Paycheck Chronicles

Cheap and Fast Halloween Costumes


Ugh!  Halloween.  I'm like a Halloween Grinch:  I don't like it all.  Unfortunately, I do have four children and three of them still really enjoy Halloween.  I manage to avoid the house decorations and other excitement, but we still do costumes and trick-or-treating.

This year, we are running wwaayy behind in the costume department.  Two girls chose awesome medieval princess dresses to make.  We've made the same pattern before, so I knew it wouldn't be too hard.  Plus, this time the girls are old enough that I can teach them as we go.  What could go wrong?

Of course, lots of stuff has gone wrong.  I've not been feeling great, one child has been swamped with school, and my sewing machine is mysteriously missing an important part!

As a result, I'm scouring the internet for super quick costume ideas that won't break the bank.  Here are some things I've found:

Bunch of Grapes

grape costumeSuper simple:  dark pants, top in red, purple, or green, covered with matching balloons.  Gather your friends to make an entire vineyard, or get someone to dress up as a wine bottle to be a before-and-after project.  If can source some other fruit costumes, a group of you can be the Fruit of the Loom guys, though that is straying away from the cheap and easy category.

Taco Bell Sauce

taco bell saucesThis one will require a little bit of effort, but it is still pretty darn awesome for something so simple.  Use a solid colored T shirt or cheap strapless dress and decorate to look like a sauce packet from Taco Bell.  Use their saucy sayings, or make up your own.  If you have time and skills, you can sew a t-shirt into a strapless dress.  The decorating can be as elaborate or simple as you can manage:  fabric paint, stickers, or just paper stuck onto the clothes.



ipod costumesFirst step:  find a box or two pieces of cardboard.  Second step:  decorate.  This project gets easier if you choose an older-style Ipod.  I've seen these as simple as black sharpie on a regularly colored cardboard box, or more complicated styles with attached headphones.


If you are too late, too busy, or too cheap for these ideas, consider the classic bedsheet ghost, hobo, or brown paper bag.  Alternately, check out local stores late Halloween afternoon for marked down costumes.  You might not have many choices, but a bagged costume is super-easy.

Hope you enjoy the festivities.

photos from flickr:  laura lasco, PAGalloway, JoeShablotnik,


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