A Thrifty Halloween Tradition

I don’t remember why it started. I probably coveted some cute monogrammed treat bag from Pottery Barn Kids for my firstborn, but just couldn’t abide the expense (especially for one of the bags that is designed to specifically coordinate with the costume for that year and then becomes useless for the following year). Or maybe I was just looking for something to do with my toddler in the days leading up to Halloween.

However it began, I recall taking an ordinary paper gift sack and cutting out a little paper fish for my daughter who would be a kitty cat for Halloween that year. I gave her some crayons and some little punched-out circles and a glue stick and let her go to town. I added her name with some stamps and, voila! she had a coordinating candy bag with which to go trick or treating.

Since then, we’ve painted butterflies, pasted black dots on a red sack for our little ladybug, put paper bananas on a bag to accompany a monkey costume, and painted our own superhero logos to paste on the bags. This year, we had a unicorn and a panda–whose bag was adorned with actual bamboo!


What began by happenstance has now become a holiday tradition as we look through the gift bags and other shopping bags we have around and brainstorm how we’ll decorate them to complement the year’s costumes.

It’s thrifty.

It’s upcycling stuff we already have.

It’s customized to their costume.

It’s creative and fun.

It’s a family tradition!

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