Category Archives: DIY Costumes

Get it on! The coolest DIY Halloween costume ideas, plus freaky makeup tutorials and more.

Be Like Mike: Halloween 2018 Edition

With Oct. 31 right around the corner, we’re sitting on our bloodstained little hands NOT to include any spoilers in this quick-‘n-dirty Michael Myers costume tutorial. (We’re not THAT mean.)

Instead, we’ll take what you probably already know, even if you haven’t caught the Halloween 2018 release yet. We’ve got you, boo! Here’s how to grab your own killer gear so you can look just like the 2018 version of Mike.

Enjoy…and stay scary!

The Mask

You’re just not Mike without the mask. Buy the officially licensed one if you’re short on time.

Otherwise, get a standard Halloween makeup kit or use makeup you already have (you may not have the palest colors; we recommend Dollar Tree). Here’s an incredibly cool tutorial:

 

The Coveralls

These are iconic too. They’re a bit cooler-looking for the new movie, partially because they’re more weathered and realistic.

Grab any old pair of work coveralls from your local Goodwill or thrift shop; if they don’t have front chest pockets, draw these on with dark-blue magic marker. (Yes, really. In the dark, it makes one cool effect.)

Turn the collar up in the back and you’re done.

Coveralls look TOO good? Here’s How to Weather Them:

Now That’s a Knife!

Make your own quickie knife with the tutorial below, or simply cut out cardboard and cover it with aluminum foil. CAREFUL: don’t crinkle the foil too much. You want it smooth and super-shiny.

That’s it, folks – so easy! Now grab a trick-or-treat bag and start collecting body parts…err, candy. But first, here’s the trailer we promised you. Enjoy…and have a killer Halloween!

15 LAST-MINUTE Halloween Finds – Each for UNDER $15!

Halloween may be a multi-million dollar industry in the U.S., but this year, you don’t have to break the bank – or rush around in stores. Our sinister scouts dug up these 15 fantastic Amazon finds for under $15 each…just for you.

Please note: we are not the supplier of these items. Always do your research on any item you buy online. Prices do not include shipping costs. If you are an Amazon Prime member, the item may include free shipping.

Click the pics for more information…and stay scary!

1. Zombie Hand Wall Decals * $11.99

Creep party guests and trick-or-treaters out with these reaching hands. Includes 5 haunting pieces that peel off the wall without damaging paint or wallpaper.

2. Pretty Kitty Ears Headband (Pack of 2; Black/White) * $6.99

Be one cool cat and turn heads with these lacy, sexy cat ears. They sit on a comfy headband. Comes in a pack of two (Black; White).

3. Skeleton Gloves * $11.69

Warm up – you look chilled to the bone! You’ll want to wear these unisex skelly gloves even when it isn’t Halloween…’cause they’re just that cool. One size fits most.

4. Vampire Bat Wall Stickers * $9.99

Decorate your home-sweet-cave with these 28 cool pieces. Bats are made of PVC (vinyl) for easy-stick, easy-removal (no damage to walls or glass).

5. FX Bullet Wound Kit * $6.80

Okay, we’re not going to lie: that looks bad. But it’s supposed to! Realistic wounds apply with adhesive, come off with enclosed solvent. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

6. Mini Poseable Skeletons (Pack of 2) * $12.99

These 16″ skellies are two (see what we did there?) cute! Pose them in a variety of scenes to spook up your decor.

7. Bloody Handprints/Footprints * $7.99

Point party guests in the direction of the freakish fun with these spooky prints. 40 pieces with handprints, footprints and faux blood splashes.

8. Vampire Fangs * $10.79

That Halloween party doesn’t have to bite. But it’ll be a lot more fun if it does. Choose from three sizes.

9. Glitter Skull Tattoo Kit * $13.03

Have your Halloween with a side of gorgeous with this uber-glittery kit. Includes stencil, makeup and application brush. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

10. Cosplay Elf Ears * $5.98

Play up your Medieval side with these elf ears. Two sizes (M and L); simply clip over ears and you’re ready for some fantasy Halloween fun. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

11. Skeleton Restroom Door Cover * $5.50

Would it be crossing a line to say his meal REALLY went through him? Probably – but we’ll say it anyway. Hangs on the door to tell party guests where to park their bones after too much party punch.

12. Body Parts Necklace * $7.96

Have a heart! Or in this case, have a finger and a couple ears. This zombie is proud of his job and shows it with a trophy necklace. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

13. Bloody Treat Bags * $11.49

Thirsty? Fill these 12 bags with juice, soda, liquid candy or whatever your grim little heart desires. Note: bags do NOT come pre-filled. Your order includes 12 fillable party bags.

14. Creepy Baby Mask * $12.99

We just can’t look at this…thing without crab-walking backward. That’s why we knew we HAD to include it. Make party guests cry like toddlers with this creepy mask that pairs with any outfit for a hairless scare.

15. Bat Kitty Costume * $10.99

Why should humans have all the fun? Humiliate your favorite cat or small dog with these devilish little wings. Comfortable (at least, we haven’t heard any wearers officially complain).

 

Get Wiggy With it: Our 8 FAVORITE Halloween Wigs

Halloween wigs aren’t generally built for the long haul. They’re supposed to stand up to dancing, candy-binging and following tots around the ‘hood for just one night.

But we have a real treat for you today. If you’ve been considering a Halloween wig, these little babies have come a LONG way. Click each pic for details.

(Psst: See our tips at the end of the article for wig-wearing if you’ve never donned something spookysexyscarycool.)

She’s Got it All

This rainbow wig comes with matching socks and gloves for the look that has it all. So cute!

Killer (in a Weirdly Hot Way) Clown

This wig is truly killer! (And you knew we were going to include it…who doesn’t love Harley Quinn?) Check out the reviews to see it on real customers.

Frank-ly Hot

This is such a COOL take on the Bride of Frankenstein. Add some hot to your night with this fun pick.

Go Get ‘Em, Guy!

Nobody can hold THIS guy down (unless he wants that). Uber-blonde, long, and fun…female party guests will be asking for a li’l tug all party night long.

Red Bombshell

They’ll fall in love with you…and you’ll fall in love with this super-cool look. It’s on-trend and will look hot on your vamp-est outfits. Go for it!

80s Megaheat

Ouch! You’re too hot to handle in this totally 80s throwback. Go retro bleach blonde or dark-‘n-mysterious.

Fairy Fun

Don this whimsical piece and you’ll enchant one and all. In fantasy ombre.

This Wig Trumps All

Don’t worry, the real thing looks pretty fake too. You’ll get laughs and plenty of attention from this little piece.

Wig-Wearing Tips

  1. Wigs aren’t for everyone. The above wigs are all synthetic. They may feel itchy to some sensitive individuals. Make sure you buy from a supplier who offers a returns policy, just in case.
  2. Make sure the wig you purchase comes with a built-in wig cap. If not, you can purchase wig caps cheaply on Amazon or at your local beauty supply store.
  3. Wig too shiny? Dust it with cornstarch if it’s light-colored, or with cocoa powder if it’s dark.
  4. Most costume-style wigs are tell-tale by the front hairline. To soften it, try tinting the front of your hair with a temporary (rinse-out) color that blends with the wig. Then pull a few pieces of your own hair out at the front.
  5. While extremely long, lush wigs may look cool, they’re more prone to tangling. You may want to test out your wig with one wear before putting it on for the party night.

5 *Even Freakier* Halloween Makeup Tutorials

Last year we brought you these reality-defying, head-bending Halloween makeup ideas. This year, you asked us for more – and you asked for the scoop: just how do they create those fantastic effects, anyway?

Your wish is our command, HA fans: here are five even freakier Halloween makeup ideas, plus vids to creep you through every step. Enjoy!

NOTE: Some tutorials contain add-ons like latex prosthetics or glue. If you’re allergic to any of these items, please DO NOT attempt.

1. It’s a Scream

The “open mouth” idea isn’t new, but this tutorial amps things up a notch. Wow! We know we’re screaming. (And we kinda can’t stop.)

2. Horror Hands

We admit it – our minds are blown. Try these FXs to trick out your trick-or-treaters this year.

3. That’s Out There. Way, Way Out There

“Pale Man” wins our vote for most understated costume name of the year. WhatEVER this thing is, it’s scaring our pants right off (and we love it).

4. You Forgot Something

And by that we mean: half your face. This inhuman take on the “pulled-off face” is out of this world.

5. Oh. Eye Get It

Honestly, we’ve been wondering for years how this is done. The idea seems simple but it’s true art. (No, really!) Try these eyes on for size.

