ANDERSON, Ind. — With just a housecoat and a little bit of imagination, Bonnie Schultz can transform the mundane into the sublime.
Schultz, who lives in Muncie, was shopping at the Goodwill store in Anderson this week for her daughter and a friend who wanted to dress like members of the sitcom “Mama’s Family.”
“I’m looking for bunny slippers, a wig we can put curlers in and an old dress or robe,” Schultz said with a laugh. “This is the best place to find quirky stuff.”
Used clothing and household items are also an excellent way to save money on Halloween costumes.
Cindy Graham, vice president for Goodwill Industries marketing in central Indiana, said the costume possibilities are endless. Graham showed how someone can create the perfect zombie bride or ghostly spirit with just a shredded curtain and a white dress.
“And these are not plastic throwaway items – these are items you can wear again,” Graham said.
Schultz agreed with Graham. She said that one year her daughter was Glenda the Good Witch from the “Wizard of Oz” movie for less than $5 thanks to a half-price ball gown. A pair of secondhand red shoes was peppered with sequins and instantly transformed into ruby slippers, Schultz said.
This year Schultz has increased her Halloween budget.
“I know we can do it for under $10 and that includes shoes,” Schultz said.
Toni Johnson said she shops for secondhand items for her unique Halloween decorations.
“This is the best place to go,” she said as she put a plastic shopping bag into her car. “Sometimes you find some really, really good stuff.”
Sam Perry, director of marketing communications for Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana, said now is the perfect time to find last-minute costume ideas.
He said generally the two weekends leading up to Halloween are big shopping days for Goodwill. The store has even put together a site of costume ideas and giving away $100 for a best costume submission created from Goodwill merchandise. The site is located at www.goodwillindy.org/halloween and submissions are being accepted through Nov. 1.
“All you need is a little bit of imagination and inspiration,” Perry said. “You can go traditional, unique or a little bit of both.”
Jeffrey Demos works at the Anderson Goodwill and enjoys wearing his holiday creations to work. In the week leading up to Halloween, Demos has cleverly disguised himself in a variety of clown costumes, as well as a 1970s disco dancer and a magician.
Some of his outfits still have the Goodwill tags on them and Demos said he is happy to sell the items – with the exception of a colorful clown wig he wears.
“That’s the only thing that’s not for sale,” he said with a laugh.
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