Finding Our Family Costumes and other last-minute Costume Finds

We are in the throes of assembling our latest collection of themed family costumes this week. I will not reveal them just yet but will give a few clues. As many of you know, we have a long-standing tradition of dressing up together as a family for Halloween. It is a bit of work, but we have fun with it, and it doesn’t have to be as much work as you might think. It just requires a bit of creative thinking and resourcefulness (it doesn’t hurt to be a bit of a pack-rat).

FINDING Halloween

To achieve a coordinated family look for Halloween you can try one of the following approaches:

  1. Buy it all! Shop early since less popular costumes might only be found on-line. Don’t forget about shipping time. Be prepared to spend some decent money if you want decent looking costumes. On the plus side, if your budget is unlimited, there is probably an Etsy seller or Costume Shop overseas that has created your dream get-up.
  2. Sew it all! This is what the super-mom’s used to do, but how many of us really have the time–or let’s be honest–the skills to sew multiple costumes for picky children. I’m super lucky that my talented mother is an amazing seamstress and has definitely helped us out with lots of our costumes in the past. When she isn’t around, I sometimes I  figure out no-sew ways to create a costume.
  3. Assemble/Mix and Match it all! This is the approach I most often take to putting together our costumes:
    1. It begins with shopping the house to see what parts and pieces we already have that might work for any of the characters. Costumes saved from other years might be re-purposed. A hand-me-down costume might be the inspiration for a whole new family set.
    2. For the things we don’t have on hand, I make a list of the parts and pieces of a costume that we need and go Actual Shopping. I do a lot of looking on Amazon for the things I am lacking. Although you have to watch closely on shipping times and for fluctuating prices. I really love a good thrift store trip to get great elements for costumes that are real (not cheap costume material) at killer prices. I’m going to take you on my latest shopping trip to Deseret Industries in Mesa, AZ, where I found some perfect items for our theme, plus a lot of other brilliant ideas–perfect for those who don’t already have a plan. Read On.
    3. Crafting. After finding the main parts of all of our costumes there is usually a bit of a crafting phase where I make some of the accessories, alter something we have purchased, or rig something from around the house to work as specific part of one of the costumes. Some examples include Glinda’s crown, spray-painted ruby red slippers and the tin man hat from a funnel for our Wizard of Oz grouping. little details can really bring the realistic effect you want.So what cn you find at a store like Deseret Industries? Let me show you. I should start by saying that I felt like D.I.’s prices were significantly lower than other thrift stores I’ve been to. And they had some treasures…

DI Cute Costumes

We found these winners toward the front of the store. Cute, easy, quick, inexpensive costumes that would work well for last-minute or as part of a grouping.

Later, toward the back of the store, I found lots more costumes in packages like a baby Smurf, beautiful barbarian, and rows of green and black striped tights for all of your witchy needs.

DI Pinata Costume

This colorful ruffly number is the basis of what you need to turn your little princess into a piñata for halloween. Some tights and a couple of crafted party hats would round out the outfit.

DI Costume pieces

Don’t forget to check-out the regular clothing section! Some quick looking and I found inspiration for many costumes. That seersucker jacket only needs light pants and a straw hat (and a bowtie, of course) to make a Dapper Dan or part of a barbershop quartet. The stripes on those athletic pants would be perfect for a handsome prince when tucked into boots. And the jersey-style shirt is the start of a great football player costume for a little guy. But his baby brother or sister in a brown onesie and use athletic tape to make the laces on the football and you have an instant family theme!

Thrift Store Costume boot

And make sure to take your time in the shoe section! This cart full of boots came home with us for our costumes this year (any guesses yet?). They are all nice quality and averaged about $6/pair!! So much better than the cheapy fabric boots that come with most store-bought costumes! Here’s one more hint: We also found a red curtain panel at D.I. that came home with us to be repurposed for someones costume. Can you guess now?

So if you haven’t figured out your Halloween costume yet, I highly recommend going to you nearest Deseret Industries.

groovy costume

You’re sure to find Groovy costumes for a steal!

Disclosure: I was provided shopping credit and compensated to write about costumes at Deseret Industries. The opinions and insanity expressed herein, are, as always, my own.

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