20 Halloween Costume Hacks You ALREADY Have at Home

 

Ink yourself with makeup or non-toxic markers.

The spooky scene: you’re all alone on your couch in the darkness. Suddenly, your phone rings. You nearly jump out of your seat when you see you’ve been invited to that hot Halloween party – but you have nothing to wear!

Never fear: 20 EASY hacks are here – and most of them can be created from stuff you have lying around the house. Read on.

20 Incredibly Easy Costume Hacks From Your Home

Put an old lampshade on your head and hang a sign around your neck that says “Life of the Party.”

Roll up the sleeves of a black or silk screen t-shirt. Draw flowers, swirls and the word “MOM” on your arms and upper chest with makeup or non-toxic magic markers and be a biker.

Get fully clothed and hang a sign around your neck that reads “Nudist On Strike.”

Have a headband lying around? Cut animal ears out of paper, color them, and glue them to the headband, then wear the headband ears on your head, along with an outfit in coordinating colors.

Paint on a scruffy “beard” with mascara. Scrunch a knit hat down over your head. Put on your messiest clothing, leaving it partially untucked. Punch holes in a piece of cardboard, jaggedly cut away. Tie a string through the holes. Write “Will Work For Candy” on the sign and hang it around your neck.

Grab your own – or your roomie’s or sister’s – makeup bag. Make yourself up as a  zombie by dabbing bone-white matte shadow all over your face and painting “blood” spatters with lipstick. Dab black circles around your eyes with matte shadow.

Charlie Brown. wonderhowto.com

Draw an up-and-down pattern in black magic marker around a yellow shirt and be Charlie Brown.

Be a slasher film prom girl by repurposing an old outfit you were planning on tossing.  Slash the dress up a bit (you know you want to!) and add “blood” spatters with lipstick. Grab an old play tiara or cut one out of cardboard and spray paint it gold or silver if you have these colors hanging around your garage. Wear it askew on your head.

Work with what you have naturally! If you’re a woman with long, dark hair and you have a black dress or black skirt and shirt stashed somewhere in your closet, do up your hair in braids and be Wednesday Addams. Work out a lot? Shred an old shirt, paint open areas green with green eyeshadow mixed into makeup base and be The Incredible Hulk.

Glue multicolored pom-pom balls all over a white shirt. Pair with a red skirt or pants if you have them (otherwise, black or jeans will do). Ta-da – you’re a gumball machine.

Scarecrow. heavy.com

Have autumn/Halloween leaf decorations up (or stored in your garage)? Tape them all over autumn-colored clothes such as yellow, orange, red or brown and be a tree.

Find torn up old duds and a hat you were about to toss and be a scarecrow. Add circle cheeks and other scarecrow face decor with makeup if you’d like. If you have hay or straw decor around your house, stuff a little into your wrist and pants cuffs.

Put some lemons in a bowl and write “LIFE” in marker on an old t-shirt. You are now life, handing out lemons.

The most interesting man in the world. mashable.com

Grab an old black suit jacket and an empty Dos Equis container, paint on a beard and mustache if you don’t already have one and be The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Put a bandanna on your head. Wear a plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of jeans with the cuffs rolled. Put on lots of red lipstick. Voila – you’re Rosie the Riveter.

Know someone who wears a uniform to his or her job and is willing to “loan” it? There you go: instant “costume”! Careful: don’t try to wear a police or other uniform that could get the lender in trouble. Borrow a football or cheerleader uniform, one from a big-box store, or scrubs.

Put black tape in a stick-figure formation on a white shirt and pants, tie a smiley circle around your head and be a stick figure.

Have a lot of black in your closet? Put on a black shirt and black jeans and safety-pin a full black skirt to the back of the neck of the shirt and to each cuff of the shirt. Spread your wings, and you have an instant bat costume.

Take dozens of Post-It Notes and write “Hello, my name is…” with a different name on each. Post them all over your shirt. Your costume? Identity thief.

Grab some pajamas, put your hair up in pigtails, grab your child’s or a friends stuffed animal (or that old teddy bear you still have in your closet – come on, admit it) and be a big baby for Halloween. Hey, at least you’ll get more candy that way!

Make Your Own (So Easy!) Zombie Costume – PLUS Bonus Vid!

How fast can you pull together a great, authentic-looking zombie costume? Quicker than you can say “one, two, brains!”

Zombie costumes are fun – and they’re SO easy. Why? Because one of the hallmarks of a “realistic” zombie is that it’s very, very imperfect. Everything is falling apart, falling off, torn, rugged, ragged. This means you have plenty of room (and then some!) for creativity with your zombie costume – and it also means you don’t have to shell out the big bucks to get a “realistic” look.

Ready to stagger into that Halloween party and blow the entire room away with your creativity? Here’s how to get zombified!

Step 1: Homework

Catch your favorite back-episodes of Walking Dead...and don't forget to bring snacks!
Catch your favorite back-episodes of Walking Dead…and don’t forget to bring snacks!

Watch the following (or Google or Bing for images) for zombie costume inspiration:

  • The Walking Dead backseasons 
  • Cesar Romero’s Night of the Living Dead series (and the remakes)
  • World War Z
  • 28 Days Later (and 28 Weeks Later)
  • Zombieland
  • Resident Evil
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • I Am Legend
  • Dead Snow
  • Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Video
  • The Crazies
  • Dead Alive
  • Re-Animator
  • Rec

Step 2: The Clothes

  • In most zombie movies, books and TV series, people are pulled from their normal lives into zombiehood as a zombie Prom queen2 complete (very unwanted) surprise. That means you can take any outfit and zombify it. Businessman, cheerleader, mom in her bathrobe, prom dress: get creative and decide how you want to have “turned” and when and base your outfit accordingly.
  • For the ultimate in economy, visit a thrift store or the Goodwill for fantastic finds (or simply use old clothing of your own). Cut and tear holes and jagged pieces into your clothing. The more torn up and stressed, the better. Fray sweaters; cut off a cuff three-quarters of the way; stretch out a boat neck. You want to look as if you were putting up a zombie clothesterrified struggle just before succumbing.
  • Now take paint (paint is better than makeup, which can smear off onto furniture, your car and other places you just don’t want it) and streak and dot “blood” marks onto your clothing. Acrylic paint is perfect, as it will give a stark, bold color and will dry quickly, but fabric paints will work, too.
  • Spatter red paint for blood spots and smears onto the clothing. Add some brownish-red or dark brown spots for dried blood as well.
  • Can’t get enough gore? Paint green and greenish-yellow onto your duds (brains, anyone?).

Step 3: The HairZombie Costume Walking Dead

Muss it, mess it, half-pull it out of a ponytail, pommade it sideways – your hair, like your clothing, should show evidence of a pre-zombification struggle and, afterward, a life on the run…or, well, on the stagger.

Get some wacked-out (and walked-out) texture into the hair by adding mousse or by overusing dry shampoo and finger-arranging it to stand up, out or at angles (or all three!). For a great effect, add little bits of lint, string and even faux leaves to look as if you’ve been sleeping outdoors and charging through the forest in search of prey.

Add some fun to your top. A bloody bridal veil, a hat, or a good old-fashioned hatchet through the head are all perfect touches for your horror look.

Step 4: The Makeup

  • zombie makeupGreasepaint is the typical, and traditional, makeup to use for Halloween. (It’s also the type of makeup used, in the old days, by stage actors.) Greasepaint works well because it covers so heavily. However, it is just what its name implies: greasy. For that reason, you may want to go with standard drugstore or department store makeup. If you don’t have sensitive skin, shop the dollar bin, your local dollar store or the cheapest brands you can find, since this will (presumably) only be a once-a-year occurrence.
  • Make your base very light. You should look semi-bloodless and paler than your normal complexion. A very, very light foundation is what you’re looking for. However, if you’d like to go as bone-white as possible, you can take even the lightest foundation up a shade in color by adding white liquid eyeshadow base and mixing well. Now dab a tiny bit of gray liquid eyeliner into your foundation and blend well for a grayish cast.zombie makeup woman
  • Smear gray or black liquid or gel eyeshadow under your eyes for a sunken look.
  • For a truly AMAZING zombie look, add dark red eyeliner to the waterline (inside “shelf” line around your eyes). This is the ultimate in a bloodshot/burst blood vessel zombie look.
  • Now go for the deepest blood-red lipstick (or red liquid eyeliner or eyeshadow) for blood spots. Add some dark brown as well for dried/crusted blood.
  • You can “pale out” your lips using foundation with a touch of gray, or make them blood-red (and add more makeup dripping down your chin…but you knew we were going to say that).
  • Make sure to paint some “scars” in various strategic areas for a total fear factor!

