|Baby skelly, Halloween 2010|
I've always been a DIY gal when it comes to costumes, making most of my own since I was about 9 years old. I loved making them, but I also loved saving money! Making costumes can be pretty time consuming, however. I made Sprout's very first costume for just a few bucks out of an old t-shirt & some felt, but last year's & this year's were off-the-rack.
Here are my tips for saving money on costumes, whether you make them or not:
Look for costume swaps in your area or set one up with friends & family. We've borrowed an elephant costume for Sprout this year that two of his cousins have worn. October 13th is Costume Swap Day--look for a swap event in your area on the Costume Swap Canada site or the American National Costume Swap site. Buddings Daycare is hosting a swap for costumes & winter gear on October 27th.
|Aiden & Sprout Halloween 2011|
Buy previously loved gear.
Look for a selection of costumes at your local consignment or thrift stores for a lot less than the cost of new. Value Village always has tons of new & used costume pieces as well as clothing that can be turned into costumes. Last year I found a great little bat outfit for Sprout at Wee Ones Reruns, which always stocks a selection of kids' costumes for just $10 & up.
Keep it simple!
You can often put together a great costume with things you have around the house & one or two pieces from a store like Dressew. Dressew, if you don't know, is an incredible fabric store in downtown Vancouver (more about it here in my Vancouver Mom article). They stock tons of costume supplies like wigs, masks, plastic weapons, tights, fake jewellery, feather boas & tons more. I find Dressew's prices to be better than some of the other places in town like Party Bazaar.
What do I mean by simple? Try capes, use bags, make things from paper (recyclable afterward--bonus!), cardboard boxes, or even reworking costumes (a horse can become a unicorn with just a horn) or clothes your kids already have, like embellishing hoodies with teeth, ears or dinosaur scales & tails.
Steal an idea from online. I love looking at Martha Stewart's costume slideshow. Most of these costumes are fairly involved, but some are quite simple, using things you might already have in the house, like cheesecloth. Or take some inspiration from this video of a dad's costume for his son. I'm sure a lot of work went into it, but it all started with a simple cardboard box...
Hope these tips have been helpful. Have you got any to share with us? Leave them in the comments below! Happy Hallowe'en!