Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costumes
It's a few days before Halloween, and while I have put up Halloween decorations, I have given barely a thought to what I'll wear as I hand out pencils and candy to the little witches and goblins that visit my door. Part of my procrastination stems from the fact that I don't have children of my own hounding me for costume ideas or reminding me months before the candy-feast that Halloween is impending. Of course, I make mental notes throughout the entire month of October as I visit orange-and-black-themed shopping centers and grocery stores, but I often wait until a few days before the holiday to figure out my own costume and decide whether I stay home and hand out treats or attend a costume-themed party. However, my delay in choosing an outfit has made me more ingenious than I ever thought I could be when it comes to whipping up a costume at the last minute.
Quick and Free Costumes
Here are some ideas on making your own costumes from things around your house.
Classic White Sheet
There's the timeless white sheet as a homemade ghost, but don't just stop at a sheet; add chains from a bicycle lock for some sound effects. Tired of the ghost costume? Turn that white sheet into a Roman toga by adding a rope as a waistband and a few leaves as a head-piece.
Who knew that an old vest could help make a fisherman? Add a few lures and fish hooks, grab a fishing pole, and don a floppy hat, and voila! The old man from the sea. A little red lipstick or face paint for goriness can turn an everyday fisherman into a haunted illusion of a fishing excursion gone awry.
Do you own a pair of denim jeans? Cowboy boots or work boots? Add a straw hat and a thick cattle-wrangling rope, tie a bandana around your neck or hat, and you're a cowboy or girl.
Old cardboard boxes have so many uses, especially when it comes to costumes. Turn an old square box into a television set using a few markers and a wire hanger. Add straps to the box using suspenders or belts and make the box wearable. Or decorate the square box and turn it into a million things such as a milk carton (do you want white or chocolate?), a computer printer (have paper spewing out of the top using a roll of paper towels), or a box of crayons (a few crayons could be sticking out of the top, created using a whole roll of paper towels with the outer towels colored in Crayola colors). The ideas are endless. Of course, you could also just go as a packing box: Tape some rolls of packing tape around for a quick and easy costume.
Here are some great places to look for last minute accessories and clothes for cheap.
Thrift stores know that they have some of the best bargains when it comes to costumes. That's why they often display their Halloween ideas in their store windows. Not only can you find actual Halloween costumes of yesteryear, you can find clothing for just about any occupation imaginable.
Garage Sale Bargains
Sometimes garage sales sell clothing from different eras — pieces that would make for terrific vintage costumes. Keep a look out for shawls and cloaks or top hats and canes that could create period pieces.
A few days before Halloween, stores often mark down their seasonal products substantially. Since the majority of their stock is nearly sold out, this is a terrific time to purchase a few key costume pieces for less; mustaches, eye patches, witch hats, and straw filler are a few adaptable elements that work for a multitude of possibilities.
These low-cost, easy ideas work for both adults and kids. Homemade costumes are usually much more creative and fun to dress up in and cost less as well — a two-for-one bargain.