Ask Local Experts: Tips For (Budget Friendly) Home-Made Halloween Costumes

Here are some tips from expert Halloween Costume Makers on how to create unique kid's costumes on a budget.

Halloween is a time for fun: carving pumpkins, tricks and treats, indulging in sweets, and dressing up in silly costumes.  

Halloween costumes can be a bit pricey, but with a little resourcefulness, one can come up with some terrific and easy costumes with items from home.

Danvers Patch caught up with two Halloween costume experts: super-crafty moms who have been at this for a few years, to get their tips on some budget-friendly home-made costume ideas.

Becky Lemp Mathias works in the bakery at , but she draws on her many years of experience with the costume departments of the and community theater when it comes to making home-made costumes for ten-year-old son, Dylan.  

Becky's suggestions:

Use things from around the house, like trash bags, shoe boxes, Christmas ornaments.

  • Take a clear trash bag and cut leg and arm holes and fill it with blown up balloons: Go as a bag of Jelly beans!
  • Dress in all green and string garland and ornaments across yourself and decorated shoe boxes to wear over shoes as gifts: You are a Christmas Tree!

Denise Bolduc Manning is a pre-school teacher and girl scout leader.  She has been making costumes for her two children Grace, 7, and Tommy, 5, for years.  

Here are her costume ideas:

Go to your local thrift/consignment shop to re-purpose clothing; and craft shops for accessories.

  • Grace's first costume was an angel: Went to a consignment shop and bought an awful christening dress that had gold lame on it. Worked great.
  • For Grace’s costume this year, we’re doing a Greek Statue: She will wear all white (including tights and gloves), I will paint her face and neck white. I am going to get a little white fabric for a toga and have her wear white sandals with white ribbon attached and criss-crossed up her legs. I bought cheap plastic grapes at Michael's Crafts and I will spray them white too. I figure she can "freeze" every once in a while to be a statue.
  • Tommy was once a UPS guy: I got a brown polo shirt, brown pants, he used one of his dad’s UPS baseball hats and I glued extra UPS patches onto the shirt. I gave him a box to collect his candy in. So cute!
  • This is a great website I go to for ideas.
Ned Stark October 21, 2011 at 12:46 PM
Molly Buccini October 21, 2011 at 01:07 PM
Ned, if you have any tips/ideas, please feel free to jump in with them.
Samantha R October 21, 2011 at 03:22 PM
experts? since when is going to the salvation army to buy a clothes for a costume, an "expert" idea? Isnt that obvious? im confused. A white dress for an angel costume?! WOW I would never have thought of that on my own! No offense danvers patch, but you could have done better with this one!
Samantha R October 21, 2011 at 03:25 PM
Couldnt agree more Ned. Once I have kids, I am hoping i will come up with better ideas than this! And I am not even considered an "Expert" lol No offence to the ladies who contributed. I am guessing they didnt have many options to choose from, if this is what they chose to write about.
Michelle Gilliss October 21, 2011 at 07:19 PM
Hi, Samantha-Sorry to disappoint you in our attempt to get into the Halloween spirit! If you have any advise on costume ideas we'd love to hear them!


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