Home > Costumes on a Shoe String

Costumes on a Shoe String

October 30th, 2012 at 04:58 pm

What makes a good Halloween costume? Good detail, a clever representation of a popular or current subject, or just fright factor? I feel strongly that the best costumes are smart, funny, and hand produced! This last feature is the most important. And is, of course, why you will also save money. There is a big sense of personal satisfaction in pulling off a good costume of your own making.

I've made numerous past costumes for myself starting in high school. For one Senior Crazy Day I wore a green turtleneck, brown jeans, boots, wound a string of christmas lights around myself and wired them to a battery and walked around as a christmas tree. Some years later soon after college, I went as a graduate and wore my black gown, cap and carried a handmade rolled up 'diploma'. In my 20s I made a guy friend into a hilarious bride with a (large) full length white dress from the thrift store, handmade a quick tulle veil, and bought a dollar store bouquet of fake roses (his buddy wore a tux and they went as newlyweds).

Last year was the first I bought a ready made costume. It was for my tween, and after 10 years of sewing and making my kids' costumes I finally succumbed! She went for an Alice in WOnderland dress with tights. These store bought costumes are flimsy and expensive but I said OK provided she used it more than once.

So we are remaking the outfit into Wizard of Oz Dorothy. You've got a picture of Dorothy in your mind, right?

...white/blue pinafore (perhaps gingham)
...puffy sleeve white blouse
...ponytails with ribbon
...sparkly red shoes mary jane style shoes


Text is google Dorothy images and Link is
google Dorothy images and I can't believe how many things are different!!

Sometimes her hair is in pigtails with a little bow at the tip, sometimes there is a bow on top in the middle. Sometimes she has blue ankle socks. Sometimes they are white.

And the red shoes. My daughter swears the shoes in the book are silver! Well, I told her, nevermind - the famous ones are red. Look at the google images, they are in fact low heel pumps with a bow at the center!

Enter the handmade, cost saving elements this year...

Red Sparkly Shoes. A simple matter! Visit to the thrift for any pair of low heel shoes in her size. We would cover with glue and red glitter.

My secret tips:

-Use glue that will not be rigid and crack when cured. Do not use white school glue. A good easy choice is 'Goop'. Simply a silicon type glue. Get at Michaels or a hardware store.

Basket with Toto.
We already have a small basket and a small tan stuffed animal dog. Easy!! If not, these would be a couple dollars at the thrift store.

Success! Saving! See them below!

Thrift store pair of black tap shoes = $2.50
Goop glue, with Michaels coupon = $2.50
Red tinsel glitter, with Michaels coupon = $3.50
TOTAL = $8.50

You can try this at home too ~

4 Responses to “Costumes on a Shoe String ”

  1. Looking Forward Says:

    Those turned out so cute! Great tip. They look like tap shoes, is that right?

  2. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    Yes, they are tap shoes, easy to find at the thrift store. And just perfect shape and size for the purpose!

  3. Jerry Says:

    I could not agree more that the costumes that are creative and homemade lead to a MUCH better outcome that something storebought. That is actually one of my two pet peeves about Halloween costumes: 1) store-bought costumes that offer no insurance of any creativity whatsoever, and 2) excessively skanky costumes (male or female). Thank you for letting me get that off my chest. Smile Jerry

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