That’s it! You’ve been zombified – and are sure to horrify. If you’d like to really get into things and don’t mind zombie makeup 2spending a few dollars more, check out zombie makeup kits with ready-made gory prosthetics (artificial skin/blood/flesh pieces). These generally glue on; try out the adhesive on the inside of your arm 24 hours in advance to make sure you don’t have a reaction to it.

Have fun and be creative with this creepy and fab costume!

Bonus! Watch This “Exposed Bone” Hand Makeup Video Tutorial

We LOVED this tutorial. IMPORTANT NOTE: The technique shown in this video includes the use of latex. Latex is a material that some individuals have an allergic and potentially life-threatening reaction to. If you have or suspect a latex allergy, utilize an alternative material. Enjoy – this look is SO cool!

These 7 Freaky Makeup Ideas Will Blow Your Mind

 

Halloween fads come and go, but one we’ve been seeing for the past three years or so has been a serious amping up of unique (and freaky!) makeup. Halloween enthusiasts seek out makeup looks that keep pushing the envelope. And we love it!

Here are the most amazing, mind-boggling and, yes, freakiest trends we dug up just for you. (Click on each image for its source.) Enjoy!

Giant Mouth

Youtube: melissa bernard

Yes, we did just “make” a teensy bit in our pants, thankyouverymuch. Giant mouths (this one goes down to her collarbone!) are, pardon the pun, huge again this year. Youtube has dozens of tutorials, so search for your favorite look.

Creepy Dolls

sophee.co.uk

Let’s face it: dolls are ALWAYS creepy. Make yourself up to be a doll and you’ll be creepier yet. Top on the creeper list? Ventriloquist dummy dolls (when have those ever NOT been scary?). BONUS FEAR POINTS: at the party, carry  a horrifying baby doll, and talk to it…frequently.

“Unzipped” Flesh

denisechavez.com

Zip it! Oh, sorry, that’s right, you can’t. “Unzipped” flesh, especially on the face, delivers double-takes, so if you’re going for max impact (and attention), zip away! (Hint: short on time? Buy “zipper” transfers.)

Doubled Features

dailymail.co.uk

Hey there, four eyes. Okay, so that wasn’t nice…but it WAS accurate. This is one seriously trippy look and when done well, will keep you from trusting your OWN eyes. It’s worthy of note, though, that the above look was created by an actual artist (on herself), so if you’re not already uber-talented, YMMV.

Giant Eyes

girls-makeovers.blogspot.com

Oversize eyes are another cool look and follow the “severely oversized appendage” trend. You’ll only deliver the full effect when your eyes are closed, but trust me, the reactions will be worth it. (Shown here: the Corpse Bride.)

Mouth-Inside-an-Eye

sadtohappyproject.com

Eye-yi-yi! Like the double-eyes makeup above it, this one takes serious artistic talent, so invest in the help of someone who has a way with a makeup brush and a good (wait for it) eye for depth, dimension and realism.

Stitched Mouth

Youtube: Bonnie Corbin SFX

VERY popular this Halloween is a stitched mouth, such as this look, entitled “Silenced.” Click the image for the vid that describes the process. So creepy…and so cool!

 

2017’s Best Movie Couple Costumes

 

Well hey there, gorgeous. You ought to be in pictures! Fictional on-screen lovers (and sometimes, nemeses) have always been popular for Halloween parties and sometimes, for private dressup (don’t worry, we’ll never tell).

If you’re wondering what couples costume theme to choose for 2017, check out the movies that were hits – plus a few that never quite “got there” yet left enduring images for you to emulate this Halloween. 

Here are our favorite fictional couples from this year’s marquees, plus hacks to get you started on creating your own perfectly paired getup. (Or if you’re short on time, click the orange links for steals on these awesome costumes!)

Baywatch

 

Credit: Pinterest, hanna dunlap

We laughed at it years ago when it was a series, yet we couldn’t look away. The same thing happened when Baywatch blew up as a 2017 movie. Be specific Baywatch characters (CJ is iconic, for example) or focus on the Hollywood star aspect (we CAN smell what the Rock is cookin’).

YOUR HACKS: Go thrift shopping for 80s throwback jackets and not-quite-long-enough men’s shorts. Find a plain sleeveless leotard and dye it red – check your local dollar store to see if they have Rit or another brand. (The same goes for the men’s shorts, by the way.) Grab a pair of shades, tease your hair to gigantic proportions and you’re good to go. For the 2017 version, look for a long-sleeve, zip-down leotard. If it’s a lighter color, you can dye it red.

Spider-Man and Mary Jane, Michelle or Liz

 

Credit: Kanani Whitt Photography

The movies have gone through many incarnations, interpretations and outfits, but the gist is the same: for the Man himself, go for a giant-eyed hood and either red, blue or black tights and top. For Spider-Man’s squeeze, choose either traditional red-headed Mary Jane from the comic books and several movie interpretations, Liz from 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” or for extra fun, the hilariously emo and definitely secretly crushing Michelle.

YOUR HACKS: Yes, they sell guy’s tights. Grab a blue pair and stretch red socks over them. Wear a tight red shirt and red gloves. Get creative and draw webbing with a fabric pen. For Liz: go 2017 girly casual. For Michelle: find a curly wig on the cheap on Amazon or ebay and pair with anything black. For Mary Jane: temporarily dye your hair red with Manic Panic or buy a red wig and wear retro clothing. Don’t forget to go for that kiss!

Rey and Finn

 

We know…we love them too, and everyone at the party will love YOU even if you don’t bring your own little BB8 as shown (awww!).

YOUR HACKS: Plastic Star Wars weaponry is available everywhere – even dollar and thrift shops. Although several of the weapons from this extension of the Star Wars franchise are iconic, if you’re on a budget, any Star Wars shooter should do. Finn’s jacket can be tougher; again we’re going to recommend thrift shops or Goodwill. Fabric glue strips of material to decorate. For Rey, wear your hair in descending messy buns. Strap neutral-colored fabric along your arms and around your waist. Dye a plain tunic beige or repurpose a garment you won’t be wearing anymore by cutting out the sleeves and adding a brown scarf as your belt.

King Kong and Brie

 

Credit: popsugar.com 

These two have been a hot item since 1933 and have paired up once again for “King Kong: Skull Island.” “Monkey” (in this case, technically gorilla) suits are always popular for Halloween – for some reason, we’re fascinated with them – but we recommend renting, not buying, unless you plan on taking New York and that hot party by storm year after year.

YOUR HACKS: For Brie, style your hair in curls and a retro “golden days of Hollywood” front side flip. Find a cocktail dress on ebay or Goodwill and add some costume pearls. Add a giant hand; get crafty and papier-mache one over a series of balloons which you can pop and then paint the exterior once everything has dried. Duct tape or vinyl pieces are other options for this effect. For Kong: as we said, rent, don’t buy, unless you can find a steal on ebay.

Medieval Couple (Based on “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”)

 

Credit: Pinterest, stacyreeves.com

We were brokenhearted when 2017’s King Arthur was proclaimed a flop – until we saw how many individuals and couples are ALREADY getting geared up in medieval threads in preparation for Halloween this year! Arthur is legendary in every way, with or without his princess Guinevere (she was absent in this first of the movie series franchise), and best of all, he NEVER needs to be historically accurate, so get into anything middle ages/knights and ladies fair for this idea.

YOUR HACKS: A tunic belted with a tied scarf is very medieval knight. Fabric-glue pieces in the shape of a cross or dragon. Add a plastic sword from the dollar store. If you can locate one, wear a faux crown. You can also go pre-king with an open plain shirt, a Goodwill faux leather or woven jacket with the sleeves cut out and plain black or brown pants. For Guinevere or for a fascinating twist, Morgana: Find a long cocktail dress at the Goodwill and belt it with a cheap non-boned bustier; check ebay for this. You can also belt the tunic with a long, draping scarf. If you’d like, add an outer-skirt and tuck one side toward the front into the waistband of your belt so the under-color shows through. Put flowers in your hair.

Gamora and Peter

We know they’ll be getting together at SOME point. Make the wait less excruciating by dressing as Gamora and Peter Quill from “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” this Halloween.

YOUR HACKS: Be careful, as some people have sensitive skin, but if you’re not prone to breakouts or reactions, go to your local dollar store for plenty of green Halloween pan makeup and a black makeup crayon. Wear your tightest black jeans and a tight tank top. For Peter, if you’re crafty, make and paint a papier-mache mask; if not, a wealth of Peter masks is expected to be out this year. You can also go natural as bare-faced Peter. Wear black pants and a faux leather jacket; choose a wide belt and add boots.

