Frugal Baby Pumpkin Halloween Outfit and Other Tips!

Halloween is almost upon us, and if you're like my family... you are putting EVERYTHING off until the last minute.  We understand what it's like to have to throw together costume ideas, treats, decor, and more -- especially on a budget, so in corporation with the Walmart Moms program, we'd love to share how we've done things with less.

Our costumes are perhaps the most mind-numbing expense each year.  Even with our oldest NOT celebrating (she's too old, I guess), that still leaves 4 costumes.  There are a few ways to get around the cost of new costumes every year, and these are my favorite:

  • DIY when you can.  The first year our son went Trick-or-treat, we couldn't find any baby costumes that fit well.  They were also $40 or more!  Since we had limited funds, but wanted cute pictures, we made him a pumpkin outfit from a child's orange t-shirt (usually $3-4 dollars), some green leggings that he already had (black sweats would work, too), and black duct tape.  This is how it turned out:

To put it together, just stuff the shirt with washcloths or mismatched socks from the laundry pile and tuck it into the waist of the pants (or you can secure the bottom of the "pumpkin" with a kid's belt.) Then, cut out the pumpkin face from the tape and stick it directly on the t-shirt.  For a cute pumpkin "topper", we cut out a stem from construction paper, glued it to another construction paper "disk", and then hot glued this onto a little girl's barrette before putting it into my son's hair (shhh.... don't tell him.)
Time spent:  Less than 20 minutes.  Cost:  Less than $10 dollars.

  • Ain't too proud to beg.  Seriously.  Times are tough.  If you have a cousin or sister or friend with older kids who have outfits from last year just laying around, ask if you can borrow them.  Last year's Spider-Man looks a lot like this year's Spider-Man.  Your child doesn't have to know -- if you are worried about it.
  • Buy for the future. Some costumes are just junk.  Others are built to last.  If you are going to pull the trigger on a commercial costume, why not spend a bit more to have something that will become a plaything after the season is over?  We bought really nice plush outfits for our kids when they were toddlers, and they still use them 3 years later in their dress-up box.  It's fun to get geared up as an alligator of frontiersman on a rainy fall afternoon!
  • Purchase just ONE accessory.  It's easy to make most costumes with just paint and stuff you have lying around the house.  Kid really miss the excitement of strolling down the aisles of their local store, however, and picking out their costumes.  Why not compromise by giving kids the chance to buy ONE item from the costume aisle that they can incorporate into a homemade idea?  This gives them the best of both worlds: budget-friendly and peer-approved.
(If Baby Marcus could pick one accessory this year, would he choose this one?)

What about you?  Whether you celebrate or not, do you have some frugal costume solutions for busy, cash-strapped families?  We have really learned to adapt over the years, and still like to keep our options flexible and fun!

Disclosure: I am one of the Walmart Moms. Follow me and my fellow Walmart Moms (Wholesome Mommy, Mommy Brain Reports, Frugal Upstate, A Cowboy’s Wife, Chic Shopper Chick, Consumer Queen, Sophistishe, Green Your Decor,Domestic Diva, and Being Frugal) as we try to have the best Halloween for less at Walmart. Walmart has provided me with compensation and gift card in return for this post. My participation in this program is voluntary and as always opinions are my own.