Easy, Cheap & Creative Costume Inspirations

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As much as I love the idea of crafts and the home arts, I am not skilled at them.  Plus, like most parents, my life is very full.  Most of our costumes have been dug out of the dress up box on the day of Halloween.  In fact, last year, I got home from work to find that my then 7-year-old had already costumed everyone up.  So, maybe what I see as a parenting fail has really inspired creativity and resourcefulness into my children.

However, this year I was inspired to be creative when we went to Charlotte’s Web at the Children’s Theatre Company.  I am always incredibly impressed with their costumes.  They speak volumes about the characters without dominating your attention.  Often they are very simple and totally look like something you could pull out of your closet.  I was so inspired by the costumes last month when I saw Charlotte’s Web, that I came home full of ideas for homemade Halloween Costumes.

Here is a list of five places that I find inspiration for costumes.

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The Theatre.

All of the theatres in this area do a beautiful job with costumes. One of the really cool things about the Children’s Theatre Company is that they have been putting their costume drawings up on their Facebook page. This could give you some great ideas for your own costume designs. And if you would just rather rent one of theirs, you can do that too.


Photo and movie info at IMBD.com

Old Movies.

This year, I’m going to dress my 4 year old as the kid from The Red Balloon.  Grey Sweatpants, Grey Turtleneck, Brown Shoes, Red Balloon tied to his back.  Done.  And I have the added benefit of being able to find him in a crowd.  Always a good idea with that kid.  What movies or television shows inspire you and your children?



Coolest Homemade Costumes.com

Hardware Stores.

Every time I go into the plumbing and heating section of a hardware store, I think, I have to make a robot costume some day.  Of course other people have done this; Coolest Homemade Costumes.com has an entire page dedicated to robots.  However, it’s a great place to start, and you are only really limited by your imagination once you walk into that hardware store.

Thrift Stores

I’m not really talking about the big department-store thrift stores that sell mainly new costumes at Halloween.  There are still some really great mom and pop thrift stores where you can let your imagination run wild and walk out with a budget friendly, one-of-a-kind costume.  This is also where we stock up on dress up clothes for the rest of the year.  My favorite thrift store in the Twin Cities is Hidden Treasures in St. Anthony.  It’s small, it’s run by a real charity, and you can still get phenomenal deals there.  But, let’s keep this place a secret — just between you and me.  We don’t want to share it. 

The Dress Up Box

Why not.  It’s there.  Your kids already love the costumes, and it saves you time, money and energy.  And as we all know, the real point of Halloween is candy.  Get them dressed and get them out there, I guess.

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About the author

Joy Peters

Joy Peters - co-creator and writer for FamilyFunTwinCities.com.

Besides Family Fun Twin Cities, I spend my 9 to 5 at a day job pursuing my weird passion for calendars and organizing things as a legal secretary. When I get home I spend my time with my four kids, 10, 6, 4 and 1. My amazing husband is both a full-time musician and full-time stay-at-home dad. Together we run a small radio empire — SiaNet Radio — playing, promoting and enjoying the wide variety of local music and art in the Twin Cities. I juggle all this while writing about exploring the Twin Cities with kids. I couldn’t be happier.

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