Dress up for less

Halloween costumes for less than 10 bucks

Halloween costumes for less than 10 bucks

October 16, 2007|By BRIGITTE GREWE and KACEY KEITH / Pulse Correspondents

Buying Halloween costumes can be tedious, not to mention expensive, so we explored alternatives.

We priced some popular Halloween costumes: a 1950s outfit ($52 if purchased ready-made in stores), a pirate costume ($79), a hippie girl ($31), an aerobics girl ($40) and a diva ($26).

So we looked for some terrific alternatives that only require stuff you might have at home, things you could make or things you could find easily at the thrift store. The costumes were not expensive at all. They were easy to make and put together. We searched three thrift stores in Hagerstown - World Treasures thrift store, Goodwill and Hagerstown Rescue Mission thrift store.

'50s Guy and Girl

For a girl, you need:

Black sweater - You can find one at any thrift store for around $2 or you may already have one at home. (Any shirt can be worn under the sweater.


· Handmade poodle skirt - Kacey made this skirt out of a round tablecloth we bought at Goodwill for $4. To make this skirt, fold the table cloth in half twice. Measure your hip circumference at the level of your belly button or above, and use this measurement to cut a hole a quarter of that size.

This can easily be done. Before folding it, use a compass, or string and pencil to "map" out how big your waist is. Then cut out the circle. Pull the dress over your head and let it ride above your hips. If necessary, pin it to your blouse.

Now make the poodle. Look online for a poodle-shaped appliqu or you can make one yourself by drawing a poodle on felt. Sew the poodle on the bottom front corner of the skirt. To make the poodle's leash, glue or sew ribbon or string in place.

· Saddle shoes or white sneakers - If you don't have saddle shoes already, you can use white shoes (which you can buy at a thrift store) and draw a saddle shoe design on them with a permanent marker.

· Scarf or ribbon - Tie your hair up into a pony tail

For a guy, you need:

· White T-shirt - If you don't already have one and your parents don't have one either, then you can get a cheap four-pack of T-shirts at Wal-Mart, Target or a similar store.

· Blue jeans - Wear a pair of your favorite jeans.

· Converses - If you don't have these then ask a friend or you can buy your own pair to use for regular shoes or, if necessary, you can just wear any kind of sneaker (old-style if possible).

· Hair- Put gel in your hair and comb it straight back.

Hippie chick

· Patterned ribbon or bandana - Tie this up around your head to make a headband. If you use a ribbon, find a natural or Indian style pattern. Make the ribbon a bit longer than the circumference of your head and tie it up.

· Hair - Keep it long and natural.

· Wacky, patterned skirt - The more patterns the better! Find a long, well-worn, almost fraying skirt at a thrift store.


· Bandana - You can chose the design; we used a red bandana. You may have one lying around the house.

· White or cream-colored ruffled blouse - Find one at a thrift store. Puffy sleeves and frills along the buttons add to the character.

· Sword - You can find a good pirate sword at toy stores or dollar stores. We had one at home.

· Vest - If you don't have a suitable vest, take a plain, black V-neck T-shirt and cut down the middle to make a vest.

Sporty aerobics girl

· Aerobics pants or body suit - We bought ours at Goodwill for $6.

· Hair band or athletic headband - Tie your hair up with one that matches the aerobics pants. You can get a hair band at a dollar store if you don't have one.

· Leg warmers - Borrow your mother's, or cut the sleeves from an old sweater to make the leg warmers.

· Sports jacket - This can be just a jacket with bold colors. Your parents might have one. You can find them at Goodwill for $3.


· A fancy or sparkly dress - This can be found at many thrift stores, found at home or borrowed from a friend. The dress in the picture was bought at a thrift store for $2.

· Heels or shiny flats - These are easy to find at a thrift store or discount shoe store.

· Earrings, bracelets, necklaces - Jewelry is important to divas, obviously. Wear lots of gold and silver. Many people have costume jewelry that could go well with the costume - dangly earrings, gold-colored bangles, gold chain necklaces. Borrow jewelry, buy costume jewelry at a thrift store, or buy some at Wal-Mart or Target.

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