8 Simple Steps to Host a Halloween Costume Swap
We all know that Halloween costumes can get expensive. A brand new costume can cost anywhere from $20-$60! This year, how about hosting a Halloween Costume Swap? All it takes is a little bit of organization and motivation, and everyone can walk away with a new, free costume! Sound like fun? Here’s some simple steps to get you started.
Pick a date at the beginning of October-- like how about this weekend? That way people will have their costume in plenty of time and can alter it or grab any needed accessories.
Step 2: Pick a Location
Are you going to have the swap at your house? Or can you use a local meeting place like a town hall or school? Consider that you will have to transport all the costumes around if you first collect them at your house, and that your house may be overrun by costumes for a week or so.
Step 3: Invite your friends
You’ll have to decide how big you want to make your event. Do you invite your close friends only? Or do you open it up to all the local moms you can find? This probably will have a lot to do with the location you are planning to use. Remember, more participants equals more costumes to choose from! You probably want to mention in your invite that costumes should be in good condition and freshly laundered just in case.
This can be done either the day of your event, or in advance. Collecting in advance lets you have a chance to make sure the costumes are in great condition and to sort everything out into sizes. Collecting on the day of your swap might mean that you don’t have to cart tons of costumes from location to location. Give each person a raffle ticket with a number on it for each costume they bring that is able to be traded. It is probably easiest to use the tickets with the numbers already printed on them, but you can also make your own. Just be sure that you make two of each ticket; one to give to the swapper and one for you to keep to draw later.
Step 5: Sort the Costumes
Once you have determined that the costumes are in good condition, sort them by sizes. This will make things much easier instead of sending people out to sift through a gigantic pile of costumes. You could put them on hangers and hang them in different areas, or just have a few different tables to lay them out.
Step 6: Gather Everyone for a Party
Once everyone is assembled, serve snacks and drinks and make it feel like a really fun party! You could ask guests to bring a potluck style dish in order to save money on purchasing all the food yourself. Once everyone is ready, make the announcement that you will be drawing tickets.
Everyone should bring their tickets with them. Start pulling tickets out one at a time. Whoever is holding that number gets to go up and pick a costume. This keeps things orderly and makes sure that no one is diving for the same costume. Be sure you pick all the numbers so everyone gets a costume.
Step 8: Thank Your Guests
Send your guests on their way with a thank you and a really great free costume! Be happy that your used costume will make another child’s Halloween dreams, and that your kids will have a new costume for their own dreams. It’s a win-win situation!
If for some reason you end up with extra costumes, take them to a local donation center. There are always families looking for costumes for their kids and they will be thrilled. You could also host a costume drive for local families that may not be able to afford costumes. If you are only inviting a few friends, you can also just do your swap without tickets, as long as no one ends up fighting about the same costume. Have fun with it! And save yourself some money!