“What am I going to be this year?” is a common refrain heard spoken by the young and old alike every Halloween. But especially by those of us who are no longer kids with favorite cartoon heroes. You know you need a costume and you are really enthusiastic about wearing one but you just can’t get a good idea of what you want to be. I always tell myself that I’ll decide what I am going to be tomorrow and that there’s still plenty of time. Yep, I am one of those of people who always deludes themselves into thinking that lightning will strike and a fantastic costume idea will fall into my lap and that all the components for my costume will be neatly stacked in my closet. Now ask me how many times that has happened? Nadda, zip and zero! You too? I have taken the costumed bull by the horns this year and I made a list of what I hope are quick pull-together costumes&emdash;quick-witted and clever costumes, too! You should be able to find all the components for these costume ideas around your house and in your closets. Well, you will if your house and closets look like mine! Read on. Help is here! See if there is a costume ‘lightning bolt’ idea for you.
Halloween Puns & Word Plays
I love any kind of word play and puns have always been my favorite inspiration for costumes. I said that every year I would hope that lightning would strike me and hope for a fabulous costume idea to fall into my lap. Lightning did strike one year! That phrase gave me the idea to go as a golfer that had been struck by lightning. I found some old gaudy, yellow double-knit plaid pants, a lilac plaid button-down shirt and some really tacky old white shoes at a yard sale. A friend gave me a broken golf club that I bent into an ‘S’ shape around a gatepost. I burned holes in my clothes, put gray and black make up under all the burn places and blacked my face. I gelled my hair so that it was standing on end . . . there was my costume!
Another time I was talking to a friend while I was trying to come up with a costume idea. When she asked me what I was doing, I replied, “oh, just killing time.” Hum. I decided that was a perfect costume. I made a cardboard clock face and painted it to look like an old grandfather clock with eyes, nose, cheeks and a mouth. I dug around in the back of my closet until I found an old plastic costume knife. I stuck the knife through the clock face and acted really deranged when people asked me what I was. Killing time was a huge hit at that year’s party.
One Cool Halloween Costume Idea
A great Halloween costume I saw on a guy one time was a chick magnet. This guy was dressed in something metallic-looking and had fashion dolls pinned all over him. A very clever Hallloween costume idea… take that, James Bond!
Are you a basket case? Great! Grab a cardboard box and cut a hole so you can stand in it. Then fill the box with all different sizes of baskets. Write ‘case’ on the box; add suspenders and you are a real basket case!
Do your friends think you’re self-absorbed? Put on your favorite outfit and pin sponges all over. You are now formally self-absorbed!
Do you still see your old family witch doctor? Throw on a pointy witch hat, white lab coat; carry around a few bottles with strange labels and a child’s stethoscope. Ta dah!
How about going as the devil with the blue dress on? Oh wait. That was Monica, right? Go buy a set of red horns and a pitchfork, wear your favorite blue dress and you’re in business!
I think you get my point that puns and word plays are great costume ideas. Listen to your friends and family talk for several days and I bet one phrase will stick out loud and clear.
Halloween Inspiration in the everyday things
If you are not into word play there is plenty of inspiration from everyday things.
What about road kill? Grab any old animal costume, an old tire, black ink and some fake blood. Take the animal costume and lay it out on the driveway. Roll black ink on the tire and roll it on the top part of the costume. Re-ink the tire and do the same to the lower part of the costume. Oh, please remember &emdash;you shouldn’t BE IN the costume at the time! Now splash on fake blood or add tons of rotting make up and be a zombie road kill, ah . . . thing for a twist.
If you like a more basic and disgusting costume go for the hairball. Go to a craft store and buy several bags of Mohair or go to a yard sale and buy several old and really bad wigs. Cut off clumps of either kind of hair and glue it all over some old clothes that you wouldn’t mind throwing away. Then put some Vaseline on the hair to make it look slimy and wet! When people come up to you and ask what you are, start coughing and gagging and then tell ’em. I bet they won’t come near you the rest of the night. I don’t think you will be invited back next year either!
Maybe it’s just me, but wearing the traditional Halloween couples’ costumes is about as much fun as going to the dentist. Intestinal lock up! I hate to see people with those sweet little ‘couple’ costumes like Raggedy Ann and Andy, baby boy and girl or worse, a puppy and a kitten. I like the more unconventional couple costumes, like the year we dressed in my specially made XXL sweatshirt. I cut two sweatshirts in half and sewed them back together, leaving two neckholes. I put sequin trim where I had joined the shirts and he and I decorated each side radically different. We went as a split personality!
If both of you like golf, this Halloween costume could be your salvation! Find two old pairs of those really wild colored pants that all of our Uncle Harry’s use to wear, some knee socks you could use to flag traffic, and two old junky sweaters. Cut the pants off about mid-shin and tuck them into the top of the knee socks. Cut a huge hole in just one of the sweaters and run glue just off the edges so the sweater won’t fall apart when you put it on. Find some old golf clubs and you can go as a hole in one!
I hope my zany brain has helped you understand that getting a great costume idea is as easy as listening for a funny phrase or just a word play. You also don’t have to spend big bucks or have to be something typical. I think the most important thing about making your costume is having fun with it like we all did in our childhood. Just look around and inspiration will strike, if you’re open to it. Oh yea, that means digging through your closets!