Save those pennies this October and cash in on your creative side with 5 cheap Halloween costume essentials. Whether it’s Halloween, Christmas or a birthday party, fancy dress costumes can be expensive and often only worn once before they’re thrown to the side or the back of the loft never to be seen again. You could buy or rent a Halloween costume (either for yourself or for your kids) or you could take some extra time and save money with a unique creation of your own.
Here are five basic items that could help you create something memorable and scary this Halloween, without damaging your budget too much.
- Eyelash glue
Eyelash glue can be a cheap alternative to latex makeup effects. Combine it with cotton wool or tissue paper and some make-up to start creating wounds or open scar tissue. Build up texture on the skin by securing the cotton wool to the arm, face or leg with false eyelash glue and start creating your horrifying design with foundation, red lipstick and fake blood-if you have it. Cotton wool can also be cleverly used to create vampire bites on the side of the neck in a similar fashion. *Do not attempt if you have any allergies or sensitive skin.
- Black Bin Bag / Plain coloured material
The glory of using plain material is that you can cut it up and create any costume you want. And it doesn’t have to be heavy duty quality for simple effects – old sheets or even black bin-bags can be used for costumes. The classic Halloween material, the black bin bag can be used as a traditional witch’s cape, a powerful cape for batman to hide from his enemies and even as a creepy highwayman’s mask. As the material is so easy to shape and fasten using elastic bands and sticky tape, it is the ultimate cost effective Halloween fabric and is guaranteed to be in almost everyone’s kitchen.
- Old Clothes
The great thing about old clothes is that you can do what you want with them. If your kids have old school uniforms to hand, fashion them into zombie students by adding splashes of fake blood here or there and white make-up applied generously to their faces. If you have lab coats that your kids will no longer need, you have the perfect mad scientist costume. Back comb their hair and spray with white paint and add handprints of blood to their lab coats. If you have old dance and ballerina tutus that you know will never be used again, paint or dye them black for a Halloween cat outfit, with eyeliner whiskers or a vampire with plastic fangs and fake blood.
- Masking tape or bandages
This can be used to wrap, add or build parts of any costume. For a classic outfit, wrap yourself in bandages and stalk around as The Mummy (although if you use your first-aid kit, remember to replace it!). Secure with safety pins and paint the face white with a blue tint to give a sick and disturbed look.
Meanwhile, packing tape comes in enough different colours that it can be used to build and stick shapes onto clothing (or skin, but it’s not going to be fun taking it off) – it can be a bit fiddly, but with enough layers, you can get really creative.
Card doesn’t have to mean cardboard (although it can). Check your local art shop or newsagent for different coloured sheets of thin card – this can be used to create masks, cut and glued together to create costumes or accessories… it’s all down to how much time you’re willing to put into it. Even a pack of playing cards can come in handy on Halloween Using a couple of cards, cut in half and secured to the skin using false eyelash glue, add fake blood around the edges, you can create a spooky optical illusion designed to freak people out. Cards can also be used as Mad Hatter accessories and made into a crown of cards for Alice in Wonderland inspired outfits.
You’ll be surprised at how many household items can be easily transformed to create spine chilling Halloween costumes for yourself or your kids for next to nothing. With a bit of imagination you can save yourself a small fortune this October and have a frightfully cheaper celebration.