Costumes: DIY or Store-bought?

EASY TO DIY: Ghost, Dog/cat/mouse, Deck of cards, Robot, Car, Princess, Witch, hippie

PROBABLY SHOULD BUY: Star Wars, Superheroes, Disney princesses,
Other Disney characters, Minions, cartoon or movie characters

It’s that spook-tacular time of year we dress up and take to the streets of our neighborhoods or meet up with friends at a Trunk-or-Treat. In any case, if you haven’t already chosen a costume, or a theme, you’re not alone. 

Find Your Style

Silly or scary?  Popular or unique? Buy, or attempt a DIY? 

Think about what kind of clothing you like to wear. Comfy or glam? Do you want to step out of your comfort zone, or have your friends say, “That is so YOU.” 

It’s worth mentioning parents of children with special needs are celebrating Target’s launch of affordable options for children with disabilities and sensory issues; apparel with softer fabrics and openings in the back. 


Buying everything you need to make your own costume can add up. That’s okay if you’re not on a budget, but if the point is to save money, you just need to plan a little. 

  • How much can you afford to spend?
  • Is your costume idea readily available at the store?
  • Are you able to make something from scratch?
  • Do you have a model or pattern for the costume you’re considering?
  • Can you sew? Or looking at no-sew?
  • Do your kids want to help? How can they help?
  • Do you have the time to make it?

If you choose to shop, fashion mavens recommend you
spend $20-40 for a store costume to ensure it will hold up safely and comfortably for a full night of revelry. Also, be sure to check what is included, in case there are add-ons; e.g., no Jedi wants to be seen without a light saber. 

If you have the means, don’t rule out a full-on Hollywood entrance when you can rent the real thing. Visit and make an appointment for a professional fitting just down the road in Round Rock. Or, in the $200 range, you can rent a genuine Dark Knight or fully-furry Wookie from

Maybe you still want something fancy on a budget. Consider prowling through the yard sale circuit in October. There are always plenty of cocktail or formal dresses on a rack for a princess or Elvira-Mistress of the Dark. Also consider hosting a costume swap with your best shoppers or Pinterest friends. 

Or, go without any costume at all. Instead, invest about $30 in a pair of cat-eye or werewolf contact lenses (order them early!) and watch people freak out a little when they get really close and it’s too late.

For $15 at Amazon, avoid worrying about it all together and dress up your furry friend for cute points, and bonus guard dog while you’re walking the neighborhood. 


According to Amazon, the hottest are still the classics; Banana, Panda, Woody and Jessie and, since this is Texas, a Taco. 

Perhaps your taste is more toward real life characters; Donald and Melania, or various members of the Royal family—don’t forget to include Princess Beatrice’s butterfly hat. 

How about a costume that has a point―Bishop Curry, the 11 year-old Texas boy who invented the Oasis (a device to alert parents and police if a child is left in a hot vehicle).  This would be a great DIY costume for the socially-aware or STEM child in your life, especially since he or she will be able to explain the character and raise awareness for it.

Keep in mind

Children may reassess their Greatest. Costume. Ever. at some point between the school parade and the night-time trick-or-treating. Parents may want to keep this in mind and be supportive―early on―of those independent choices. But also remind your precious ones that it may not be possible to whip up a Transformer out of a trash bag at the last minute. Maybe take the time to locate that just-in-case firefighter or cowboy getup, unless you have a DIY genius in the house, or a large wardrobe, to whip up a princess or pirate. 

More than anything, embrace the family time and don’t let stress of analysis paralysis be an unwelcome ghost, er, guest in your holiday preparations.

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