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SAVING YOU MONEY -- Eerie, but economical: Spooky costumes, decorations don't have to cost a lot

Oct 18, 2008 (Muskogee Phoenix - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- EDITOR'S NOTE: One in a series on helping readers save money.
Don't let high prices and economic problems scare you out of having a happy Halloween with your kids.

You can find all sorts of inexpensive ways to dress up or decorate -- and many of those things can be found right in your closet, area experts say.

All it takes is imagination and time.

"Try to utilize items you already have," said Muskogee County Family and Consumer Science Extension Educator Virginia Stanley. She listed several costume ideas that require only old clothes, fancy scarves or out of style duds.

"You can be a scarecrow, a pirate, a 1950s sock hop teen," she said. Frugality-oriented Web sites have all sorts of costume ideas, she said.

Do-it-yourselfers can find fabric and accessories at Hobby Lobby, Hancock Fabrics and other stores.

Pam Moulder, manager of scrapbooking at Hobby Lobby, said people can use all sorts of fabrics for costumes. For example, tulle, gauze and cheesecloth can make an eerier ghost than a sheet.

Chris Moreno, who works in the store's fabric department said people also can make costumes out of flannel and felt.

"People buy a lot of shimmery fabric such as lame," she said.

Though it helps to know how to sew, people can easily assemble costumes using fabric glue, Moulder said.

"There is a lot you can glue together," she said. "It's only going to be worn one night. Take fabric and slap it together."

Moulder said people also can make creative and inexpensive costumes with, of all things, balloons.

"You can be a bag of jelly beans with multi-colored balloons or a bunch of grapes with purple balloons," she said. "Just get a bag of balloons, blow them up and attach them to a trash bag or sweat suit."

Hobby Lobby also has inexpensive accessories such as hats for pirates, cowboys and witches, she said.

People also can save money by doing creative things with face paint and adult makeup, especially makeup that has been out of fashion.

Halloween haunting, decorating and treating can get expensive. The National Retail Federation's Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIG research, said the average person plans to spend $66.54 on the holiday, up from $64.82 one year ago. Of that, they likely will spend $24.17 on Halloween costumes for adults, children, even pets; $18.25 for decorations; $20.39 for candy and $3.73 for greeting cards. Total Halloween spending for 2008 is estimated to reach $5.77 billion.

People also can save on decorating by using at-hand items, Stanley said.

"You can make a scarecrow with old jeans and an old shirt," she said. "Make the head out of a paper sack and stuff it with leaves."

Rachel Lockwood, Wagoner County Family and Consumer Science Extension educator said people can make all sorts of things with black trash bags, "from bats to goblins."

People not into Halloween can decorate for fall with items from nature, she said. "They can collect leaves, acorns or nuts."

That saves money in another way because people can keep such decorations up after October, she said.

We want your ideas

Do you collect coupons? Do you buy store brands or insist on name brands? If you have money saving ideas, contact Cathy Spaulding at 684-2928.

Spooky savings

--Use clothes or items you already have, such as animal print pajamas or old hand-me-downs.

--Buy costumes that can be used for other purposes, such as a princess dress for a party dress.

--Or reuse a party or "flower girl" dress for a princess or baby bride dress.

--Check online auctions of second-hand stores for costume ideas.

--Let your kids decorate an old gallon ice cream bucket to carry their Trick or Treat loot in.

--When all else fails, there's always the bed sheet ghost with holes cut out for eyes. Avoid plaid and floral prints or fitted sheets.

--Mismatched old clothes, or oversized clothes, plus creative face makeup can make a cute clown or hobo.

Sources:, reporter's experience.

Web sites for costume ideas

Reach Cathy Spaulding at 918-684-2928 or Click Here to Send Email

To see more of the Muskogee Phoenix or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to Copyright (c) 2008, Muskogee Phoenix, Okla.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax
to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave.,
Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.
Cathy Spaulding

