Guest Post by Julia Scott, BargainBabe.com
Little ones love playing dress up year round – not just on Halloween! (Make these 47 Halloween costumes at home.) When the weather gets super cold in the coming months, playing dress up can be a great activity and burn a good amount of energy. Same goes for when it’s too hot to go out side or if you don’t have the energy to get out of the house!
Buying costumes adds up quick – so here are dozens of items to look out for at thrift stores, in your attic, your basement, and at garage sales. Don’t forget to search for costumes and dress up items at consignment sales – both ones for kids and for adults. You’ll come across some really bizarre accessories that can jazz up any basic costume. I’ve also found entire costumes for kids at children’s consignment sales that happen in the fall (not so much costume action at spring sales).
10 dress up items to have in your costume stash
Accessories – It’s all about the accessories. Hats have the power to transform us into a firefighter, construction worker, princess, socialite, football player, or other athlete. Scarves add a swirl of mystery. A feather boa is elegant and silly at the same time. Gloves, belts, wraps add character, too!
Handbags – A purse, bag, wallet, or briefcase is a quick way to jump into someone else’s skin. And of course kids are obsessed with carrying random stuff around. They see us adults do it, and so they know carrying stuff around makes them important. If that’s not right, I have no idea why they do it!
Jewelry – Kids love to imitate their parents, so anything of yours – they want. Toss in old costume jewelry like rings, necklaces, watches, and brooches to a box for your costume area. Just make sure there are no small parts (or jewels that could dislodge) and become a chocking hazard for littles ones under three. Or that your pooch will chew up.
Linens – Save extra sheets and pillow cases as they can be transformed into dresses, head wraps, togas, and more. Solid colored sheets are ripe for becoming animal costumes, too. Just add spots of black felt to a white sheet and moooo…where’d that cow come from? Note, you don’t have to touch a sewing machine, just grab a glue gun. Craft stores have ’em for as little as $5.
Fashion items – Daring “fashion forward” items like neon skinny jeans, hair scrunchies, baggy overalls, shoulder pads, jean jackets, and more are perfect for a costume bag. The louder the statement, the bolder the costume! Dressing up is all about NOT being yourself. Shoes – Whether you keep pairs of shoes in your costume area full time, or bring down a handful during play time, don’t forget how fun it is to wear someone else’s shoes! Watch out for trips and spills in big, bulky shoes.
Electronics – Done with your old cell phone? Kids are desperate to play with them, and the fact that it doesn’t work hardly matters to them. With a real cell phone at their ear, all of a sudden, they are Mommy or Daddy! Safety proof by removing small, breakable parts. And keep in mind that little kiddos are very, very hard on electronics.
Felt – I recently learned that felt sticks to felt! No more sewing, gluing, or ironing to get material to stick together! Hold onto your felt scrap as you never know what kind of a costume you’ll be asked to put together.
Suitcase – What better to hold your array of costume and dress up essentials than in an old fashioned suitcase that speaks to another time. Open it up and let the transformation begin! Of course, a plain cardboard box or satchel works just as well. But if you have one in your attic, why not repurpose it?
Halloween – If you are looking for Halloween costumes, check out our list of 10 Halloween costumes you can make at home. What’s your favorite dress up item?
About the Author
Julia Scott is a nationally-recognized expert in saving money on everyday expenses. She founded BargainBabe.com, which motivates and inspires people to save money. She has been featured on NBC, Good Morning America, Better Homes & Gardens, Chicago Tribune, Real Simple, and many more.