Five Thrifty Halloween Tips ~Plus~ $50 thredUP Gift Certificate #giveaway

It is two weeks until Halloween and we are getting excited for trick or treating as well as some fall parties and activities at school, my husband’s work and church. My five-year-old has been a black cat at least for the past three years, and this year she is finally going to try something new. As we have shopped around the past month for costume ideas I have reflected on some thrifty costume tips that I have used over the past few years as well as some from my childhood!

K Cat1. Use What You Already Have. I am sure most of us remember putting together costumes as children from what we already had in the closet, dress up bin, or that we could cut up into something Halloween worthy. I remember one year begging my mother to let me cut a sheet into a ghost costume and another year I pieced together things I found around the house to be a hippie.

When my oldest was an infant she was super chunky and had the biggest cheeks you can imagine. I dug up an old blue floral dress my mother saved from when my sister and I were little, made a wig out of yarn and voila! she was a Cabbage Patch doll. The infant years are also a great time to incorporate cloth diapers into your costumes or holiday photos— and I know a good portion of you have plenty of those lying around!

2. Borrow From a Friend. It is great when you have friends who have children just a little bit older than yours, because that means they may have costumes from last year that may just work for your little tikes. My son’s first costume two years ago was an adorable Yoda costume we borrowed from a friend and it saved me time trying to decide what he should be. She offered to let us borrow it and it seemed to suit him well so we took her up on the offer.

J Pumpkin3. Buy Used. I was in a darling children’s second-hand shop this week and although I did not come home with any costumes, they had a lovely assortment of gently used costumes waiting to go home with some lucky shoppers. Costumes often only get used once and then forgotten, so buying them used can save you money and many costumes may have only been used one time.

You may also want to consider buying used clothing to piece together your costumes on websites like thredUP, who specialize in gently used children’s, teen and women’s clothing. Choosing to put together costumes from clothing that can be used beyond October 31st can save you money in the long run since you are not dropping $20 on something that may only be worn once or twice. Check out some of their Halloween costume ideas on their website and they are also having a pre-holiday clearance.

Along the same lines, you may want to consider buying gender neutral costumes that can be used on future children when purchasing costumes for infants or toddlers. My daughter was a pumpkin her second Halloween and lucky baby brother got to wear her costume for Halloween last year.

4. Shop Ahead for the Next Year By Hitting Clearance Racks. This is the most affordable way to get Halloween costumes for the following year if you prefer new costumes. It can be hard at times to guess sizing for the following year, especially if you have kids who grow as quickly as mine, but most costumes have size ranges and some flexibility for growth. This option is harder once your kids start to have their own ideas of what they want to be, which will likely change by the following year, but works great when they are still infants and toddlers.

5. Sew Costumes or Make Friends With Someone Who Can. If you are sewing literate or have a friend or family member who is, sewing costumes can save you money. Depending on the quality of fabrics you purchase and the cost of the pattern this will not always save you money and you have to invest a bit of time, so this option is not for everyone. If you think ahead during the year and plan the costumes early enough to find bargains on fabric, patterns and allow yourself enough time to make them you may be able to save a few bucks and create a custom costume.

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No compensation was received for this post and the views and opinions are my own. Affiliate links are used and the giveaway is provided by thredUP.

{If you enjoyed reading Five Thrifty Halloween Tips ~Plus~ $50 thredUP Gift Certificate #giveaway I would be tickled pink if you left a comment. To read more about my green(er) parenting aspirations, advice and adventures be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or get updates via email.}


By Emi Stapler. I am a cloth diaper advocate, green parenting blogger, mother of three and a military wife who enjoys sharing my motherhood adventures and advice. Follow me at The Cloth Diaper Report on Facebook, Twitter @TheCDReport , Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.

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  1. boy and girl minions!

  2. Clark Kent for my little guy. I think he would make a adorable Superman.

  3. hooahandhiccups says:

    A kitty for me :)

  4. Anne Perry says:

    Genuine Kids from Oshkosh scare crow costume

  5. abedabun dawn says:

    Disney Jeans and Disney Button Down, Long Sleeve shirt. Add a straw hat, roll up the sleeves and pants legs, and my grand daughter would look like a farm girl. Sweet!

  6. Amanda Alvarado says:

    Smurfette for dd! All we’d have to find is a white dress and white shoes!

  7. “Despicable Me” minion

  8. Meagan M. says:

    “Despicable Me”!! Hilarious!!

  9. scarecrow

  10. This is so fun! I would totally dress up as a speech pathologist and bring fun toys with me!

  11. Amber Hoaglund says:

    I always check out the clearance rack after Halloween for the next year. Also, having 3 girls makes it nice to hand me down. Thrift stores can be great to piece together costumes like a used prom dress for a princess. Last year I bought a used wedding dress and shredded it to make a Zombie Bride.

  12. despicable Me

  13. Minion costume would be cute! with denim overalls and goggles made from PVC pipes.

  14. A black dress to make my daughter a kitty

  15. A princess for my daughter

  16. Lindsy Zimmerman says:

    Football player for my little guy! :)

  17. Thing 1 and 2

  18. KristinaYellow says:

    We’d create a Princess Jasmine look from the princess glinda outfits I think….

  19. Wonder woman for dd

  20. Rebecca Williams says:

    A princess

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