Halloween costumes on the cheap may be of interest due to the troubled economy, but people of a certain age (no need to specify what age) remember a time when Halloween costumes were always cheap. We didn’t buy our Halloween costumes from specialty costume boutiques or discount stores; we made them primarily from articles on hand. Any buying was limited to a simple accessory like a plastic face mask.
The first place we looked for free Halloween costume makings as kids was our mother’s closet. My mother’s flared, colorful square dancing skirts and bandanas made fine gypsy costumes. One of her skirts with an apron and a pair of white patent leather Mary Janes re-created Alice in Wonderland.
Trick-or-treating as a “bum” no doubt lacks political correctness these days, but bum clothes were easily found in Dad’s too big shirts and pants. The older the better. All that was needed to complete the effect was some cheap face-make-up and rumpled hair.
Angels were easy to make Halloween costumes, requiring only a white sheet, clothes hangers and cardboard. The sheet was used as a drape for the dress portion of the angel costume, while a hanger was bent into a halo. White painted cardboard wings with stapled elastic loops for securing around the arms completes the angel costume. I re-created this Halloween favorite from my own childhood for my youngest daughter when she was seven, and it was one of her forever favorites.
Even in college, we made from articles on hand most of our Halloween party costumes. A black leotard and tights along with mascara whiskers, a black headband with glued-on triangle ears, and a black cloth tail secured with a safety pin (usually a cloth tie belt from some outfit we owned) and presto! we had a cat costume.
Our childhood practice of making ghost costumes from sheets draped over us with the face cut out gave way to the ghoul costume. The ghoul was created from a dark rubber slicker with hood pulled up showing only a ghoulish face mask purchased for a couple dollars at the drug store.
If you have left your search for a cheap Halloween costume to last minute, there are plenty of options with little to no buying required. Cardboard boxes, gauze, aluminum foil and duct tape are magical tools for crafting creative, yet cheap last minute Halloween costumes.