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Save some $$ on Halloween with costume swap

If you are looking save some money Halloween costumes this year try participating costume swap. | Sun-Times Medifile photo

If you are looking to save some money on Halloween costumes this year, try participating in a costume swap. | Sun-Times Media file photo

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Updated: September 28, 2012 3:37PM

Starting to think about Halloween costumes for this year? Dreading the ridiculous price you have to pay for them?

Well, Oct. 13 is National Costume Swap Day. The idea behind National Costume Swap Day is simple. Bring gently used costumes to a location in the community, where volunteers will organize them.

You’ll receive a ticket for each costume you drop off. On the designated swap day, return with your ticket and choose a “new” costume.

The details of the swap are up to the local organizer, so they may vary. Also, many swaps feature activities for kids, like cupcake decorating or crafts.

Local businesses often get involved by contributing items for goody bags. After the swap, leftover costumes can be reclaimed by the owners, or they can be donated to a charitable organization. Make sure to read the details of the swap you’re attending so you’ll know what happens to the remaining costumes.

The benefits of a costume swap go beyond saving money. Costumes stay out of the landfills, parents beat down some clutter and kids enjoy a fun community event.

The best place to find your local swaps is There you will find locations of swaps and helpful advice in organizing a swap.

Here are the steps to setting up your own swap:

◆ Secure a location: Make sure you will have enough room for the costumes and the swap participants. If you just want to run it for your neighborhood, hold it at a rec center or a cul-de-sac. If you anticipate many attendees, call your local library or school to see how to go about holding it there.

◆ Recruit volunteers.

◆ Plan activities for the kids.

◆ Designate a drop-off area for costumes.

◆ Create swap slips to redeem on swap day.

On the day of the swap:

◆ Lay out your costumes by size or use racks to hang the costumes.

◆ Set up a dressing area for easy try-ons.

◆ Charge your volunteers with reorganizing as the day goes and collecting swap slips.

After the swap:

◆ Give costumes back to original owners or donate to Goodwill.

SHOPPER’S TIP: Make sure to register your swap on

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