Like many children, Halloween was always one of my favourite holidays, but not for the reasons that you may think. Yes, I got to stay up late, play make-believe, and eat a plethora of candy, but the real reason that I loved Halloween so much was because my mother, aunt, sister, and I would make our Halloween costumes from scratch. A pre-packaged, store-bought Halloween costume wasn’t even an option in our household, and my sister and I loved it that way.
A few weeks before the main event, we would all pile into the car and head to our local craft and thrift stores to stock up on felt, fabric, clothing, face paint, and raw materials. Working together, we would glue, sew, cut, draw, and paint our way to the costume of our dreams; by October 31st, we had a Halloween costume that we were not only excited about, we were proud of.
Even though we could be anything we wanted, I chose to be a cat three years in a row – I was really into cats. My favourite cat costume was a mix between items I already owned, separates we thrifted, and raw materials that we purchased.
Cat Ears – To create the perfect cat ears, we used black fabric placemats that we thrifted for just a few dollars. Using the fringe as “cat hair,” we cut them into the shape of ears, lined them with a coat hanger to give them shape, and attached them to a headband.
Shirt – Lucky for me, I also happen to love musicals (and you thought I couldn’t get any cooler). Naturally, my favourite musical was Cats, so I pounced at the opportunity to wear one of my most prized souvenirs for Halloween. The shirt also happened to say “Cats” on it, which conveniently pointed out what I was dressed as, in case there was any confusion.
Leggings – My mother was always concerned about me keeping warm while trick-or-treating, so she found a pair of thick black leggings for me at our local thrift store. They also happened to have a warm fuzzy lining to them, which somehow made them feel much more authentic to me.
Tail – To create the purrrfect cat tail (don’t worry, I’m almost out of cat puns), we purchased black furry fabric at our local craft store, cut it into the shape of a tail, sewed it up, and stuffed it with polyester filling.
Paws – Note how I’m using my hands as paws. This sort of purrr dedication can only come from the truly cat-obsessed.
Ever since then, I’ve always created my own costume with a mix of thrifted and new items. Not only does it save money (many costumes will cost under $30), it guarantees that no one else will have the same costume as you. If you’re considering making your own Halloween costume this year, here are five thrift-friendly ideas that I’ve created myself:
1. Audrey Hepburn – Thrift a large pair of sunglasses, novelty tiara, fitted black dress, black heels, gloves, or pearls.
2. Anna Wintour – Thrift a large pair of sunglasses, faux fur jacket, or a copy of Vogue.
3. Bumble Bee – Thrift a yellow shirt and create your own black stripes by using electrical tape. Use an old sweater to make fuzzy cuffs as feelers and create antennas out of pipe cleaners, pompoms, and a headband.
4. ’80s Rock star – Thrift flashy ’80s wear, toy guitars, microphones, legwarmers, spandex leggings, or gloves.
5. Cowboy or Cowgirl – Thrift a denim vest, plaid shirt, cowboy boots, toy badges, or denim pants.
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Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Value Village via Glam Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Value Village.