Nothing New Project #3 – Halloween Edition

[‘Nothing New’ is a blog about my personal journey attempting to help the planet, my pocketbook, and my conscience by buying nothing new for at least the next month.]

Trying to put together my Nothing New Halloween costume was a fun and creative challenge.  There was NOTHING NEW about my costume, and it was one of my most favorite Halloween get-ups ever!

Even before I started the Nothing New Project, I hated the idea of buying a junky Halloween costume with plastic props that would go straight into the Good Will bag on November 1. Such a waste! So, when shopping for my kids costumes this year, we made sure to find  some elements that they could reuse and re-wear.

I bought my kids’ costumes before I began the Nothing New Project. My son wanted a traffic cone hat, an orange safety vest, overalls, and two light wands to be “an air traffic director guy”. My daughter only needed a red and white striped shirt and a red and white beanie to be “Where’s Waldo”. I still spent about $75 on Amazon. (Insert eyeroll emoji.)

I was planning on passing out candy in my  normal, boring, all-black outfit, and maybe painting on some cat whiskers or wearing a witch hat or afro wig. But I got invited to a Halloween costume party at a local tennis club, and decided that I had to at least try to put together a fun costume.

Could I create a Nothing New Halloween costume?

With what I had in my closet, I would be either Joan of Arc (armor leggings) or Cave Woman (tiger print nightgown). It all depended on the props that I could scrounge up from my friends and neighbors. I hit up a garage sale that I happened to drive by, and they had some plastic swords and a big wooden shield. Joan of Arc looked promising. Then I stopped by a friend’s house and she had silver spray paint for my shield, and….an AMAZING, ratty, brunette wig.

I have to admit, I was not feeling like I wanted a big PROJECT, so spray painting was out.

My tiger print nightgown, the big ratty wig, and some tribal chic necklaces from my jewelry box were making a great start on Cave Woman. I texted a couple of neighbors and asked if they had a bone that I could use for a prop. And get this….my VEGAN neighbor just happened to have a bin of bleached animal bones in her garage. (She had hosted a “dinosaur dig” birthday party for her son’s birthday. She’s super mom, no costume needed.) Are you kidding me? This new-found club of a femur was the perfect accessory! I was going PALEO.

I found some leftover raffia and four little burlap gift bags in our craft cabinet. Using some clear packing tape, scissors, and a stapler, I managed to transform the raffia and burlap into amazing leg warmers/shoe covers that had me feeling like I was straight out of Clan of the Cave Bear.

My costume was done! Everyone loved it and I felt great being in the Halloween spirit. Here are the benefits of my Nothing New Halloween costume:

  1. Cost NOTHING.
  2. Low environmental impact.
  3. I have to return the bone/wig  which is an excuse to visit with friends and build community.
  4. My friends felt like they were a part of the the awesome costume creation.
  5. I got to be creative and crafty.
  6. My costume was 100% one-of-a-kind, sassy, and comfortable (PJs!).
  7. THE BEST PART. I took off my wig and shoes, and crawled straight into bed in my jungle nightgown!

Happy Halloween!





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