Do Homemade Halloween Costumes Help You Save Money?

Do Homemade Halloween Costumes Help You Save Money?

Posted on Sep 12 2022 Posted in  Holidays & Seasons, Money-Saving Tips
Become a TopCashback member for cash back, deals and more free perks. Join TopCashback Free
Do Homemade Halloween Costumes Help You Save Money?

Halloween is just around the corner. We are sure your kids have not let this fact on the calendar go unnoticed and bombarded you with dozens of characters they would love to portray this All Hallows’ Eve.

You have two options this year. You could either purchase a satisfactory costume from one of the many Halloween and costume stores or you could make your own to the desired quality you wish. Costumes have only gone up in price, but just how expensive is too expensive when it comes to costumes? And has making your own ever been a cost-effective alternative? Is it worth the hours of labor?

If we are going to compare the methods, we need to test a few different costumes to see if, generally speaking, they are worth buying or creating from scratch. We have elected to go with one “scary” costume, a character from a popular film in 2022, and a regular Halloween favorite.

To conduct our study, we are going to use the same retailers across costumes to keep an even playing field. We went with and Walmart. However, TopCashback has plenty more options when it comes to Halloween stores and DIY craft stores which we will link at the bottom of the article. So, without further ado, please enjoy and hopefully you learn something.


Glow in the Dark Skeleton:


A fun take on the classic skeleton costume for kids of all ages. Not to mention, the glow-in-the-dark feature acts as a handy safety utility for chaperoning parents.

On the HalloweenCostumes’ website, this costume is selling for $40 regardless of which size you buy. It consists of a hooded black jumpsuit with a glow in the dark skeleton printed onto it. The hands and feet are fully enclosed, making for a warm candy hunt on the last day of October. The getup also comes with a skull hood that can be adjusted and lowered for impaired vision and when it’s time to chow down on free snacks. This is not a bad deal, but considering this is such a simple costume, it’s possible we could beat it.

Total: $39.99 (plus tax and shipping)

Homemade via Walmart:

A 2 oz bottle of FolkArt Glow-in-the-Dark paint would cost you $1.97, so we are off to a good start. We could not find any jumpsuits for kids, so we went with a black hoodie and sweatpants from Hanes. Together these were $18.75. As for a mask, unless you have a 3D printer, we aren’t really sure how you would go about making a genuine skeleton mask. If you really want to get crafty, you can use some leftover COVID masks, or buy a box of 100 for $10.99. Then paint skeletal features onto that and you have a skull that will keep your kids safe from germs.

 Total: $31.71


Buzz Lightyear:

Although the film failed to reach cosmic heights at the box office, seeing as how this is always a popular costume and this year a gender-neutral one, we think it’s a good choice for our research.

The costume company makes a polyester suit with the recognizable Lightyear iconography printed on from the 1995 origin film. The chest piece comes without protrusion or any enhanced structure along with the printed suit. The foam wings attached to the jumpsuit is a nice addition when compared to other Buzz suits in this price range. Finally, the costume also has the essential purple hood attached. This is a form-fitting suit with a wide-leg cut to account for Buzz’s proportions and for $40, it isn’t a bad deal.

Total: $39.99

Homemade via Walmart:

If you were looking to create Buzz Lightyear at home, you should be prepared to make some sacrifices. But we can still do our best to make a cool costume below the set price point. We believe the best way to get everything you’re looking for is with some painter’s coveralls.

The best we could find from Walmart is a kid-sized Disposable Protective Clothing Hazmat Suit Safety Coverall Dust Suit for $25.98. Onto the coveralls you can paint the necessary space ranger fixings with a Tulip Brush On Fabric paint for $9.88. From here, you can let your recyclables fill up for a while and find some old cardboard to fashion a pair of wings as seen in the Toy Story films to strap to the back.

As for a chest piece, perhaps you can do the same with cardboard and add fluorescent paint to simulate the lights given off by the Galactic ranger’s actual chest pad. Find a pack of these from Sargent Art for $7.98.

Total: $43.84 (plus tax and shipping)


Pirate Costume:

Although it would be mighty authentic of you to steal a pirate costume, we can’t express enough how much we do not recommend this practice.

This costume is a bona fide Halloween classic. A favorite costume of boys and girls throughout the decades, for whatever reason, kids just seem to love pirates. One particular pirate costume from HalloweenCostumes is the Cutthroat costume. While this is another polyester jumpsuit costume, it truly gives off the appearance of something more textured and layered. The suit has a black body which appears as a vest thanks to its strips of faux leather and grommets and black cord lacing.

Completing the pirate torso is a pair of puffing white sleeves emanating from each end and a faux leather belt with gold buckle tying the piece together. The outfit also comes with cropped, striped pirate pants, boot covers, a striped head tie, and wrist cuffs. This costume gives pirate to the fullest and for $24.99 it is a bargain.

Total: $24.99 ($29.99 for large)

Homemade via Walmart:

Assuming you don’t have any child pirates in the family, you will likely have to source the ingredients for this project. An inexpensive way to create a pirate hat could be to fold up a newspaper into a hat and then staple some brown felt to the surface area. A 9x12” piece of walnut costs $0.32 from Walmart making this a good start.

For pirate pants, a pair of women’s culottes could run you about $18.75. If your kid has grown, as some tend to do, you can trim down the lower half of an old pair of brown pants to give these pirate pants a worn look.

A horizontally-striped t-shirt is another classic pirate garb. If your child had one of these it would save you a purchase. If not, you could snag one from Walmart for around $12.00. Seeing as we have already passed the $30 threshold, it should be safe to say that you get the point.

Total: OVER


Overwhelmingly, it would appear that in most cases, purchasing a costume is a more economical decision than crafting your own. Much of this depends on what you have lying around the house, but since we don’t keep inventory of our members’ craft drawers, we have to assume that everyone has nothing.

However, we would like to note that the costumes for purchase are great for what they are. Budget-friendly representations of familiar characters and historical figures. To have a truly great Halloween costume we believe making your own is the best way to go. It truly depends on what you are striving for.

Whether you decide to purchase a costume, make your own, or do some kind of combination, feel free to use any of these relevant stores in your search for great costumes and the best cash back rates on the internet:

Trendy Halloween

The Halloween Spot


Photograph of the blog author, Louis Pino.

by Louis Pino

Louis Pino is the junior copywriter at He defines frugality as not solely buying life's necessities, but being shrewd when it comes to purchasing your wants. This is why, since 2021, Louis has been spreading the good word of balancing money management and shopping through informative blog posts such as this.

None posted yet, Login and be the first to add a comment!