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Dog Halloween costumes that are a real treat

Dogs are getting in on the Halloween fun, too, by dressing up for this sweet holiday.

Pet costumes continue to gain popularity, with nearly 17% of celebrants — or 29 million people — planning to dress their pets in costumes, according to the National Retail Federation.

According to the NRF, 9% of pet lovers will dress their animal in a pumpkin costume, while 7% will dress their cat or dog as a hot dog, 7% as a superhero and 4% as a bumblebee.

Here are a few costumes found at Goodwill fit for our four-legged friends.

Super girl: This superhero is super cute with a made-for-pets onesie with cape. Your pet will be the Halloween hit of the neighborhood.

Deer: Oh, dear, is this a winner! An elastic headband with lightweight foam antlers and a child’s faux fur vest are all it takes to turn this four-legged creature into a different four-legged creature.

Pirate: This children’s costume can do double duty for your dog, too! With a frilly, loose white shirt, your pooch will have insta recognition. Or go with an already made one-piece dog costume and hat. Arr, matey.

Santa: Santa at Halloween? Who wouldn’t love this holiday mix-up! Featuring a fluffy hat and beard to slip over a dog’s face along with a simplified red suit, this one has jolly in the bag!

DIY Halloween treat containers

Halloween is the perfect time to get creative and have some do-it-yourself fun with your kid! Along with crafting a unique costume, you can encourage your children to create their own candy treat containers with a variety of items that you already have at home and can find at your local Goodwill. Here are three easy DIY candy treat container projects for some inspiration:

Bucket and Paint

Items needed:

  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Old bucket

Painting skills aside, this is an easy one for kids of any age to accomplish. Encourage them to get creative and paint whatever pops into their head or print off a photo of something seasonal for inspiration. Make sure to let the paint dry before taking it out trick-or-treating.

Pillowcase and Glitter Fabric Paint

Items needed:

  • Glitter fabric paint
  • Piece of cardboard or paper bag
  • Pillowcase (white works best)

This is another simple one that doesn’t require sewing. Start by putting the pillowcase on a flat surface and place the cardboard or paper bag inside the pillowcase. From here, get creative! Add a saying or draw on some patterns. Make sure to let the glitter paint dry overnight before use.

Graphic Tee and Shoelace

Items needed:

  • Graphic tee
  • Shoelace
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie or permanent marker

Goodwill’s racks are filled with fun graphic tees for a great price! Grab a shoelace — new or old, scissors and a Sharpie and you’re good to go.

Start by turning the tee inside out and marking the collar and arms where you will cut the shirt into handles for your candy treat container. Cut the collar and arms off along that dotted line. Mark where you will cut a small hole on the bottom hem of the shirt to feed the shoelace through. From here, you will feed the shoelace through the bottom of the hem and finish the project by cinching the bottom hem and tying the bottom of the bag shut with the shoestring. Turn the bad right side out, and you’re ready to trick-or-treat!

Fashionista: Find trendy fall work outfits at Goodwill

Here we are again. Children are back to school, fall sports are in action, pumpkin spice is everywhere, and, my favorite, our beloved TV shows have returned.

I’ve got my Kleenex stocked and ready for “This Is Us.”

Of course, another autumn favorite is fall shopping at Goodwill. It’s the place to add pieces to your fall wardrobe, including your office apparel.

I once again went directly to the accessory department and found this interesting tri-color belt. With the colors of warm white, tan and black with an interesting chain, this is that one piece that pulls an outfit together. It’s really that easy!

On-trend colors for fall are warmer shades of yellow that almost look like butterscotch. If you go to any department store you will see that color everywhere. I immediately fell in love with this beautiful warm-colored blouse that I found on clearance. And everyone should have a well-fitted black pair of pants for work. I guarantee that you will find a pair at Goodwill!

The velvet flats with a bow are adorable and will take you into winter. Doesn’t this fall work outfit look simple yet classy and rich?

Cost breakdown: White House Black Market black pants, $8.99; tri-colored belt, $3.99; Forever 21 butterscotch blouse, $1.99 on clearance; Lauren Conrad velvet black flats, $4.99 with 50% off color tag of the week.

Bring on fall! I’m ready with great fall apparel finds at Goodwill.

