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Homemade Halloween Costumes

Original and Cheap Halloween Costumes

Posted on 10/4/2012 12:46 EST
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Boo! It's almost Halloween so we're going to treat you to some spooky statistics and trick you with some frugal homemade costume ideas.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), each person who celebrates Halloween this year will spend, on average, a total of $79.82 for decorations, costumes, and candy. And, in a ten-year high, seven out of 10 people will mark the holiday while turning it into an $8 billion retail bonanza.

For this one night of frightful fun, though, you can stick to your thrifty ways and conjure up cheap Halloween costumes for the entire family. Here's how:

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Photo by flickr.com/squishyprints

Homemade Halloween Costumes for Kids.

Children will wear their Halloween costume once, or maybe twice, and certainly won't fit into it next year, so don't go overboard. All the cute get-ups circulating these days are tempting, but you can create an original costume for much less. These are some of the best homemade Halloween costume ideas we've seen on the web.

  • Rocket Man: Brought to you by Real Simple, this cheap Halloween costume is made entirely from items you probably have on hand. Dress your child in all white and use duct tape to create armbands and leg stripes. Use two Pringles cans, streamers, and two party hats to create the power pack and you're youngster will be set for take-off.
  • Life-size Lego: A Halloween costume inspired by Pinterest, this one only needs three supplies -- a big box, 12 Solo cups, and paint. Start by painting the box blue or red (depending on the color of the cups), cut out armholes and a head hole, and remove the bottom of the box to allow for legs and feet. Glue the solo cups in place (two lines of three) on the front and back just like a Lego, and you're done. For an extra touch you can add a hat: Paint a smaller box, cut out a hole for the head, and glue two more solo cups on top.
  • Hula Girl: This easy and cheap Halloween costume from Real Simple uses a brown paper bag cut into strips for the skirt and different color cupcake liners strung together for a colorful necklace and headband.
  • Animal: Pretty much any animal can be the muse for a homemade Halloween costume on the cheap. Just dress your child in a one-color sweat suit and use felt or fabric scraps to fashion a hat or headband for the ears. You can create a tail and any other fur detail with scraps of fabric and yarn.
  • Jellyfish: Another Halloween costume idea from Pinterest calls for a clear umbrella, streamers, and construction paper. Dress your child in white or a light color. Glue white or light pink streamers around the bottom of the umbrella, cut jellyfish eyes from the paper and attach them to the umbrella. Have the child carry the umbrella, and poof! -- a jellyfish.

Homemade Halloween Costumes for Adults.

Adults should never pay full price for an original Halloween costume when there are so many ways to get one cheaply, or better yet, free. At the very least, borrow or buy a used Halloween costume. (It's surprisingly easy -- ask your friends or check out eBay.) If you prefer to let your creative juices ooze, here are some homemade Halloween costume ideas for grownups:

  • Game Show Contestant: Wear a college sweatshirt and cut off the side of a cardboard box. Paint the panel to be a scoreboard, like one for a Price is Right contestant. Use twine to tie it around your neck so it hangs to the bottom of your chest. Give yourself a nametag and you're set. This cheap Halloween costume can also be the building block for a group Halloween costume � turn yourselves into Family Feud contestants.
  • Stick Figure: For this cheap Halloween costume, assemble an all-black outfit, including a hoodie (old clothes only, please). Take a can of really bright neon spray paint and spray a stick figure onto the back of the clothing, with a circle on the hood to serve as the head. Repeat on the front and outline the hood opening for the head.
  • Bad Yearbook Picture: This Pinterest-inspired Halloween costume for women requires loading on the makeup -- overdo the blush, bright blue eye shadow, ruby red lipstick, etc. Pick out the gaudiest earrings you can find and force your hair into a crazy hairstyle -- think big hair and bangs -- and don a neon shirt. Cut armholes near the bottom on two sides of a cardboard box and cut off the bottom. Now, cut out one of the remaining sides, leaving a three-inch strip of cardboard around the edges. Paint this strip and you've got a picture frame. Paint the facing inside side of the box a bright blue and you've got the backdrop. Slip the box over your head with your arms hanging out of the holes.


Photo by flickr.com/gsdd16

  • Grapes: This is an easy and super cheap Halloween costume. Dress all in purple. Blow up purple balloons and attach them to your clothes. You are now a cluster of grapes.

Homemade Halloween Costumes for a Group.

Doing Halloween as a couple or part of a group enlivens the holiday. The key is coming up with a creative and cheap Halloween costume that wows the folks. Here are several homemade Halloween costume ideas for multiple celebrants.

  • Rock, Paper, Scissors: This Halloween costume takes a bit of effort but is worth it. Cut a cardboard box into the shape of a rock, with one side for the front and one for the back. Cut arm holes into the sides and spray paint the box gray. Take another cardboard box, cut out armholes and paint the front and back white, then decorate the white surface with thin, horizontal black lines and three small black circles at the left edges to look like a piece of loose-leaf paper. Take two large pieces of strong cardboard or poster board and cut them into the shape of scissors, paint to look like scissors, string ribbon between the two cut-outs and wear them over your shoulders like a sandwich board. Attach rock, paper, or scissor signs to headbands and have each member of the team wear the appropriate sign.
  • Soap and Loofah: This homemade Halloween costume for a couple has two components. First, cut out arm and head holes from a rectangular cardboard box and remove the bottom. Paint the box white and spray paint the word SOAP on the front and back, attach bubble wrap to the corners for the -- you guessed it -- bubbles. For the loofah, buy a bunch of tulle and sew it thick and bunchy onto an old dress or pants/shirt combo (preferably the same color as the tulle) and attach a white rope in a loop for the hanging hook.

Final Note.

Be resourceful. You can create pretty much any Halloween costume if you think outside the box (despite the fact that so many of the homemade Halloween costume ideas here start with a box). Keep the project simple so you don't stress the execution and can actually enjoy an evening of Halloween tricks and treats.

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by Raechel Conover (Google+ Profile)


Filed in: DIY, Frugal tips, Halloween, Holidays
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