Belle and Adam (Beauty and Beast)

 

We all dream of that gorgeous yellow ballgown or Adam’s amazing “you rich beast, you” coat, but you can still get in on the unlikely yet enduring romance without breaking the royal coffers.

YOUR HACKS: For Belle (Beauty): Go thrift store hunting and find a plain white shirt and any light-colored jumper. Dye the jumper blue with dye from the dollar store. Buy white stockings while you’re there – you only need them to last for one night, after all. Curl your hair and tie it back in a ribbon. For Adam: wear a large, partially unbottoned wide-sleeve shirt and casual brown or black pants. Cut these jaggedly at the wrists and ankles. Wear a wig or wild your own hair out with gel. Pick up a cheap makeup palette and create a fuzzy facial look. Add plastic fangs if you’d like.

Jack Sparrow and…Whomever

Credit: coolest-homemade-costumes.com

Jack is never quite “with” anybody, yet there’s electricity between him and a variety of damsels and female pirates (and even an otherworldy creature or two) throughout the franchise. This time around, in “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the feisty movie beauty was Carina, but other exceptional “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise females have included Elizabeth Swan, the goddess Calypso, the mermaid Syrena and Angelica.

YOUR HACKS: Elizabeth was known for her gold-colored gown. If you’re going full Elizabeth, we recommend that you rent rather than buy this costume, which can run to the pricey side. For any of the other characters, including Elizabeth’s various pirate costumes throughout the series, combine a retro 70s long skirt from the thrift shop with a wide belt and a tight, low top or a budget bustier/corset. Wear your hair half-up and hanging down in curls or find budget extensions or a wig. For Calypso and Carina, add steampunk accessories like leather and boots. For Jack: Jack Sparrow dreds are so well-known you can actually buy hats that include them, glued to the inside brim. If you have long hair, braid your own and add beads. Wear a large, wide-sleeved top, unbuttoned as low as you dare. TIP: a large-size elastic band (do NOT let this compromise our circulation) around the wrists “puffs” them out in a very 17th-century style. Wear slightly baggy pants, boots and put a plastic pistol into your waistband (which you can create with a simple scarf).

 

10 Best Halloween Costume Hacks (+ Bonus Vid)

 

Be an emoji, a class photo…or even a “cereal” killer! Here are our EASIEST and coolest costume hacks to get you to the party in a hurry. 

1. Emoji

Image: ink361.com
Image: ink361.com

Make fellow partygoers LOL, cry, or just give ’em a big old smiley by painting yourself as an emoticon. Buy a Halloween makeup kit (be sure to choose one with vibrant colors), 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

Image: teen.allwomenstalk.com
Image: teen.allwomenstalk.com

 

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

Image: pixabay.com
Image: pixabay.com

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. Check out more zombie costume ideas here.

4. Wind-Up Doll

Credit: Hot Topic

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 or silver. 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.  BONUS: Get a super-creepy “haunted doll” look using this jaw-dropping tutorial:

5. Cereal Killer

Image: wholesalehalloweencostumes.com
Image: wholesalehalloweencostumes.com

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.

6. Catwoman

Credit: Instagram / beautydesignsbydenise

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.

7. The Mayor (Nightmare Before Christmas)

Credit: Pinterest

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.

8. Movie Theater Floor

Image: teen.allwomenstalk.com
Image: teen.allwomenstalk.com

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.

9. Crazy Cat Lady

Image: buzzfeed.com
Image: buzzfeed.com

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

Image: buzzfeed.com
Image: buzzfeed.com

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.

How to Dress Your Pet for Halloween

 

On Oct. 31 of last year, the doorbell rang, and I opened my door to the most adorable little trick-or-treater you ever saw.

She was covered with shaggy hair, had pointy little fangs and her eyes shone at me with a yellowish cast. Ooo, so spooky!

Plus, she was wearing a costume.

Yes, that’s right. A pet owner was making the neighborhood rounds with her tiny terrier.

Obviously, the owner didn’t want candy . She just wanted a chance to show off Madison (yep, that was Pooch’s name) in all her decked-out glory: a shaggy little ballerina in a pet-size tutu.

Click Here For The 15 BEST New Pet Costume Ideas for 2015

Pomeranian dressed as pumpkinA New Fad?

I’m not the first to experience this phenomenon. Readers have emailed us to let us know that they’ve had similar experiences among their neighbors. And a few have asked how to dress up their own beloved furbabies – and whether they should.

There are a few things to consider, so let’s take a closer look at whether or not your li’l guy or gal is a candidate for getting in on the Halloween fun.

  • Is your pet easily distressed by strangers? If so, even if you decide to dress her up, taking her door-to-door may not be a good idea. However, if she’s fine with passing people she doesn’t know on the street, taking her out on the sidewalk on Halloween to show her off might be feasible.
  • DON’T force items onto your pet’s body that she simply can not stand. If your pet refuses to wear that cute cat rappernurse cap, but will allow the little white dress, accept her boundaries on this issue. If you try to force things, you may begin to lose her trust.
  • Observe your pet’s “silent signals” carefully. If Pooch is wagging his tail, but his eyes are wide and frightened or he’s trembling, he is trying to be nice in order to please you, but you are increasing his anxiety.
  • If your pet tends to snap and you need to pull her back frequently on her leash, no matter how badly you want to take her out on Halloween night, please don’t. The strangeness of the odd colors and shapes of kids’ costumes, plus the excitement level and crowding factor, my set your pet off and cause something you’ll all regret, such as charging or biting.
  • Small pets may tire more easily than larger or older/more mature ones. Take your little guy or gal in a pet carrier, comfortable carry-on or even a stroller.

Welcoming Pets to Your Door

dog santa clausIf you know you’re going to have some furry trick-or-treaters this year, you may wish to have pet treats ready. You’ll be the hit of the neighborhood if you do!

It can be wonderful to offer pet-friendly treats. Be sure to move slowly and to ask the owner whether you can reach out. Kitty might look adorable at your door, but the situation is strange to her, and you can’t know how a stranger’s pet will react.

For dogs, extend your hand in a fist (not open fingers), coming near but not touching the nose and going slowly. This will allow the pup to sniff you, which will give him “information” about you so he’s less nervous.

Keep small children in the home back. Ask the owner whether the pet is good with children. If so, go SLOWLY and HOLD YOUR CHILD while bringing her within proximity to the animal. If you sense any anxiety at all in the pet, do not allow your child close enough to actually touch the pet. Children move more quickly than adults and are more unpredictable, which can make a pet anxious.

Know your pet's distress signals. It may look cute to you, but if your pet's eyes are widened and she's shrinking back, you may be causing her anxiety.
The costume may look cute to you, but if your pet’s eyes are widened and she’s shrinking back, you’re causing her anxiety.

Fun Pet Costume Ideas

Now that we have the precautions down, are you ready for the fun part? Here are some awesome pet dress-up suggestions:

  • An “opposite” costume. Dress your dog as a cat or your cat as a dog.
  • “Ferocious” animals: tiny Pomeranians and cuddly kittens are bound to get a smile from one and all if they’re dressed up as bad-boy types such as lions or tigers.
  • Try something seasonal, such as an elf, Cupid or a Thanksgiving turkey.spuds
  • Dress your pet the way your children are dressed so everyone “matches,” even Fido!
  • Have your cat go as a celebrity you admire and who has/had an immediately identifiable look, such as Elvis.
  • Superhero costumes are adorable on pets, especially small ones; however, this is a look that will get giggles no matter what the species and breed.
  • Choose a favorite book or movie character (Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, a Star Wars or Star Trek character, Jack puppy tacoSparrow, etc.).
  • Have your pet be a sports character (football player, cheerleader, soccer champ).
  • Go for humor, like the puppy taco shown.
  • If your pup will allow makeup (see the Spuds MacKenzie image above), go for it – but make sure you use 100% non-toxic makeup that’s easily removable.

 

 

Be creative with this idea – but always within your pet’s comfort level. Dressing your pet up can be a fun and adorable way to add to the holiday. Have fun!

A Very Vintage Halloween: Hauntin’ it Old-School

 

Vintage means different things to different people. When it comes to Halloween, “vintage” may refer to the time period the person grew up (say, the 60s or the 80s), a culturally nostalgic time such as World War II or the Victorian era, or simply an “old” look and feel.

Therefore, we’re glad to bring you ideas that cover a range of time periods. You may remember them or your parents might wax nostalgic about them, but either way, everyone loves vintage – so enjoy and make this Halloween a blast from the past!

