Written by: Cate Talaue
Are you tight for time and money for a costume? Have you worn those cat ears or toga sheets for too many years in a row? Are you tired of seeing over-done costumes at parties?
Well, good news!
Not only are you going to be the show-stopper of the night with these Halloween costumes on a budget tips, but you’re going to save that extra $5 or $10 to use towards having the time of your life.
1. “I totally forgot I had this!”
We’ve all had one of these moments, whether you were rifling through your dark, dusty attic, conquering a messy closet, or you happened to clean your bedroom so you could finally see the floor. Believe it or not, there are pieces of clothing and accessories that you already own that you can use to make-shift your own creative costume. Got a yellow shirt, some overalls, a red scrunchy or ribbon and a stuffed unicorn to spare? (Well, at least the first three) Boom! You’re Agnes from Despicable Me. Go through your parents’ closet, your sister or brother, or even your grandmothers’ closet to find an item that will surely inspire a potential costume. You may be wearing regular clothes but accessorize, accessorize, accessorize, and you will look like the real deal.
2. Pop culture references are always a good time
There have been many ups and downs in the world of popular culture and there surely hasn’t been a shortage of mental/emotional breakdowns, scandals and down-right embarrassing incidents in 2014. There can never be one too many references to Miley Cyrus’ life in the spotlight from her performance at the MMVA’s and her scandalous music videos but there are more celebrities out there that can be spoofed on Halloween – including Rob Ford. That’s right, everyone. Dressing up as former Toronto mayor Rob Ford is simple and directly related to the tip above. Put on a suit and tie (you could always borrow one, too!), wear a partial bald cap (can be found at the dollar store, Wal-Mart, Value Village or if you’re feeling rich, Spirit Halloween) to imitate his receding hair line and stuff the shirt up a little bit. I suggest slapping on a pin that says ‘VOTE FORD’ so that everyone gets the gist of what spectacular comedic message you’re trying to send.
Cost: $0 to $8
3. Hunger has taken over
Students’ relationship with food is sacred. So, dressing up as food is a grape idea. It’s easy, it’s perfect and all you need are a bag of balloons, some clear but strong tape, and a large, clear garbage bag. There are two ways to execute these costumes – after you blow up the balloons, of course. Wear a green shirt, tape green balloons of various size to your shirt, buy a crown of vine leaves for the top of your head (can be found at the dollar store) and voila! You are now a bunch of grapes. Don’t like the color green? You also have the option of being the red or purple kind. Fair warning: stay away from sharp objects. If that doesn’t suit your taste buds, put your body in a large, clear garbage bag – be sure to make arm holes on the side and a hole for your head at the top. Stuff as many blown up colorful balloons as possible into the bag and tie if off around your waist. Haven’t guessed what you are yet? Maybe once you tape the Jelly Belly logo on the front, you’ll realize how sweet this costume is!
Cost: $1 to $5
4. Fit for all coffee, Frappuccino and latte lovers alike
This one is surely to capture the attention of all Starbucks goers. This is another costume when the dollar store becomes your best friend. White shirt? Check. Brown felt? Check. White head band? Got it. White pillow case (or a bunch of white cloth)? Check. Starbucks logo fresh out of the color printer? Quadruple check. Empty paper towel role painted green? Done. Secure the brown felt evenly around your waist (or glue it, if you have no personal attachment to the white shirt) and paste the Starbucks logo onto the brown felt. Bunch the pillowcase or cloth together and fasten it to the headband with glue or by tying it (this works better with only a small amount of fabric) then glue the green-painted paper towel role within the bunchy-ness. Show up at the party and everyone will be thinking the same thing – “I could go for one of those right now.”
Cost: $1 to $10
5. “Wait; let me get the rest of my crew. It’ll make sense, then.”
Group costumes are as easy and versatile as you can get. Rummaging through your attic and closet is one thing, but bringing a bunch of people together to use old clothes and accessories, and working together as a unit to be one fantastic squad, is another. The Scooby-Doo clan, the Spice Girls, Barbie’s (or Ken’s), Teletubbies, Care Bears, the women from Bridesmaids, the men from Hangover 1,2 and 3, crayons, the Mean Girls, the cast from Orange is the New Black, ER, or The Big Bang Theory, the Blue Man group, Men in Black, minions from Despicable Me, or if you’re feeling extra creative, different Tetris pieces so you and your friends can look as put-together as the guys below! Between you and your friends, the pieces used in any of these costumes can be made from scrap pieces, printed from the computer, or found in at least one person’s closet making these costumes cost a total of… drum roll please…
Halloween only comes once a year and it always manages to sneak up on us. But as students on a budget, we can surely put a fun costume together with what we already have on hand. Think of all the things you’ve made with the little food in your house – you’ve made it work then, and you can rock the party (or Trick or Eat) now. Remember: have fun responsibly, kids.