Halloween can be expensive. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent $1.2 billion on adult costumes, $950 million on children’s costumes and $350 million on pet costumes in 2015. The expected expenditures for costumes this year for Americans celebrating Halloween? $3.1 billion, up almost a half million from last year.
If you like celebrating Halloween but don’t want to empty out your bank account on costumes, never fear. There are ways to dress up to celebrate the spooky holiday and keep your Halloween budget to a minimum as well. Here are 10 ideas for inexpensive Halloween costumes that will help you spend less this Halloween.
Bag O’ Jelly Beans
This one is easy, cheap and great for kids and adults alike. Simply take a large, clear garbage bag, and fill it up with blown-up, multi-colored balloons. Pair it with some capri leggings or white tights (guys can wear shorts) and you’re ready to go.
Source: Modern Kiddo
Work-from-home party guests will laugh at this easy costume. Dress the top half of yourself up as if you’re going to work: Shower, comb your hair and put on a dress shirt and suit jacket. The bottom half stays in pajama pants and slippers.
’50s, ’60s, ’70s or ’80s throwback
Take a step back in time and dress up as a person from your favorite fashion time period. Thrift stores (and maybe even your closet) are full of clothes from time periods of long ago. Guys can get some old-style corduroy pants and a strikingly unmatched colorful plaid shirt, while ladies can wear bell bottoms and a paisley polyester shirt. Don’t forget to style your hair in true throwback fashion as well.
Find a large cardboard box that’s big enough to fit your torso area. Tape the top shut and cut a hole in the middle of the top for your head, holes on the sides (near the top) for your arms and cut the bottom off for your legs. Wrap the box in wrapping paper and add ribbon or bows to spice it up. You can also add a bow on the top of your head for extra fun. Wear pants that match the wrapping paper you use.
Design two large pieces of white poster board as matching playing cards using red and/or black markers. Cut holes in the upper corners of the cards and use ribbon or string to tie them together sandwich-board style.
Wear a black leotard and tights or a tight-fitting black pants and shirt. Use pencil eyeliner or black face paint to draw whiskers, a black nose and lined eyes on your face. Buy headband cat ears at a costume store or make your own using a black headband and taped-on cardboard cat ears colored with marker. For the tail use a long black stocking stuffed with crumpled up paper or toilet paper and pinned on with a safety pin.
Grab your nerdiest clothes (check out local thrift stores if you don’t have any) such as a Hawaiian shirt and khaki pants, put your camera on a string around your neck, put some zinc oxide on your nose and add your sunglasses to dress up as the classic nerdy tourist.
Source: Young Finances
Get a large cardboard box and tape the top shut. Cut a hole in the top for your head, and holes in the sides near the top for your arms. Cut six or eight holes in even spaces in the front and the back (measure first) to fit red or blue Solo cups in (you can use matching disposable round storage containers or throw away paper bowls too). Tape the cups to the inside of the box. Paint the box red or blue, and wear a matching shirt and or pants if you have them.
Your favorite emoji
This costume is super easy and quick to put together. Put on plain black pants and a black shirt. Buy some yellow poster board and some markers. Cut a large circle out of the poster board. Draw your favorite emoji face on the poster board. Make holes in the top of the circle near the edges and put ribbon through the holes, and tie it at the neck. You can also use construction paper to help design your emoji face.
Google Maps costume
This one is easy AND fun. Use red poster board to cut out the destination sign, and write the letter “A” with black marker. Using yellow and white duct tape, make a road map on a light colored shirt with different street names.
With a few dollars and a little work, you can celebrate Halloween in style and with frugality with clever DIY costumes like those shown here.
What are some of your favorite frugal Halloween costume ideas?