Biestle: The Cardboard Cutout Gold Standard

Biestle cutouts

Beistle is the ironic name for a Halloween hang-up decorations franchise that you may remember from the 60s, 70s or 80s. The name might not ring a bell – but once you see these traditional cardboard cutouts, we guarantee you’ll be transported into the past.

The company still offers the decor you remember at rock-bottom low pricing. Find great iconic decorations at Amazon, ebay or at beistle.com.

 

The Candy You Remember: Have a Bite!

wax fangs 2
candywarehouse.com

Mmmmmmmm! Long ago, we settled for stale wax lips, phony cigarettes and “Sips” of pure glucose – and we loved them!

If you think you can’t re-live the experience, think again. Nostalgic candy is big business, and dozens of retailers offer the insta-cavity makers you remember. Try these locales:

monster mashMusic: Step Into the Past to Set a Mood

Nothing transports a person into a specific time or past event like music. Playing the Halloween favorites from your childhood will set an instant mood. Set up a playlist or buy a ready-made CD and rock out at your vintage Halloween party.

A few Halloween song classics include:

  • Monster Mash (Bobby “Boris” Pickett)
  • The Purple People Eater (Sheb Wooley)
  • Love Potion No. 9 (The Clovers)
  • Werewolves of London (Warren Zevon)
  • Thriller (Michael Jackson)
  • Superstition (Stevie Wonder)
  • Spooky (Atlanta Rhythm Section)
  • Ghostbusters (Ray Parker Jr.)
  • Tubular Bells (theme to The Exorcist) (Mike Oldfield)
  • Devil Woman (Cliff Richard)
  • The Devil Went Down to Georgia (The Charlie Daniels Band)
  • Time Warp (Richard O’Brien)
  • I Put a Spell On You (Nina Simone)
  • Dragula (Rob Zombie)
  • Somebody’s Watching Me (Rockwell)
  • Black Magic Woman (Santana)
  • Witchy Woman (Eagles)

Classic Posters Create a Retro Atmosphere

Classic horror movie retro posters can be had at a steal (as long as they’re repros and not originals). Hang up posters of The Mummy, The Wolf Man, The Fly, Dracula, Frankenstein, and traditional Halloween icons such as Elvira, The Munsters and The Addams Family.

Ebay and Amazon carry them, as do big box sellers such as allposters.com.

Vintage Invitations for Your Halloween Bash

halloween postcard
trueghosttales.com

Google vintage Halloween postcards, download and paste text into the body to invite your friends to your amazing Halloween bash.

Don’t forget to tell your guests to come in the vintage attire of their choice, and make this one Halloween that will go down in history!

How To Put Together a GREAT Last-Minute Halloween Costume

Psst. No time to pull together the quick fixes below? Grab the orange links below to find great deals!

You thought you were going to hang out on your couch tonight eating Ben & Jerry’s and watching old Hammer horror movies.

Then the phone call came.

“You won’t believe this – I just got invited to THE Halloween party of the year but I just can’t go alone! Please please please will you come with me?”

Or perhaps your three-year-old is staring up from her adorable clown costume with her lip trembling, asking, “But WHY won’t you dress up too, Daddy? You promised.”

What to do? You have 30 minutes and zero ideas. Never fear: you can pull together a unique costume…and you can use items you already have around the house! Get ready, get set…get into the spirit in a flash with these last-minute costumes.

  • Put an old lampshade on your head and hang a sign around your neck that says “Life of the Party.”chipotle baby
  • Wrap yourself in foil and be a burrito.
  • Get fully clothed and hang a sign around your neck that reads “Nudist On Strike.”
  • Have a headband lying around? Cut animal ears out of paper, color them, and glue them to the headband, then wear the headband ears on your head, along with an outfit in coordinating colors.
  • Go through your (or your wife’s, or your roommate’s, or your sister’s) makeup bag. Make yourself up as a slasher film victim or zombie by painting “blood” spatters with lipstick, be undead with dark eyeshadow under your eyes or be Frankenstein with green eyeshadow blended into some foundation (base) and black liquid eyeliner “stitches” on your forehead. Draw lines down from your mouth with eyeliner and draw “larger” eyes by making circles down below your own and be a haunted doll.
Charlie Brown. wonderhowto.com
Charlie Brown. wonderhowto.com
  • Draw an up-and-down pattern in black magic marker around a yellow shirt and be Charlie Brown.
  • Be a slasher film prom girl or undead groom, or a retro zombie or ghoul by repurposing an old outfit you were planning on tossing. A suit you’ve always hated, a plaid shirt that’s well past its grunge stage or a bridesmaid’s dress you already looked like a horror in anyway are all great choices.
  • Work with what you naturally have. For instance, if you’re a woman with long, dark hair and you have a black dress or black skirt and shirt stashed somewhere in your closet, do up your hair in braids and be Wednesday Addams. Work out a lot? Shred an old shirt, paint open areas green with green eyeshadow mixed into makeup base and be The Incredible Hulk.

    Rosie the Riveter. thechicsite.com
    Rosie the Riveter. thechicsite.com
  • Raid the garage or attic. If you have kids, great! You probably have accessories that will fit you even though they were originally purposed for children. For instance, cat or mouse ears will probably fit on your head; match these with a same-color simple outfit (black for black cat ears, gray for a mouse, pink for a pink bunny, etc.). Even if you don’t have children, you may uncover some fantastic finds – old clothes that are past their prime and now have their own naturally spooky look; pieces of old costumes from that last Halloween party you went to in 2003.
Scarecrow. heavy.com
Scarecrow. heavy.com
  • Have autumn/Halloween leaf decorations up (or stored in your garage)? Tape them all over autumn-colored clothes such as yellow, orange, red or brown and be a tree.
  • Find torn up old duds and a hat you were about to toss and be a scarecrow. Add circle cheeks and other scarecrow face decor with makeup if you’d like. If you have hay or straw decor around your house, stuff a little into your wrist and pants cuffs.
  • Grab an old black suit jacket and an empty Dos Equis container, paint on a beard and mustache if you don’t already have one and be The Most Interesting Man in the World.
  • Put some lemons in a bowl and write “LIFE” in marker on an old t-shirt. You are now life, handing out lemons.

    The most interesting man in the world. mashable.com
    The most interesting man in the world. mashable.com
  • Put a kerchief on your head. Wear a plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of jeans with the cuffs rolled. Put on lots of red lipstick. Voila – you’re Rosie the Riveter.
  • Know someone who wears a uniform to his or her job and is willing to “loan” it? There you go: instant “costume”!
  • Put black tape in a stick-figure formation on a white shirt and pants, tie a smiley circle around your head and be a stick figure.
  • Have a lot of black in your closet? Put on a black shirt and black jeans and safety-pin a full black skirt to the back of the neck of the shirt and to each cuff of the shirt. Spread your wings, and you have an instant bat costume.
  • Take dozens of Post-It Notes and write “Hello, my name is…” with a different name on each. Post them all over your shirt. Your costume? Identity thief.
  • Roll up the sleeves of a black or silk screen t-shirt, draw “bad boy” or “bad girl”-style tattoos all over your arms and upper chest and be a biker.

Caitlyn Jenner Costume – Crossing a Line?

caitlyn-costumeHalloween has long been a time for pushing the envelope and exploring topics that would otherwise be taboo.

With that in mind, it may not be so odd that Spirit Halloween has announced it will launch a Caitlyn Jenner  costume for the 2015 season.

No surprise that a controversial subject is being capitalized on by a major retailer – but is it acceptable? The internet is blowing up with disagreements on the subject, but Spirit is standing behind its choice.

“Caitlyn Jenner has proven to be the most important real-life superhero of the year,” said Trisha Lombardo, the company’s PR manager, “and Spirit Halloween is proud to carry the costume that celebrates her.”

But is that just so much fluff to cover a nastier motive: humiliating a group that’s already behind the 8-ball a far as mainstream public opinion?

“There’s no tasteful way to ‘celebrate’ Caitlyn Jenner or respect transgender people this way on the one night of the year when people use their most twisted imaginations to pretend to be villains and monsters,” Vincent Villano of the National Center for Transgender Equality told the Huffington Post in a statement.

Other outspoken opinion pieces agree, including Huffpost Gay Voices. This article on the subject is up to 899 strident comments and counting, with input running from respectful disagreement to verbal fur- and fist-flying.

