By contributing writer Laura
Kids love costumes! Don’t you love how a funny hat, robe, feather boa, or other play clothing can spur creativity in your child and lead to loads of laughs without electronic entertainment? If dress up time is popular at your house, like it is at mine, you may be wondering how to foster that creativity and keep up with their latest favorite character or hero without breaking the bank.
5 Way to Save on Kids Costumes
1. Search Your Closet
You’d be surprised how many items are already in your child’s closet or your own closet that would help make a great costume. I had a long, dark cardigan that was accidentally shrunk in the dryer (oops!) and has now turned into a great Jedi robe for my son. Also if you have old vests, aprons, robes, graduation gowns, uniforms, etc. these make great components for a costume. Of course any sports uniforms, leotards, or dresses also make great dress up attire. Plus, I’m also noticing more kids pajamas today that look like super hero costumes or characters.
Accessories like hats, capes, jewelry, gloves, scarves, belts and bandannas can create the perfect touches on an outfit. Look through your closet for items you already own, and if you need to purchase something, focus on the one essential accessory that “makes” the outfit. Be on the look-out for freebies; I’ve gotten free plastic firefighter hats when visiting our local fire station as well as at FireHouse Subs, plus yellow construction worker hard hats from vendors at local home shows and events. You can also find many free printables online for hat and accessory patterns.
3. Organize a Costume Swap
The best way to get costumes on-the-cheap is to exchange with other families! You can ask friends or even organize your own costume swap for your local moms group, school, church or neighborhood. Kids grow quickly and that outgrown costume taking up space in your closet could bring another child a lot of joy, plus make room for other outfits. New-to-you costumes put smiles on your children’s faces, without putting a dent in your wallet.
4. Shop Clearance
The beginning of November is prime time to buy a costume on clearance. You’ll notice more selection and variety closer to the beginning of the month, but in the following weeks the discounts will be even greater. Instead of caving in and buying a costume at full price for your child at other times during the year, be strategic and start actively looking during the month of November.
5. Yard Sales, Consignment Sales & Thrift Stores
Our family has collected quite a few costumes and other fun outfits from yard sales and consignment sales. We’re notorious for scouting out cow costumes for my kids, because we love farm animals and also enjoy Chick-fil-A’s annual Cow Appreciation Day in which bovine-clad customers get free food. Be on the look-out for gently used costumes at yard sales, consignment sales, and thrift stores, while looking for other items for your child’s normal wardrobe.
What ways do you save on dress up attire for your children? Have you gotten any great deals on particular outfits or have you assembled a stellar DIY costume? Give your fellow frugal friends the scoop and leave a comment!