Halloween is just around the corner… only one week away! Some have had a costume chosen for days, weeks, or months. Others are still stuck wondering what costume to buy or make for themselves or their children to wear during this year’s festivities. Instead of spending money on the latest movie or pop culture costumes, consider repurposing some items from your closet. This gives you the opportunity to be creative, save money, and keep items out of the landfills for a while longer.


The negative thing about Halloween costumes purchased at Halloween stores is that they aren’t often eco-friendly. Size selections aren’t great, so it probably won’t fit very well in the first place. Materials are cheap, so it probably won’t be of the best quality. And what are the chances you will ever wear it again? That’s why some apparel stores and boutiques are selling their own upcycled Halloween materials. One particular store in Oregon, called St. Vincent, repurposes costumes and makes one of a kind outfits. The designer of this creative line is Mitra Chester. She makes Halloween costumes, props, and accessories from second-hand items that are brought to their store.

Their items are unique in that they are handmade from old materials and thrift apparel. Some of these include: Halloween-themed earrings fashioned from old vinyl records. Trick-or-treat bags that are purposed from old jeans with an additional reflective strop along the strap for safety at night. Festive Jack-O-Lantern and other Halloween shirts crafted from the store’s thrift items. Old cowboy sunhats that have been designed to be accessories to popular costumes. Then there’s the Zombie shirts, complete with fake blood handprints.


While these particular items are only available in one store in Oregon, St. Vincent, many of them can be replicated using old items you have lying around the house. Look around in your area to see if there are any similar shops or boutiques that sell the same kinds of outfits. If you can’t find one, hit up your local Good Will store and make something for yourself!

What is great about many of these costumes and accessory items is that they can be worn again and don’t have to be only part of a costume. While you may not want to sport a blood-splattered zombie shirt to work on a typical Wednesday, a pumpkin shirt or spider earrings can be fun to wear anytime throughout the month of October. If you don’t have your heart set on the newest movie themed getup, consider taking this DIY-route. You will save yourself money, keep used items out of landfills, and have the opportunity to use your creativity. Search the web for fun ideas, or come up with something on your own! The possibilities are endless.


There are other ways to go green with your costumes. Make your own face paint, instead of buying brands that contain toxic chemicals (this can also replace those pricey rubber facemasks.) Skip any items that are disposable and always go for reusable. Borrow past costumes from friends or relatives. Look to your own closet for inspiration. You can combine pieces you already have to make something festive! Utilize giant pieces of cardboard… a little bit of duct tape and paint can create just about anything. And if all else fails, there is always the classic and ever-popular sheet ghost.