Using some fuzzy math, I figured I have 30 kid Halloweens under my belt. That’s adding up each Halloween, times the three kids who are now teenagers.  Although in recent years I’ve had less and less costuming to do, when the children were younger, creating their Halloween costumes was an important annual tradition.  It usually involved sewing, painting, cutting, gluing–all for a more personable look instead of the store-bought predictable outfits made of flimsy synthetic materials. I can’t say I always saved money, and definitely didn’t save time, but the unique results were well worth the efforts.

Some of my favorite Halloweens saw our family dressed as the cast from the Wizard of Oz (I was the Tin Man, complete with a funnel on my head); a group of safari animals (including a zebra costume made out of a white Tyvek painting suit with stripes drawn all over and a giraffe costume fashioned out of a rain suit with spots painted all around ); characters from Alice in Wonderland (the Alice dress turned out to be extremely versatile serving for many years for a number of characters), and then there were the years – about five or six – when my now 12-year old son wore the same dog costume made by his grandma.  Finally (and thankfully) he grew out of it.  Which is why last year I had to whip up Han Solo and Princess Leia costumes in a few hours after a last-minute decision for the aforementioned son, his sister and a friend to go with a Star Wars theme.

Which brings up a good point:  think of your favorite movie, book, cartoon character, profession, sports personality, celebrity, or even food dish, and draw your costume ideas from those. With a keen eye paired with some creativity, you will likely find most of the supplies around the house:  old sheets and towels, leftover paint, duct tape, paper bags, cardboard boxes, fabric remnants, and clothes in your closets.  For the non-sewing costumers, duct tape, a stapler and a glue gun are life savers.

Check out these links for some fun DIY Halloween project ideas. To supplement the supplies found around your house, visit the local thrift stores for accessories, paints, craft supplies, fabric pieces, yarn, etc.  It all starts with a great idea, and the rest will fall into place!

Real Simple: http:/www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/halloween/diy-halloween-costumes-00100000065971/index.html

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/goodwillwm/diy-halloween-costumes/

(this website has ideas galore for costumes, decorations, and anything else requiring creativity)

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