For the past few years, we’ve at least attempted to have coordinating costumes for Halloween. One year Ellie was Elsa and Ben was Olaf. Another they were all superheroes. Then they were Moana, Maui and Hei Hei (aka chicken nugget). This year they wanted to be characters from Super Mario- Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach.
In my naivety, I figured it would be easy to find “affordable” costumes, but I just can’t convince myself that it’s worth it to spend $30+ on something they will most likely only wear once and then grow out of. I looked all over Amazon and Ebay and the cheapest I could find all the costumes for would have totaled over a $100. Not gonna do it.
I tried to convince my kids to go as something else this year, but they refused. It brought back memories to when I was a kid and my mom had to scramble around to “make” me a costume with whatever she found laying around the house the day of. It was bad. One year my mom had me put on a skirt, gave me a bowl and a spoon and told me I was Little Miss Muffet. Another year I was a “leprechaun” because I wore a green sweatshirt that said “Ireland” on it, a green top hat (not sure why we would even have one of those handy), a green pom pom for hair and a green four leaf clover drawn on my cheek. I was less than thrilled!
I vowed when I had kids they would never be ashamed of their costumes, but instead it would bring honor to our family name. Not really, but while I’ve tried to be a little more prepared for Halloween if there is one thing I inherited from my mom, it’s her frugality. I can completely understand the Little Miss Muffet and leprechaun costumes now that I have kids. Costumes are SO expensive and a lot of them are not not very well made.
Since the kids had their hearts set on Super Mario Bros costumes, I was determined to make it happen without breaking the bank. I was able to cut the cost of their costumes in half, and if I had known that the Fall Festival was this weekend instead of next, I probably could have gotten it even cheaper.
Here are the semi-homemade Super Mario Bros. costumes we ended up with:
Luigi: The cheapest and easiest costume. I got it off Amazon and it arrived the next day. I think because he is the “sidekick”, he’s already at a discounted price. It also came with the hat and felt mustache, so the only other thing we ended up getting were the gloves…which are just princess gloves that we rolled up and drew lines on with a sharpie. We also used the same gloves for Mario.
Mario: I looked everywhere for this one and just didn’t want to spend that much on a costume. Then we went to Goodwill and found one for less than $3. Total score. I planned on making the hat, but ran out of time so ended up buying an accessory kit that included the hat and mustache from Party City. They also honored the online price and gave me a 25% discount! Note to self: If you find it cheaper online, she if they will honor it in the store.
Princess Peach: This costume was the hardest to find and would have been the most expensive if I bought it. We ended up going to a consignment store and found a pink Cater’s dress for only $4 and converted it into a Princess Peach dress.
The original dress had a unicorn pocket with a vinyl gold unicorn horn attached to the dress. I unstitched the pocket and used Goo Gone to take off the horn. The horn wouldn’t come off completely, but you could hardly tell. Apparently, there is a vinyl adhesive remover you can use…but it cost more than what I spent on the dress so I didn’t think it was worth it. The dress also had a darker pink overlay skirt, so I just rolled it up and sewed it in the front and back so it would have a draping effect. My mom was so proud that the sewing lessons I took in middle school finally came in handy. Again, since I ran out of time, I just bought the crown, pendant and gloves from Party City, but I bet I could have found it cheaper or even made the crown from gold card stock paper I already had at home. Oh well!
The kids were super happy and I think they came out pretty cute. Plus, I didn’t feel guilty about spending a ton of money on a one and done costume. Not sure how much longer they will want to have coordinating costumes, but for now these semi-homemade ones worked just fine.