Easy and Inexpensive Halloween Costume Ideas for Kids and Adults

Everywhere you look Halloween is in the air, and stores! Here are several easy and inexpensive Halloween costume ideas that you can make at the last minute. Kids and adults will love getting into the spirit of the holiday with dressing up as a pirate, gypsy, wizard, and a racecar driver.

These costume ideas are not expensive if you hunt for costume items at your local second hand store. And you are helping your local charity at the same time! Besides finding great clothing for your costume, you can get great accessories such as old boots, beads and costume jewelry, scarves, belts, etc. also.

A Pirate costume can be made easily with dark colored pants that are torn up to just below the knee. Commercial pirate costumes show black & white striped shirts, but pirates more commonly wore clothing they could obtain from their victims. So any solid colored shirt with long sleeves and a collar will work. If the weather is cold, add an overcoat to the effect. Black or brown boots or shoes, red bandanas or scarves, and lots of costume jewelry finish off the costume.

A gypsy costume is one of the quickest ones to put together. Obtain peasant-like clothing you can find such as full skirts, blouses or shirts with billowing sleeves, lots of scarves and costume jewelry. Layer large scarves over the skirt and shirt, and tie a scarf around the head. If you have a tambourine, carry it or hang it from a belt add to the gypsy costume.

A wizard costume is another easy Halloween costume idea! A high school or college graduation robe in black or blue works great for the wizard’s robe. Glue on silver or white stars cut from felt or foam and any trim or braid you may have lying around. Make a wizard hat from a 15″ cone made from black or blue poster board and cover with more stars. Attach to the head with bobby pins. Make a wizard’s staff from a 4-5 foot dowel (length depends on the height of the wizard) found at the local hardware store. Secure on top of the pole a plastic ball decorated with ribbons and bells.

A Racecar Driver will be a popular costume idea this year due to the popular movies Cars and Talladega Nights. Begin with one-piece overalls that painters or construction workers wear. If you cannot find patches to glue on the suit, make them from felt. A good supplier for patches is an Army-Navy Surplus Store. A motorcycle helmet from the second-hand will finish off the look of this costume idea.

The Halloween costume ideas listed above can be finished off with a little Halloween makeup. Using white, black, blue, brown and green colors will enhance the costumes and add to the dramatic effect of the character you’ve chosen to become. Ordinary everyday makeup will work just as well as the packaged Halloween makeup. Or you can make your own smooth, thin makeup by blending one part cornstarch and two parts shortening with enough drops of food coloring to produce the appropriate shade. Use a green tint for the wizard or a brown for the pirate to give him or her the look of being out to sea too long.

Have fun with these Halloween costume ideas and let your imagination run wild!

Katherine E. Ackerman

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