Scary Savings on Halloween Costumes

These guys are the reason this blog exists, the reason we struggle with debt, the purpose of our priorities and hard work.


In the scheme of our financial plan, Halloween costumes are on the bottom of the list. In the bigger picture of our kids’ happiness and enjoyment of their childhood, though, it plays an important part. So how do we reconcile these different priorities?

I’ve spent a lot of time listening to my kids over the last few weeks as they planned what they wanted to be. I’ve heard a lot of interesting ideas. Sunday was our church’s Fall Festival, and I got to see other families’ creativity on display as well. It’s so much fun to see all the different ideas that people have, and the way they express themselves.

I wanted to share an example of the costumes I saw last night, and the ones my children chose. Maybe you can get some ideas, but most of all I hope it will remind you that a little bit of creativity can go a long way in ANY situation!

 Lesson 1: Accessorize

This little beauty was at our Fall Festival on Sunday. Her mom said they bought her dress on Etsy, added a lei and Stitch, and – viola – it’s Lilo! It’s the perfect example of creativity – and it worked out so beautifully!

There are several things I love about this one: the dress can be worn for much more than just a Halloween costume, and all it took to make it effective was adding a prop.

Another example of this is my son’s “Spiderman” costume. We already had the mask lying around the house, but didn’t have an actual Spiderman costume. I added sweatpants and a t-shirt, but he still wasn’t impressed – until I handed him a bottle of silly string for Spiderman’s web! Once he had that, he felt like Spiderman, and was completely content.

What do you have lying around the house that you can upcycle into a costume?

Lesson 2: Reuse

My little miss 2yo

My mom bought this costume 3 years ago for $4. My older son wore it two years in a row, and now my daughter is wearing it. They’ve also used it for dress-up in the time between. A dab of face paint (that we already had) on her nose was all she needed.

Total cost: $4 (3 years ago…but for our purposes today, we’ll count it)

Lesson 3: Be What You Are

Our older (much-too-old-looking) daughter

My daughter’s costume is always easy: she wants to be a ballerina. Since she IS a ballerina, we already have everything we need. This was a recital costume from two years ago. She was so excited to get to wear makeup with her costume; that was all the “extra” she needed to make it special.

Total cost: $0.00

Do you wear a uniform to work? Can you take what you already ARE and make it fun?

Lesson 4: Craft it

My middle son’s idea for a costume was simple: he wanted to be an Indian. He even said, “I know how to make a headband and feathers for it!” He’s not a “crafty” kind of kid, so I was excited about the chance to sit down with him and be creative. We used face paint to accessorize. I also had an old brown t-shirt I didn’t need anymore, so I fringed the bottom of the shirt and he wore it over blue jeans. The feathers didn’t turn out exactly like he pictured it “in his mind” (his words), but he was happy with it and we had fun together.

Lesson 5: Paint it

Kids (and adults, for that matter) love face paint. Take normal clothes, add a little (or a LOT) of paint, and you’ve got something eye-catching.  My oldest son has decided he wants to be a tree. (I know, I know…a TREE?) We decided on brown clothes, and we’ll cover his arms and face with brown face paint. We borrowed a green wig from grandma, and he plans to carry around some sort of stick or acorns to complete the effect.


Takeaway: Being creative and thinking outside the box can leave you with a unique and special result. Everyone can have a great time, and your kids will definitely not look like anyone else!

What ideas do you have for creative and unique costumes? Share in the comments or on Facebook!



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