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Halloween. The season of spooks, of autumn chill, of grotesque faces carved into hollow pumpkins. Besides, Halloween is also the official season to dress up to express oneself however one deems fit, albeit in the eeriest manner possible.
Halloween usually witnesses a month-long preparatory period for that one final night towards the end of October, a careful sojourn of rifling through the internet for inspiration for costumes, followed by the procuring of one.
And while Halloween is all about extravagance and Savoir-faire, it might also be fair to say that finding a costume can sometimes be a drag. Costume shops tend to be sold out weeks in advance, and the really good costumes cost money. A lot of money. Which, as we get to the crux of our topic, might not be feasible for a college student.
And yet, costumes must be worn right? The way around this is simple- DIY! Low budgets, ample opportunities for customization, and best of all, open ground to whet one’s creative instincts. What could be better?
1. A Bat
Use an old black umbrella as the bat’s wings in this creative costume idea. Wear all black, of course, and pop on a black wool beanie to cover the head.
Add a pair of plastic fangs to complete the look.
2. Sea Anemone Costume
Another inspired idea, this costume employs the use of long, pink balloons. The balloons are representative of the many tentacles a sea anemone comes equipped with.
Recreate This Costume:(Click image)
The costume idea may be one that sounds slightly dated, but the costume is anything but! A Halloween clown costume can be modeled on one’s idea of a clown- friendly, funny, or menacing.
All you need is a curly colorful wig, face paints, and a suitable outfit.
4. Queen of Hearts
An Alice in Wonderland inspired costume that works equally well for someone with a love for cards, this costume features a red shift dress, vibrant makeup, and a collar of cards.
5. ‘Men in Black’
Arguably the most recognizable costume idea of the lot so far, a Men in Black costume takes little effort. All you need is a black suit and tie, a white shirt, and dark glasses.
Bring a friend.
6. Bob Ross costume
Winner of hearts, painter of canvases, the reigning king of YouTube. Sound familiar?
A Bob Ross costume requires only a couple props, really- a curly wig, a dark beard, and perhaps an apron and a few brushes.
Don’t forget the kind demeanor.
A witch costume, however common, never goes wrong. Like with the clown costume, the options to recreate one are endless. The props are plentiful- a broom, a hat, a wand, or a bulbous prosthetic nose.
My pick? The last.
8. Harry Potter
The Boy Who Lived. And the costume that never went out of fashion.
9. Pirate Costume
An oldie, but a goodie. A pirate costume is always fun to pull off- what with the eye patch, and the hard hat and perhaps a prop sword.
The best prop? Swagger to the step and kohl-rimmed eyes.
10. Scary Nurse
The spirit of Halloween lies in turning seemingly innocuous into the positively spooky. Do the same to a nurse costume, turning a beacon of light and hope into just the opposite.
Pro Tip: Ketchup for fake blood is a convincing and easily accessible option for anyone, even the most broke college student.
11. Sherlock Holmes
Famed detective of fiction. Is that not enough to tempt you?
12. Plague Doctor Costume
Take a leaf out your history books, and fashion a plague doctor costume out of black robes and cardboard cuttings for the mask. Both historically relevant and unsettling, this costume is sure to make you stand out in a group of people.
An elf costume is always fun to put together, especially when it happens to be a recreation. There are many instances in fiction and celluloid to draw inspiration from, although the best costumes always have a little something of their own.
14. Scary Disney Princess
Always a super-effective Halloween costume, this one might, at first glance, seem pricey. It does not have to be, you can always use an old dress as the costume and concentrate on the makeup so much that the finished product eclipses any shortcomings.
A popular character in folklore, a goblin costume can be deceptively simple to recreate. All one needs is good references, an eye for the little details, and unwavering patience!
Pro Tip: Green Face Paint is always a winner.
16. The Incredible Hulk
Possibly the only Marvel superhero that can be cosplayed on a college student’s budget, all you need for this iconic costume is green body paint and ripped jeans.
Oh, and rippling muscles.
