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143 Ideas for building your costume on a budget from local thrift stores

Posted by Melissa Massello  October 22, 2013 03:46 PM

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boomerangs_DIY_halloween_costume_ideas.jpgPhoto: Boomerangs

Any self-respecting DIYer wouldn't be caught dead in a store-bought Halloween costume. Spending days and weeks — months, even — brainstorming great characters and then building a costume piece by piece, sewing and gluing pieces by hand if necessary, the DIY-inclined always finish first in costume contests — because, as Buzzfeed nailed it today, their thrifting addictions mean their "Halloween costumes are always on point."

If you're a little behind the 8-ball this year, don't fret: these three beloved Boston thrift stores have your back, taking to Instagram and Facebook to share a whopping combined 143 ideas so you can still build your own original Halloween costume, and on a budget.

114 Halloween costume ideas

Across the river in Cambridge, the vintage mecca and home to the famous Buck a Pound pile sale is usually the first stop on any DIY costume mission. Leading the pack in costume ideas, Garment District offers up easy-to-assemble gems such as Mister Rogers, Jackie O, Mia Wallace, The Dude, Hunter S. Thompson, Super Mario Bros, Troll Dolls, Grumpy Cat, Forrest Gump, plus 95 more. Check out their Build Your Own Costume album on Facebook or follow them on Instagram for daily inspiration. Hey, even Buzzfeed used their Marty McFly costume idea to prove the point that thrift shopping addicts rule Halloween. (It's totally the same guy, don't you think?)

goodwill_boston_halloween_ideas.jpgPhoto: Goodwill

10 Halloween costume ideas

Everyone knows that Goodwill is Halloween headquarters for DIY costumes of all kinds, but not everyone in Boston knows about their secret weapon: the Goodwill Outlet on Harrison Ave. With a flat rate of $1.75 for most items, it's the easiest way to put together a classic costume like doctors, ninjas, or pirates, but also a great one-stop shop for popular costumes this year such as the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge. Go to for their top 10 costume ideas of 2013, or post your own DIY costume on Instagram using the hashtag #GoodwillHalloween for a chance to win a $25 Goodwill gift certificate (until midnight November 3rd).

diy_pink_flamingo_costume.jpgPhoto: Boomerangs

19 Halloween costume ideas

Beloved local charity shop and AIDS Action Committee fundraiser Boomerangs is another one of Boston's best resources for building your own Halloween costume. The JP institution offers up 19 fabulously thrifty and unique ideas such as Girl Scouts, pink plastic flamingos, and Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Do we smell a little friendly thrift store throwdown? Not to be outdone by Goodwill, Boomerangs is offering a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to their stores; tag your own DIY Halloween costumes with #BoomerangsThrowdown (until October 31st).

For 20+ more homemade Halloween costume ideas, head over to Shoestring — or leave your favorite, most clever suggestion in the comments below!

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the Authors

Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out More »
Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »

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