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Please welcome Carol with some suggestions for low-stress Halloween costumes. Thanks, Carol!

Halloween is a fun and exciting time for children; a night when they get to play pretend as spooky ghosts and ghouls and run around the neighborhood shouting “Trick or treat!” in order to collect as many sugary delights as their buckets will hold. But for parents, the joy of this special holiday can quickly go out the window if children request elaborate costumes they can’t afford. Of course, if you’re handy with a sewing machine, you may be able to make some incredible costumes on your own for less. But for others, saving money by making costumes may not be seem possible (let’s face it; not all of us excelled in home economics). However, there are a lot of easy DIY costumes that you can pull together for your kids with a little bit of cash and a lot of creativity. Here are a few they’ll love!

  • 1.Ghost. Forget about ruining your bright white linens and bring this classic into the modern world. Since Halloween is historically a night when the veil between the spirit world and the world of man is drawn aside, there’s really no more fitting costume, and you can make it cool and modern with a slight update. For a boy, start with a pair of black sweats (this will keep him warm on a cold October night). Get some black fabric and tear it into strips about 1 inch wide and 4-6 inches long. Then, using a hot glue gun, tack one end of the strips to the sweat suit until you have tons of tattered layers hanging off. Do the same to some black gloves and a knit cap. Then paint his face like a skull (using white and black face paint). For a girl, use a white or black dress as the base, then buy enough lace in the same color to drape over her, covering her from head to toe.
  • 2. Bunch of grapes. This one is super easy. All you need is green or purple sweat suit as the base and a whole bunch of balloons (and safety pins)! You’ll probably have to blow them up and pin them to the costume same day, though, so grab your bicycle pump and plan for a couple of hours of pinning.
  • 3. Vampire. Gone are the days of Count Dracula and his tux-and-cape look. The popularity of Twilight means all you have to do to create a vampire is get some fake fangs and a lot of shimmering lotion or body glitter. Your child can even wear his or her own clothes!
  • 4. Gypsy. This one is always fun because of the many layers you can pile on. It’s more for girls, who will love the long skirts, bangles, and many scarves. And likely mom can use some pieces from her own closet to supplement. Throw in a tambourine adorned with ribbons (if you have one) or give your daughter a few tips on palmistry to complete the outfit.
  • 5. Pirate. This is an easy one for the boys and you don’t have to go all out and make them look like a captain (complete with wig, hat, coat, and other expensive garments). All you really need is some loose garments for top and bottom, tied at the waist with a sash. Tie a long scarf on his head and draw on an Errol Flynn mustache with a soft eyeliner pencil. You may have some trouble finding accessories like boots, a sword, and an eye patch, so visit a costume shop for these extras.

Carol Montrose is a writer for tshirtprinting.net (visit the site) where you can create your own custom tshirts, hoodies, and much more.

Earnest Parenting: tips for parents who want creative and easy Halloween costumes.