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Halloween on a budget: Costume DIY

According to the Halloween Spending Report by the National Retail Federation, Halloween is the most popular holiday after Christmas, with consumers spending nearly $5 billion for decorations, candy and costumes. While you may splurge on pumpkins and candy for this expensive holiday, there’s one area where you can skimp, get creative and still have family fun. That’s right, we’re talkin’ about Halloween costumes.

Chicken Costume

You can splurge on a costume without spending a dime, says The Debt Diva Clarky Davis. Just think DIY: Do-it-yourself costumes to save a few precious bucks while giving you the opportunity to rock your creative ghoulish side.

Davis explains, “Halloween is a great opportunity for parents to be creative without having to worry about perfecting a costume. The funniest, cutest or scariest costumes are those that are homemade. So don’t pressure yourself to make a costume that’s perfect or looks exactly like a photo you’ve seen in a magazine or book.”

Trick-or-treat frocks

What if you’re not exactly thrifty savvy? The hardest part may be figuring out where to begin. To get inspiration, she advises going into your child’s room to flip through their favorite reading material or checking out their fave videos.

“You’ll see lots of great ideas from the characters in children’s books, fairytales, nursery rhymes and cartoons. Select two or three costume ideas that you really like, then start exploring your home to see what items you have on hand.”

Once you determine what costume you have the most materials for at home, make a list of any additional materials you need to collect. Then head to a discount store or thrift shop to get the best deals on additional articles of clothing or crafting materials you may need to complete the costume.

Hippie Chicks, mummies and more

For some simple-off-the rack ideas, she suggests your kid dress for Halloween as a mini-hippie. “Tie-dye one of your children’s or husband’s old white shirts. Make a headband out of a piece of ribbon, add a pair of sunglasses and vest,” Davis says.

For another cute idea, make a mummy by starting with a white t-shirt and a pair of pants. “Cut up a white or ivory sheet into long strips and attach them (horizontally) across the front of a shirt,” explains Davis. “Wrap the strips around the sleeves. Wrap strips around the legs of the pants. Wrappings can be sewn or glued on. Don’t forget add some wrappings around the head. Add a little red paint to the wrappings for a bloody look.”

Davis recommends other easy DIY costumes such as a robot or space boy/girl made out of tin foil boxes, a gypsy or geisha.

Check out these eight magical Halloween costumes for girls >>

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Get resourceful by organizing a Halloween costume swap. Find a group of moms who have children around the same ages. Next, select a date for the costume swap, choose a location, distribute invitations and recycle your past costumes. The Debt Diva explains, “As moms arrive, take their donated costumes and add them to the correct size display.”

Try one of these popular Halloween costumes for tweens >>

Don’t let kids have all the fun!

Above all, try not to stress about creating the perfect Halloween costume. Your kids will be focused on the fun and so should you. Davis reminds, “Enjoy the experience of spending time with your child on Halloween night! Don’t fret about the costume and enjoy the experience of trick-or-treating. Get caught up in the fun of seeing friends and neighbors passing out treats and you children’s excitement in collecting their favorite candies.”

Don’t miss these 8 Halloween costumes for mom >>

Don’t forget to take time out for yourself on this spooky holiday. If you enjoy dressing up in a Halloween costume, do it! After your little ghosts and goblins have gone to bed, put in your favorite scary movie and pop some popcorn. Kids shouldn’t have all the fun!

Check out our other great Halloween costume guides >>

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