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#215   ETRF has been slowly moving up on the bid kmerrill057 08/04/16 03:44:55 PM
#214   Good did you see the news yesterday kmerrill057 08/04/16 10:11:40 AM
#213   I wonder what will happen with the shares kmerrill057 08/04/16 09:48:57 AM
#212   HKFIQ Should be interesting to see if they protagonist12 08/03/16 06:43:32 PM
#211   HKFIQ bein bought by Michael's yankees18 08/03/16 02:08:38 PM
#210   How did that work out for you? keyotee 08/02/16 11:30:15 PM
#209   I see this was a 1 day pump kmerrill057 07/05/16 05:32:04 PM
#208   Thanks to who ever filled my order kmerrill057 06/29/16 01:03:45 PM
#207   Lmao who bought 200 shares kmerrill057 06/29/16 10:56:59 AM
#206   Added .003 kmerrill057 06/29/16 09:32:50 AM
#205   agree! Higher lows getting put in here... DJPennyTrader 06/28/16 04:49:24 PM
#204   NITE has been loading the shares being dumped kmerrill057 06/28/16 03:24:20 PM
#203   Someone wants out @ .004 kmerrill057 06/23/16 10:58:22 AM
#202   Keep pacermonitor on watch for updates: DJPennyTrader 06/23/16 10:47:13 AM
#201   Sweet low volume move, will be on watch bilrip 06/23/16 10:29:06 AM
#200   I saw that. Was going to buy some b4ucry 06/23/16 10:09:02 AM
#199   HKFIQ nice chart.. DJPennyTrader 06/23/16 10:07:18 AM
#198   HKFIQ huge 8K filing out wow!!!! BERKSHIRE AGENT 06/23/16 10:06:11 AM
#197   up 140% today. It's alive. b4ucry 05/04/16 01:27:29 PM
#196   They should have taken the co. private last protagonist12 02/26/16 05:31:10 PM
#195   Ya just selling to themselves toad511 02/26/16 05:05:46 PM
#194   Or not protagonist12 02/26/16 05:04:42 PM
#193   MM. Gonna do something soon. Nite got same toad511 02/25/16 03:57:50 PM
#192   DJ Hancock Fabrics Approved to Proceed With Sale b4ucry 02/25/16 01:12:14 PM
#191   Nice today on kwkaq. Loving it toad511 02/25/16 12:50:18 PM
#190   DJ Creditors Seek to Slow Down, Open Up b4ucry 02/23/16 02:32:13 PM
#189   Some news came out the other day about b4ucry 02/23/16 02:31:30 PM
#188   That a bounce might be coming TheInvincibleBull 02/23/16 02:08:10 PM
#187   L2 spread tightening. U think anything up toad511 02/23/16 02:06:04 PM
#186   trades weird, but uptrend IN The Mouth Of Madness 02/16/16 11:51:33 AM
#185   Nice & green today TheInvincibleBull 02/05/16 10:49:27 AM
#184   I had rather lost all Road Kill 02/04/16 02:20:53 PM
#183   Yep deff panic selling TheInvincibleBull 02/04/16 02:00:52 PM
#182   Someone sold out at any price. stock_observer_77 02/04/16 02:00:22 PM
#181   .005's TheInvincibleBull 02/04/16 01:24:39 PM
#180   BALDWYN – Hancock Fabrics will close 70 stores b4ucry 02/04/16 12:48:39 PM
#179   sub penny gamble for sure IN The Mouth Of Madness 02/04/16 11:18:04 AM
#178   Why is this up? any good news? Addiecaps 02/04/16 12:21:02 AM
#177   yes, what is the O/S IN The Mouth Of Madness 02/04/16 12:17:23 AM
#176   .02x.028 ask still thin. Now with the Q TheInvincibleBull 02/03/16 10:16:29 AM
#175   HKFI I tried to warn them: protagonist12 02/02/16 05:09:33 PM
#174   HKFI changed to HKFIQ, bankruptcy: Renee 02/02/16 04:13:21 PM
#173   Voluntary Ch.11 Filing.... Restructuring makinezmoney 02/02/16 03:14:21 PM
#172   Well looks like hkfi pulled Road Kill 02/02/16 10:59:26 AM
#171   Peeps get scared so easily anymore TheInvincibleBull 02/02/16 10:52:33 AM
#170   Surprise news = Filed for Bankruptcy. willlbone 02/02/16 10:43:44 AM
#169   I was bitch, so what layupdrill 02/02/16 10:41:18 AM
#168   Weren't u sayin .15, lmao yankees18 02/02/16 10:40:28 AM
#167   not looking good at all, plenty to layupdrill 02/02/16 10:37:29 AM
#166   Lol, me too yankees18 02/02/16 10:36:46 AM