This is the time of year that my 7-year old and I most look forward to. His birthday is around the corner. Halloween is just two days later. He's got a costume in mind and I get to figure out which components we're going to make, and which we need to buy.
Two years ago, I made this clown costume from scratch, but purchased the wig and make up.
Last year, we bought the whole Santa outfit, but I assembled a crafty undershirt strategy that contained a jolly-sized belly. (Hard to see in this photo.)
These local resources come to mind for me when I think about Halloween, aside from Target and Costco (which, by the way, carries really cozy and adorable costumes for babies, made by Carters.)
- Kids used clothing stores. Grove Street Kids, Hannah's, Lauren's Closet, Ruby's Garden will all start putting their costumes out during the first week of October. Bring yours from last year and trade it in for credit!
- Fabric stores. Jo-Ann's in El Cerrito Plaza and Michael's in Emeryville have tons of stuff, but Stone Mountain & Daughters on Shattuck in Berkeley have knowledgeable staff who can help you find just the right green furry material for Oscar the Grouch, silver fabric for a knight's cape, or velcro that will be easy to install. Deep discounts can be found at the fabric outlet on San Pablo and Ashby.
- East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse. This Temescal shop is filled with supplies that have upcycle potential. Yarn, plastic containers, jars, magnets. If you can convince your kid to be a robot, you'll definitely want to get inspired here.
- Halloween Superstores. Not exactly local, but these pop-up shops enable landlords to earn some rent while occupying a vacant retail space. This year you'll find a warehouse-style Halloween store, packed with costumes, accessories, and house decorations in these locations:
Emeryville: Bay Street Across from Old Navy
Castro Valley: 3295 Castro Valley Blvd
Hayward: Southland Mall, across from Sears
Fremont: Mowry East
Fremont: Fremont Hub, next to Target
Newark: Newpark Mall
- Second-hand clothing stores. In October, Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other thrift stores often sell used, but originally store-bought kid's costumes, but they also have the makings for tons of homemade costumes. An old prom dress can become a princess or fairy. If you have low-level sewing skills, it's easier to start with a manufactured garment and leverage the existing hems or zipper closures.
Related: A whole web of ideas for baby and kids Halloween costumes on our other site, Rookie Moms.