Choosing Children's Halloween Costumes
Since the selection of children's Halloween costumes continues to increase, finding the perfect costume requires a bit of legwork. To make the process easier, ask yourself the following questions before your shopping trip, while you're at it, check out our interview with Nicole Grandelli of Party City
- What types of characters does my child like?
- Does my child prefer masks or face paint?
- Does my child have sensitive skin that may be bothered by a costume made from itchy fabric?
- What type of weather do I expect on Halloween night?
- Is the costume I'm considering safe for my child?
Halloween on a Budget
If you have more than one child to dress, Halloween can easily become a strain on your budget. However, there's no need to forgo the festivities in an effort to save money.
Raid Your Child's Closet
One of the best ways to celebrate Halloween on a budget is to use items your child already owns as the basis for his/her Halloween costume. Take a look through your child's closet, then head out to your local dollar or discount store for a few additional accessories to complete the look. For example, your son can become a farmer by adding a straw hat and bandana to his denim overalls, flannel shirt, and red wagon filled with stuffed pigs, cows, and chickens. Similarly, a little girl who was recently part of a wedding party can easily transform her flower girl dress into a Miss Universe costume by adding a tiara and sash or transform into a toddler bride.
Create a Homemade Costume
Another great way to minimize the expense of Halloween is to make your own children's Halloween costumes! Obviously, knowing how to sew will come in handy for this task. But, even non-crafty moms and dads can create the following costumes:
- Transform hooded sweat suits into cute bunny, tiger, turtle, or ladybug costumes by using double sided tape and fabric glue.
- Use your creativity to turn garage sale finds into Bob the Builder, Elmo, Peter Pan, or Clifford the Big Red Dog costumes.
Make Your Own Makeup
Don't waste money on expensive makeup kits for children's Halloween costumes. Make your own makeup with the following recipe:
- 2 tsp white shortening
- 5 tsp corn starch
- 1 tsp white all purpose flour
- Glycerin (available at most local drug stores)
- Food coloring
Use a rubber spatula to blend the first three ingredients until a smooth paste forms. Add a few drops of glycerin for a creamier consistency. Add food coloring one drop at a time until you have the desired shade. (Blend the mixture after each drop is added.)
For easy makeup removal, use shortening, cold cream, or baby oil. This recipe makes enough face paint for one child.
Reusing Halloween Costumes
Once you've found the perfect costume, don't send it to the back of the closet as soon as trick-or-treating is finished. Consider the following suggestions for reusing children's Halloween costumes:
- Let your kids use the costume to play dress up.
- Save the costume for one of your younger children.
- Take the costume apart to use as the basis for next year's outfit. For example, a vampire cape can be used a part of a witch's outfit. Wigs and hats are also quite versatile for creating additional Halloween costumes.
- Get together with other neighborhood families and host a Halloween costume trading party. When you let your kids swap costumes with their friends, you won't need to spend any money on next year's outfit!