Saturday, October 23, 2010

Last-Minute Halloween Costumes

Halloween is next weekend--can you believe it? If October flew by for you and you STILL don't know what you want to be for Halloween, don't fret! I've got some tips for killer "semi-DIY" costumes you can whip up without spending a lot of time or money.

The base of these costumes is a simple circle skirt. (Learn to make one here.) Circle skirts flatter every body type and can be made in any length, color and fabric you want.

On to the costumes!

Make a circle skirt from red fabric. Pair it with a red shirt and add black or red tights underneath. Make sure to wear comfy black or red shoes since you'll be doing plenty of walking and candy gathering. Men can wear black pants, a red shirt and black shoes and make the accessories below.

To make your horns, you'll need a headband and some red felt. Cut out four horn shapes (think curved triangles) from your felt and sew each pair together, leaving the bottom open. Turn them right side out. Stuff them with some cotton balls, sew the bottom shut, and hot glue them to your headband.

For the tail, determine how long you want it to be and cut a rectangle that length from red fabric. Make the rectangle about 3-4 inches wide. Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, and sew along the long edge of the rectangle, as well as one of the top or bottom edges, leaving one open. Turn your rectangle right side out and stuff it with cotton balls or stuffing. Sew it shut. Cut out two felt triangles and sew them together, leaving the bottom open. Turn the triangle right side out and stuff. Sew the bottom of the triangle to the end of your tail. Pin your finished tail to your skirt.

To make the pitchfork, cut out two "W" shapes from your red felt. They should look like this:

Sew them together around the edges, leaving a hole in the bottom open. Turn it right side out, using a pencil or dowel to help. Stuff with cotton. Glue the "W" to a long dowel, broomstick handle or similar object that's painted black. You can stick the dowel in the opening of the "W" and glue the felt around the dowel.

Make a circle skirt in the color of your choice. Shimmery fabrics will add to the "fantasy" feel of the costume. You can also make a tiered skirt by making two skirts of different lengths and sewing them together with the shorter skirt on top. Compliment the skirt with a matching (or black) tank-top, shimmery tights and ballet flats. This tutorial will show you how to make fairy wings out of pantyhose and wire.

Robin Hood
Make a green circle skirt to pair with a green top (men can wear green or brown pants). Add a brown belt or a brown vest over the shirt. Wear green or brown tights, brown boots and a green hat with a feather glued on. You can also carry a fake bow and arrow set.

Puss in Boots (thanks to my friend Jess for coming up with this)
Make a brown circle skirt and pair with a brown shirt (men can wear brown pants). Wear a black belt and big black boots and carry a fake sword.

To make the ears, cut four triangles from brown felt or fake fur and two smaller triangles from tan felt. Sew the tan triangles to the front of two of the bigger triangles. These will be the front of the ears. Sew each pair of the big triangles together, right sides facing in. Turn them right side out and stuff. Sew the bottoms shut and glue them to a headband.

To make the tail, determine how long you want it to be and cut a rectangle that length from brown fake fur or felt. Make the rectangle about 4 inches wide. Fold the rectangle right sides together and sew along the open edge and the bottom edge. When you sew the bottom edge, sew it in a curve, so it has a rounded tip. Turn the rectangle right side out and stuff. Pin it to your skirt.

Alice in Wonderland
Make a blue circle skirt and pair with a matching blue blouse. Wear white tights or knee-socks and black Mary-Janes or flats. Make a white apron to wear over the skirt and blouse (learn to make one here). Make a bow out of blue or black ribbon and glue to a headband (learn how to make a hair bow here).

Make a circle skirt out of checkered blue and white fabric. Make the top part of the apron from the "Alice in Wonderland" costume from the same checkered fabric and sew it to the top of your skirt. Wear a white blouse underneath and white stockings and red flats. If you want sparkly flats, cover them with glue and sprinkle with red glitter. Tie your hair in pigtails using blue ribbon and carry a basket. If you want, you can carry a stuffed dog in the basket.

I hope my last-minute costume ideas sparked your creativity. Just because Halloween is soon, doesn't mean you can't make an awesome costume in a short amount of time.

Remember, these are guidelines--use whatever fabrics and accessories you'd like. Go wild and have fun. After all, that's what Halloween is all about.

Keep the DIY strong.

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