That’s the thing about Halloween falling on a Monday – we’ve given in to the temptation to leave costume-building until this weekend. With the best of intentions, I bought fabric three weeks ago, and everything was cut and ready to sew last week. But I still have a wig to build, a two wands (fairy and witch) to make, and various accessories to organize and prepare.
Yes, two wands – Scooter had an eleventh-hour change of heart (seriously, at 11:00 a.m., an hour before I was leaving to buy fabric) and decided she has to be Hermione Granger for Halloween this year. I cheerfully agreed (wizard’s robe = sooo much easier than mermaid’s tail), and Skeeter got into the spirit of things by shouting that she wanted a “PRETTY FAIRY DREEEEESSSSSS!!!” You know, she’s two, volume control isn’t really her thing yet. So I’m making Skeeter an Abby Cadabby costume, since that’s her favorite Sesame Street character.
I don’t have any new Halloween costume tutorials ready for this year, but I’m learning a lot that I can type up for next Halloween. So here’s an encore presentation (doesn’t that sound better than ‘re-post’?) of last year’s costume ideas:
My husband and I put the finishing touches on our son’s monoplane Thursday evening. I’m feeling a little smug because since it was finished on the 28th, the likelihood of us going out to trick-or-treat with still-warm hot glue somewhere in the costume and wet paint on the plane’s wings has been reduced by a small (but not insignificant) percentage. It took a lot longer to finish the plane than I expected; my husband and I split up the preparation and construction tasks and worked over the course of the past week, completing the costume for the price of the silver paint ($5). Other costumes can be had for even less money and made in very little time, so if you’re out of both, here are five ideas for last-minute costumes that might not even require a trip to the corner store:
Vampires and their victims, zombies, clowns, skeletons, or extra-rosy cheeks on a princess can be had with the help of homemade grease paint: Combine one part soft shortening with two parts corn starch and add food coloring until the desired colors are achieved. Remember to apply moisturizer before applying makeup, particularly when using red and black.
Puns, spoonerisms, Wellerisms, idioms, and other forms of word play can serve as the basis for clever getups that can be quick and inexpensive to make. For instance, “time on my hands” can be achieved by cutting out photos of clocks and watches and gluing or taping them to gloves or mittens (for the best effect, dress in a solid color, including the gloves).
A plain, carefully-made domino mask is one of the accessories that can nudge street clothes into costume territory, and a beautifully-decorated masquerade mask is almost a costume in itself. Superheroes and villains alike use masks to conceal their identities; if you’re torn between good and evil on Sunday morning, you can always flip a coin.
Take a box, some glue, a little paint, and a dip into the recycling bin, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a robot. To my surprise, my son decided against Robot, Year Three, but if he changes his mind at the very last minute – or, more likely, if some unforeseeable catastrophe happens and his plane is wrecked – I’ve got my collection of gum machine toy containers, screw-on lids, egg cartons, empty paper towel rolls, wire-os from used up spiral notebooks, straws, and assorted additional recycling-bin-bound flotsam from the past three months, all of which can be glued on to a piece of cardboard, painted (or not), and suspended from the boy’s shoulders with either broad ribbon or additional cardboard scored on one side so that it bends.
Chitons, Togas, and Stolas
History buffs will want to get the type of dress and its embellishments just right – Greek, Roman, for men, for women – but everyone else (particularly those without much time or money to invest) can grab some bedsheets and safety pins (or even staples), throw on some sandals, and be ready to celebrate in under ten minutes. Accessorize, and you’re an Olympian. If you have a blue or green sheet, a flashlight, and an old pizza box from which you can cut the tablet and seven spikes for her crown, you can be Lady Liberty. Dress up your torch with some gold (or red, orange, and yellow) tissue cut into flame shapes or elongated diamonds and taped securely to the side of the flashlight.
Also: Most of the ideas we posted in our list of inexpensive or downright free costumes (part one and part two) are last-minute-able, too! If you have questions about creating a specific costume or troubleshooting a specific costume challenge, please leave a comment and we’ll do our best to help.