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Costume Costs: How to Keep Halloween Happy

Costume Costs: How to Keep Halloween Happy
Jackie De Pape Hornick

"What do you want to be for Halloween?" It is the question we dreadfully ask our children and hope the answer falls somewhere in between do-able and affordable. It can be hard to stomach spending a bundle on a costume that is only worn for a few hours and for some reason always seems to be cheaply made, regardless of the cost. Here are a few ideas for finding fun costumes that will make Halloween night more memorable than your credit card bill.

New Hand-Me-Downs

Let us say you have two children. Do you want your poor younger child to be wearing his older sibling's old, used Halloween costume year after year? By all means, go this route if your147752979 younger child is obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine and nothing would make him happier than wearing that costume you have collecting dust. But, it is nice to give each child some individuality on Halloween. Being in "kid world", odds are you have friends who also have children. Instead of giving Halloween hand-me-downs to your own children, send the hand-me-downs out the door over to your friend's houses instead. A free costume swap ensures Little Johnny looks like his own person every year and gives you access to additional selection than just your own hand-me-downs.

Make It Up

For many costumes, it is all about the mask. The rest of the costume may be as simple as a black shirt and pants. You could be paying a lot for something you can do at home with make-up instead. Plus, kids and masks can be a challenge in itself. You do want your kid to be able to see and breathe after all. If your child has put "The Joker," "a witch," "Smurf", "minion" or "Shrek" - I could go on and on with this - at the top of their costume list, you could easily replicate the look with colorful make-up instead.

Get Creative

A Dora the Explorer costume might cost $29.99, while the costume for her sidekick Boots might retail for $10 less. Why the price difference? More kids want to dress up as the s180955578tar of the show, so those are the costumes that usually cost more (and also the ones that tend to sell out first.) Consider this: For every Elmo costume you see on Halloween night, how many Cookie Monster or Big Bird costumes do you see? But, that does not necessarily mean your child wants to dress as the star of the show. There are countless Batman costumes, but maybe your child wants to go as Bruce Wayne.

From buying a costume at a department store or a seasonal pop-up store to getting a pattern and making a costume from scratch yourself to raiding the closets and pulling together something inventive with make-up (there is always a place for pyjamas, businessmen and punk rockers), you really can set a Halloween costume budget you are comfortable with and end up with a costume that will get your kid begging to "try it on now, please!"

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