Written by Spotloan

Fall is a magical time of year. The stunning crimson colors that make their appearance in early to mid-October only serve to make it even more special. And when Halloween hits, the candy bowls and costumes come out and mark the unofficial peak of the season. 

But through the sugar highs, spooky movies, school parades, and trick-or-treat planning, there’s one task we all dread: finding the right costume. Seasonal items for kids rarely last more than a year or two. 

DIY Halloween Costumes Can Save You Money 

At a certain age, our kids start quickly outgrowing old costumes, either physically or emotionally. And buying a brand new costume every year can get costly. In 2019, the average American was slated to spend $86.26 to celebrate Halloween

Costumes accounted for more than any other spending category, including decorations and candy. Getting creative can help you save and celebrate Halloween on a budget. Here are our favorite DIY Halloween ideas for kids when it comes to putting together the perfect costume: 

Create Homemade Costumes 

When it comes to cheap Halloween ideas, it’s always best to start by evaluating what you already have. Look through closets and craft boxes first. Often, we can find all the materials we need throughout the house. 

And if we turn up empty after a thorough at-home search, the basic materials for homemade costumes are often inexpensive at craft stores or chains like Walmart. Here is a list of 85 easy DIY Halloween costumes for kids of all ages

From painted cardboard boxes turned into wearable haunted houses to book-toting DIY librarians, there’s something for everyone. And most feature items that we already have lying around the house. 

Repurpose Old Outfits to Make New-to-You Halloween Costumes

Rather than creating, you can also repurpose. Dig through closets, the attic, bins of old sports uniforms, and donation boxes to see what can easily be turned into a costume. For example, an old white tee-shirt and jeans that are too beat up to wear out of the house can be altered into a costume. 

More specifically, you can quickly and easily turn this outfit into zombie clothing. With a few strategically placed rips and dirt smears made with smudged eyeliner, kids that are old enough to get a bit spooky this Halloween will enjoy walking among the living again. 

An old black dress can be topped off with a hat and a broom to make something witchy. Old sports uniforms can transform them into their favorite athletes. Nightclothes covered by robes and slippers, with the addition of a few hair curlers or a newspaper, can age them 60 years. 

A white sheet or blanket and black felt or construction paper can transform your child into a friendly ghost. For babies or toddlers, a bit of fabric paint can turn a onesie or plain outfit into just about anything. With an open mind and a bit of creativity, the options are truly endless. 

Thrift Shop for Last Season’s Halloween Wares

Because kids cycle through them so quickly, many people donate costumes after Halloween instead of hanging on to them until next year. With a bit of patience, digging through the racks at a thrift store or two could help you find the perfect costume at an incredible discount. 

In 2019, the top Halloween costumes for kids were princess, superhero, and Spider-Man. Avengers characters and witches were next on the list. If your kids want a costume that lands them in the top five, some can be DIY’d, especially the princesses, superheroes, and witches. 

But most can also be found at an incredibly affordable price at a thrift store like Goodwill. 

Keep the Fun Going with These Other Cheap Halloween Ideas

Remember, DIY Halloween ideas for kids aren’t limited to costumes. Make it a holiday to remember by breaking out the movies or music, gathering your kiddos, and crafting some decorations, too. 

Cap it all off by baking some festive treats to enjoy together or working your way through a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt. You can create your own or find an age-appropriate printable on a site like Pinterest.