Our family dresses in theme every year—not an easy feat when you have 7 in your family and the children range in age from 4 to 15! This year we pow-wowed around the kitchen table over several nights and after much back-and-forth (and a bit of angst) we settled on Monopoly. We have lots of fun family memories around this board game so it seemed a perfect idea (though some memories are less happy when a player is crushed into bankruptcy by a sibling!) :-) I must say, it is probably one of the most unique themes we’ve ever done!
Because of the versatility of this theme, as we considered our individual parts we were able to eventually appeal to every kids’ personal sense of Halloween-style. My husband suggested “Electric Company” for me because I keep everything running; he is our family’s money-man so Banker-Man was perfect for him. Our middle daughter was not as excited about the theme until she realized she could be “Luxury Tax” and really glam it up! Our daughter who could easily read 1,000+ pages a week was a natural at Reading Railroad. Our youngest daughter, aka The Enforcer amongst her siblings, took a turn as a Police Officer for Go To Jail. My oldest son who is the pot-stirrer of the family landed in jail—and he wasn’t “Just Visiting”! And baby boy? The one who is ridiculously cute and also monopolizes all our time is none other than Mr. Monopoly! Other ideas: Toga for Mediterranean, Kimono/Ninja for Oriental, Gypsy/Babushka/Matrushka for Baltic, Solid Orange/Yellow with appropriate decorations for Chance or Community Chest, or you could even incorporate the pieces, dice, houses/hotels, etc….The options are limitless!
For our specific costumes, the thrift store was where we found the money coat/bling, the luxury tax dress/boa, and Mr. Monopoly’s suit/top hat. A few items like gloves, badge/handcuffs, cane, and the engineer’s hat were purchased from a costume store, but the majority of the costumes were things we had or could borrow because they are commonplace (hard hat, coveralls, sunglasses, costume jewelry, kerchief, overalls, plain blue knit dress). The one exception to all of this was the pants for my son’s prisoner costume. I did a quick search on Ebay and actually found a pair of real prisoner pants from a prison that had been closed—he liked that idea! Total spent for all the costumes was less than $100.
The boards were just foamboard that were decorated with spray paint/sharpie by my artistically-gifted son. For those less gifted in the drawing department, it wouldn’t be difficult to find images online or scan and then print out and paste them onto the board. We did add handles to the back to make them easier to carry (we used foamboard to make a 4” x 9” plate, cut 1.5” vertiacal slits on both ends, slipped the ends of a 10” piece of ribbon through the slits, hot glued the ends of the ribbon to the plate, then hot glued the plate w/the ribbon onto the back of the board). All we had to buy for this part of the costume was the foamboard (about $15 worth) and sharpies ($10) and spray paint ($2). We did line the edges of the boards with black duck tape—this made them even more realistic looking and also made the edges less likely to get dinged.
Everyone loved our costumes—I think because it was so unique! We even had people approaching us on Halloween saying that they had heard about our costumes and went looking for us! We won the group costume contest at our Trunk or Treat and had a fun evening afterward.