Halloween on a budget

Halloween

Iphone photo of my daughter dressed up

Halloween is just around the corner, and with each passing year, us Brits embrace this American holiday with ever more enthusiasm. No sooner are the kids back at school than the supermarket aisles fill up with ghost, ghouls, goblins and giant bags of Haribo.

If you have children it can quickly become quite an expensive time of year, with demands for costumes, candy and elaborate decorations. Of course, it’s all a bit of fun, but it is just one day, after all, and you’ve not even started thinking about Christmas yet.

How then can you get your scare on without breaking the bank?

Oh Mummy!

One of the best things about Halloween is there are so many options for costumes. You can go down the traditional scary route, or alternatively you can dress as your favourite character. The fact is, anything goes.

The same is true for how much you want to spend. Yes, you can go to a fancy dress shop and spend £40 on an elaborate zombie cheerleader outfit, or you can hit the local ASDA (other supermarkets are available) and pay up to £14 for a Dracula or witch costume.

Alternatively, depending on what you have lying around the house, you may be able to create a perfectly acceptable and unique outfit yourself. For example, an old bed sheet (or even a dust sheet) could be turned in to the perfect Mummy outfit.

Simply cut the sheet up in to long strips and soak them overnight in a bucket of water, complete with tea bags. The tea will stain the strips and create the “I’ve been around for millions of years” look. Once everything is suitably dried, you can wrap the strips around your “Mummy” and voila.

Deck the halls

Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without lots of spooky decorations to set the mood; however, all those spider webs, skeletons and blood stains cost money. For a house of horror with a difference you can cut back and do it yourself.

It’s amazing what you can do with just a few bin bags. For example, stuff a bin bag with whatever you can get your hands on (scrunched up newspaper, shredded paper, old clothes) to make a spider’s body. Rip up more bin bags to make the legs, and decorate the face accordingly. The great thing with this approach is you can scale to whatever size you want – lots of smaller spiders in the garden, or a giant one coming down your stairs.

If you are feeling a little more creative (and have a bit more time on your hands) you can also use bin bags to make a fabulously terrifying wreath for the front door. Grab an old wire coat hanger and bend it into a circle to make the base of the wreath. Rip up a bin bag in to small strips, and then tie the strips around the wire. It takes a while to fill the entire wreath up, but the end result is amazing. You can then add cut out characters such as ghosts or pumpkins to brighten it up a bit.

I would love to see your pictures of Halloween, so feel free to join in via Facebook. What are your top tips for budget-busting costumes?

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