Many parents go overboard every year and spend thousands of dollars on costumes and accessories for their children’s Halloween parties because they think this will make their children happy and give them the best kids Halloween costumes.
You can make your child equally happy and save yourself some cash at the same time by making them yourselves, or handing down costumes from older children. The outfit is only worn once a year and no child will want to wear the same costume two years in a row. You can pop into second hand stores or shop at a prom dress clearance sale online to find that perfect costume. You can sell your child’s costume from the previous year to help fund your costume ideas this year.
With a little bit of imagination, time and patience, you can make your child’s Halloween dreams come true without breaking the bank.
If You Are Going To Buy
If you still insist on buying a new costume every year, you can save some time and money by buying online on sites that have awesome suggestions like costumes for book week. Just make sure you give enough time for the packaging and posting of the costume. Your child will also be thrilled with the wide range of costumes that are available. The best way to please your child and save some cash when buying a new costume, is to ask your child beforehand which character they want to be, and then go shop online for something in the line of what they want. For example, if your little man wants to be Spiderman this year, go search a while to find the best one at the lowest price. Letting your child search with you might seem like a good idea because then you know he will find exactly the one he wants, but you may have to spend days flipping through pages of Spiderman costumes and he may end up picking the most elaborate and expensive one which leaves you with either disappointing him or spending a fortune on a costume that he will be wearing once.
Some of the more popular costumes to buy online for boys include:
- The Avengers Captain America
- Red Power Ranger (yes, kids are still enjoying the Power Rangers)
- US Navy Seal
- US Army Uniform
- Iron Man
- Pirate Boy
Some of the more popular costumes to buy online for girls include:
- Brave Merida
- Monster Bride
- Cross Eyed Monster
- Angry Birds Space Ice Bird
- American Indian Maiden
- Classic Witch
- Sock Monkey
- Pirate Girl
- Avengers Black Widow
The Right And Wrong Ways Of Doing It By Yourself
Making a costume by yourself can be fun and you can rope the kids in to help as well. It can end up frustrating you even more though so you need to heed a few do’s and don’ts before you decide to make a costume by yourself.
Don’t Rush Into It
Do not latch onto the first idea your child comes up with for which costume they want. For weeks before the actual day, your child will probably change their minds thousands of times. Rather give them enough time to come up with ten ideas at the most. Then by process of elimination you and your child can decide together which one he or she wants most out of the original mass. Give your child a week to make up their minds for a final time and then start on the costume. Once they have then made up their minds make sure they understand that they will not be allowed to make up their minds again and that the costume will now be made.
Do Accept Hand-Me-Downs
If you have more than one child, it is always a good idea to hand down costumes from one sibling to the next. Just make sure that it fits properly so that your younger child doesn’t end up feeling neglected by this process. Costumes can last for years to come if they are packed away properly and your child may not even notice that the costume has been handed down if it is from a friend’s older child or an older cousin. Halloween costumes are only worn once a year and so they lie in storage for a while after that without making you the money back that you spent on it. You could even mix and match old costumes and accessories and come up with something completely new.
Steer Clear Of Catalogues
When you are looking around for ideas, it is best not to let your child look through any catalogues or online shops for ideas. They will get hooked on an idea that may set you back more than you may have budgeted on and if you are making the costume yourself, you may end up not meeting their expectations as they may expect the homemade version to look exactly like the one they saw on the picture. Many children do not understand the concept that brands cost money and that you may not have the right equipment to make it look exactly like it does in the picture. Rather let them come up with a concept and then wow them with your homemade wonder. You will save them a lot of tears and yourself a lot of frustration. Soothe yourself with the thought as well that the costumes do not always look like they do in the catalogues.
Use What Is At Your Disposal
You will be amazed at what you can pull together with things that you would usually just discard as junk. Boxes, plastic bottles, paper plates, foil and fabric off-cuts can achieve great things.
