This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

Whenever I’ve purchased a pre-packaged Halloween costume, I’ve usually been disappointed. They rarely fit and the material and accessories are chintzy. But I take my hat off for the clever people that make their own costumes. Extra points if it’s hilarious. Year after year, these people seem to out-do themselves. I don’t know how they do it!

In 2011, April Dykman looked at Halloween spending for us.

“According to The National Retail Federation (NRF), more Americans are planning to celebrate Halloween than ever before, with seven in 10 (68.6%) planning to partake in some sort of ghoulish festivity, up from 63.8% last year and the most in NRF’s nine-year Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey history.”

It’s not surprising that the numbers are higher now that unemployment is starting to go down. The NRF predicts that 75 million adults will dress up in 2014, and they’re expected to drop $1.4 billion on their costumes. A billion dollars will be spent on children’s costumes, and $350 million will be spent on the family dog, cat, horse, iguana, or turtle. Seriously, sometimes you just need a little Triceratops in your life. (Maybe Scooter would disagree.)

(Courtesy)

I love Halloween, but I never got that creative gene. So let’s just say that I’ve spent a fair amount on pre-packaged costumes over the years. As an example, one of my more creative homemade costumes was two years ago when I curled my hair, added an apron to my skirt and blouse, donned a pearl necklace and grabbed a large soup pot, ladle, and rubber chicken. I had a lot of fun scooping candy bars out of the pot and filling each child’s plastic pumpkin or pillowcase. I can do a mean imitation of Julia Childs’ “Bon appétit!” I had everything but the rubber chicken, and I think I paid less than $5 for that. That’s not too hard on the budget, anyway.

For me, this year’s costume is yet to be determined. But even if I don’t come up with an idea for my own costume, I’ll enjoy all the cherubs that come my way in their terrific homemade and store-bought costumes. I’m a sucker for a fireman, princess, Spiderman, pirate, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Regardless of the costume, when you dress up a 4-year-old, you get nothing but cuteness.

Are you making your Halloween costumes this year? What do you expect to spend? What’s the most creative or hilarious costume you have made, and how much did it cost?

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