By Johnny Jackson
Maria Ramirez dressed in a flannel shirt and denim jeans that were patched with small pieces of placemats.
What looked like needles of straw hung down from her hat. Some covered her rose-colored face, and some popped out of her sleeves.
She made a decent imitation of the Scarecrow of "The Wizard of Oz" fame, and the costume only cost her about $13 to make.
Ramirez' Halloween costume was made, for the most part, through items and materials gotten from the Goodwill store in Stockbridge. There, store officials are promoting the inexpensive way to build your own Halloween costume.
"We're trying to let people know that you can get some inexpensive things here at Goodwill," said Elaine Armstrong, spokeswoman for Goodwill of North Georgia.
She said retail research shows that, on average, consumers will spend more than $24 on Halloween costumes this year. Once the price of decorations and candy are factored in, the average amount of money spent jumps to nearly $67.
"Goodwill is an excellent place to find bargains year-round, but it's an especially great resource when you are looking to create a unique costume at a reasonable price," Armstrong said.
The costumes lurk in the minds of their creators, and can be found amid the racks of donated clothing and accessories, ready to be cut, molded, and shaped by their designers.
"With items easily found on Goodwill's racks, shoppers can become pirates, Pop stars and 'Karate Kids' for well under $20," she said. "Since most people only wear their Halloween costumes once, it makes perfect sense to save a few dollars on the purchase."
Armstrong said, since Goodwill selections vary from rack-to-rack and store-to-store, the chances of someone else having the same costume are slim.
One shopper even traveled from Atlanta to a Stockbridge store to buy decorations and clothes to make Halloween costumes for her now-adult children.
There are Goodwill store locations in Stockbridge and Jonesboro, as well as in nearby Conyers, and Covington. The Stockbridge store is at 3871 Ga. Highway 138. The Jonesboro store is located at 864 Southway Drive in the Southway Shopping Center, at the corner of Ga. Hwy. 138 and Ga. Hwy. 19/41.
On the net:
Goodwill of North Georgia: www.goodwillng.org