October 5, 2010

High Quality Halloween Costumes for Kids


For the second straight year in a row, my sons have begged me to buy them Optimus Prime Halloween costumes.

I don't have an ethical problem with my children dressing up as gas guzzlers or weapons of mass destruction; I do, however, have a problem spending twenty dollars on what basically amounts to a screen-printed pair of polyester long johns.

"If you want to know the truth, I'm not a big fan of that costume," I told my boys while standing in the middle of the Halloween aisle at a local super center. "Is there any way that I could talk you into picking a costume that isn't see through?"

Through the subsequent conversation, I learned that my chances were very, very slim.

"What if I made you a Transformers costume?" I asked them.

My boys were curious and, justifiably, a little bit suspicious. "What do you mean, make?" they wanted to know.

The minute I mentioned the words "cardboard box," they started to get nervous.

"I don't like that idea at all," Kellen told me flat out.

Cortlen was more open-minded. "If you make me wear a box to school, I'm not celebrating Halloween this year," he announced.

I bought the long underwear, but only because I'm planning an imaginary ski trip (you know, one of the trips you plan but never actually go on) for my family this winter and I figure that the costume eventually will earn its keep.

30 comments

Lisa, An American Mom said...

Ha ha. I totally don't blame you. Even though Halloween costumes at the store are super convenient, they are such a rip off! Even if you are only spending $20, look at the quality you are getting. Which is why we are making our 2 year old be a football player this year. Jersey from Target, sweat pants, black stuff under the eyes, cheapie team helmet from Target - done. And we can use all of it again!

Rosanne said...

I've been planning one of those trips for a long time. Bonus - they give you something to look forward to!

Amy M in Indiana said...

you have the best posts ever! Right after this post, I was reading another blog and saw this!! Cardboard costumes aren't too bad --show him this!! ha!!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Building-Optimus-Prime/

Just Plain Tired said...

I think we always talked about making costumes, but always bought them in the end. Of course it's been a few years since I had kids doing Halloween. Probably will be the first year my granddaughter does Halloween this year though.

happyfamily said...

Ha ha, Amy M that's awesome! Go for it Jana!

My girls want to be either butterflies or ballerinas this year, two things that we will not have to shop for. And I will not have to make a thing. Hooray!

Melody said...

I found that same costume on clearance about a month ago at walmat... for $7. I know you're jealous.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I am the queen of planning imaginary vacations. It's a pathetic hobby of mine.

the emily said...

We had the cutest costumes planned for this year (Phineas and Ferb, with my baby girl as Perry the Platypus to match), and then the stupid Bumblebee and Optimus Prime fell out of the top of their closet when I was trying to put away CandyLand. And now, it's back to stupid Transformers. Even though the Bumblebee costume now reaches my son's knees, I swore I wouldn't buy him a new one, so he says he has no problem with it.

stephanie said...

When I was in college there was a costume party for my 'school' and a couple of people used boxes to make Transformers costumes--they were the hit of the party!

Kelly said...

I love your descriptions. Nail on the head!w

Nicole said...

I have had costumes in hand several times already and have failed to pull the trigger. Let's just say it: I'm cheap.

In fact, I came online this morning to order Halloween costumes for the crew. My oldest is the Halloween planner for the family. A director of sorts. And she's going to be Jesse from Toy Story. I'd like the rest of the children (all under 4 years) to be whatever cheapo thing I find for them. The planner has nixed that idea.

So, anyone know where I can find matching sequin dresses that are highly inappropriate---and possibly illegal in certain states---for my 3 year old twins?

Great post, Meanie

Rebecca said...

You are so right! Halloween costumes are a complete rip-off. $20 for some plastic and gauze. So our daughter is going to be a U of K cheerleader. The outfit was kind of expensive, but she will have lots of opportunites to wear it again!

Ying said...

Show them how cool a cardboard transformer costume can be: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akNJ6S2UqsE

But then you'd have to engineer this....

Sarahviz said...

Yeah, I have 3 going as Transformers this year. Good to know the costumes can double as long-underwear!

Valerie S said...