Happy shopping!

About Therese Bishop: Therese is Goodwill’s fashionista and always is on the hunt for her next great treasure. She writes regularly about her fashion finds.

DIY accent tray from Goodwill frame

Does your coffee table or dining table look like it could use a little decorative love? You’re in luck! This DIY accent tray is easy to make, and all you need are a few simple and inexpensive supplies:

  • Old wooden picture frame (with glass intact)
  • Can of spray paint (or regular paint if you’d prefer)
  • Set of hardware handles
  • Screwdriver

Find frames that are small, large and everything in between at your local Goodwill to make this a budget-friendly, do-it-yourself project that you can keep for yourself or give as a homemade gift.

Step 1: Spray paint the picture frame, including the glass. You’ll want to spray paint one side at a time and let each side dry fully before flipping to spray paint the other side.

Step 2: Screw on the hardware handles. This is where sourcing a wood frame is important! If the wood isn’t soft enough you may need to pre-drill some small holes to make screwing in the hardware easier.

Pro tip: Make sure that your screws aren’t too long and poke through the opposite side of the frame.

From here you can get creative with the decor that you place on the accent tray and change things out based on the seasons. We liked creating this one in white so that it matches with decor all year!

About Goodwill: Goodwill NCW is a nonprofit human services organization whose mission is Elevating People by Eliminating Barriers to Employment across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, 24 human services programs, unique shopping experiences at its boutiques and Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers four Donation Express sites and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of GuideStar.org, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit www.goodwillncw.org.

 

Fashionista: Blanket scarf at top of fall must haves

The temperatures are taking a dip and you know what that means. It’s time to get out all your warm and cozy pieces out of your drawers and closet.

One piece that is a fall must-have is a beautiful blanket scarf. A large, comfy blanket scarf can be styled so many ways and takes your look to another level — a cozier level. I like to take my scarf and simply drape it over whatever I’m wearing.

I love, love, love this colorful blanket scarf. It sets the tone for this fall look. Because the scarf features so many colors, you can create a whole new look just by pulling out one color of the scarf.

Find these fabulous layering pieces in the accessory department.

I added a long-sleeved fuchsia shirt with a vest that gives it a fashionable monochromatic look. And who doesn’t like a great pair of designer jeans at a great price? The leopard flats add an unexpected touch with a little texture.

Cost breakdown: Merona blanket scarf, $3.99; Calvin Klein designer jeans, $9.99 at 50% off with color tag of the week; Lands’ End long-sleeved shirt, $4.99; New York & Co. fuchsia vest, $5.99; and Bandolina leopard flats, $4.99 at 50% off with color tag of the week.

Head straight over to the accessory department and take it from there! Get cozy for less.

About Therese Bishop: Therese is Goodwill’s fashionista and always is on the hunt for her next great treasure. She writes regularly about her fashion finds.

Creative Halloween costumes ideas with the big-screen factor

Movies provide that pop-culture inspiration for Halloween costumes, and this year’s no different when it comes to what to dress up as.

Halloween is the stuff movies are made of, and this year we saw “Toy Story,” “Addams Family,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” “Aladdin” and “Lion King” hit the big screen. That means the little ones and big ones alike are going to want to dress like their favorite superhero, heroine, Disney princess or character come trick-or-treating time.

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2018 survey, 68% off all Halloween shoppers will buy a costume, spending a total of about $3.2 billion on them. For buying costumes and other Halloween supplies, 45% of shoppers will visit discount stores and 35% will go to a specialty Halloween store or costume store.

Ready, set, action with these cinematic, creative Halloween costume ideas:

Addams Family: Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Uncle Fester and more are back in this first-ever animated film that hits the big screen just in time for Halloween. The macabre nature of this clan makes it ideal inspiration for this spooky time of year.

Toy Story: Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep, Jessie and all the “Toy Story” favorites are back in this fourth and likely final installment in the popular Pixar series that began nearly 25 years ago. With so many likable familiar friends to pick from as well as new ones — hello, Forky — the possibilities are endless with this one. To infinity and beyond!

Mary Poppins: Disney’s 2018 Oscar-nominated “Mary Poppins Returns” reestablished our love affair with the beloved British nanny and the magic she brings. This classic tale that spans generations is a clear winner for Halloween with its cast of characters — Mary Poppins herself, Jack, the Banks family and countless chimney sweeps.

