The days are getting shorter, the temps are dropping and pumpkin patches are getting a whole lot busier. Time to bust out the fake skulls and spider web decorations — Halloween is quickly creeping up!
According to a 2017 report by the National Retail Federation, roughly 7 out of 10 Americans planned to participate in Halloween last year with total planned spending reaching a record high of $9.1 BILLION.
Men planned to spend an average of $96 on their costume, while women were at $77. If those numbers have you and your budget feeling spooked, check out these options to help you put together a killer costume at a much lower cost.
Look for Secondhand Scares
Come early October, Halloween-themed stores seem to pop up on every other corner. While these stores are sure to get you in the holiday spirit, their full-priced, brand new costume options probably won’t do your bank account any favors.
Nobody wants to wear the same costume two years in a row, so most people are willing to let go of old ones for way less than retail value. Local thrift stores, eBay and other online marketplaces are great places to try and track down costumes.
Play the Waiting Game
Once October 30 rolls around, a ton of big sales will start as stores look to burn through as much inventory as possible. If you aren’t looking for something specific, this strategy can really pay off. Slightly scary? Perhaps, but why not add some extra suspense to your Halloween?
Create Your Own Costume
Store bought costumes might be a tad bit more convenient, but creative homemade costumes always end up stealing the show on Halloween. Here are some easy, cheap and awesome DIY options.
1. A Bunch of Grapes. Just pick up some purple or green balloons, some safety pins and a green headband/bandana. This costume is low effort and dirt cheap. Here’s what your final product should look like.
2. Toy Building Block. Alright, time to get crafty. To create this costume you’ll need a rectangle cardboard box, six cups/containers (or any other peg-shaped item), some glue and spray paint. Here’s a visual aid and some extra instructions.
3. Lumberjack. There’s a pretty high chance you’ve already got everything you’ll need for this in your house already. Just throw on a flannel shirt, jeans, some old boots and WOAH, where did Paul Bunyan come from?? Grab a beanie, a beard and a fake axe to take your look to the next level.
4. Dominoes Tile. This one is a fantastic group option. You’ll need some black T-shirts, iron-on white fabric and some scissors. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to put it together.
5. Cartoon Mouse. A true American classic, this fabled character never goes out of style. All you need is a set of ears, a red skirt and some white iron-on felt if you want to match her spotted style.
6. Fake News. Clever, relevant and just flat out “punny.” Fashion yourself some type of skirt or pants with a bunch of old newspapers, write “FAKE” on a white T-shirt and voila.
7. Robot. You’ll need a bunch of cardboard boxes, duct tape, foil tape and some other supplies. This tutorial breaks everything down for you.
It might be tempting to buy that authentic, $150 superhero suit, but is it really worth it? You’ve still got plenty of time to create any of these DIY costumes or to snag that perfect thrift store find.