I’m not one for sewing. At all. So you won’t see me tout the joys of making a costume at home. However, I often piece together unique Halloween costumes from items on hand or inexpensive accessories rather than buying a full set.
You can swap costumes with friends & family to save money & storage space, but I keep a few of the basics around in case we need another witch, vampire or angel. Some things just never go out of style.
Here are a few of my favorite tricks for using simple accessories to create new costumes:
Repurpose an expensive dance costume—just add wings, face paint or a crown to create a fairy, butterfly or princess. My favorite was the year I turned an unused ballet tutu into Swan Lake Barbie, and put her little sister in the Pegasus costume I had coincidentally purchased on clearance the year before!
And, I tried really hard to talk my tap dancer into trick or treating as a sailor 6 months later.
Buy nondescript accessories that can be reused with a variety of costumes—a plain black cape can dress a witch, vampire or super hero. A simple crown can adorn a fairy princess or any Disney princess. The same sword can be carried by a pirate or any number of villains.
You can also buy things to match their costumes that they can wear everyday. Last year’s costume tights became this year’s dress clothes. I also skipped the matching Tinkerbell slippers this year in favor of a pair of sparkly flats Lorelai is going to love rocking at school.
Raid the closet, and get creative. One of my oldest’s favorite Halloween costumes is from the year she wore her junior bridesmaid gown with horns & wings—for a fraction of the cost of a full Heavenly Devil costume! I’m hoping to talk my youngest into wearing last month’s flower girl dress next year with those very same wings & a halo.
That one knows her own mind, though, and has already announced what she’s planning to wear in 2011. So, you’ll know where to find me on November 1st!