Have you ever walked in to a place like Party City or just about any big department store around Halloween and looked at the children's costumes hanging on the racks? You're lucky if you get away with spending only $19.99! Normally the cost of some of these getups is closer to forty bucks. Whatever happened to creativity and ingenuity? When we were first married and our boys were little, we tried to be smart with our money because quite frankly, we didn't have a lot to burn. Consequently, Halloween usually meant scraping up ideas in the cupboard and drawers to dress our little trick-or-treaters in something creative yet practical. Especially when they were young, the chance of them fitting into the same outfit for more than one year (or for them agreeing to wear the same costume more than once!) was highly unlikely. Of course, if you have all boys, or all girls, then there's always the infamous and oh-so-loved hand-me-down which is particularly enjoyed by the third in line.
Nevertheless, we came up with some pretty fancy costumes on little-to-no notice. Don't you just love when the come home from school on a Thursday and announce "tomorrow, we're s'posed to wear costumes to school and march around and show everybody what we are wearing"? Okay everybody, kick into high gear~ let's see what we can put together.
One year, we had loads of time and only one child to dress up. So out came the aluminum foil and a colander. We cut strips of foil and pinned them to a grey sweatsuit. Then we "gift wrapped" a shipping box with tin foil that was big enough to fit a six-year old and cut holes for his head and arms. Finally we put a colander on our little candy beggar's head and tied it under his chin with some silver pipe cleaners.) It didn't stay on well but it only had to survive a march down the school hallway for 10 minutes!)
Another year we went all out. We painted 8-year-old sized "bones" on a white cotton bed sheet with glow-in-the-dark paint, cut them out and pinned them on to a black sweatsuit.(Yes, there were skeletons in our family closet!) ...Then there was the most adorable zebra you ever saw. We bought a black and white striped shirt, had our son wear black sweatpants, painted his face with black and white stripes and made him a headband with zebra ears. He won best costume in the second grade that year! Boo-ya!