Meanwhile, some individuals are pointing to a long history of lampooning public figures on Halloween – not with hatred, but in the spirit of fun and self-expression. “What about when we’d dress up as presidents, or when men dress up as women routinely on Halloween for the last 100 years? Or any other thing that *might* offend someone? Seriously, everyone is offended by EVERYTHING. It needs to stop,” claimed poster Jessica Harris-Breeding in reference to the Huffpost Gay Voices article.

It’s a tough call. Halloween is about expressing oneself, after all – and poking fun at celebrities who otherwise seem untouchable.

Where to draw the line between self-expression and intolerance hiding behind a mask? Like Halloween itself, that question will probably remain controversial for some time to come…with freedom being the call from both sides.

What do you think? Agree or disagree? Sound off below!

Vid: Entertainment Tonight Coverage of Controversial Caitlyn Jenner Costume

Secrets of a Great Do-It-Yourself Halloween Costume

Jealous of your friend down the street who always seems to come up with the most creative and unique Halloween costumes? Looking for the “wow” factor in your Halloween costume this year rather than going as the color green (again)?

If you’re ready to dive into the costume venture of your life and catapult yourself into fame and fortune with the best do-it-yourself Halloween costume in the world (or at least get a few compliments at the Halloween party), there are a few things to consider before you begin.

  1. Consider your audience. Will you be going to a costume party with some close friends, or just trick-or-treating door to door? Do you need to keep it kid-friendly? What are the interests of those around you? Going as the main character in your favorite show to a party where no one has seen it won’t earn you the recognition your efforts deserve. You can save yourself a little trouble by thinking about what your audience will appreciate.
  2. Seek inspiration from the world around you. Be observant as you walk around during the day and ask yourself, “How could I turn this into a costume?” as you look at everyday objects. Inspiration can strike at any time!
  3. Be prepared to put in some time and effort (and maybe a little money too). Even if your DIY costume ends up being relatively inexpensive and easy to put together, you’ll probably end up putting in some hours on this — if not on the actual costume assembly itself, at least in the thought and creative process.

Elements of an Awesome DIY Costume

So, now that you know a little better what you’re getting yourself into, let’s look at some of the characteristics of the most successful DIY costumes. The best DIY costumes are:

  • Creative: In order for your DIY costume to be a hit, you have to be unique in some way. I’m sorry, but the whole witch or black cat routine isn’t going to work here. Think outside the box. Or maybe think differently about the box—cardboard boxes make for some great costume possibilities. (Love Rubiks Cubes? Dress up as one!) Your costume has to be something people don’t see on every other street corner while they’re trick-or-treating in order for you to stand out from the ghoulish crowd.
  • Easily Identifiable: If you’re going for something a little off-the-wall, you have to make sure it’s still in the ballpark as far as recognition value goes. How will people recognize your genius if they don’t know what you’re supposed to be? The most effective DIY costumes are those that others can identify immediately or within a minute or two (for costumes that are more subtle in their meaning). “DIY” doesn’t have to mean “elaborate,” but the costume has to be faithful to what you’re trying to represent in order for people to recognize and appreciate your costume masterpiece.
  • Resourceful:It’s great if you have the money to rent a costume or buy all the expensive supplies for a detailed costume, but generally people appreciate the clever use of readily available resources. Paint and cardboard and a little ingenuity go a long way. How about a clear plastic garbage bag with some colored balloons? Voila! A bag of jellybeans! Use what you have on hand and get creative.

    DIY Halloween Costume King Kong
    Photo: Ericka McConnell/Halloween Celebrations
  • Timely: Capitalizing on current pop culture crazes or current events can score big laughs and lots of “That’s so cool!” comments and pictures with smartphones. For example, dressing up as the lady on the Progressive Insurance commercial has been popular these past few years.

Think of a Theme

Now that we’ve named some characteristics of great DIY costumes, let’s look at some of the categories that they seem to fall under to really get the creative juices going.

  • Technology: Some of the most brilliant/clever DIY costumes I’ve seen fall into this category. For example, what about being a Facebook wall or YouTube channel? You’ll get some comments for sure—especially if you have a marker handy for that purpose. If you have a little tyke in tow, why not outfit their car seat with this iPhone getup? iLove it.

    ipone baby costume
    Image credit: IngaMun on Flickr
  • Food:This category provides some great fodder for DIY costume ideas. I love this DIY deviled egg costume—a food and a pun all in one!

    food costumes deviled egg
    Image credit: txkimmers on Flickr
  • Everyday objects: Salt and pepper shakers are a little bit cliché, but it’s going down the right track. How about Pepsi and Coke cans? Or a washing machine with clothes inside?
  • Puns: Love wordplay? Transform it into a brilliant costume that will dazzle and amaze your friends. Or at least it will make them snicker. Hi-ho the dairy-o; what about the Farmer in the Dell?:

    farmer in the dell costume
    Image credit: Coolest-homemade-costumes.com

One of the greatest things about Halloween is that it provides so many opportunities to be creative, even for the normally non-creative types. So don’t delay—get out there and make yourself a Halloween costume to remember.

About the Author

Emma Rae Curtis researches and writes about everything Halloween, from costumes, to party ideas, to makeup and more.

Steampunk Costume Ideas

While it’s inching its way into the mainstream in super-cool techno/throwback style, steampunk is still uncharted territory for many. If you haven’t experienced the joys of this phab and very sexy trend, grab some goggles, a long duster (coat) and something mechanical and let’s get punk-y this Halloween!

The Steampunk Recipe:

  • 1/3 whimsical Victorian past
  • 1/3 clunky, adventurous future machinery (if oil fuel was never invented)
  • 1/3 punk mayhem, anarchy, and unrest
  • 1 generous helping of corsets, bustles, petticoats, and vests
  • 1 scoop of flying machines, clockworks, optical apparatus
  • 1 sprinkle of Final Fantasy, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Van Helsing, Wild Wild West, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, anything 60s James Bond, Mad Max, and Sherlock Holmes (the Downey version, of course)

steampunk costumeKeep in mind that this recipe is only the starting place. Like any good formula, variations on a theme can produce magnificent results! T

You in? Let’s get started with these tips and ideas for becoming your Steampunk fantasy:

Steampunkize” a familiar character…perhaps one for which you already have the “ingredients.”

For example, dress like a historical figure gone futuristic such as Steampunk Honest Abe. You need a top hat, beard, black coat, and a few Steampunkish trappings like a pocket watch, goggles, and old typewriter keys for buttons. Spray paint an old vacuum cleaner hose gold or silver and affix it to a similarly colored small backpack to mimic a futuristic jet pack.

Makeover a favorite past persona. Do you love old Westerns? Burlesque? Explorers a la Lewis and Clarke? Take a basic costume such as this burlesque outfit and add Steampunk flair with suitable gadgets like vintage gauges, brooches, and clocks. Add a hat adorned with clockworks or googles for the perfect Steampunk touch.

steampunk watchWork from a favorite item. Have a beloved corset? Own a killer bowler hat? How about an old watch you can glue gears and kewl stuff to? Know where to get a debonair handlebar mustache? If so, you’re halfway to your Steampunk dream. Browse the web for inspiration and consider what items you already have that can be dressed up with a little help.

Peruse your local thrift and antique stores for more inspiration. Afterall, this is a movement made of creativity, and customization is key!

Steampunk cowboy costumeStill having trouble with your Steampunk costume design? Check out these ideas for inspiration:

First, raid your local thrift store or shop online for Steampunk accessories. Depending on which look you want, gather a variety of metal gears, buckles, clock faces, and brooches. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for old lace or leather gloves, garters, and handlebar mustaches (always a plus for the fellas).

Steampunkers love to include images of octopuses, owls, and peacocks. Jewelry or other gear that reference those fantastical creatures is a major plus!

Aeronaut:

  1. Get a basic flight costume.
  2. Wear an aviator helmet and glasses.
  3. Put a Steampunk touch on this great costume with vintage metal pilot’s wings, affixing several old brooches to your belt, and distressed leather gloves.
  4. Add a futuristic jet pack:

 

  • Spray paint a small cardboard box or backpack and various hoses gold
  • Attach these hoses to the box along with two straps, which you can create with old belts or rope

Mad Victorian Scientist:

  1. Wear a vintage suit or dress under a white lab coat.
  2. Add futuristic over-the-coat shoulder plates by affixing small portions of scrap metal or spray-painted cardboard pieces. Or buy an industry rubber apron.
  3. Attach a stopwatch to your lab coat pocket and wear a monocle.
  4. Carry an old cane and an outdated medical book in your lab coat pocket.

