'No spend' Halloween costumes?

edited 4 October 2022 at 3:35PM in Marriage, relationships & families
14 replies 3.2K views
MSE_Laura_FMSE_Laura_F Community Admin
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Do you or your kids dress up at Halloween? Do you have any free or very cheap costume ideas?

I'll start: basic makeup can go a long way. The last couple of years I've tried illusion makeup, for example, by drawing a second set of eyes, nose and mouth on my face. There's a lot of inspiration on Instagram (@mimles and @designdain, for example).

I was also impressed in the past by someone who came to a Halloween party as Alan Partridge dressed as a zombie - a niche reference to one episode. Shower curtain for a cape, screws for claws etc - all household items.

What are your best tips for dressing up without buying a ready-made costume?


  • MisslayedMisslayed Forumite, Senior Ambassador
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    A couple of years ago I had two smalls trick or treating wearing black from top to toe, with black net over their faces, they were Shadows! Not sure if that's a character from something (I'm Very Old), or just a concept. 
    I’m a Senior Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Competition Time, Site Feedback and Marriage, Relationships and Families boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected] All views are my own and not the official line of Money Saving Expert.
  • MSE_Laura_FMSE_Laura_F Community Admin
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    Seeing two tiny shadow creatures on my doorstep would fill me with dread. Bravo to them.
  • SadieOSadieO Forumite
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    Those shadows sound terrifying!

    There's tons you can do with ordinary clothes and a bit of make up. Halloween is even easier to do "DIY" than other kinds of fancy dress. 

    Cats are easy, just wear all black and use an eyeliner to draw whiskers and a black nose. Stick two triangles of black card onto a hairband for ears. One leg from a pair of black tights stuffed with tissue paper or teatowels etc for a tail (if you want to re-use the tights don't cut the leg off but just tuck the "spare" leg in). 

    Zombies are fun if you can sacrifice an old t-shirt that you can put rips in and add some dirt or even splatters of fake blood (stuff like that is usually available in pound shops). If you rip the shirt you don't even have to rip whatever you are wearing on your lower half - dirt and fake blood will provide enough of an effect for the bottoms and will wash off (check that first though!) and so you can just use normal jeans or any bottoms. Pale face make up, bruise colours around the eyes and as far as you want to go in adding some gross extras such as "wounds" - again, face paints, wound/stitches transfers etc are cheap to pick up at pound shops or even in the supermarkets sometimes. 
  • Sea_ShellSea_Shell Forumite
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    White sheet, with eye holes cut in them!?!

    How's it going, AKA, Nutwatch? - 12 month spends to date = 3.22% of current retirement "pot" (as at end Feb 2023)
  • HRH_MUngoHRH_MUngo Forumite
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    Easy.  Don't have them.  It's not compulsory to do anything for Halloween.
    I used to be seven-day-weekend
  • MnoeeMnoee Forumite
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    My local charity shop has lots of kids costumes at the moment. Worth checking for bargains if you don't feel creative! 
  • SpendlessSpendless Forumite
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    Don't know if this is just a thing with Uni student age but I'm seeing a trend towards being anything for Halloween in the way it is in the States rather than something 'spooky' connected.

    Don't understand that myself, it seemed relevant for Halloween costumes to be ghost/zombie/witch connected.

    At a younger age my DD and a friend went out as come to life zombie type dolls. With their hair in messy pigtails and dresses that were 'cutesy'. Can't remember if they adapted something we already had in or picked something up from a charity shop. They then facepainted to look doll-like and when someone answered the door both would stare then one tip the head one way saying 'trick' and the other their head the opposite way saying 'treat'  in monosyllabic tones. It got a great response.

    And since the moaning about Halloween has already happened, the ruling I had with my kids was that they could only knock at doors that were decorated or had a pumpkin. They were the households participating in Halloween and would be anticipating callers. They were accompanied by an adult and always dressed up. 
  • flamingo747flamingo747 Forumite
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    You could take a plain white t-shirt and draw the Image Broken symbol, and write Halloween_Costume-2022.jpeg failed to load beneath it
    OS Fashion On The Ration Challenge 2022, starting October 1st. 2/17 coupons so far. (2 pairs of fluffy socks)

  • MSE_Laura_FMSE_Laura_F Community Admin
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    Come to a party dressed as someone else who'll be there. Simple, but deeply uncanny.
  • SpiesSpies Forumite
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    Don't turn up, then when someone asks why you're not there, just say you came as Mr invisible.
    4.29kWp Solar system, 45/55 South/West split in cloudy rainy Cumbria. 
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