One of my family’s favorite things to talk about is Family Themed Costume Ideas for Halloween. It doesn’t even have to be anywhere near fall for this conversation to pop up and take hold of our imaginations. The kids plan costumes for every person in the family; from the baby up to us parents. That’s not to say us parents always dress up; sometimes it’s all I can do to complete the kids’ costumes, but we all enjoy the fun.
Halloween Costumes on a Budget
We can’t afford to buy the coolest costumes available for the entire family (or even just the kids), so we’ve found ways to cut corners. Basically, we do the “Almost from Scratch” concept: we buy a few foundational pieces, and craft the rest.
We base our costume ideas on our current interests:
Criteria for our family themed costume ideas include:
Enough “characters” in the theme
Relative ease of making the costumes
Price of accessories to complete the costumes
Will anyone on the street recognize who we are?
Can I actually find the skill and creativity needed to pull it off?
First we pick up as much of our Halloween costume as we can from our local Thrift Store. The store organizes according to size and color, so it’s always easy to find what we are looking for. They also sell shoes and Halloween costumes for a great price. If we’re lucky, we end up with a cool pair of boots or other items that are able to be worn more than once!
What accessories we can’t find at the thrift store, we either make (hello, Hobby Lobby) or buy. The Dollar Tree has surprising finds for just a dollar, so we check out their stock first. Toy stores/departments and Halloween stores are the most expensive options, so we save those for last. Often, our recyclables bin contents, hot glue (or duct tape), and a little paint do the trick!
Last year, “Sugar Skulls” (Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead) became incredibly popular in our area. Party City and many other Halloween stores carried awesome accessories, as well as beautiful outfits. We love walking through the aisles looking for a special piece to complete a costume, or at the very least, looking for ideas we can do on our own.
When the kids were younger, we dressed up with them for our family Halloween parties. Our smaller family managed to work in a family themed costume, too. As the years have gone by, we’ve noticed that adult and couples costumes are getting increasingly popular; I guess my generation had a hard time growing out of the dress-up stage!
We don’t only get dressed up in a family themed costume for Halloween
There are opportunities to suit up all year:
Cos Play for San Japan (a.k.a. “Nerd” Conventions)
Book Character Parade (for my Elementary school kids)
Movies we are absurdly excited about, and have waited for since we were four years old and wearing underoos…
Additional Benefits from Cos Play
The girls, especially Number 2, have become increasingly creative and resourceful when planning their costumes. Number 2 has combined her love for fashion with her skills at sewing (that she obviously inherited from her grandmother) to create more costumes than I can picture here.
There have been years where I devoted all sorts of time to sewing a costume with my own two hands (and grandma’s machine). There have also been years where I don’t have two minutes to rub together, so I buy everything from the store. Truly, the kids have fun if they have input and opportunity to get involved; no one has ever complained either way.
Have Fun and Be Creative
We all enjoy comparing ourselves and each other to the characters in our favorite shows. Sometimes, we can even make it happen for Halloween!
“Dad, you be Gru!”
Share your Family Themed Costume Ideas for Halloween (or whenever you dress up) in the Comments section below! Tips and tricks always welcome!!