Future cowgirl/cowboy

  1. Invest in a cowgirl/cowboy costume or put together your own outfit with a short leather or denim skirt/distressed jeans, a brown or black leather vest, and some rugged boots.
  2. Accessorize with a cowboy hat, lasso, and toy gun (plus holster!) Note: as a Steampunker, your weaponry is now known as a “raygun.” No pistols here!
  3. Add that Steampunk touch by affixing machinist goggles to your hat and various vintage accessories to your belt of sleeves.
  4. Customize your toy gun with metal gears and spray paint it gold or silver for a futuristic look.

Go forth and steampunk!

Look Berry Sweet as Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake seems to only get sweeter with age. She’s come a long way since her original greeting card days in the 1980’s. Created as a card cartoon, she quickly gained popularity as a children’s doll with her trademark scented hair. She made a few friends along the way with the equally delicious names of Blueberry Muffin, Lemon Meringue, and Raspberry Torte, to name a few. A story subsequently developed around Strawberry Shortcake, her friends, and their pets living together in Strawberryland and they all enjoyed immense fame as an 80’s fad. Not even fragrant hair, however, could keep the Shortcake craze alive and her popularity began to wane in the late 80’s.

Yet for a “berry” sweet girl, she’s tough to keep down! The Shortcake franchise has been revived several times and Hasbro recently put out a new line of toys featuring Strawberry and all her friends. Now, three decades after her birth, you can see the dessert darling in television series, feature films, video games, dolls and adorable Halloween costumes.

strawberry shortcake child costumeWith her revival has come an entirely new look and it’s created a kid-friendly, fun, and pretty costume series for young girls this Halloween. Girls can go as Miss. Shortcake herself in a silk dress with a built-in, high waisted, pink polka-dotted skirt. To match with the strawberry theme, the dress comes with green and white striped stockings and, to top it all off, a strawberry brimmed hat. Good accessories to consider would be a bright pink wig and a strawberry Trick or Treat pail that is as functional as it is fashionable.

Whatever your sweet tooth, there are plenty of choices in her friends’ costumes. Blueberry Muffin, the studious one of the bunch, has an ensemble which features a tiered pink and blue dress with a silk blue jacket attached, fastened with a blueberry detail. Striped green tights are included as well as a headband with matching blueberry detail. Blue would be the wig of choice for this outfit.

Shortcake’s fashionable friend, Raspberry Torte, is stylish in a pink and green, long-sleeved dress with dark pink bolero overtop. She has a striped green belt with raspberry detail, and matching tights and headband. Like her fellow berry friend, she can wear a bright pink wig as well.

Strawberry’s sunny friend, Lemon Meringue, looks positively radiant in a yellow and blue dress with a high waisted skirt, green bow, and lemon detailing. She has brightly coloured tights and a lemon-wedge hair clip. A yellow wig ties the sunshine-fresh feel of this costume together nicely.

If you remember the good ol’ days of Strawberry Shortcake, there are classic costumes available with a striped top featuring a Strawberry Shortcake logo, simple blue plants, and her trademark hat with a plump strawberry in the brim.

Whether your young lady goes as a shortcake, muffin, meringue, or torte, she’s sure to look deliciously adorable in a Strawberry Shortcake themed costume. Indulge in dessert minus the calories!

A Frankenstein Halloween Theme Party

Halloween theme parties can be a huge success, especially if you take a little extra time to plan. But there are so many different types of spooky decorations, if you’re not careful, the party can end up looking like a jumbled mess!

That’s why we recommend picking one classic Halloween character as your central theme. In this article, we give you some tips on how to throw a fabulous, freaky Frankenstein bash. Read at your own risk!

Decorations

  • Jack-o’-lanterns. Instead of the traditional toothless grin, carve your pumpkins using a Frankenstein pattern. (Here’s a great stencil book featuring Frankie and all his freaky friends.) Place your carved jacks on the walkway up to the door or put them in front of windows to welcome guests to the party.
  • Creepy Frankenstein Heads. These are so fun…and SO easy. Use them
    Credit: http://bitesizedbiggie.com

    as table centerpieces or place them on top of your gate like freaky finials. Or stuff clothing, add clunky boots and plop one of these horrifying heads on top! Simply cover foam mannequin heads with water-based or acrylic green paint and paint accents on.

  • Cobwebs, cobwebs, cobwebs. String faux webs everywhere for a dusty mad scientist’s lab look.
  • Beakers and concoctions. Purchase inexpensive plastic or glass beakers and half-fill with water. Add a few drops of blue and yellow food coloring to make an eerie green.

Treats

While we’re not entirely sure if Frankenstein’s monster actually ate “people food” (rather than simply, well…kids), your party guests mostly likely do! Here are a few monster-themed snacks for the party.

  • Frankenpops. Follow the recipe here to make these delicious
    Credit: justapinch.com

    marshmallow treats. They’re so cute…so gooey…so edible. What’s not to love?

  • Frankenstein Brownies. Buy a box of brownie mix, and bake as directed. After they’ve cooled, cut them into even rectangles. Then, frost each brownie with the frosting you like best, adding green food coloring. Use piped icing to create a mouth
    Credit: bettycrocker.com

    and hair; eyes are reversed M&Ms. Lastly, add a piece of candy corn on each side of the brownie for Frankenstein’s bolts.

  • Science Experiment Punch. Be dramatic and add some dry ice to your punch bowl, so your beverage station looks like a bubbly, messy concoction. Here are some tips and directions on how to (safely!) use dry ice at your party.

Costumes

If you’re the one throwing the party, the honor of dressing as the classic monster should be yours. Tall, green skin, flat top – you know what he looks like. This Frankenstein costume pretty much have you covered.

Not everyone can be the big guy, though, so here are a few other ideas for party goers:

  • Frankenstein’s Bride. Even monsters can fall in love. Just drape something long and white over your sensuous form and tie up at the waist. Use green Halloween makeup and a black makeup crayon for the scars. Bonus points if you don’t need a wig to get your hair to look like that.
  • Mad Scientist. There would be no monster without Dr. Frankenstein himself. These costumes are easy to find online or at your local party store. But really, it’s as simple as a white lab coat from your local consignment shop, some glasses and a really freaky, mad laugh.
  • Frankie Stein. A great way to get a tween girl excited about a “really dorky” party? Monster High. Just sayin’…

Monstrously Good Fun: Party Activities

  • Zombie Walk-Off. Set up a runway and see who has the best zombie stagger. Spectators can judge the monsters on their limp walks, expressionless faces, and chilling groans.
  • Franken-Tag. Now is the time to use what you learned during the zombie walk-off! The rules of Franken-Tag are the same as the playground game, but in this case, if you’re tagged as “it,” you can only walk like Frankenstein.
  • Mix it Yourself. Have your guests mix drinks (non-alcoholic version: use grape, apple and prune juice and various sodas). Have the other guests try to figure out what the “mad scientist” has concocted. The winner receives a small gift certificate, a creepy Halloween decoration, or any award of your choice..

HOT 1970s & 80s Costume Ideas

There are certain eras that are so distinct that you can’t help but identify them at one glance.

When you think of the 70s and 80s, there’s no disputing just how iconic they were. Much of this is due to the fact that these decades included outrageous and envelope-pushing (go outrageous and envelope-pushing!) costumes and attire.

If you’re looking for unique and fun Halloween costume ideas, this era is simply the best – and you may even still have a piece or two in your closet! Here are out favorite tips on rockin’ it oldschool this Halloween (plus links in case you’re short on time).

Big Hair, Bright Colors

heavy metal rocker blonde wig

70s fancy dress outfits such as polyester pants, ruffled shirts and wide collars are distinctive of the disco era. However, the one that most people tend to remember the most is the hair. In the 70s and 80s, you are talking some seriously big hair.

Tease up your bangs and make them big and stiff with plenty of hair spray. They should look like an extension of your body when you’re done teasing them up! Then make your entire hairstyle big—the bigger the better! For some reason in these eras, the big hair was in and it reigned supreme.

(Tip: Short on time and/or hair? Grab a wig and go!)

Another element that will bring your costume to life is lots and lots of bright colors. 70s and 80s fancy dress costumes are all about crazy, bright fashion, and so embrace wherever that appears in your wardrobe. Neon works well.

If you have any gummy bracelets or the ability to pin your pants, then you are in for a real treat embracing this fun fashion era!

Embrace Your Inner Madonna

80s Diva Madonna costume

If there is one thing that many people tend to remember about this era it was the introduction of a pop icon.

Madonna made her entrance into the pop scene around this time and the world of music was never the same. So this lends way to the perfect costume idea to celebrate this wonderful and super fun period in time.

Get out your black lace gloves as your iconic starter piece. You need some ratted-out big blonde hair and if you can’t accomplish that on your own, go for a wig.

