Seven DIY Tips for a Homemade Halloween Costume |  culture

Seven DIY Tips for a Homemade Halloween Costume | culture

One of the best things about Halloween is getting dressed up. Whether it’s something funny, scary, or a character, the options are endless. However, not many people are willing to spend $30 or more on a packed costume that they will only wear once. Here are some tips for putting together an impressive and affordable costume.

Do some research

Unless one already knows what they want it to be, searching for DIY Halloween costumes is a good first step. Two good places to search are Google and Pinterest. One will find pictures of completed costumes or layouts of clothing materials to be used. Some may also come up with a close-up shot of the desired hairstyle. They are usually simple and do not require much effort to create.

Be smart in one’s dress

A common style for those who don’t know what it should be is to lay down a cat’s ears and draw whiskers on their cheeks. Although being a cat has always been a creative outfit, there are many things that can be created other than animals. One can take phrases or nicknames and make a costume out of the literal sentence structure. For example, writing the names of different types of pills on a T-shirt with fake bloodstains and telling friends that they “grain killer. “

Check one locker

Although the wardrobe at school can be smaller than at home, one can easily take a look and see what one can put together with an everyday wardrobe. So many famous TV personalities wear the same everyday uniform that their copies are easily recognizable. By quickly searching for the clothes they have, you can probably dress up as a cartoon character. Another way to use the wardrobe is to wear a sports shirt. With the sports jersey, one can wear either as an athlete or as a super fan. Students may not realize it, but digging into one’s wardrobe can help spark some fashion creativity.

Go to the thrift store

Harrisonburg is home to many different thrift stores and each consists of shelves and racks of usually affordable clothing. Similar to one’s wardrobe, thrift stores are a goldmine when it comes to assembling a homemade costume. The only difference is that thrift store purchases are not an everyday clothing selection, so they have the option to DIY or recycle what they bought. Students may feel more comfortable cutting into a pair of used jeans than some they bought for school. The same goes for shirt design. A lot of people will worry less about adding fake bloodstains to a shirt they just bought for $3 compared to a $20 H&M shirt. Thrift store clothing will not only help one piece together in an outfit due to the unknown selection, but also give people more flexibility in styling and adding details.

Visit some handicraft stores

When it comes to designing the details of an outfit, one might not have random art supplies or fabric swatches lying around their apartment or bedroom. Checking out stores like Hobby Lobby will be a huge help in looking for additional outfit essentials. It’s also a great place to get DIY accessory supplies. It could be as simple as needing some glitter or asking customer service for a few inches of random fabric.

Think outside the box about the material

Often times, people will use supplies for what they really are. Maybe this year could be different. When one is working on their costume, look at the material through the child’s eyes. The button can also be used as a jewelry piece. If one chooses to cut a piece of clothing, see if the surplus can be used elsewhere. For example, the cut-out sleeves of a long-sleeved shirt can become a pair of leg warmers to give the illusion of knee-high socks. One can also use recycled goods for their fashion as well. An example is the use of a paper plate as a masquerade mask.

Cardboard and hair are your best friend

While using clothes and things from around the apartment, the possibilities are endless with some cartoon and hair. One can get these types of materials at a good price and in any size. Felt is perfect for making soft accessories or simple props that need a pop of color. For example, felt is the ideal material for sticking a logo on a costume. Cardboard will be good for more faux fashion. If someone wants to dress as if they are driving a car, then cardboard will be the ideal material for this.

With Halloween approaching, the students are already planning what this year will be like. While some choose to go to Party City or Target and opt for pre-made outfits, others may want to roll up their sleeves and get a DIY sketchbook and design with their looks this season.

Contact Gracie Brogowski at For more information on culture, arts, and lifestyle in the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the Bureau of Culture on Twitter and Instagram @Breeze_Culture.

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