Looking for that “perfect” Halloween costume? Kids often spend weeks planning and re-planning what they will wear for Halloween, but adults can be even more particular. Why? They want to be unique, as do children, but without embarrassment. Yet, Halloween is such a great time to rid oneself of inhibitions and just have a good time! Let your hair down, locate your sense of humor, and drop the “adult” attitude. Use your imagination and have some fun!
How does one plan that one-of-a-kind costume? First, don’t worry if you can’t sew. Things like cardboard boxes, glue, duct tape, and paint will do very nicely. (A nearby thrift store can be helpful too.) Plan your costume in one of these two ways:
1) Brainstorm! Come up with some really unique ideas for a costume, then think about what kinds of materials you could use to build it. Think “outside the box” as far as possible materials to use, and how to put it all together. Then, make it happen!
2) Look at what kinds of materials you have available to you. Let them speak to you! What do they remind you of? How could you turn them into something really funny or unusual? Figure out a unique way to use them to create a one-of-a-kind costume.
Let’s say you decide to brainstorm for ideas. You want something really different and funny that no one will ever forget. What would be hilarious and crazy that no one would ever think of (but you)? What’s something you really like, something that says “you?” Let’s say you are a bit of a McDonald’s connoisseur. Why not become a giant carton of McDonald’s french fries? What a kick! This costume is actually very simple to build if you have:
a large cardboard box
a box cutter
wide packing tape
red and yellow paint and paint brush
a piece of yellow foam rubber (or an old foam rubber mattress)
Simply cut and reconstruct the box into the shape of a French fry container, with a wide front and back and narrow sides. Make it large enough for you to squeeze into. You will wear this over and around your torso, so it does not need a bottom. Cut armholes in the sides, and paint the box red with bright yellow “golden arches” on front and back. Now, cut the foam into “French fries,” one-and-a-half to two feet long and six inches wide. Attach them to the inside of the box just above your shoulders so they are sticking up out of the box on either side of your head. Cut another piece of foam about six to twelve inches long and attach it to the top of your head. You could tack two yellow ties to the bottom end of the foam and tie them around your chin. Wear a red or yellow long-sleeved shirt. (Don’t worry about the pants, no one will notice them!) Silly? Of course! This costume is guaranteed to be hilarious and unforgettable.
If you can’t seem to come up with a costume idea, take a look at what you have available to work with. Think of unorthodox ways to use various materials. Say you have a hula-hoop. What could you do with it (besides the hula)? How about using it to create a big top hat? No, not for your head; you could be a rabbit-in-a-hat! You’ll need:
one small hula hoop (large if you are rather portly)
two or three yards of cheap black fabric
a very large cardboard box or a sheet of corrugated cardboard
black paint and paint brush
rabbit ears, rubber rabbit nose and teeth mask
fuzzy rabbit costume (if you have one; if not, wear all white with a big pink bow around your neck)
Measure the distance from your knee to the bottom of your ribcage, and cut the width of the black fabric to this measurement. Measure the circumference of the hula hoop, and cut the length of the fabric a bit longer than this measurement. Attach one long edge of the fabric to the hula hoop all the way around, overlapping the ends of the fabric. You can sew a tube for the hoop to rest in, or use strong (hot?) glue, or whatever else you might have to attach the fabic to the hoop.
Trace the hoola hoop in the center of the cardboard to create the inside circumference of the brim, and draw the outer circle about 12 inches from the first circle all the way around, making the hat brim about a foot wide. Cut out both circles. Paint the hat brim black on both sides, then attach the other edge of the cloth to the inside of the brim using glue or staples. You will now have a black tube hanging below it, forming the upside-down top hat. The rabbit will now stand inside the top hat “tube” which will hang from the rabbit’s shoulders from “suspenders” that are attached to the front and back of the hat brim (much like a sandwich board). (Use two pieces of folded black fabric remnants to create your suspenders.) The “top” end of the hat (with the hula hoop) faces the ground and is open so you can walk. Now, put on your rabbit ears (and nose, teeth, whiskers, whatever) and be ready for some laughs!
Here’s a great costume, especially for teens and adults, made from almost nothing: a nerd (geek, dork, etc.)! You’ll find everything you need at the thrift store (or possibly at home in your closet):
pair of (horn rimmed) glasses with masking taped bridge
white button-up shirt
plastic pocket pen holder full of pens
greasy hair tonic
old pair of loafers or saddle shoes
hand-written “kick me” sign (taped to back of shirt)
pair of (horn rimmed, pink, gaudy) glasses with neck chain
plastic hair band or small clip-on hair bows
reddish lipstick (applied poorly)
fifties style blouse (Peter Pan collar?)
thin botton-up sweater (top-button fastened only)
pleated plaid skirt (or similar)
white bobby socks
canvas tennis shoes or saddle shoes
huge, ghastly purse
The trick here is to be as dorky as possible. Use all of the cliches rolled into one. Wear the clothing improperly: the boy’s pants should be belted above the stomach so the white socks are plainly seen, the hair should be greased back, the shirt buttoned to the neck, and the bow tie crooked. The girl’s hair could have three pony tails, the skirt waist too high, the blouse collar half under, half over the sweater. Be sure to play the part too; be silly and act dorky!
For a great, one-of-a-kind costume, think “unique.” Have a sense of humor, and be open to using readily available materials in a whole new way.