Then get out your lace dress, tight miniskirt with a bright vibrant top, or some other flashy but vibrant outfit and wear it with great confidence. American online retailers such as Amazon carry outfits like this. If you live in England, you can purchase these pop dresses at Fancydressball.co.uk.

Be sure to top of the look with lots and lots of accessories—try out your big bright pink bow for the hair, then get out lots of cheap but tasteful chain necklaces, and of course loads of neon gummy bracelets help to complete this look.

Nothing Like Old School Rappin’

Who didn’t love a little old school rap back in the day? This costume is simple enough to pull off and it’s actually comfortable so it works quite well.

Here you can simply pull together some big oversized pants and a sports logo sweatshirt, preferably Adidas, as it was so big in this era. Then get a “gold” chain or two to wear around your neck because that was such an identifiable, though silly looking, part of these decades. You want to be sure that you have a hat that you can turn backwards and of course load on the gold chains for good measure.

This and the other costume ideas will take you back in time and help you to remember eras known for lots of fun!

Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes

Time’s ticking! Need to scare up cheap and easy Halloween costumes fast!?

Never fear! Fast, inexpensive Halloween costumes are hiding in your closet right now. Here are a few favorite easy Halloween costume ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Mummy: Wrap up your costume in a flash. Use gauze, a white sheet fabric torn into strips, or toilet tissue (if you’re really in a pinch). This costume may require an assistant. Cover every part of the body from head to foot. But do make sure your mummy can see through their bandages.

Ghost: This age-old costume is a classic. All you need is an old white sheet with holes cut out for the eyes. To further dress it up, plastic chains (purchased at Lowe’s or another hardware store) give an authentic lost-soul look.

Witch: Good witch or bad witch, the choice is yours. Witch costumes are incredibly easy Halloween costumes. Almost every girl has a black dress. And any black dress will do. You can create a cone shaped hat with fabric or construction paper. They’re also readily available for purchase and usually very inexpensive. The witch’s hat is the most convincing part of the costume!

Bad witches might want to break out the green eye shadow to create the typical evil green face of a witch. Good witches might prefer sparkles. You’ll need a broom, and possibly a cat, as accessories.

TV Personality or Reality Star: These are easy costumes for adults with a sense of humor. You need not dress as an actual reality star. You can make up your own name and back-story. But with so many crazy personalities out there, an actual star is fun too. Be sure to wear a name tag.

Reality stars generally love flashy things, so break out and scour through every name-brand in your closet. If your items still have the price tags on them even better (don’t take them off).

Accessories for this costume would include: A bottle of champagne, a Rolex watch, the zirconium or glass equivalent of 5-carat plus diamonds, 4-inch stilettos, false eyelashes, fake tattoos, and a huge ego.

Roman God/Goddess: Perhaps one of the easiest costumes ever is the Roman God or Goddess. You’ll need a white bed sheet that you can tie into a toga. An extra piece of purple, red or gold fabric draped over one shoulder is a nice addition (but optional).

A crown made of grape or laurel leaves is a must. You can create this from fake or real leaves and spray it gold or leave it natural. Braided hair and hair worn in an up-do is perfect for girls. Guys can comb their hair (provided they have hair) forward for the Cesar effect.

easy pirate costumeZombie: Raid your closet for old work clothes with holes already in them because you’ll want to make more rips and tears before it’s over. Zombies are the living dead, so play up the makeup. Dark makeup around the eyes and very pale skin are hallmark. Evidence of the fatal injury is also a good way to use makeup. Red lipstick can mimic the look of blood.

Priest: This Halloween costume is simpler than you might think. A black pair of pants and black shirt are the foundation. Next, use a white piece of fabric to create a collar that can be fastened over the shirt collar. A rosary or cross is the perfect accessory. If you don’t have one, make one. Borrow a necklace (beaded is best) and add a cross made from found sticks.

Pirate: Pirate costumes are great for both guys and girls. The primary part of every pirate costume is a frilly white shirt (guys may have to borrow this from a female in the house). Next, a pair of pants that are either black, brown, or if you’ve got them, black and white stripped are great for men or boys. Women and girls will look authentic in a long black or solid colored shirt.

Accessories make a big difference when it comes to pirates. Bandanas on the head work for both guys and girls. Scarves or sashes tied around the waist also work for both genders. Both boys and girls pull off the look with black eyeliner. Other additions include: a parrot, a gold hoop earring, a sword, a gold tooth, and rustic necklaces or jewelry.

A pirate booty bag attached to a waist sash or carried in the hand is the perfect accessory for the little one to carry their candy loot!

Baby: This is so easy, even a baby could do it! Just wear your pajamas. If you can conjure up some guts, make a towel or sheet into an oversized diaper.

A baby bottle, pacifier around the neck, bonnet, or hair in pigtails complete this funny Halloween costume.

Hillbilly or Hobo: Even if you don’t have a banjo, you can still dress as a hillbilly (no offensive to banjo players – I love the banjo!)

Most hobos and hillbillies that I’ve encountered have a limited number of teeth (so black out a few), dress in oversized overalls complete with patches and flannel shirts.

Wear boots if you have them and tuck your jeans or overalls into them. A straw hat is another good choice.

Hobos and hillbillies often have a long piece of straw or wheat hanging from their mouth as an accessory. If you want to be a scary hillbilly carry a fake axe or shotgun, but if you don’t have one of those in your closet, carry a sack of goods bunched up in a bandana and attached to a large stick (of the backyard variety).

You’ll find more ideas for inexpensive Halloween party themes and cheap Halloween costumes here.

By Jennifer Scheffel (themed-party-ideas.com)

Easy Felt Costumes

Many thanks to guest contributor Jillian Grimm (don’t you just love that name?) for this easy, awesome tutorial.

Felt makes an excellent, virtually no-sew choice for simple Halloween costumes.

Because it doesn’t fray, felt does not require hemming. It is also easily glued and hand sewn, making it perfect for the non-sewing crowd. And with a variety of colors available at your local fabric store or a fabric store online, the possibilities are endless.

Here are just a few simple and easily customizable Halloween costumes that can be made from felt in almost no time at all.

Mustache-on-a-Stick and Masquerade Masks

These quick mini costumes are perfect for a last minute party and are also great to hand out to non-costumed guests at your own Halloween bash.

Cut two mustache or mask shapes from a small piece of felt (sheets of felt are available at most craft stores or online). Thread an embroidery needle with a two-foot piece of coordinating or contrasting (depending on the look you want) embroidery thread and sew a simple running stitch around all the edges.

When you have an inch or so to go, pause and stuff your mask or moustache with small pieces of felt scraps to give it a little poof and stability and finish stitching closed. Insert a dowel between the stitches on one side and secure with a few drops of craft glue.

easy felt moustache easy felt moustache for Halloween

Holy Batcape!

felt batman capeHave a little Batman in your house? They’ll love to swoop and swirl in this easy batcape. The weight of the fabric give the perfect drape for a cape and the wide width of felt sold in most fabric stores means you can avoid cutting and sewing panels of fabric to create the cape shape.

Fold one yard of 45-inch width black felt in half with the folded edge to one side. On the side opposite the fold, cut a triangle that starts a third of the way up from the bottom and finishes along the top edge, about 5 inches from the fold.

Make a second cut from the starting point of the triangle along the bottom, rounding it toward the fold. This creates a basic cape shape. Round the neck slightly and cut scallops along the bottom edge and stitch or glue ribbon (if you suspect this will become a long term addition to the costume box, stitching is best) to each side of the collar.

felt batman cape - beginning

felt batman cape - cutting

enjoying his felt batman cape

Wizard’s Hat

Measure the circumference of your head and add an inch. Cut a triangle from black felt with all sides at that measure.

Roll the triangle into a cone and glue the seam with craft glue. Once dry, trim the bottom to be straight before setting out for some Harry Potter trick-or-treating!

Red Riding Hood

Following the same proportions as the bat cape but leaving off the scallops and using red felt, you can create a simple cloak for your Little Red Riding Hood. In addition to the cape and ribbon ties, you will need to create a hood.

  1. Cut a 16-inch by 12-inch rectangle from the felt.
  2. Fold the rectangle along the long side to get a smaller 8 by 12-inch piece.
  3. Stitch or glue (again, stitching will hold longer) the top edge of this new rectangle.
  4. Open the bottom edge back up and center along the neck of the cloak. You’ll need to fold or gather the bottom edge to fit within the neckline.
  5. Pin into place and stitch the hood to the cape with general-purpose thread.

Have a great Halloween!