Jennifer Toeppner, Douglasville mom of three
I've created more than one set of fairy/bumblebee wings with a coat hanger and stockings. You can shape the hangar like the wings and gently slide on the stockings. Also, I like to keep funky and wild wigs on hand. Save it from year to year and buy some temporary spray paint to update/stripe/change and suit your costume. I have one black wig that has stood in as Captain Jack Sparrow, Serena Williams, a Vampire, witch and even Ozzy Ozbourne. Painted red, it works great for Princess Ariel too!
One other thing I try to do is to incorporate something in the outfit that is not a total waste of money. Example: buy your son a new royal blue pant/sweatshirt combo that can be worn again and just sew on the Superman "S" and tack on the cape so that it can be removed. One time, my son got a new red turtleneck for Halloween; when I added yellow electrical tape in a crisscross pattern, it turned into a Bob the Builder shirt. My daughter got a new red dress another year. I put white circular stickers on it, and transformed it into a Minnie Mouse costume. If the outfit calls for boots, I have had them wear their regular sneakers with socks over the top. Also, I have been known to print out logos off the internet and sew/tape/stick them on to a shirt/outfit. Examples: the Harry Potter Hogwart’s crest and the Incredibles "i." Bonus points for printing it directly on to sticker paper and slapping it on to make you look official.
Nicole Sundgren Harterink, Douglasville mom of two
One year my children dressed up as Crayons for Halloween. I bought pink and blue knit outfits for them, stick-on black felt for cuffs on their ankles and wrists and black stick-on letters. My daughter wasn’t tall enough to have “Crayon” on her torso, so she just had “Yon.” I told everyone she had been sharpened.
Last year, I couldn’t find a costume for my son, so I bought a gray sweatsuit and stick-on felt (again!). I cut out diamond shapes and stuck them on his back and sides of his legs. They looked like spikes and he told everyone he was a sweat-a-sarus!
Tamkia Williams, Douglasville mom of two
Every year is different with my two kids. My daughter (12) is the hardest to please when it comes to costume selection. However, this year, we plan on organizing a costume swap with neighbors and friends to keep costs to an absolute minimum. Besides, its a great way to reduce, reuse and recyle. Either way, we spend less than $20 all in.