If You Can’t Make it, Buy it Cheap

Anna as the Cat in the Hat

Dave Giancaspro, Wired.com’s Geek Dad turned Ghoul Dad, gives “5 Reasons (Why) You Should Make Your Kid’s Halloween Costume:”

Remember that Target commercial last year that poked fun at home made Halloween costumes? Some people, including me, were not too fond of the message they were sending. This year at New York Comic Con the GeekDads and GeekMoms hosted a discussion panel and my topic was 5 reasons you should build your kid’s costume. Here are the reasons I presented to a packed room of Comic-Con style parents.

Comic-con? I bow before your overwhelming geekiness! But for those of us of the “book nerd” variety, who can work wonders with words but risk gluing our fingers together in attempting the simplest craft project, there is another option.

Buy it cheap. Skip the department store and hit the nearest thrift store. That’s where I found the Cat-in-the-Hat hat Anna is modeling in the above photo. I bought it in 1997 for $3, and have worn it on five different Halloweens since.

Here’s another example: last year, Anna wanted to be Supergirl. She decided on this costume early—before Thanksgiving 2009 to be exact—and told everyone.

“I’m going to be Supergirl for Halloween!”

“And Merry Christmas to you too, little girl.”

Well, we looked online—it was too early for costumes in the stores—but couldn’t find something we liked that wasn’t overpriced. Then on a trip to the coast over Labor Day weekend 2010, we were browsing through an area Goodwill when I found it:

Anna as Supergirl

Ta da!

It was a little big, but we figured if she wanted to be Supergirl again next year we’d be covered. Well, she loves it, wears it all the time as a dress up outfit, and will be wearing it again this year for Halloween.

Anna s Supergirl again

It still fits!

And she’s got room to grow into it—at least one more year. Not bad for five bucks.

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