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Wittman: Halloween doesn’t have to be expensive

Normally I devote this column to all things business and finance, but since Halloween is, at least in my house, the most important dress-up-and-eat-your-body-weight-in-chocolate holiday of the year, I thought a Halloween-themed column was appropriate.

Given the state of the economy, a Halloween-themed column helping you stick to a budget seemed even more appropriate.

Since store-bought costumes can be pretty pricey – $20 on up for a flimsy, cheesy basic costume – doing it yourself makes a lot of sense, especially if you have more than one costume to throw together. You don’t need a sewing machine or the skills of those “Project Runway” fashion designers to pull it off. All you need is the Web.

First, never, and I repeat NEVER, underestimate the power of Google. When my 3-year-old daughter said she wanted to be Barbie Mariposa this year, I immediately hopped on Google. I got ideas on how to make her costume, including a cool tutu that required not one stitch of sewing – a bonus for the sewing challenged like myself. I love Google because I can enter the oddest, most random questions and almost always get a pertinent search result. It’s a good starting point.

If you’re struggling to figure out what costume to make, go to Disney’s FamilyFun.com for kids’ costume ideas as well as instructions on how to make them, including the time and materials needed.

Kaboose.com also has great ideas, and not just for Halloween. Click on the Halloween 2008/Homemade costumes section to see photos and how-tos. If you’d still rather buy your costume, this site also has links to plenty of store-bought costumes.

And speaking of Martha Stewart, her Web site (marthastewart.com) has really cool no-sew costume ideas. The difficulty level ranges from simple (Medusa, which involves weaving rubber snakes in your hair) to ridiculously hard (the Fairy Godmother costume, which involves gluing about 750 coffee filters together to resemble an Elizabethan-era gown).

If you’re looking for a costume that’s a little more grown-up, i.e., scary, go to Threadbanger.com. You’ll find a host of creative costume ideas along with how-to videos. An example of one such video: How to make a straight-jacket.

Happy Halloween!

Romi Carrell Wittman is a business writer and the communication services director for Trico Electric Cooperative. E-mail her at: romi.wittman@comcast.net.

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This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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