Create a Halloween costume for less with dollar store finds

Marlene with a cowboy hat onADI reports that, according to a new survey by the National Retail Federation, American consumers are set to spend a lot more money on Halloween this year than last year. The majority of the spending is expected to be on costumes, at a cost of $23.37 each.

That's probably the price of an adult costume but, at any rate, it's a lot of moola to be spending on something that will only be worn once and probably never again. If you've got the extra cash, why not? If you don't, here are some inexpensive and fun ideas from the dollar stores, focusing mostly on kid stuff.

For adults, often all you need is a hat and one or two accessories, like a cowboy hat and a kerchief, to play dress-up once a year.

99-cent Only Stores has wing sets that little girls will like. The fairy wings come with a wand and the bumble bee wings come with a head band antenna. Each set is only a buck each. Appropriately colored tights and body suits easily complete the costume. 99-cent Only Stores also have pirate and witch hats, pirate hook hands and plastic weapons.

For adults or kids, 99-cent Only Stores suggests adding one of their scary masks and a weapon to your own black outfit, an easy solution to creating a costume for only two bucks.

For the kids, don't forget to check out the toy section in your local dollar store. They often have dress-up items there. Some of the things you can get: felt hats (robin hood, cowboy, etc.) and accessories like plastic jewelery, tiaras, wands, tutus, long gloves, feather boas, foam swords, bow and arrow sets, toy guns and other assorted weaponry that add authenticity to a costume.

Dollar Tree has pirate play sets, each one containing different items essential to the well-dressed pirate. One package has a hook, earring, gold doubloons, an eye patch and a spyglass. Another has a spyglass, pirate sword, patch and gold doubloons. Add kerchief head gear or pirate hat, a pair of cut-off jeans and your little pirate is ready to go.

They've also got archery play sets for equipping a small Robin Hood or, perhaps your little one aspires to be a more modern hero. Dollar Tree has plastic fireman helmets and play sets that include either an ax, Walkie-Talkie, fire extinguisher and badge or a crowbar, ax, badge and whistle. Put your child in a yellow raincoat and a pair of rubber boots and your little firefighter will be all set.

The loose accessories may be fine in a party situation but will probably just be a hindrance when trick-or-treating so stick with things that can be attached to the costume, like a badge, worn, like a holster, or are easy to carry, like a fairy wand.

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes ideas and tips for home decor using only items from the dollar store.
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