If you are trying to save money, you may be in need of some frugal Halloween costume ideas. Ideally, you will have someone else's costume you can borrow--if you have friends whose kids are close in age and size, you can even set up an annual "costume swap." But, if the supply of free costumes has dried up and you know you will need to make your own, there are several ideas that come in under 10 bucks.
The first thing you should do is take a peek in your kid's closet and in your own. There is usually quite a bit of raw material in your own home from which you can fashion a fun costume. Add a few details from a party store, and you are set!
All this costume takes is a pair of overalls, a plaid shirt and some boots. Add a straw hat for a finishing touch.
All you need is your child's rain boots and slicker; add a fireman's helmet and even have your kid carry a stuffed Dalmatian.
Sports Hero (or Heroine)
If your child plays on a sports team, does gymnastics, or is in ballet class, have your child wear his practice clothes as a costume.
Take an old pair of black pants (sweatpants work especially well), and cut them off at the knee, leaving the hems ragged. Add a scarf for a belt and a scarf for a do-rag. A white dress shirt or t-shirt will work for the top; have your child wear boots, too. An eye patch and a gold clip-on hoop earring can easily be found at a party supply store.
If your daughter is into dress-up, you probably already have all the elements you need for a princess costume. All it takes is a pretty dress, sparkly shoes and a crown.
This one is especially adorable for tweens. Have your daughter wear pajamas, a big bathrobe and fuzzy slippers, wrap her hair in a towel, and paint her face green with face paint. If you have hair rollers (usually a few bucks at the dollar store), you can do her hair in rollers rather than in the towel for an extra cute touch.
This is an old-school favorite. All it takes is some tattered clothes, such as an old plaid shirt and holey shoes. Add a few iron-on patches to a worn-out pair of jeans. Use a bamboo pole and tie a red bandana on one end. A touch of gray or brown eye shadow can create the perfect 5 o'clock shadow.
If you have some rudimentary sewing skills, making a kitty cat costume should be pretty easy. Sew a tail onto a black leotard; have your daughter wear the leotard with black tights. Use black eyeliner to paint "whiskers" on her face and even blacken the tip of her nose. Specialty headbands with kitty cat ears can be found at a party supply store.
You don't have to give up living frugally during the holidays! All it takes is a little ingenuity, and you can make a money-saving Halloween costume out of almost anything you have at home.
Sarah Baker is a documentary filmmaker and writer currently living in New Bern, NC. Her first book, Lucky Stars: Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, will be published December 2009. Read more about her.