Halloween Costumes On a Budget

Halloween is a favorite time of year for the young and old alike. Spooky decorations, trick-or-treating, tons of candy - and of course, the costumes! Store-bought costumes are convenient - but can be expensive. And if you're buying for multiple children or family members, $20-$35 per person can add up quickly. Now that's scary! But it doesn't have to be! Here are some tips for creating fun, no-fuss costumes for kids on a budget.

Start with what you have

The makings of a great costume may be as close as your own closet. Does your child have a plaid shirt, jeans, and brown boots? Turn them into a cowgirl or lumberjack! How about a striped top and black bottoms? Now they're a pirate! With the right props, styling, and a bit of your makeup, you can create fun costumes for your children for little to no cost. 

Borrow what you can

If you have friends or family with children around the same ages as yours, there's a good chance they have some forgotten costumes hanging out in the back of their closets. 


It's OK if you're not naturally crafty. There are plenty of people who are willing to share their DIY instructions online! Five minutes on Pinterest, and you'll have more inspiration than you know what to do with. Pro tip: Search for specific costumes, like "princess" or "mad scientist," to keep from falling down a rabbit hole of ideas. Visit your local Dollar Store for budget-friendly supplies.

Buy ahead

Buy next year's costumes on November 1. This won't help you this year, but your future self will thank you! Stores slash prices almost immediately, and that's the perfect time to stock up. Just remember to account for growing children and changing interests.

Keep it simple

Elaborate and detailed costumes look great on Instagram. But if it's itchy or uncomfortable or hard to maneuver in, your child will probably refuse to wear it, no matter how much candy you bribe them with. 

No matter what you decide to do for Halloween this year, resist the temptation to "out-do" yourself (or others) on something your kid might only wear once. It makes no difference to them how much cash or time or energy you spent on their outfit; they're only going to remember the fun they had. 

(And, of course, how much candy they collected.) 

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