Halloween doesn’t have to be a dreaded season of expense and credit card purchases. It should, instead, be a time of fall excitement, creativity and, most of all, family fun and candy! But, for many families — especially those with multiple children — Halloween often ends up being costly. Here is a way to pull-out-all-(the creative)-stops and put together Halloween costumes for your children that will not break the bank.


The Mindset

You may be the envy of your neighbors, trotting around your little darlings in flashy store-bought costumes, but I promise you that buyer’s remorse will begin to set in the next day. Unless you want to be paying for Halloween costumes long after the day has passed, you must change your mindset.

Once your kids have decided what they want to be for Halloween, begin taking stock. Look around the house to see what you have. Do you have a large box, say, the one your new dishwasher came in? Do you have some material lying around from when you took sewing in Junior High School? What about hats, beads, funky earrings, tooling from your oldest daughter’s wedding? Wind up your creative gears, and you’ll be surprised at what you find.


Put on Your Thinking Cap

What about those old recital costumes from ballet and tap? Perhaps your youngest boy could wear his older brother’s old soccer, football, hockey or basketball uniform? Looking “just like big brother” would probably be more fun for your child than wearing the same type of store-bought costume. The same applies to old drill team, band and cheerleading costumes. A few basting stitches, strategically placed, will customize the big-brother-or-sister costume for Halloween. You can pull out the basting afterwards, and the uniform will be as good as new.


Hand-Me-Downs from Friends

Do you have friends with children just a little bit older than yours? Hand-me-down, ready-made costumes are great! Then you can do the same thing for another family.


The Bargain Basement

Check out the $1.00 store and Big Lots for deep discounts. You can find witch hats, princess crowns, Devil’s pitchforks, magic wands and other costume props. Maybe you can pick up an entire costume at one of these discount outlets. Also scour garage sales, auctions and flea markets. You never know what you will find!


So, You Can Sew!

If you can sew — even a little — you are in luck. Check out WalMart’s fabric department or your local fabric store for ready-to-sew costumes. One year I made two of my children ready-to-sew costumes. One was a bat, and the other was a cat! Sewing ready-to-sew costumes will save you a truckload of money.

Witches, Goblins, Gypsies, Ghosts, Hobos and Ninjas are still all-time favorites that you can create from items in your house. Ballerinas, Fairies, Policemen and Fireman are simple costumes to put together, also. It just takes a little inspiration and imagination. Oh, yes — and a little elbow grease.

Save money this Halloween by creating your children’s costumes for under $15.00 each. You’ll be amazed at what you come up with.