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Halloween is just around the corner, and everyone is gearing up for the spooky season. But dressing up in a fun costume doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little creativity and some smart shopping, you can find affordable or even free costumes that will make you the star of your next Halloween party. Here’s how:
DIY: Craft Your Own Costume
Before you head to the store, take a look around your home. With a bit of imagination, everyday items can be transformed into unique costumes.
- Old Clothes: Rummage through your closet for old clothes that can be repurposed. A white sheet can become a ghost, while an old flannel shirt can be the start of a scarecrow outfit.
- Craft Supplies: Glitter, paint, and cardboard can be used to create accessories like wands, shields, or hats.
DIY Halloween Costume Ideas:
- Ghost: A classic choice. Use an old white sheet, cut out eye holes, and you’re set!
- Mummy: Wrap yourself in white bandages or toilet paper. Add some dark makeup around your eyes for a more haunting effect.
- Zombie: Distress some old clothes by ripping and dirtying them. Use makeup for a “dead” look.
- Scarecrow: Wear an old flannel shirt, jeans, and a straw hat. Add some straw or yellow yarn to the cuffs and collar for effect.
- Robot: Use cardboard boxes painted silver or gray. Attach various lids and caps to mimic buttons and dials.
- Medusa: Wear a green outfit and attach rubber snakes to a headband.
- Grapes: Attach purple or green balloons to a shirt and wear matching pants.
- Static Cling: Attach socks, small clothing items, and dryer sheets to your clothes with safety pins.
- Tourist: Wear a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, socks with sandals, and carry a camera around your neck.
- Paper Doll: Cut a “dress” or “outfit” out of a large piece of cardboard and paint it to look like a paper doll’s clothing. Attach to your front using strings.
- Cereal Killer: Attach mini cereal boxes to a shirt, and make small cuts in them. Add some red paint for a “bloody” effect and carry a plastic knife.
- French Kiss: Dress up like a French person with a beret, striped shirt, and a scarf. Then, paint your face like a member of the rock band KISS.
- Bubble Bath: Attach white balloons to a white outfit. Carry a rubber duck and wear a shower cap.
- Fork in the Road: Wear an all-black outfit and attach a large plastic fork to it. Use white tape or fabric paint to create a dashed line down the center of the outfit.
- Smarty Pants: Glue or tape rolls of Smarties candies onto a pair of pants.
- Bread Winner: Wear a medal around your neck and carry a loaf of bread.
- Spice Girls: Attach spice jars to a skirt or dress, and carry a microphone.
- Jellyfish: Use an umbrella and hang strips of bubble wrap or fabric from the edges. Wear all white or blue.
- Rain Cloud: Attach cotton balls to a blue outfit for clouds, and hang strings of blue beads or paper raindrops beneath them.
- Gumball Machine: Attach colorful pom-poms to a white shirt, and wear red pants. Create a “25¢” sign out of cardboard and attach it to your waist.
Organize or participate in a costume swap with friends, family, or neighbors. It’s a great way to recycle costumes from previous years and get a new-to-you outfit for free.
Thrift Stores and Garage Sales
Thrift stores and garage sales are gold mines for affordable costumes. Not only can you find actual costumes that people have worn once and discarded, but you can also find clothing and accessories to create your own unique look.
Websites like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or Freecycle often have listings for free or cheap costumes. Always ensure to meet in public places and inspect the costume before purchasing.
Rent Instead of Buy
Have you ever considered renting a costume? Some stores offer rental options for a fraction of the purchase price. This is especially useful for more elaborate costumes that you might only wear once.
Shop After-Halloween Sales
If you’re planning ahead, shop for costumes right after Halloween. Many stores offer deep discounts on costumes and accessories to clear out inventory. You can also find some discounts the day before Halloween too.
Use Coupons and Discounts
Before buying a costume from a store or online, search for coupons or discount codes. Many retailers offer special promotions in the weeks leading up to Halloween.
Sometimes, less is more. Opt for costumes that require minimal accessories or makeup. For instance, a black cat only needs ears and a tail, or a mime can be achieved with just face paint.
Finding a cheap or free Halloween costume doesn’t mean compromising on quality or creativity. With a little effort and imagination, you can have a fantastic costume without spending a fortune.