Halloween Costumes: 5 DIY materials that won't break the budget

Trick or Treat! Halloween costume shopping can be a real treat for kids who relish the chance to try on an alternate persona for a day, but parents may feel the trick's on them when they see the price tag on store-bought costumes. This Halloween, American families will probably spend $1 billion on children's Halloween costumes, according to an National Retail Federation survey. Families looking to save some money this Halloween might want to consider making their own costumes. Planning and executing a DIY costume can be a fun creative project for kids and parents to work on together. Check out these five materials that can make for costumes on the cheap. [Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the National Retail Federation.]

1. Up the ante with theater makeup

Rick Wilking/Reuters
An actor gets made up before opening at the "13th Floor" haunted house in Denver, October 19.

Face paint and theater makeup can transform any costume into something spectacular, from the simple homemade ensemble to the elaborate store-bought getup. Don't have time to create a full costume? Pull together an all black outfit and paint a jack-o-lantern, a theater mask, or a mime visage on your child's face. Already have a costume but want to kick it up a notch? Search online or the library for face paint ideas that can polish off the look. Beware topping the costume off with decorative contact lenses, though. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that contact lenses sold without a prescription are illegal and can be dangerous.

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