Don't be scared of high costume prices this Halloween. With a little creativity and our experts' DIY tips, you can save money and still have fun with your kids.
Find Monsters in Your Closet
Our experts recommend looking in your closet for ideas. "There are so many things you can come up with without spending any money," says Kim Danger, founder of MommySavers.com and mother of two. "Look at what your kids enjoy doing and go from there."
Here are some ideas that Danger has used in the past:
Danger's son was interested in hunting and fishing, and had lots of camouflage pants. So she used the clothes and props he already had to turn him into a hunter. Cost: Free.
For her daughter, Danger put together a robe and facial mask for a spa beauty costume. Cost: Single use from a tube of face mask.
Another year, her daughter was a flower girl in a wedding, so Danger paired the dress with a tiara for a princess costume. Cost: Between $4-$10 for a tiara on Amazon.com.
Janis Elspas, mommy blogger and social media strategist, also looks around her home for inspiration. "Use every day things you have at home rather than buying," she says. "Put flour in your hair to make it grey and use regular women's cosmetics for face makeup."
If your child doesn't like anything around the house, Danger recommends another cheap costume option: a bunch of grapes. For about $2, you can buy a pack of purple or green balloons. Find a matching purple or green shirt and use safety pins to attach blown up balloons to the outfit. If you want, you can add some green vine from an art store and call the costume a grape vine. It's a fun and easy DIY costume.
Brew Your Own Potions
For a more dramatic look, you can use everyday ingredients from your pantry to make your own face paint. Danger has a great recipe:
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon flour
¾ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
First mix together the cornstarch and flour. Then add corn syrup and water, and mix until it's smooth. Separate the concoction into paper cups and use food coloring to create the shades you need to turn your child into a witch or a clown.
Cast Temporary Spells
If you want to be frugal and green -- and you don't want to sew -- Danger recommends an easy solution. All you need is craft felt and a plain T-shirt. Glue black spots on a white shirt for a dalmatian costume, black stripes on a yellow shirt for a bumblebee, or black spots on a red shirt for a ladybug.
The best part is, school glue is washable. Throw the costume in the washing machine when you're done and the shirt will come out of the laundry back to normal.