous birthdays. These items go along with their interest at the time. Like I said we don't specifically buy Halloween costumes. When I am out at garage sales I always keep an eye out for costumes. I have purchased many old Halloween costumes for around $1. The kids wear these year round. I can't possibly be the only person who has children that wear costumes all year. I fondly remember a football player outfit that was worn for 6 months - every day! That one was thrown away as it was beyond repair by the end of the 6 months.

Purchasing costumes throughout the year will save you money come Halloween time. Your children can enjoy them all year and when it comes time to go trick or treating they can pick their favorite costume out of the dress up bucket and wear that. Aren't they always begging to wear it out of the house anyway? Now is their chance!

We have also gotten pretty creative with using things we have around the house. My son wanted to be a pirate one year. The pirate costumes you typically find on the market are pretty silly and a little feminine in my opinion. I knew we could come up with something better. I made a simple vest and eye patch out of black fabric. He wore these along with black jeans, red turtleneck and a red bandana. We stuck a sword through his belt and he was set. He looked much scarier than the costumes we had seen in the stores.

This year my daughter wants to be a horse back rider. I had found some riding pants at a garage sale for $.25. While searching the house for some inspiration for a helmet I came upon a construction hard hat that we had gotten from a garage sale many years ago. I have covered it in fabric to match the pants and it looks just like the riding helmets riders wear. She will also wear a turtleneck tucked in, boots and carry a long stick that looks like a whip. She is in heaven with this simple homemade costume.

Children do not have to dress up like the latest cartoon character they see on Nickelodeon. There are so many ideas other than TV characters. What is your child interested in? I remember one year dressing up as a soccer player. If you have a child that plays sports then you have a costume ready to go with what they wear to play. A younger child might love to dress up like their big brother does for his games.

My oldest son wants to be a bird watcher this year. Camouflage or brown pants and shirt, safari hat and binoculars complete this costume. Other favorites from my house that would be easy to come up with are a construction worker, chef, cub scout, baseball player, gymnast, Indian, pioneer girl, space alien, ghost, and knight. Chances are that what your child is interested in would make a good Halloween costume, and if they are already interested in it then it should make an easy sell.

Bottom line is you don't have to spend a fortune on costumes. Look around your house, talk to your child about what they want to be and ask them to come up with a costume. I bet you will be surprised at what a good costume kids can create on their own. Kids are very creative. If all else fails and you do have to purchase a costume, check consignment stores and /or Ebay before buying retail.

After Halloween make sure you check the sales. Purchasing generic parts of costumes or whole costumes that you know your kids love will make next year's Halloween easier on you. Halloween should be a time of fun - not spending. So be creative and have fun!


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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Ok what about the jacket that didn't help at all. Haven't you noticed that horseback riders ware a jacket. Besides kids can still be spongebob with a cardboard box painted like him.

    • Jennifer profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      I mentioned some ideas on things from around the house, like the horse back rider and bird watcher. Be creative with what you have and what your kids want to be.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      ok that certainly didn't help. i wanted to be told how to make the costumes from around the house.


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