Sometimes even I can’t believe how cheap I am. (Halloween: Best DIY Costume Ideas)
When I was pregnant with my daughter along with planning her bedroom and hoping for a girl I could shop for, I also browsed Halloween costumes thinking of all the costumes I’d create for her. I made her into a small monkey one year and an absolutely adorable chicken the next year. Then, at the ripe old age of 4, she discovered the Party City Seasonal Flyer. In the face of vinyl and polyester costumes made by many small Chinese children in large factories where they wondered why the Americans dress their young boys in tights, the lovingly handmade costumes of the past couldn’t hold their value .
I’d tell those little sweatshop workers that some Americans don’t really want to dress their children in polyester and vinyl but they’ve found themselves on the losing end of a battle. A battle against polyester and vinyl where no one’s a winner. Unless you’re a fan of bad costumes then okay you win.
All my costume dreams died the year my daughter dressed as some sort of pink diner/50’s girl and my son dressed as the victim of a man eating dinosaur. The costume my daughter wore represented everything I hate about store bought costumes. It was almost $20, was falling apart by the end of the night and it had iron ons all over it.
This year I have a request from my daughter for something so horrible, I just…I don’t know where I went wrong. My daughter would like to be this, which appears to be some sort of attitude laden vampy little girl. She may as well have requested a Bratz costume, in fact those costumes annoy me less than the ‘Monster Girl’ costume annoys me.
Even more annoying? I have to spend $30 to be irritated by my daughter’s costume.
So I’ve been searching for costumes because even if they can’t be a chicken and an egg forever, I don’t have to spend $30 making my daughter look like some sort of un-dead prostitute.
I don’t just dislike store bought costumes because they’re mostly expensive, poorly made, and often inappropriate.
I also dislike them because so many of them lack any creativity and that’s part of what makes halloween fun.
The Family Fun website is full of great, easy to create halloween costumes which have helped me intensely in my quest to steer my kids away from the more commercial (and expensive) character costumes. The pizza slice is a personal favorite as well as the penguin. If I can convince one of my kids to be a piece of pizza, I’ll have to remove everything but the pepperoni just like in real life. My husband has been begging my son to be a robot for halloween for the last three years. So far no bites, but believe me if he ever aquiesces, Logan is prepared.
Martha Stewart’s site (original home of the Chicken Costume) has so many good ideas, I’m a little disappointed all our halloween party invitations are falling on the eve of my husband’s marathon. I know you’re scoffing at the thought of putting together something from Martha. You’re saying, “Right, it’s going to take me 127 hours to hand sew imported zimbabwaen (SP) ostrich feathers all over that thing and Melissa, I love you but I’m not doing it.”
But wait! Look, there are several no-sew options (a baby spider? You can’t resist.)! They also show you how to use fleece (mostly no sew as fleece doesn’t unravel) to make a few costumes. I really like the octopus, but don’t see directions for it on the site. I made a chicken suit though, I think I can figure it out.
I know I know, I’m asking a lot of you to make something, especially since I have grand plans and then at the last minute I’m standing at Party City buying yet another piece of crap costume. So let’s look around at some less commercial-ized ready made costumes. They’re still a bit expensive but at least they’re not Trampy Monster Girl.
Gymboree has a nice selection of costumes for littler kids. This alligator, at $23.49 is still pricey but since it’s well made you can use it for dress up after Halloween passes. Then, when your child outgrows it, sell it on Ebay where there are women rabid for Gymboree. I’ve often resold outgrown Gymboree clothes for more than I bought them for on Ebay. Crazy.
If you have a child who’s a size 5T or under then Old Navy has quite a few simple costumes for around $20. I’m partial to the chicken costume of course, but they’ve got several cute options like this lion. And they’re all warm which is good if you live in Michigan where it’s alternately 80 degrees or 40 degrees each halloween. At this point a lot of the sizes are sold out at Old Navy, but Ebay has a lot of new or slightly used costumes going for under $10.
My plan is to give my kids some home made costume options, and then, if Max still insists on the Power Ranger SPD costume (which is $45 thankyouverymuch), we’ll be plowing through Ebay to find a cheaper option. But maybe, just maybe we’ll get to make a robot this year.
Later this week we’ll be looking at all sorts of halloween treats so make sure you peek back over.
– More DIY Costumes (2007)
– Another Halloween Tradition: Trunk-Or-Treat
– Celebrating Halloween Traditions: Boo
– Great Halloween Crafts
– How To Take Great Halloween Photos
– What not to wear this Halloween
– Our Favorite Halloween Costumes for 2007
– Best Halloween Children’s Costumes 2006
– Best DIY ideas for Halloween costumes (from 2006)
– Best Halloween Trick or Treating Bags, Masks and Costumes
– Best Halloween Cookies & Crafts
– Best Children’s Halloween Books