Cinderella: Be the belle of the ball with this Disney tale. Whether you go as the Fairy Godmother, evil stepmother, the prince or one of the stepsisters, you’ll get caught up in this romantic tale. Just don’t forget the glass slipper!

Breakfast Club: This classic from 1985 never goes out of style. With roles as the rebel, outcast, brain, athlete and princess, this John Hughes film provides the perfect inspiration for a group costume theme. Don’t you … forget about this one!

About Goodwill: Goodwill NCW is a nonprofit human services organization whose mission is Elevating People by Eliminating Barriers to Employment across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, 24 human services programs, unique shopping experiences at its boutiques and Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers four Donation Express sites and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of GuideStar.org, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit www.goodwillncw.org.

5 DIY Halloween costume ideas

With some creativity and just a few bucks, you can create your own do-it-yourself Halloween costume that is sure to be the envy of the neighborhood, party or office. Plus, it will be a one-of-a-kind look that will save you money. How’s that for a rare treat!

Here are five tips for putting together the best thrifted DIY Halloween costume.

  1. If you find a great piece but have no idea what to do with it, do some homework before putting it back on the shelves or the rack. Those unique finds are worth holding on to. You just need to do a little Google searching. Find an outrageous purple jacket and don’t know what you could do with it? How about the Joker or Prince? Striped red and black pants? The world’s most famous pet detective — Ace Ventura. A plain blue dress? Madeline from the beloved children’s book series.
  2. A fancy gown in a solid color can be any number of Disney princesses. Just accessorize to complete the look. Yellow dress? Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.” Blue gown? Cinderella or Elsa. Pink? Aurora. Purple? Rapunzel.
  3. Don’t shop with one costume idea in mind. When you shop secondhand, you must be open to the possibilities of the exciting items you might find in store. You might be looking for round eyeglasses when you come upon an amazing shark hat and your idea of being Harry Potter goes out the window.
  4. Find the one signature item and then build onto it. A leather coat could be the Fonz, Sandy or Danny from “Grease,” James Dean or a biker. Red leather? Michael Jackson in “Thriller.” Brown leather? Amelia Earhart or Indiana Jones. If your original idea doesn’t work, move on to another idea for that great find.
  5. Put a twist on a traditional costume. Instead of being a regular witch dressed head to toe in black, how about going in a hot pink tutu instead? Whatever you choose to be, put your own signature look on it.

About Goodwill: Goodwill NCW is a nonprofit human services organization whose mission is Elevating People by Eliminating Barriers to Employment across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, 24 human services programs, unique shopping experiences at its boutiques and Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers four Donation Express sites and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of GuideStar.org, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit www.goodwillncw.org.

Men’s Halloween costume ideas

Classics like vampires, zombies, pirates and superheroes are expected to be popular men’s Halloween costume ideas once again, according to the National Retail Federation.

But every year those classics are joined by creative DIY men’s Halloween costumes that are influenced by pop culture, YouTube, movies, headlines and celebrities. When looking for inspiration for the perfect costume, 29% percent of consumers will look in stores. Others find ideas online, through family and friends and on social media.

Here are five men’s Halloween costume ideas that go beyond the classics.

Disco dazzler: Seventies disco is staying alive with this far-out costume that has a vibe everyone can dig. With this gold shirt, groovy hat, bell-bottom pants, aviator sunglasses and fake fur coat, your ’70s throwback costume is right on!

Bob Ross: Get in touch with your artistic side and bring the iconic PBS painter to life. The key to this costume is a curly-haired wig along with painting supplies. Wear a dress shirt and jeans, and you’ve got the look.

Mario Bros.: Take your costume to the next level with the help of Luigi, Mario and Princess Peach. You’ll have instant recognition with this ’80s video game. Jean overalls, solid tees and a matching cap are all you need to pull off this winning look.

Bare Bones: This black and white ensemble is a twist on the old-school, traditional ghost featuring black pants with a fabric paint design, white button-up shirt, black tee, suspenders and fedora. Pinstriped clothing also would fit here. Add some touches of makeup to top off the skeletal look.

