Ideas for Making Your Own Halloween Costume

Maybe you are old enough to remember when making your own Halloween costume,
or at least deciding what you wanted to be for Halloween, used to be half the fun of
Halloween. It wasn't really the anticipation of that bag full of candy---it was putting
on a costume and maybe a wig and some makeup, and walking around, pretending
your were a comic book character, a Fairy Princess, or some hobgoblin (or a hobo...if
you couldn't think of anything else, you could always be a hobo). If you are even a
little older, you remember planning and plotting how to make your costume out of
pieces of cardboard, swatches of material, paper towel tubes, and tinfoil. Come on,
admit it---it was fun!

Get a little of that fun back---and make your own costume this year! And if you are
too old to go Trick or Treating, then have a Halloween costume party just so that you
can play dress up and be the Wicked Witch of the West!

Think Outside the Box!

Well, actually---maybe you should think inside the box...a cardboard box that is. Think
about what comes in a cardboard box---and then be that for Halloween. Do you
work in an office, shuffling paperwork all day? Then be a box of computer printer
paper! Find a printer paper box to use an example. Buy a packing box that is wide
enough to fit across your shoulders (and around your middle), cut a hole in the closed-
end bottom for your head, and then decorate the box like the sample printer paper
box. Wear a black T-shirt and black pants or black tights underneath. (Think U-Haul or
places like that where you can buy oversize packing boxes.)

Maybe you are addicted to Honey-Nut Cheerios---then be a box of Cheerios! Zillions
of things "come in a box" so let your imagination run wild!

Sturdy hunks of cardboard can be the basis for numerous types of costumes. Just
keep two things in mind: Eventually, you are going to need to be able to sit down...
and you are going to need to go to the bathroom. Keep these thoughts in mind while
you are crafting your costume!

Go to a Thrift Shop or Second-Hand Store

You've probably got at least one thrift store near-by, or maybe a Goodwill outlet.
Wander through the aisles and check out the old clothing, shoes, coats, and other
accessories. Be the Crazy Old Lady Who Lives Next Door and get really campy. Or be
a Wacky Professor and be completely scatterbrained! Be The Oldest Punk Rocker
Alive (or Grunge Rocker) and go for the safety pins and dog-collar look! Shop for
clothing styles that are either really over the top or totally out of fashion. Think of any
stereotyped character, and then find clothing and accessory items to suit that

Got a Sewing Machine?

If you are handy with needle, thread, patterns, and lengths of material, you can make
real costumes. You can buy patterns that Halloween costume specific---or you can
cobble together elements from several patterns to make costume items. Let's say
you need a frock coat for a Rhett Butler (the 1800s) period costume. Find any man's
jacket pattern that you can use for the "waist and up" portion of the jacket. On
newspaper draw a "dove's tail" shape so that the blunt end of the "tail" is one-half the
width of the back of the jacket. Allow for seam allowance, and cut two tails. When
you cut out the jacket back, cut it off straight at the waistline. Sew on the "tails" and
voila! You have a frock coat!

No matter what type of costume you want to make, if you can't find an exact pattern
for that, just mentally break down the garment into segments. Now look for patterns
that will offer you that type of segment---or make your own pattern. Remember, it's a
costume, the measurements don't need to be exact!

Accessories Make the Costume!

Don't worry if you can't exactly come up with everything you need for "the perfect
costume." Most costumes are just representations of the character you want to
portray. You can get away with a little less costume and a little more accessorizing.
Just be over the top! Wanna be The Crazy Lady Who Lives Next Door? Just wear
clothing pieces that don't match, clash horribly (like plaids and florals) and then spray
your hair some really awful orange, get outrageous dangling earrings, wear ten
strands of fake pearl necklaces, two different shoes, and carry a dog leash with no
dog on it, etc.

If you can't think of what kind of costume to create, do it backward---shop the thrift
shops for accessories, and let them dictate what character you will create.

Get Some Mileage Out of Prom Gowns, Bridesmaid Dresses, and Wedding Gowns!

Here's your chance to finally use that bridesmaid dress for something other than the
one day that you wore it! Wedding gowns make great Fairy Princess costumes---just
add wings, a magic wand, and white wig, and glittery makeup! Be a Wallflower! Put
on your Bridesmaid gown, and get a pair of old-fashioned gunky plastic rim glasses.
Do you hair in a really bad hairstyle, spray on way too much hairspray, get a really
tacky artificial flower that doesn't match your gown---and you are an instant

Now that you've got some ideas, let your imagination run free! Halloween used to be
fun and can still be fun---even now that you are an adult! So enjoy it!

For other Halloween-related articles, please visit:

Make your own Trick or Treat bag! Get ideas, examples, and free printable Halloween
pictures at Halloween Trick or Treat Bag.(http://

For more free printables for Halloween, along with free cards, gift and costume ideas,
and decorations (many include free illustrated instructions), please go to: Jan's
Reading Room: Halloween (http://
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resource sites, and free content articles, as well as Jan’s business services. Be sure to
visit Mom's Break ( for free printable crafts and
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