Don’t want to hit the local Halloween pop-up for a costume everybody else will be wearing too? Want to make your own but don’t know where to start looking for parts and pieces? Here’s eight great places to start your Halloween costume hunt. You can easily put together a full look, be original, and have everything fit better, without spending a lot of money!
*Disclaimer: Article contains affiliate links, from which I may earn a few cents if you purchase something.
Where to Shop for DIY Costume Pieces and Accessories
1 – First stop: Amazon
The first thing I do when searching for costume pieces is to check Amazon. It gives me a good idea of what’s available, different costs of pieces vs. ready-made costumes and I know if I need something fast, I can usually get it the next day. I typically will save things in my basket or make a list, and then go back to Amazon if I fail to find something better somewhere else. I also have my own Amazon page where I post shoppable photos and costume idea lists: Candy Keane’s Amazon Finds
2 – Goodwill and similar thrift shops
Goodwill is a great place to start your hunt if you can assemble your costume with clothing pieces. It can be a bit overwhelming digging through the racks, so you want to go in with a plan. Grab a cart and start pulling anything that looks like it might work. You can get a lot for your money at Goodwill! Remember you are looking for pieces with potential- things you can alter to make work, not necessarily finished pieces.
3 – Once I get the Amazon prices, I head to Shein
After price checking at Amazon and finding what I can at Goodwill, I head to Shein. You can find amazingly cheap things on Shein, not just costume pieces. (Click here to save 10% off your order) They have things for men, women and children. If you type “Halloween” in the search engine, all kinds of cute things pop up! The drawback is the shipping time, which can take well over a week to arrive. So you want to order early. Their prices are typically lower than Amazon. For example, the best price I could find on Amazon for a faux leather jacket for my Black Canary costume was $30, but I found a nice one on Shein for $15! I also found a cute dress for $10 that I bought for regualr wear, and ended up using for a costume too.
And while we’re talking about cheap places to shop, if you’re going to give Wish a try, order WAY early because it will take over a month to arrive and 99% of the time is going to be crap and you’ll be scrambling to find a replacement at the last minute. Shein is much more dependable.
4 – Hardware and Auto Shops
Everybody knows to visit the craft stores when you need crafting supplies, but sometimes you’ll be surprised by what you can find at a hardware store or auto shop. I often just wander the aisles at Lowe’s looking to see if anything jumps out at me that I can use. And the auto shop is where you can find special spray paint used for changing the color of seats and dashboards, which you can use to change the color of any leather or vinyl and not have it crack or flake off.
5 – Go to Etsy if you need a custom piece made
Sometimes you can’t find what you need, and can’t make it yourself, and that’s where Etsy comes in as a great option. There’s people making everything on there, and if you don’t see it, you can usually have it custom made. I recently had a pair of Bowsette horns 3-D printed for me by Scarlet Moon Designs and was very happy with the result! Etsy is also where I list my costume pieces for sale: SewGeekMama on Etsy
6 – Online resale or thrift shops
If you are looking for a ready-made costume piece, Poshmark and eBay are two great places to shop. I’ve been listing a lot of my gently worn costumes and wigs on Poshmark this week. I usually list things there first and then on eBay if it doesn’t sell. The best way to get things through these two places is to make an offer! You can buy it at the set price if you are in a hurry, but if you can wait a day then always send an offer and you might save a few dollars.
A few of the things I have on Poshmark right now:
7 – Specialty shops
If you have something very specific you need and have been striking out everywhere, try a specialty shop that focuses on one item. The top three I use are Mendel’s for faux fur, SpandexHouse for anything stretchy and WeLoveColors for tights. All these places have been around for years and are very dependable with the quality. If you are tall or plus size, WeLoveColors is a must for tights that will actually fit right and not rip on the first wear. They have a huge selection of colors and not having to tug my tights up all day is worth the investment.
8 – Cosplay Stores
Sometimes you just don’t have the time to put a whole look together, or it’s way too complicated and you just want to buy an outfit. There are tons of cosplay shops online, but it can be hit or miss with the quality. It can also get confusing because you’ll see the same photos in different stores. A couple I’ve gotten decent things from are Heroes Time and Cosplay Sky. (Full disclosure: My Captain Marvel suit was from Cosplay Sky and was gorgeous, but it didn’t fit right and the side zipper busted as soon as I put it on.)