Ten Thrift Store Halloween Costume Ideas
by Jane Lake
Thrift stores are the perfect place to buy clothing for
Halloween costumes. The prices are affordable and the
selection usually wide enough for bountiful creativity. Some
thrift stores carry Halloween accessories as well, so you may
pick up everything you need for the following costumes in one
quick, economical shopping trip.
Pin plastic seaweed and fake aquarium plants to your clothes
and wear long strands in your hair. Shred the arms and
pockets of an old shirt, overlay with a shredded vest and
wear over tattered trousers or a long skirt with a torn hem.
Wet look fabric is a bonus. Make a long necklace or belt
from a thick length of hemp rope; unravel the rope ends for
best effect, and attach a toy sailboat. Hot glue polished
pennies or fake gold coins (bags of gold chocolate coins are
great) in strategic places. A fake fish or two sticking out
of a pocket completes the ensemble.
Variations: Titantic Passenger - Wear the costume described
above, but add ghost or skeleton face makeup or masks.
Bee Movie Star
Make bee antenna by hot gluing small black pom-poms to black
chenille stems, then hot glue the antenna to a black head
band. Wear a yellow top with black tights or leggings;
padding the top is optional, but you'll need to add stripes
with black tape. If you're going all out, paint your face
yellow with large black circles around your eyes.
Dress in khaki clothing and a wide brimmed hat. Attach
netting around the hat brim. Glue fake bees all over the hat
and clothes. If you have children accompanying you, dress
them as bees.
Wear old clothes and a wide brimmed hat with netting around
the brim. Glue fake bugs, spiders, mice and rats to the
clothes and hat; if desired, add a mousetrap complete with a
fake trapped mouse. Carry a net.
Start with a long, baggy sweat shirt with a ribbed hem that
pulls in fairly tightly around the bottom of your hips. Pad
the shirt in the shape of a Hershey's kiss and cover with
strips of aluminum foil tucked in and stapled or glued at
the hem and neck. For a French Kiss, add a French beret.
Toy Story Woody
A yellow, or yellow-plaid shirt, overlaid by a
black-and-white cow patterned vest, is the signature look
for this Toy Story cowboy. Buy a short black or white vest
and paint on contrasting patches in a random black-and-white
pattern; wear over a yellow shirt. Add bright blue jeans or
blue pants, thrift store western-style cowboy boots, and a
brown or red straw cowboy-style hat. Tie a red bandanna
around your neck, and add a western style belt or toy gun holster.
Alice in Wonderland
For Alice, you will need a light blue dress with a full skirt,
overlaid with a white apron. Wear an extra large black bow in
your hair and white ankle socks with black shoes.
Make or buy a top hat for the Mad Hatter, then attach a
playing card to the hat brim. Buy a long, pocketed jacket at
the thrift store - in plaid, or the brightest color you can
find, and a vest in a contrasting color. Make a huge bow tie
from a rectangle of bright patterned fabric cinched together
in the middle and wear it around your neck.
Gulliver and Lilliputians
Buy a white, ruffled shirt with long, full sleeves. Cut long
pant legs off six inches below the knee; cinch just below the
knee with a circle of elastic. Wear long white knee socks,
overlapped by the knee breeches. Make old-fashioned shoe buckles
by cutting out two rectangles of cardboard with two rectangular
holes inside; cover with gold foil or paint gold. Finally, run
thin rope over your shoulders and around your middle; attach small
doll figures to the rope as Lilliputians trying to tie you down.
This one doesn't require any shopping at all - you just need a
very large, empty dog food bag. These come in jumbo sizes to fit
an adult; smaller sizes would work for children. Wear a brown or
black track suit. The top of the bag will probably be cut right
across; if not, cut a straight line as close to the top as possible.
Cut leg holes in the bottom of the bag. Make suspenders to go over
your shoulders from transparent tape or ribbon. Hot glue the
suspenders to the top of the bag. Wear a couple of bone shaped
cookies in your hair.
Jane Lake is a published magazine writer and
editor of the popular free craft site, AllFreeCrafts.com at
which offers dozens of free
Halloween crafts, activities, recipes and costumes ideas at