This story is from our partner LearnVest and was originally published on 10/12/11.
There’s a good chance you remember your favorite Halloween costume of all time. Maybe it was the year you were a princess, or a chef, or a pirate. Or maybe it was the year you were totally creative, even if no one ended up actually understanding what your costume was.
Now note that you’re thinking back to one particular year.
However awesome we may have thought our costumes were the year we wore them, we never ended up wearing them, or any part of them, again.
The same thing probably goes for your child, which is why we’ve put together a budget-friendly list of our favorite inexpensive items that do Halloween triple (or quadruple) duty:
Wings are the base of many awesome costumes, including fairies, ladybugs, butterflies, birds, angels and more. Purchase a pair that’s the least decorative or colorful possible, so you can use it over and over in different costumes.
Get a helmet to transform your kid into tons of different costumes, like a knight, a G.I., a football player or a jockey. Choose the helmet with the fewest bells and whistles, so you can paint it year after year or add cheap additions (like a $3 fireman badge) to make it work for multiple uses.
As anyone who has ever spent time in a costume store knows, tiaras are essential to a myriad of costumes, like princesses, brides, prom queens, Miss Americas and more. Buying this item once can lead to successful costumes many times over.
Pull out a top hat multiple years in a row to transform your kid from a magician to Harpo Marx, an old-timey dancer or, for older kids, Slash from Guns N’ Roses.
If you’re worried about using face paint, keep in mind that it’s the law for all color additives to be FDA-approved for use in cosmetics. If you’re still concerned, stay away from fluorescent and luminescent colors, and check the Summary of Color Additives on the FDA’s website to match approved ones with the product you have. If your makeup contains a color that’s not on the list, don’t get it.
Once you’ve purchased face paint, look forward to years of possible costumes including animals like a tiger or cat, Mickey or Minnie Mouse, Dracula or the Joker.
Pick up a blonde wig and your child could be Alice in Wonderland, Rapunzel, a hippie, Betty from the Archie comics or Tinkerbell. When you’re ready for it to be blond no longer, you can dye it to use in costumes like Pippi Longstocking or Morticia.
Bow and Arrow
Hook your kid up with a bow and arrow and she can reuse it year after year as Cupid, Robin Hood, a cowboy or an Indian, William Tell, Diana the Huntress or Artemis.
A single black cape can transform your child into a Hairy Potter character, a magician or a witch.
This article was brought to you by Recyclebank partner LearnVest To check out additional articles, please visit LearnVest.com.
What Halloween costume pieces have you used over and over again?