Halloween Costumes :: Purchase vs. Home-Made

by derek on October 28, 2007 · 16 comments

Halloween is just around the corner – have you picked out your Halloween costumes yet?
Our oldest son is going to be a zombie skeleton this year while our youngest son is going to be a boxer. This year represents a new step in our house as it is the first time either of our children will be wearing a store-bought costume.
Home-Made Costumes
My wife is a huge fan of Halloween and she has always believed that the home-made costumes are more original and look better than what you can buy in the store. Most of the store bought costumes are cheap plastic and/or vinyl outfits that do not stand up to the wear and tear our kids put on them.
Another nice benefit to the home-made costumes is that you are less likely to encounter another person wearing the same costume. You’ll score points for originality – although it can be very time consuming to create your own costume.
As I mentioned, our youngest son is going to be a boxer this year. We’re lucky that my mom is great with a sewing machine as she agreed to make him a robe and a pair of boxing shorts. All we had to do was take him to the fabric store so he could pick out the fabric that he wanted. He’ll be wearing a pair of bag gloves that I have for hitting the heavy bag and we’ll do some custom makeup to give him some cuts and bruises.
We saw a boxing costume at the store but it came with a cheap vinyl robe and a pair of terrible boxing gloves. With his home-made robe and shorts, as well as the real gloves, he’ll have a unique Halloween costume.

Zombie Skeleton

Store Bought Costume
Our oldest son is going to be a zombie skeleton and for his costume we opted to go with the store-bought costume.
Unlike many of the kid costumes, this one is a fabric outfit with the skeleton bones being a rubbery-plastic material sewn into the fabric. When my wife saw it on sale, she agreed that he could go against our typical home-made costumes and purchase this one.
Once he tried the costume on, I have to admit that it is a really cool looking costume and looks much better than anything we would have been able to create on our own.
The down-side to this store-bought costume is that it seems to be a pretty popular option this year as many of the stores in our area no longer have the costume in stock. So while he will have a cool costume, he’ll blend right in with all of the other kids wearing the same costume.
Buy It Or Make It
Buying a costume is certainly more time efficient and can provide you a really cool looking costume if you take your time in selecting your costume.
Making your own costume allows you to set yourself apart with a unique costume, although depending on what you select it may be difficult to make on your own.
While I really do like my son’s zombie skeleton costume, I still tend to prefer the home-made costumes as I like the idea of not being dressed like every other person out on Halloween.
What do you think – make your costume or buy your costume?

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick October 28, 2007 at 2:17 am

I don’t remember all of the different Halloween costumes I had over the years, but the ones I remember were all homemade (including a home-brew make-up job)…although there were occasional parts (a couple of masks that I can think of for sure) and accessories that I recall being store bought. For the most part though, I remember costumes being homemade.
Now, I’m not saying most of my costumes were homemade because I really do not recall. I’m just saying that the ones I remember were homemade and that is maybe something to keep in mind when trying to decide whether to buy or make a costume for your child.


Cricket Videos October 28, 2007 at 3:36 am

I agree with what you have to say. But i made my own halloween costume last year and it was a disaster. it didn’t even look scary and it cost more than a normal costume.


Damien October 28, 2007 at 11:57 am

Whether homemade or not you always seem to need that little doodad here and there that the costme shops or other store has. For example, Sarah decided to do the kids up as cowboys this year and though we had bandanas hats etc, we needed holsters and boots. They are using little flashlights as their guns. Really cute.


Leo October 28, 2007 at 9:47 pm

Home-made costumes definitely rock!
I remember going out one Halloween as Darkman. I had the black fedora, black trenchcoat and a LOT of surgical gauze.
I didn’t foresee one problem though . . . lighting off fireworks/firecrackers turned me into a giant wicker man. I went home with half the surgical gauze burned off and a lot of owies.


derek October 28, 2007 at 10:16 pm

@Nick :: That is a great point that the memories are often of the costumes that were made at home. We know so many people that have never worn a home-made costume because they don’t want to spend the time.
@Rami :: Lol, I know what you mean. Home-made costumes can become expensive depending on how elaborate you get. What were you trying to create?
@Damien :: That is true, you usually do need something from the store. We picked up some fake blood for our boxer at Walmart for under $1 when the party store was selling the same thing for more than $5.
@Leo :: Lol, I can picture you with the fireworks and thinking it was a good idea before things went bad. Knock on wood but I’ve never experienced an injury during Halloween.


Male Pattern Baldness October 29, 2007 at 1:47 am

That skeleton outfit looks awesome. If you have made it home I must say it is an extremely great job done.


Home Recording Studio October 29, 2007 at 6:17 am

More than half the fun of halloween is in getting the costumes made at home. One’s creative instincts come into play and it is a great family-together affair.


derek October 29, 2007 at 9:28 pm

@MPB :: The skeleton costume is the one that we bought. It would be great if we were talented enough to make something like that at home.
@HRS :: Very true. Our kids usually start talking about what they want to be for Halloween a good month or two before we are even ready to think about it. 🙂


Furniture Stores October 31, 2007 at 6:01 am

Whether it is halloween or just any fancy dress, the more creative you can be the better it is. If it is home created, it is going to be one of a kind, whereas if it is store bought someone else is bound to be traipsing around in it.
Happy Halloween all!!


Glenn Alvarez November 1, 2007 at 1:57 am

hi, i guess costumes made at home would be much better. In the market u would find all those costumes which people usually wear. But in order to look different , u need to wear something different & interesting which is possible if u use your own ideas . Thus i guess making costumes at home is an amazing idea.
Good day


Jeep Parts November 1, 2007 at 7:05 pm

Costume has to be home-made, making it is half the fun!


Halloween Costumes May 29, 2008 at 3:19 pm

I tend to agree that the Halloween Costumes should be home made, unless you are strapped for time – then you should buy one.


Anytime Costumes July 28, 2008 at 5:24 pm

Here is an example of how to make your own robot costume – http://www.ee.nmt.edu/~robotics/AIR/Halloween/Costumes.html and here is another link with some really cool homemade costumes – http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/10/diy_halloween_a.html


Womens Halloween Costume September 11, 2008 at 12:06 am

I tried DIY, just didn’t work well for me. What’s best is when I buy something that gives good mileage. Something I can reuse years down the line or sell the costume 2nd hand on eBay.


keith April 23, 2009 at 3:58 am

I remember wearing my planet of the apes mask and was definitely my favorite costume by far .It had a rubber band
on the back of the mask ,lol maybe a close second was was casper the friendly ghost!lol


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