Secret agent: This top-secret costume idea will make anyone look super official. Wear a dark suit, sunglasses and an earpiece and be sure to carry a badge. Keep up appearances by staying tightlipped and mysterious. Here come the Men in Black …

About Goodwill: Goodwill NCW is a nonprofit human services organization whose mission is Elevating People by Eliminating Barriers to Employment across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, 24 human services programs, unique shopping experiences at its boutiques and Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers four Donation Express sites and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of GuideStar.org, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit www.goodwillncw.org.

 

Women’s Halloween costume ideas

Let the good times roll in creative and classic DIY women’s Halloween costumes. Whether inspiration comes from the movies, books, pop culture or history, what you wear this Halloween is only limited by your sense of fun and imagination.

According to National Retail Federation, Halloween continues to be popular for adults, with half of celebrants (48%) planning to dress in costume this year, with witch the top choice.

Here’s how adults can play dress-up for the day with these five Halloween costume ideas for women.

Flower child: Embrace tie-dye, fringe and bell bottoms for this far-out costume. With this look from the ’60s, how can you feel anything but groovy? Peace, baby! In addition to shirts and skirts — think long and flowy — add accessories such as a fringe vest, headband, flowers, anything with a peace symbol, sunglasses and go-go boots.

Snow White: This 1930s Disney classic never goes out of style. Grab a ballgown or go with two pieces instead — a blue shirt or sweater along with a yellow skirt or tutu. Top it off with red lipstick and a matching bow for your updo and be sure to carry an apple.

Roaring ’20s: Celebrate the style icons of this prosperous and freewheeling decade by putting on your party dress. Style it up with a cloche hat or feathered headband, long set of pearls, gloves and a pair of Mary Janes. If you’ve got a bob, wear it with attitude!

Raining Cats and Dogs: Have fun with this play-on-words DIY costume idea. The key to this one is hanging secondhand stuffed animals from an umbrella. Wear a raincoat, leggings and rainboots and you’re all set to be showered with attention.

Little Red Riding Hood: Bring this 17th-century fairy tale to life by topping off a white, red, black or gray dress with a long, hooded red cape. Wear boots and carry a gingham-lined basket. Bonus points for carrying a wolf stuffed animal.

About Goodwill: Goodwill NCW is a nonprofit human services organization whose mission is Elevating People by Eliminating Barriers to Employment across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, 24 human services programs, unique shopping experiences at its boutiques and Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers four Donation Express sites and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of GuideStar.org, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit www.goodwillncw.org.

Instagram-worthy teen Halloween costume ideas

When it comes to tween and teen Halloween costume ideas, you can bet it’s going to be a sign of the times. Think Snapchat-, YouTube- and Instagram-worthy.

Part of the Halloween thrill is building a costume that is unique and individual. No one wants to wear the exact same costume as someone else. It also makes shopping more of a treasure hunt, which is an added fun component of putting together just the right costume.

If you are looking for some ideas to get the creative juices flowing, we can help. Here are our favorite creations.

Superhero: Put together a costume that puts the super in superhero by doing this ever-popular look your way. All you really need is a graphic tee to represent your favorite superhero. Add some fun with a complementary tutu, colorful tights and canvas shoes or Converse. Flex those muscles. Fierce!

Wizard of Oz: Go with a group of friends and have fun with this instantly recognizable cast of characters. Dorothy and Toto, Tin Man, Glinda the Good Witch, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and the Wicked Witch of the West will give you and your pals plenty to work with. We’re off to see the wizard!

Riverdale: Bring on the drama with this group costume idea that focuses on Archie and his gang as they work through the ups and downs of romance, school, family and relationships. Thanks to secondhand shopping, picking up the telltale pieces for these characters will be easy.

No strings attached: Perfect for a pair, this last-minute costume requires some dress-up clothes — white shirt, bowtie and suspenders for the ventriloquist and a lacy dress or suit and tie for the puppet. Add a touch of makeup, and you’re ready for center stage!

About Goodwill: Goodwill NCW is a nonprofit human services organization whose mission is Elevating People by Eliminating Barriers to Employment across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, 24 human services programs, unique shopping experiences at its boutiques and Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers four Donation Express sites and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of GuideStar.org, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit www.goodwillncw.org.

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