As a kid, my best memories are playing pretend with costumes, creative stories and characters. We’d imitate the people we looked up to most – teachers, doctors, builders, superheroes, veterinarians, etc. Playing pretend and dress up are great for our health, too!
Now that I have kids, I may enjoy their costume closet as much, if not more, than they do. I’ve been able to do this on the cheap and figured I’d share some of my tips and tricks here in case you, too, have a desire to get the creative juices flowing in your own house.
Consider what you may already have laying around. Old name-tags or logo apparel, a random pair of old glasses or costume jewelry. Things that may be able to be patchworked together if you’re crafty. If asked, what professions or types of personalities would your kids generally want to dress up as? I’d recommend making a list (I use the notes section in my phone) so you can keep track of what you’re looking for.
Homemade costumes from my childhood stick in my mind the most, so of course, if you’re crafty – have at it. Because I’m not made to make things with fabric, I’ve instead resorted to hand-me-downs and major markdowns. After Halloween is the BEST time of course, as you can snatch up brand new options with dramatic savings, but if you’re open to used and incomplete pieces, there are other options for you:
- I’ve scored BIG TIME with grabbing random items at St. Vincent DePaul at $.50-$2 per item.
- I constantly check the costume section at Once Upon a Child – as they are also often marked down as clearance. And, considering my kids never keep the helmets, hats or other velcroed-on pieces, I don’t worry much about missing parts. Besides, they can remake them with paper if they are upset!
- Check out Facebook Marketplace – mamas are always cleaning out closets!
- I’ve also found some great felt masks on Amazon and Groupon that include princesses!
- Trade with other mamas – sports and dance costumes that are no longer needed may be exactly what a neighbor/friend may be looking for!
Where are you going to keep them? At first, we had some random reusable grocery bags with sets of things in tote bins, but as the collection grew, I got creative. I picked up two curtain rods and tucked them under a shelf we already had, and now we hang and display. We have a few other bins we’ve upcycled to store our headbands, hats, and other accessories, and now, the kids have a spot they can go, explore, try on and create their stories – with layers of options and mix and matching to help!
Dream big mamas – and help those littles get their creativity going (without breaking the bank either) with your own costume closet!