With a little imagination and even a smaller amount of cash, you can put together a great Halloween costume by shopping your local thrift store. Not only are you recycling and shopping locally, you’re likely to end up with a more original costume than anything from a big-box retailer. Here are some easy thrift store costume ideas that make Halloween fun and affordable.
Thrift Store Halloween Costume Ideas
Duck Dynasty – The bearded guys from Duck Dynasty are HOT this year, and creating their look is really easy. Wear anything camouflage, then add a brown beard and a US flag bandana if you want to dress up as Willie Robertson. I got the grey beard pictured here for my son and he looked just like Uncle Si!
Scarecrow – For this costume, you’ll need a flannel shirt and overalls – all of which are usually available at Goodwill. Add a straw hat (I’ve seen small ones at craft store) and top it with a bird from the floral department. You can use a hot glue gun to attach straw and patches to the overalls.
Hippie (Girl) – Look for any pair of knee-high boots and spray paint them white. Add colorful tights, a mini skirt, anything with a peace sign, a floral blouse or tie-dyed t-shirt. For accessories, look for big sunglasses – especially round rose-colored lenses, headbands and bangle bracelets.
Redneck – Along the lines of the Duck Dynasty costume idea, the “redneck” is also everywhere in pop culture these days. Purchase a plaid flannel shirt and cut the sleeves off. Wear over light or acid-washed jeans and top with an adjustable cap. Accessorize with a beer holster and costume rotten teeth.
Where’s Waldo – Look for a red and white striped shirt. If you can’t find one, get a basic white long-sleeve tee and use red spray paint to make the stripes (simply use duct tape to tape off the white parts before spraying). Add round black glasses, a stocking cap, and a camera around the neck.
Old Lady – Thrift stores have plenty of “old lady” gear like orthopedic shoes, canes, and loungwear. Pair with a gray wig, jewelry, bright lipstick and a boxy purse. Add a little extra padding where needed to complete the look.
Tacky Tourist – A tacky tourist is a fun costume to throw together. Add a fanny pack, bermuda shorts, a floppy sun hat or visor, a souvenir t-shirt (such as an “I Heart NY” shirt) and a camera around neck. Other accessories to look for: A Hawaiian lei, Mickey Mouse ears, maps, guide books, and sunglasses. Top it off with a dab of sunscreen on your nose.
Pop Star – Do your kids love pop music? They can dress as Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber with items from the thrift store or at home. Make sure you have Taylor’s signature striped shirt, wayfarer sunglasses and red lipstick. If you want to channel “The Biebs” you’ll want black skinny jeans, a hoodie (preferably in purple), a baseball hat and Converse sneakers.
While you’re at the thrift store, don’t just look for Halloween costumes. This is the time of year to look for fun hats, wigs, accessories and other items to throw in your child’s dress-up bin. For items that can’t be laundered, consider spraying them with a disinfectant spray like Lysol before using them and let the fun begin!