MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Trick-or-treating is right around the corner, but great costumes don't have to break the bank.
The Johnston family has adhered to a no-store-bought costumes policy for the past couple of years, April Johnston says her sons, 11-year-old Gunner and 13-year-old Brian, actually preferred to have mom's magic touch when it comes their Halloween costumes.
"My youngest decided this year he wanted to be a plague doctor. I had to look up what it was," said Johnston.
Johnston said their project first started with them trying to make a mask out of paper mache, but it didn't work.
"It was taking too long to dry. I said we're going to have to go back to the drawing board for his costume," Johnston said.
According to the mother, her boys needed their costumes done for an event happening at their church.
"(We) got really lucky, stopped by a fabric store, found the perfect material that he wanted to use," she said. "He really wanted this brown color and they had it in the remnant section. and it was on sale."
If you are looking for do-it-yourself costume inspiration, try social media sites like, Pinterest.
"I try and always search DIY, or tutorial or do-it-yourself, because when you put that tutorial word in there, you'll find them where it's like step one, step two, and we look for things there," Johnston said.
The nifty mom says a lot of her costume caches are made of simple supplies.
"I spent out of pocket $6 for the whole yard, which I only needed half of that. The poster board was 97 cents, I got two masks out of that, so that's a dollar. The needles were at about a $1.50," Johnston said.
She says they also borrowed from family and friends, and used what they already had at home.
She added that her older son's costume has won prizes in the past.
Johnston admits she's not the craftiest person, but she says DIY costume can be easy and cheap.
"We didn't have to get anything online. We found the hat at Ollie's for $2.99, it had a couple little feathers in it that we just had to pull off," she said. "He has a lantern that goes with the costume. We got it on sale at Michael's for like a $1.60. It's just knowing where to get the coupons, and how to play the game."
Johnston says between borrowing items and finding supplies at the various stores on sale, she spend less than $15 for Gunner's and Brian's costumes.