Repurpose Your Stockpile: Halloween Costumes

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Tomorrow, we will send out our little ghosts, goblins, and Avengers to scare up a bucket full of candy and treats.  And then we will have leftover costumes galore.  They aren’t cheap anymore, either!  After a tour of a local party store-turned-Halloween extravaganza, I realized how lucky I am that my kids continually choose costumes that only require a bit of makeup.  The least expensive costume was $15 and all it consisted of was a doctor’s coat!  What do we do with all these costumes after the day is done?  Here are a few great ideas on how to repurpose those costumes and not only keep them out of the landfill but get our money’s worth out of them.

1.  Create a dress up box for your children.  Every piece to a costume can be reused over and over again to create new play ideas and get their imaginations working.  Grab a box, some wrapping paper, and make a cool place to store them all.  Simply cut off or tuck the flaps down and wrap the outside of the box for the perfect place to keep them neatly out of the way until play ensues.  Or even easier, grab an unused plastic tote, tape a sign on the side saying, “Treasure Chest of Characters” or something similar.

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2.  It’s “Play” time!  Create a time to work with your children to write their own play based on the costumes available.  Show them how to develop characters, create a backdrop with an old sheet, and rehearse.  Really let their creativity fly.  Then, write out invitations and tickets on scrap paper (make sure there’s no personal information on it) or paper grocery bags and invite neighbors, family, and friends.  Sit back and watch as your children bloom on stage.

3.  Donate them to a local children’s hospital or women’s shelter for their playroom.  Give them a call and see if they have any requirements first.  Many children’s organizations are happy to get gently used toys, costumes, and playthings to rotate through for their guests.

4.  Donate them to your local school for costumes.  With the tight budgets schools are facing, many of them can’t do extra activities they way they used to.  See if they’d like costumes for a play, or their kindergarten rooms.  Many times, they will be happy to take them.

5.  Create a costume exchange in your neighborhood or area and provide low cost options (or free) to children.  I know several families this year that aren’t sending their kids out because they simply can’t afford a costume.  Get your kids involved, as well as neighbors and family, to create a way to donate the costumes and let someone else use them next year.  There are many such opportunities rising up for prom dresses.  Work with those organizations for costumes, or start your own!

Why let a good costume go to waste?  Get another life or three out of it and reuse them!  How do you reuse your costumes?  Let us know in the comments and share your ideas!

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