How to Store Halloween Costumes

Halloween is a wonderful day for fun and frivolity, providing an opportunity to try on different personalities and personas. Halloween costumes can be intricate, expensive and realistic, allowing individuals to virtually transform into a favorite character or representation for a night of excitement.

However, Halloween is just one day out of the year, which means costumes usually end up in the back of the closet, waiting to be worn in a year's time. Proper storage of Halloween costumes can increase life and longevity, preserving outfits for the next time All Hallows' Eve comes to call.

Key Point Module

  • 1 Properly storing Halloween attire can extend the life of costumes, making it possible to rewear costumes year after year.
  • 2 Costumes need to be stored clean in dry and ventilated areas and in the proper hanging bags or storage boxes.
  • 3 Store masks using a head-shaped mold made out of plastic or newspaper to avoid distortion.
  • 4 Examine makeup expiration dates before storage and dispose of any makeup that has expired or will expire before next use.

Storing Halloween Costumes

Storing your Halloween costume may seem as easy as putting it in the closet and forgetting about it for the next 364 days, but improper storage procedures can result in damages that could take years off the life of your favorite costumes. Due to the long time spans between wears, it’s possible for costumes to become damaged while in storage. This can range from discoloration to the accumulation of mold, ruining a beloved costume for good. From masks to clothing, following the right procedures can be essential to successful costume storage.

Storing Fabric and Clothing

Storing clothing isn’t as easy as putting it in the closet and forgetting about it. Instead, precautions should be taken to minimize the risks of long-term storage. When preparing your costumes for storage, keep these tips in mind:

  • Wash clothes before storing them: You may think your costume was clean enough after one wearing, but things like sweat and body oils can damage fabric. Further, pests are more attracted to dirty clothing, so be sure to thoroughly wash and dry costumes before putting them in storage. Make sure clothing is fully dry, especially for anything you plan to put in sealed boxes or bags.
  • Choose the right location: Not every location is ideal for clothing storage. To minimize the possibility of damage, choose locations that are cool, are dry and get adequate ventilation. This means that a stuffy attic is probably the wrong choice, as is a humid basement.
  • Select strong hangers: Not all hangers are right for long-term storage. Flimsy hangers can break or warp, resulting in abnormal fabric stretching. Be sure the hangers you choose are strong and sturdy.
  • Use garment bags: Garment bags can be a great way to prevent costumes from getting dusty while in storage. Use bags that zip all the way around to minimize the likelihood of disturbance.
  • Choose strong, sturdy boxes: Most special attire is stored on hangers in the closet, but if you want to use storage boxes, this can be acceptable as well. If you choose to store costumes in boxes, make sure boxes are made of metal or plastic. Cardboard is biodegradable and susceptible to humidity, water and pests.
  • Prevent pest damage: The threat of pest damage isn’t significant, but it can happen. In order to prevent problems caused by moths or carpet beetles, consider storing clothing with cedar blocks or balls. Mothballs are not recommended due to the pungent smell.

How to Store Halloween Masks

Masks can be an important part of a Halloween costume. From scary clowns to animal faces, rubber masks come in all shapes and sizes and can be ideal to create a realistic look.

Storing Halloween masks requires attention to detail. Rubber or latex masks that are allowed to lie flat, for example, can lose their shape for good, reducing the impact of future wearings.

Before storing masks, be sure to clean all surfaces with a wet cloth or Q-tip. If the mask’s manufacturer provided cleaning instructions, use these as is appropriate. Latex and rubber masks should be dusted with unscented talcum powder on the inside to prevent any kind of clinging. Once clean, either place the mask back on the plastic insert it was originally packaged with or use crumpled newspaper to create the rough shape and size of the head. This preserves the overall shape and ensures proper wearability in the future. If you have masks with hair or wigs used in costumes, be sure to brush out any tangles or snags before storage.

When possible, masks should be stored in sealed bags or air-tight storage boxes. Plastic or metal masks will require less maintenance due to the rigidity of materials but still should be wiped clean before storage.