Those costumes are the worst. And they usually are ripped up before Halloween. Good luck.

Sarah said...

After 17 years of making costumes, I finally got smart and said YES to hubby's offer to buy a costume. Now I'm looking forward to no last-minute scramble and maybe some fun decorating time with the kids!

Lissa @ MyThriftyTreasures said...

My sister got tired of buying 5 new costumes every year so she told her kids whatever $$ they didn't spend on Halloween costumes would go towards their Christmas presents. They all came up with darling costumes, and 2 of them even won prizes for how creative and original.

Lisa said...

$20? that's CHEAP! well, maybe i'm just used to spending money on ADULT costumes that i DO think are RIDICULOUSLY priced!

for the record, my 36 year old husband was optimum prime for halloween last year. yes, that VERY SAME costume in an adult size. his only saving grace is that we both teach elementary school. but there really is something fundamentally wrong with a full grown man in basically a onesie bodysuit.

gross.

Jo's girl said...

ugh halloween is a great holiday but now that I can no longer pick my children's costumes it's turned into a real drag. they thankfully are still pretty young and have yet to grasp the concept of days and weeks. so I plan on whipping out the costumes we currently own and the extra costumes given to us by friends whose children out grew them. AND which I have kept secret thus far. I think my plan is pretty solid.

here ya go girls, in an hour or so we can go trick or treating... just pick an outfit, voila! I'm a genesis!

Anonymous said...

Great post! I can totally relate! I told my kids this year that under no circumstances was I paying for a costume. They were to find something that they already had in their own costumes or just make something up. All fine and good with my 6 yr old boy who has 5 super hero costumes to pick from and my 3 year old is going to be either a princess or a ladybug. My 8 year old how ever is adamant to being a Mermaid this year, which means in our house it will have to be made by me who hasn't a clue on how to work a sewing machine much less on how to make a tail.. :P

Lisa said...

I made costumes for all five of mine for YEARS! They all begged endlessly for the store bought variety. Now that they are grown they brag to their friends about their cool costumes. And guess what? I still have them all to pass on to their kids!

Oh, p.s. Never saved a dime on my handmade costumes. It was always way more expensive, but we had tons of fun every year coming up with great ideas!

paula/adhocmom said...

My best ever costume was made out of a card board box. Do it sister!

Melanie Gao said...

My daughter wanted me to buy her a $25 witch costume yesterday. Believe me, this was a witch that was working the night shift, if you know what I mean. How do they get away with such cheap, tacky costumes? If you want a wholesome costume why do we have to make it ourselves? These questions keep me up at night...

Marydon said...

G'morn Jana ~ This is my first visit, so I was poking around. Yes, you are truly blessed & are exactly where God wanted you to be for this blessed child to survive.

May all his birthdays be moments of joy & happiness as you celebrate.

I thank heaven am past this stage in life of having to worry about wee ones costumes. We made all of ours, despite any protestations.

Have a beautiful weekend.
TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

love2seeclay said...

Yep. My son got the Bumblebee transformer one last Halloween. It was horrible. We even opted for the "deluxe" costume with all the "armour". YEah - plastic things that you tie around the arms and legs. UGH.

This year - son has decided he must be Mario from Super Mario brothers. Costume gets here tomorrow - I'm praying it's not a huge piece of $30 crap.

Kim S. said...

Yep, this is why I also refuse to spend that kind of money on costumes that are basically cheap pieces of crap. This is my daughter's 3rd Halloween and I'm making her a bumblebee costume. Yellow fleece with black rick rack for stripes. Easy and cheap.

Vicky said...

We buy the crappy costumes AFTER Halloween, when they're less than $5 for dress up play. They're usually in shreds by the time Halloween comes around the following year. You've always heard the saying, "If you want something done right, then do it yourself". Would that apply to you?!! (I'm thinking of the cakes here!)

GetThe PartyStarted said...

Love your posts :)

Liz
http://www.etsy.com/shop/getthepartystarted

Anonymous said...

www.chasing-fireflies.com has some really good quality costumes but is one the pricey side; you can, however, find some costumes for $25. Anything on Disney on sale works for little girls too.

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