A box that has been strategically cut, painted and attached with elastic bands over the shoulders can become a race car. Adding a cone to the front of it can transform it into a space ship instantly. Fabric off-cuts and felt can be used over a wire frame and be transformed into fairy wings. If you have been able to collect enough feathers, you can turn those fairy wings into angel wings. Old party dresses can be transformed into princess or fairy dresses by accessorizing. Many toy stores have little toy crowns and wands that you can pick up for next to nothing. If your little one likes to dress up as a rule, you may even find most of the treasures you need in their toy boxes.
If you work smartly through the year and collect things that can be made into anything decorative or can be transformed into a costume, you may not have to spend a single cent on your Halloween costumes.
Making The Old Look New Again
When you are using second hand costumes, you can still find great accessories in second hand stores or you can go to a store that sells fabric and trimmings for sewing and get some extras to sew onto the costumes. This addition will give the old costumes a new fresh breath of life and will make even those who have worn them before doubt whether it is the same costume. Make sure your children understand that wearing old clothes is nothing to be ashamed of and then you can make sure that the old costume doesn’t look old any more. If you have managed to do this once, your child will be happy with hand-me-down costumes every year and half your battle will have been won already. Now go shopping.
Don’t Waste Time
If you are going to go the route that saves you on your budget, you might have to give yourself some extra time to get everything together and to make the costume or fix up the old costume. You will need to do a bit more research than if you were buying a new costume out the box as you may need to find sewing patterns and the right fabric and trimmings. It is also a good idea to shop around a bit online and at second hand stores to make sure that you get the best prices possible for the items that you are looking for. By giving yourself enough time, you ensure that you don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure and you give yourself enough time to do a good job of making the costume extra special for your child. You may just have to do a few last minute adjustments, but don’t leave doing it all for the last minute.
Don’t Have Any Thoughts Of Robbing A Bank
You do not need to spend tons of money for the sake of your child’s happiness. As long as your Spiderman turns out looking like Spiderman and not the Hulk in Spiderman PJs, your child should be thrilled. If you spend more than $20 on a costume, you may want to have another look at your priorities. If you cannot afford to buy, then why not borrow. Many of your friends may just have a magical stash of costumes in storage that they have forgotten about and they just need a nudge to remember that they are just gathering dust. You could also go onto sites like Freecycle and ask for Halloween costumes that someone may want to get rid of. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
Don’t Be Influenced By Friends
It is so easy to get carried away by the whole spirit of things and we would all love to have costumes that are as good as if not better than our friends. Our children are also subjected to the same pressure and it is easy to give in to the whims of what the friends are doing, but now is a time to stay tough if you want to save your pocket. You can make costumes that are just as good if not better than the ones that you will find in the stores. All you need is a bit of guidance and imaginations and your will be almost there.
You may even end up saving yourself or your children the embarrassment of showing up at a party with the exact same outfit as someone else. One of the benefits of making your own costumes is that the homemade ones are completely unique.
Do Plan Ahead
Last minute shopping ends up disastrous most of the time. Set up a budget of how much you will be spending per child and per adult. Make a list of all the different characters everyone wants to be and write it down once everyone has made up their minds completely. Then you can start doing your research into how you are going to make these costumes and which aspects of the costumes you will have to buy. Start shopping around early in October already to see where you can find what at a bargain and make notes. Once you are certain you have the best prices for everything on the list you need to buy, go out and shop until you drop. Start making your costumes as planned early on and leave some time for damage control just in case something doesn’t work out quite as you planned.
Good Memories Last A Lot Longer Than The Bad Ones
If you have fallen out of favour with your children because of handmade or hand-me-down costumes, you can rest assured in the knowledge that if you make the rest of their Halloween memorable with loads of fun activities and great parties, they will outgrow the need to dress up better than everyone else. When you make good memories for your children, the fact that they had to wear second hand costumes will pale in comparison. When you think back to your Halloweens as a child you may remember a lot more than just the costumes you wore. Make a point with your children that when your costume is made with love, it is one of a kind and no one can take that away from you.