Do It Yourself! Easy Costume Ideas for Halloween
Austin is overrun with thrift stores, which I love. Almost every piece of furniture I own came from a thrift store, as did a large chunk of my closet. Whether you’re sifting through goods at the Salvation Army on South Congress or browsing vintage dresses at Blue Velvet on North Loop, it’s a fun way to spend a day and a great rush when you find a good deal.
For unique Halloween costume ideas, the thrift store is your best friend. Not only will you find something that nobody else has, but you’ll also be DIY-ing it, which is way cooler than any store-bought costume, no matter how sexy it is (which reminds me, ladies….?). Here are some of my favorites:
Disco Queen: I recently bought a mauve-colored disco dress from a thrift store, thinking I’d wear it to my friend’s wedding, in which I’m the maid of honor. That’s not happening, but I did get a great costume idea out of it. Simply wear a '70s disco dress or an over-the-top one-piece pantsuit and some chunky heels, feather your hair and then smear flour all over your nose. Funny and easy, you’re a disco queen. If you want to go all out, I would suggest getting a small disco ball and attaching it to some flexible wire that you can either hold or attach from your back, coming over your head. Ambience!
Charlie Brown: This is an idea specifically for the bald man. Pair your brown dress shoes with brown shorts and a yellow shirt. You can just draw the zigzag pattern on the shirt with a Sharpie. If you don’t have any of these items, to the thrift store! For the kicker, get some black pipe cleaners and a roll of medical tape. Tape the pipe cleaners onto your head in the shape of Charlie Brown’s hair. So you should have a weird little swirl right at the top of your forehead and a little bit sticking out in the back. Bonus: Use the same pipe cleaners and medical tape, but add yellow face paint, blue pants and a white shirt, and you have Homer Simpson.
The Golden Girls: This is a great one for a group … especially a group of three gals and one dude because the dude can play Dorothy (Bea Arthur). My three roommates and I did this one a few years ago for a Halloween party we threw at our house, and it went over huge and also provided for multiple “freeze frame” opportunities (it’s that thing where everyone is laughing or eating cheesecake, and then they just freeze, as if the show just ended and the credits are rolling). We actually recorded the theme song onto a hand-held tape recorder and would play it during the freeze frame moments. Check out photos for references, but basically, you just need 1980s “cool old lady” clothes – leopard-print pant suits, pastel-colored pants, large and strangely patterned sweaters, etc. – and wigs. I wouldn’t recommend getting the wigs from a thrift store, but hey, that’s just me, too proud for head lice. Go to Party City for that one.
Pumpkin: This is a good one for a kid – a kid you’re too lazy to put much effort into. Get a huge orange sweatshirt and draw (again, that Sharpie comes in handy) a pumpkin face on it and get a pair of green tights. I guess if your kid is already pumpkin-shaped, you’re done. Otherwise, you’re going to stuff the sweatshirt full of crumpled newspaper to make the pumpkin round. There are two options here, depending on just how lazy you are and also your sewing ability. One, you can sew a ring of elastic around the bottom of the sweatshirt, tight enough to go around the kid’s legs, or two, you can put the sweatshirt on the kid, stuff the newspaper, and then sew (or staple or safety pin) the fabric together between the kid’s legs. Done! Now your child is ready to go collect free candy for you!