Monday, October 17, 2011
Making Halloween festive without breaking the bank
(ARA) - No longer is Halloween just a night for kids to trick-or-treat. In recent years the holiday has skyrocketed to become one of the most celebrated times of the year.
In fact, nearly two-thirds of adults have dressed up every year for the past two to three years, and more than half of adults plan on decorating their homes this year, according to a recent survey released by Savers, Inc., a global thrift retailer with Savers and Value Village stores across the country.
"Halloween is a welcome escape for so many people," says Mary Ginnaty, senior buyer at Savers, Inc. "It's a holiday where you can take a break from everyday worries, alter your ego and just have fun celebrating with friends and family. Folks love that."
But with the turbulent economy remaining top of mind, some Halloween shoppers may be worried about how to create new costumes and decorations without spending a fortune in the process. There's no need to fear, though - just consider these tips for a festive All Hallows' Eve that won't leave your credit card haunting you:
* Set a budget - The first step of any shopping venture should be to set a budget that the whole family agrees on, and stick to it. Halloween is no different, so make sure you decide in advance how much you want to spend on costumes, decorations, candy and any other miscellaneous merriment.
* Mix new and used - One of the best ways to save money and create a completely original costume is to combine new and previously owned pieces. For instance, pairing a fancy little girl's dress and vintage jewelry with new accessories like a wig, tiara and wand makes for a completely customizable and unique princess look. You could also purchase a prepackaged costume, such as a vampire, and then punch it up with secondhand items like tuxedo pants, shiny dress shoes and white gloves to make the look even more authentic.
* Take the road less traveled - When shopping for a Halloween costume, visit a thrift store and be sure to browse every department - especially areas you don't typically shop. For instance, if you're looking to create a men's pirate costume, check the women's section for billowy and ruffled tops and loose-fitting pants. Many men may not realize the women's section offers completely different styles and textured materials, which could be perfect for a variety of costume ideas. Women, too, should check out the men's and boy's sections for things like vests and authentic uniforms.
* Consult the experts - If you're having trouble pulling together the exact look you're going for, search online and in magazines for inspiration. Some stores, like Savers and Value Village even offer trained costume consultants who are completely dedicated to helping people put together the perfect costume on any budget. They can help shoppers find a new ready-made costume, offer advice in mixing themed accessories with clothing items found in their closets, or find unique secondhand finds for those looking to create a completely handmade look.
* Do-it-yourself decor - When shopping for decorations, don't feel like you need to pay top dollar for standard store-bought goods. Crafting spooky Halloween decor for just a few bucks can be as simple as applying a layer of black spray paint to secondhand silk flowers or quirky ceramic knick-knacks, like owls, crows and cats, and sprinkling them around your "haunted house" for a creepy surprise.
* Pass a good value on - After Halloween has come and gone, don't forget to donate your costume at a Community Donation Center. You'll help benefit a nonprofit in your community, and give someone else a great Halloween look next year.
For more Halloween costume ideas and downloadable DIY project instructions, visit www.savers.com.