Do it yourself Halloween

TUPELO – Americans are expected to spend an average of a little more than $56 on Halloween this year, including nearly $21 on costumes.
But to save a little money – and maybe add your own personal touches – some consumers are making their own costumes.
At Hobby Lobby, Store Manager Robin Curbow said she noticed more people started to buy their own fabrics at the beginning of the year, when the economy was in much worse shape.
“We had a lot of people in their 20s and 30s learning how to sew,” Curbow said.
Some were making their own clothes, or were making clothing to sell, she said.
And that do-it-yourself trend has carried over to Halloween.
Fabrics department manager Doris Russell said interest has picked up the past few weeks as Halloween has gotten closer.
“A lot of customers are coming in telling us they want to make costumes themselves because of the economy,” Russell said.
Russell helped one customer who wanted to dress her child as a carrot. Another customer needed a Daniel Boone costume.
Curbow said costume books and kits are available for customers looking for ideas. Best of all, they come with instructions on what to buy, how much to buy and how to put everything together.
“We have Halloween costume books that include everything from pirates, to bugs, to cartoon characters to the Wizard of Oz,” Curbow said.
And with the economy recovering, many consumers are looking to spend less. But Halloween still means big business. The National Retail Federation, which projects Americans to spend about $10 less this year than last on Halloween, expects Halloween spending to reach about $4.75 billion, or about $56 per person. Tonos 10/21/09
In its survey, the NRF found about 88 percent of U.S. consumers will be spending less on Halloween this year. About 47 percent will spend less on candy, almost 17 percent will make costumes instead of buying them and about 16 percent will reuse last year’s outfits.
Hobby Lobby’s Curbow said Halloween isn’t the only reason more people are buying fabrics and accessories. Fall festivals and theatrical productions also have helped increase traffic.
As for Halloween, though, Curbow said customers can spend as much – or as little – as they’d like.
“It depends on the costumes they decide to make, and you can always take away or add from it,” she said. “You can probably spend about $10 for a whole costume.”
There’s no doubt that many shoppers will pick a ready-made costume from a retailer. For some, it’s convenience. For some, the variety and detail in some of the pre-made costumes are difficult, if not impossible, to reproduce.
But for kids who are trick-or-treating and likely won’t wear the costume again, making a costume for them might be the best route for some shoppers.
“Most people want to make a pumpkin,” Russell said. “And orange is a very popular color.”

Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or

Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

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