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'No spend' Halloween costumes?

MSE_Laura_F Posts: 1,575 MSE Staff
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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?


  • Misslayed
    Misslayed Posts: 14,372 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. 
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  • MSE_Laura_F
    MSE_Laura_F Posts: 1,575 MSE Staff
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    Seeing two tiny shadow creatures on my doorstep would fill me with dread. Bravo to them.
  • SadieO
    SadieO Posts: 434 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_Shell
    Sea_Shell Posts: 9,552 Forumite
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    White sheet, with eye holes cut in them!?!

    How's it going, AKA, Nutwatch? - 12 month spends to date = 2.57% of current retirement "pot" (as at end May 2024)
  • HRH_MUngo
    HRH_MUngo Posts: 877 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
  • Mnoee
    Mnoee Posts: 828 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! 
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,206 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. 
  • flamingo747
    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
    Married 40y.o. mum of an autistic 11y.o. Carer/SAHM.
    OS '24 Fashion On The Ration: 0(34 preloved)/67 coupons used - OS '24 Declutter Challenge: 633/500 items gone 🏅 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 - Now aiming for 750!
    Feb GC: (1st-29th inc) £161.45/£495
     ((OS 2023 Decluttering: 740 items 🏅 🏅 🏅  🌟 . OS 2023 Fashion on the ration: 14/15 used))

  • MSE_Laura_F
    MSE_Laura_F Posts: 1,575 MSE Staff
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    Come to a party dressed as someone else who'll be there. Simple, but deeply uncanny.
  • Spies
    Spies Posts: 2,037 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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