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Profitt Report: Quick, last-minute DIY Halloween costumes

Photo credit: MGN

It’s not too late to get your Halloween costume together and you don’t need to run to the store and spend a small fortune.

We asked some local DIY experts for quick, affordable ideas.

“I’ve got smudges of glue but it's fun, it's cool, it's something that my kid will forever have in their memory, my mom made this costume for me when I was a kid,” said Shanise Ollie, a mother of three in Flint.

There’s just something special about a homemade costume: it’s unique, it’s not perfect and it’s affordable.

“Up to $40, $50 for a costume, I think that's just not feasible for everyone,” Ollie said.

When she noticed them watching old Alvin and the Chipmunks cartoons, it gave her an idea.

“A 99 cent piece of yellow felt and I just cut it into an ‘A’. That was $5 and I believe some change,” she said.

Ollie found the red shirt and hat on sale at Hobby Lobby and her other two boys already had the right color shirt.

“I’m under $10 if I need to buy something else, so that's like saving your pennies, that's saving your coins for sure,” she said.

The whole process was fast, too: it took her about ten minutes.

You might think princess costumes would be more complicated, but not if you’re clever like Ollie’s friend, Kala Wilburn.

“[My daughter] came home from her grandmother’s and was like Princess Poppy, Princess Poppy,” Wilburn said. Her daughter fell in love with the movie, ‘Trolls.’

Coupons are Wilburn’s best crafting friend. You can usually find them for the major craft stores: Jo-Ann Fabric, Michaels and Hobby Lobby.

“I just went and got some blizzard fleece, and cut it up into used the basic square,” Wilburn said.

She placed a few strategic stiches and used some hot glue for the dress.

Wilburn already had tulle, wrapped it around a stiff piece of cardboard and tied it to a headband for the troll hair. She said the whole process only took her about 20 minutes.

But what if your kids are itty-bitty?

Mother of two, Stephanie Mitchell knows how to make an affordable, warm costume for your littlest trick-or-treaters.

“I always remember growing up, my grandma was a fabulous sewer and she would make all of our costumes,” Mitchell said.

However, Mitchell wouldn’t call herself a master sewer at all.

“He had this brown onesie and I just bought a yard of fabric that matched the hat and cut a circle out and two things for the feet,” Mitchell said.

It looks complicated and expensive, but it didn’t take much time or money.

“Literally, we put a stitch here, a stitch here and we did a safety pin, safety pin and this I glued on the feet. If you can do an in-and-out stitch twice on a button, you can make this costume,” she said.

You might notice a common thread among all these mothers: they don’t start brainstorming ideas in the craft store. They start in their closets. Mitchell already had the bear hat and used that as inspiration.

“I used coupons at the craft store,” she said, “I would say probably total $20, if that.”

If any kind of sewing sounds really scary, Jo-Ann Fabric in Flint Township shows us a no-sew tutu that you can use to jazz up just about anything.

“You can do tutu super heroes,” suggested Leza Tungl, head of fabric at Jo-Ann, “my concept behind this was a candy corn witch.”

You’ll need a crochet headband, some tulle, ribbon and scissors. Everything for her tutu costs about $8 and under two hours of your time.

Tungl’s second project: a piece of knit fabric and an applique superhero symbol. Put these together and you’ve got a no-sew cape for about $15.

It doesn’t take much to light up a kid’s imagination, even if it’s just for the night.

“Going to people’s houses and they're like ‘what are you?’ and he roars at them, getting to be a child is what I like about it,” Mitchell said.

The Profitt Report wants to hear from you - please send consumer questions and story ideas to ProfittReport@WSMH.com

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