Make fellow partygoers LOL, cry, or just give ’em a big old smiley by painting yourself as an emoticon. Buy an inexpensive Halloween makeup kit or use makeup you already have to create your look. Have a friend help you if you’d like. Since the face is the main part of the emoji, dress in basic black to complete the look.
2. Gumball Machine
This is so much fun – and so easy! For the female version, use a tank top and a red skirt. For men, choose a t-shirt and wear red pants if you can find them (jeans will do if you can’t). Glue dollar-store pom-pom balls all over the shirt. Cut felt pieces and glue in gray and black to make the bottom portion of the machine. If you’ll be wearing jeans, cut this bottom portion in a long rectangle and tuck into the front of the pants.
3. Walking Dead
Here’s another idea that can be created from throwaways you have around the house – in fact, the less perfect-looking the elements, the better! Rip up some clothing, add red costume makeup or red paint for blood stains, and muss your hair (use gel or hairspray to keep the look authentically gruesome throughout the night). Use very light or white makeup on your face, “hollow out” your eyes with black or gray makeup, and dab on some blood stains.
4. Movie Theater Floor
Wear either a black or red shirt to imitate a movie theater carpet. Glue pop corn boxes, candy wrappers, empty cups, straws and old movie theater tickets to the shirt. Have fun having people guess what you are – you’re sure to get laughs with this clever costume.
If you want to get saucy about this (grown-ups only!), Write “now showing” on a piece of paper and tuck it into the waistband so it hangs over the front of your pants.
5. Wind-Up Doll
This is a great choice for either men or women. Cut a “wind-up key” out of stiff cardboard. If you’d like, spray-paint it in gold. Now get together a dollish costume (haunt your local thrift shop for great finds). Hot-glue the cardboard key to the back of the outfit. For both men and women: paint your face white. Add lipstick (sorry, guys – but this really is the finishing “dollish” touch). Men can brush their hair down into a more solid Ken doll look. For women, wear pigtails or big sausage curls.
6. Cereal Killer
It’s gruesome, but it’s definitely “punny” – and sure to get laughs all around. Buy single-serving boxed cereals; empty. Cut out sharp-looking knives from cardboard, sizing them to fit the boxes; spray with silver spray paint. Cut a slit in each box and insert a “knife.” Paint red blood stains. Hot glue to the shirt. Be sure to complete the look by painting a milk mustache on with white makeup. If you want to give it all away, write “cereal killer” across the front of the shirt in magic marker. Otherwise, let guests guess what your hilariously grisly costume is.
What makes this a hack is that you probably have all the elements at home. Raid your drawers to find black felt or construction paper and an old headband. Cut out the ears and glue to the band. Go for a smoky eye with black liquid eyeliner. For a slinky Catwoman outfit, wear close-fitting black jeans and a black tank top. For a finishing touch, paint your fingernails midnight black. Make sure to create a sleek hairdo, like a kitten slinking at night-time on the prowl.
8. The Mayor (Nightmare Before Christmas)
This clever hack utilizes that old lampshade that you never got around to throwing out. (Come on, you know you have one.) Spray-paint the background face color onto the lampshade. Then paint or use magic markers to create the Mayor’s happy face on one side and distressed face on the other side. Fold some ribbon into loops and glue together. Glue on a white circle of cardboard and write “Mayor” on it; glue this on top of the ribbon. Add a black hat. Wear a suit with this costume with the ribbon pinned on with a safety pin to get the full effect.
9. Crazy Cat Lady
This is such an easy hack because you probably have most of the components already – or can borrow them from friends. Wear a puffy robe and put your hair into curlers. Borrow your child’s (or someone else’s!) stuffed cats. Quick tip: if you won’t be giving the stuffed kitties back, glue a few to the robe so you won’t need to be carrying them around all night, leaving your hands free for eating, drinking and being merry on Halloween night.
10. High School Yearbook Photo
Raid your closet for an old prom or bridesmaid’s dress (or buy one on the cheap at the local Goodwill or consignment shop). Or borrow a cheerleading or jock outfit from a friend. Purchase an extra-large size construction paper rectangle and cut out the center so that it looks like a photo frame. Write your name if you wish or write “Best Dressed,” “Most Likely to Succeed,” etc. on the frame. This is even more fun if you go as friends, with each of you choosing a “type”: the jock, the nerd, the prom queen and so on.