Easy and Frugal Halloween Costume and Makeup Ideas

Halloween doesn’t have to be a budget breaker. There are plenty of costumes that can be put together for very little money, and often no money at all!

Real Simple Magazine had some terrific ideas for inexpensive and easy costume ideas. I’ve plagiarized them here, and added some of my own.

  • A green clown wig + a schoolgirl outfit = Broccoli Spears
  • The letter “e” on a piece of paper taped to your chest (but only if a boy) = e-mail
  • A plastic laundry basket with holes cut out for legs + white balloons + a shower cap = Bathing Beauty
  • A white dress + a pipe-cleaner halo + leaves in her hair and “dirt” on her face = Fallen Angel
  • Black clothes + yellow electrical tape down his torso + toy cars + Velcro = Highway
  • A pig nose + a blanket = Pig in a Blanket
  • A white sheet with two holes cut out for eyes = Ghost
  • A blue T-shirt + cotton balls + tape + a water gun = Partly Cloudy With a Chance of Rain
  • A polo shirt + khakis (or madras shorts) + a name tag = Jay Crew
  • A clear umbrella (preferably dome- shaped) + party streamers or metallic ribbons = Jellyfish
  • Two large circles cut out of cardboard with brown dots drawn over them, then connected with string or ribbon near the top to make it like a sandwich board= Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • A hockey shirt , sweatpants and a doll + wearing bright lipstick on her face = Hockey Mom/Sarah Palin
  • ~B00~

    Want to add some pizazz? Here are directions for making face paint and blood:

    How to Make Your Own Face Paint

    Materials Needed:
    • 1 tsp. Cornstarch
    • 1/2 tsp. Cold cream
    • 1/2 tsp. Cold water
    • Food coloring


    Mix the ingredients together and paint away! This will wash off with cold cream.

    Non-Toxic Fake Blood:

    Materials Needed:

    • 1 c (250mL) peanut butter
    • 1 qt. (1 L) corn syrup
    • 1/2 cup (125mL) soap
    • 1 oz (30mL) red color
    • 15 drops blue food coloring
    1. Mix creamy peanut butter with a sufficient amount of white corn syrup to make a runny mixture.
    2. Add (non-sudsy) soap and food colors and mix well.
    3. Stir more corn syrup in until the desired consistency is reached.
    4. Refrigerate unused blood in an airtight container.
    Inexpensive white corn syrup is said to be thicker and more suitable for the fake blood than its costlier relatives.
    Note: Fake blood can stain, so be careful. Last year my nephew got store-bought fake blood on his parents’ white carpet. They now have wood floors. I think this recipe is less likely to stain, but drip at your own risk…
    Please remember to be safe!  Use reflective tape if you’re going out at night, make eyeholes large enough to see well, and always have a buddy.
    Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

    One Life Lost, Another Ruined, and I’m Out of Hands

    A twelve-year-old kills an 17-month-old toddler, allegedly because she was crying while he was trying to watch cartoons.

    Normally I completely avoid stories like this. Ever since becoming a mother I cannot stand to watch or read news stories involving harm to children. It hurts me to my core.

    This story, though, is all anyone is talking about here. It’s all over the news, the radio, the supermarket. Moms were talking about it when I dropped my son off at school, the people at the table next to us were discussing it, loudly, as my family and I shared a meal at a local restaurant.

    So, I’ve been thinking about it.

    On the one hand

    On the one hand, should a twelve-year-old boy be charged as an adult for a crime like this? Can his brain have formulated the intent to kill? Did he understand that by beating Shaloh Joseph with a baseball bat she would likely die? Did he think that, like in many of the cartoons he is so fond of, death isn’t permanent? Was he just so indifferent to life that he didn’t care?

    Should his life be over at twelve?

    My mother’s heart says to try him as a juvenile, and give him a chance to have a life. I think of my own son, but just can’t imagine that he would ever do something like this.

    I’ll bet his mother didn’t think so, either.

    On the other hand

    On the other hand, some crimes are so grave they go beyond what the juvenile courts can really address. We had a case a few years ago when another twelve-year-old, Lionel Tate, killed six-year-old Tiffany Eunick.  That boy was convicted as an adult. After an appeal he was released and given a second chance, which he blew within months. Lionel has been in trouble ever since, and is now back in jail.

    On the other hand, Shaloh Joseph’s life is over after seventeen short months. Her little personality didn’t have a chance to fully develop. She’ll never go to school, ride a bicycle, get married. It’s over for her.


    Can any punishment really bring justice?

    A tragedy waiting to happen

    The boy was alone with the girl and another child when this happened. The mother insists he wasn’t babysitting, but either way is a twelve-year-old child responsible enough to care for two younger children?

    My sister and I stayed alone when we were eight and ten. We were latchkey kids – a common occurrence when we were growing up. Today parents get arrested for doing what our Mom did.

    Still, I wonder how this could happen. I wonder if he’s saveable. And I wonder if he deserves that chance. I think of another case I commented on, involving a seven-year-old who was charged with a felony after a fight, and I wonder where he’s headed.

    I wonder, and I worry.

    And I’m glad I’m not the one whose hands his fate is in.

    %d bloggers like this: