It’s almost Halloween—aka the I-get-to-make-a-new-costume holiday! Dressing up has been fun for pretty much as long as I can remember…
Yes, that’s me as Rainbow Brite, a homemade costume! More about those below.
Anyway, in the last week I have been stumbling across some creepily good Halloween crafts on the internets and
drawing inspiration from my previous Halloween creations as I come up with a costume for this year. Have a look!
Bats! Spider webs! Ghosts!
I don’t usually do Halloween crafts, but when I found this bat pattern I had decided I wanted to make it. It’s quick, it uses up cheap yarn, and it makes me giggle when I look at my window.
I think they look best from a distance, but here they are next to another bit of seasonal decor (i.e. my door stop).
If I had even more time I would probably be making a few other items. The first is this spiderweb scarf. I don’t do much crochet, but with this video tutorial I think I could remind myself how to wield a hook. But what I’d really love to try is just about any pattern out of a ghost-inspired knitting book I heard about on this blog post (really like that blog btw). It’s called Ghosts: historiographies, cultural manifestations, and the knits they’ve inspired. First of all, how could I not love a knitting book with “historiographies” in the title? Also, the patterns look really lovely, especially Calavera Catrina. The weather has just turned chilly here and a spooky bonnet would be really nice right about now.
But of course, what I’m most excited about are costumes!
I realized that when I posted about the top ten nerdiest craft I’d made, three of them were actually Halloween costumes: Ash Ketchum gloves, Bjork’s swan dress, and Daenerys Targaryen’s dragon Drogon:
Guess what? Those are not the only homemade Halloween costume photos I have. And since I love looking at the costumes other people make, I’m going to share a few of mine with you, along with their pros and cons about things like how comfortable it was to wear and whether or not others recognized what I was. For your convenience I’ve also divided them up between costumes I planned and costumes I put together at the last minute. Hope you get some ideas!
Costumes I made in advance
If you have at least a week or two and you are willing to put in some effort, you too can make bizarre homemade costumes!
1. A Carrot
Pros: Orange top and skirt were easy to sew—Just two tubes with elastic at the top. Repurposed a hula skirt from an older costume, so I didn’t have to buy anything for the carrot top part.
Cons: No one knew what I was! Ok, granted, the green top didn’t stand up all carrot top like, but still. One guy thought I was asparagus. Also, I was with Edward Scissors hands at the time, which is admittedly an even more awesome costume to look at (I didn’t make that one, but I did do his makeup). Weight of the green “hair” became uncomfortable after a while.
Unrelated downside—I was sick that year, and so the only thing in my cup was saltwater to gargle. I don’t like missing an opportunity to dress up.
2. Holly Golightly
Pros: People recognized my costume right away (well, at least “Breakfast at Tiffany’s!”). Worked great with my hair when it was long enough to put up. Already owned the black dress (thanks concert band!) and the costume jewelry (thanks grandma!). Very comfortable to wear.
Cons: Not many! I suppose you may want to nix the cigarette holder if you’re dressing up around kids. Since I don’t smoke I had to borrow a cigarette to get the above photo.
3. Patti Mayonnaise
Pros: No sewing required! I found the blue shirt and some pink sweats at the thrift store, cut the pink sweats into circles, and used a steam iron and double sided fusible webbing to stick them to the shirt. Nice and warm to walk around in. Also works as a couples or group costume if you have a Doug Funnie, Skeeter Valentine, etc! (Not included—woodland fairy friend or dude who photobombs you pictures)
Cons: Only a few—wigs are not usually cheap (this was a man’s wig which was somewhat less expensive) and I could not truly mimic her orange skin tone. The dots were a bit stiff. And I suppose you need to watched Nickelodeon in the 90s to know the show Doug. Still one of my favorites!
4. Gadget Hackwrench
Pros: I got to wear a purple jumpsuit, a wig, mouse ears AND goggles! From my face you can tell it was a fun get up to wear. I got a purple sheet and the sewing patterns from the thrift store, and the goggles from the clearance aisle at the end of summer (yes sometimes I start planning my costume early).
Cons: Fewer people recognized my Gadget costume as being from Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers (I didn’t think about the fact that the show was not on TV for that long). And many things to wear=more things to buy. I wanted to make more of the things like my ears but I ran out of time because of the sewing (see work in progress shot). Sewing was tricky because I combined two patterns (sleeveless jumpsuit + collared blouse) and then I altered that further to make the legs slim, etc. Final result: I could not lift my arms above my head without giving myself an extreme wedgie. So not exactly the most comfortable costume!
Costumes that I put together at the last minute
If you have a day (or maybe just a few hours) to figure out a good costume, you can still come up with something interesting-ish.
1. Cheshire Cat
Pros: Yet again all I had to sew was a shirt and tube top—you can sew fabric into tubes very quickly! In this case I was going to an Alice in Wonderland themed party and remembered that I had some fabric that looked like the Cheshire Cat’s stripes. Too bad you can’t see the tail here! Ears are made from origami paper. Pictured with the Queen of Hearts.
Cons: Besides the fact that I only have terrible photos of me with my eyes half closed, the only real downside was that I was cold. But I am usually cold.
2. A sad hipster
Pros: Our friends got such a kick out of this! At the time I owned the black wig and had a roommate whose accessories were perfect in that oh-so-emo kind of way, so nothing was bought or altered, just repurposed. Of course, sad hipster boy is wearing girls clothes too…the tighter the better.
Cons: No one else besides our friends knew we were dressed up for Halloween…everyone else just thought we were a real hipster couple. Now that should really make you cry.
3. Gender Bender
Pros: Don’t normally dress as a man? If so, you may be surprised to find you probably have everything you need minus an accessory or two (the tie was mine but the pipe was not). Can be super comfy.
Cons: Don’t normally dress as a woman? Good luck finding a dress than fits, putting on nylons without ripping them, applying makeup, and/or walking in heels. If you can do all this and be comfortable, you must let me know how!
4. Princess Peach
Pros: You know how brides say you can totally wear that bridesmaid dress again, but you totally can’t because it always looks like a bridesmaid dress? This is one instance where I did figure out how to wear it again—at a Ninetendo costume party. Crown and necklace are made out of construction paper.
Cons: No cons! It was the perfect last minute costume for the party.