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A Few Tricks to Make Halloween a Treat

The temperature has dropped, the leaves are changing colors, and every type of candy ever created is finding its way to grocery store aisle. Halloween is just around the corner, and while children everywhere are jumping for joy, many parents are dreading the inevitable last-minute costume search. Party stores have pre-packaged costumes that will do in a pinch as long as you're not trying to pinch pennies as well. Most people have all the necessary fixings for a unique and fun costume right in their own homes. Here are some creative costume ideas that will cost next to nothing:

The Old Stand-bys - these are some old-fashioned favorites

   Bunch of grapes: purple clothing with purple balloons attached all around
   Ghost: It's an oldie but goodie. Simply take a white sheet, cut some eye-holes, and adjust the length. To add a little pizzazz try adding accessories like make-up, jewelry, hats, etc.
   Scarecrow: A seasonal favorite, all that is needed to create this look is a flannel shirt, some overalls, a straw hat, and some loose straw to stick out of the costume
   Mummy: Cut up an old sheet into long strips, wrap and safety pin your way to a fun costume.

Got a Box? - these costumes use a plain ol' cardboard box as their base

   A present (Birthday/Christmas): this works well for trick-or-treaters whose birthday falls on or near Halloween. Simply fit a cardboard box around the trick-or-treater, cut some arm and head holes, and then cover the box with some wrapping paper. (Don't forget a nice big bow!)
   Rubix Cube: Fit cardboard box in the same fashion as the "present" costume above, and then affix multi-colored squares cut out of construction paper to the sides of the box.
   Dice: Same fit as the above costumes, simply paint the box white and add the appropriate dots. (Note: Add some fuzzy trim or accessory to be "fuzzy dice")

Some Clever Costumes - these costumes turn the ordinary into the extraordinary

   Rubber Ducky: A yellow raincoat and rain boots provide the base for this clever costume. Add some eyes to bright yellow or orange baseball cap, and your duck is ready to trick or treat. (An ideal costume for a rainy Halloween!)
   Kangaroo: Brown sweats and an ordinary brown lunch bag help create this costume. Attach the brown lunch bag to the lower part of a brown sweatshirt to serve as the kangaroo "pouch." (Some overly ambitious trick-or-treaters may prefer a large brown grocery bag and use this to carry their treats as well).
   Miss America: Is that old and out-dated bridesmaid dress hanging in the back of your closet? Use some safety pins to adjust the size, add a sash and a tiara (you can make these out of an old sheet and pipe cleaners respectively, or pick them up at a party store). Alternatives of this idea: Prom Queen, Fairy Godmother: add wand, Cinderella, etc.

Slightly Silly - a bit more abstract, but sure to get a laugh!

   Leaf blower: Perhaps a more obscure idea, yet nonetheless clever, tape a leaf to a piece of string and attach the string to a headband or hat and dangle in front of the face. Dress in a solid color and pin or tape leaves to clothes. When someone asks what the costume is, the trick or treater needs only to blow on the leaf dangling in front of his/her face.
   Quarter Pounder: Another slightly obscure but clever costume idea! A trick-or-treater carries around a hammer in one hand, and a quarter in the other. When asked what he/she is dressed up as, the trick-or-treater simply hits the hammer to the quarter. (Note: not suitable for young children and/or clumsy adults)
   Static Cling: All that is needed for this costume is a handful of safety pins and clothing. Mismatched shirts and pants work best. Attach a few socks, some dryer sheets, and whatever other clothing you'd like. (A fun accessory might be a can of Static Guard)

Many of the above costumes can be further embellished with some fun accessories and/or a bit of face paint. Some of the most creative costumes are those made from things found around the house. The costumes are more original and a lot cheaper than pre-packaged costumes found at the store. For more information on these costumes and others, visit http://easyhalloweencostumes.net and http://www.costumeideazone.com