17. Black Widow
A costume that can go both ways- meaning, that you can dress up as the deadly spider from the Amazon OR as the svelte superhero. For the former, the costume does need a certain intricacy and attention to the details but the latter can be quite simply recreated with Lycra or spandex and an auburn wig.
18. Peter Pan costume
Another nod to the classics, a Peter Pan costume might be your best bet if you happen to have clothing in varying shades of green.
The shirt and cropped trousers can be easily fashioned, while the cap might take a skilled seamstress.
19. Fallen Angel
A fallen angel costume is rather simple to craft if one puts their mind to it. A black dress, if one has it, would make for the perfect foundation. If not, a plain black sheet works admirably well too.
Think dewy makeup, a Styrofoam tiara, and cellophane wings.
The antithesis to its saintly counterpart, a Devil Costume is more in line with the general theme of Halloween.
Think red and black ripped clothing, dark makeup, and a pair of glowing red horns.
21. Rudolph the Reindeer Costume
Another costume that is both instantly recognizable and easily concocted on a low budget, Rudolph is iconic and adorable.
A red nose, that is all you need. The antlers, the spots, and then hide- those can be added depending on the individual’s preference and requirement.
22. Farmer Halloween Costume
Simple and wholesome, that is the idea behind the costume. The best part? It can be put together out of anyone’s closet- all one needs is a plaid shirt, denim overalls, boots, and a hat.
And a big smile.
As with the farmer costume in the last point, a scarecrow costume constitutes of regular clothes. Denim, plaid- the usual. What’s different is, of course, a hat, the element of straw and wide, staring eyes that are a feat that can only be achieved via makeup.
Make sure to limber up before you get to the party, the costume calls for a lot of standing still.
Green face mask or face paint, beady eyes, and a nasal drone. Sometimes the correct answer is the most obvious one!
25. Mermaid costume
A swimsuit, a blue-green gauzy fabric twisted in pleats to make a convincing ‘tail’, a seashell necklace and open hair- mermaid costume, made to order.
26. Sabrina the Teenage Witch
An icon of pop fiction and right on theme for Halloween, this costume is the way to go if you own a red dress and a black headband.
27. Helga Pataki
Pink satin bow, blonde hair, a faux(or real, either way, works) unibrow- need I say more?
28. Mary Poppins
Here is a fun way to indulge your inner classics nerd- dress up as Mary Poppins!
The look can be recreated using formals (think white button-down, a blazer, and trousers), the customary umbrella, a hat, and a red ribbon around the neck.
Do not forget the singsong voice.
29. Victorian Maid
Turn into a Victorian maid for Halloween by putting to good use a dated, frilly dress, a cap made out the crumpled fabric, and a prop broom. Or a real one.
Dark clothes, dark makeup, a perpetual aura of brooding, and nihilism- a goth Halloween costume is VERY easy to recreate.
Dress as a cactus for the next college Halloween party.
A blessing in disguise if you are a possessor of green or hazel eyes, one can quite simply dress up a cat. How do you ask?
All you need is faux fabric ears (preferably attached to a headband), a makeup muzzle, and a propensity to purr.
33. Girl Guide
Bust out your old girl guide uniform for this Halloween costume which is, in the true sense of the term, a blast from the past.
Don’t forget the cookie boxes though, the costume does bring with it the promise of edibles.
34. Fire Chief
An orange Velcro jacket, and a hard hat. That is about it. Click here to get the costume.
35. Ketchup and Mustard
A couple’s costume, it aims at recreating the iconic duo of ketchup and mustard. Red and yellow, tangy and spicy- you get the drift, don’t you?
36. Star Wars Inspired Costumes
Draw inspiration from the space odyssey that awed us all- the Star Wars! The options are plentiful and each as interesting as the last- Han Solo, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, C3PO. Need I say more?
37. Minnie Mouse Costume
Easily manufactured from existing clothing, because surely everyone owns black tights and a blacktop? The red skirt might be a little harder to locate, but can be crafted from red fabric in the absence of the real thing.
As for the final touches, use black face paint for the whiskers. Remember to add a red bow.
38. Rosie the Riveter
A high chance that every woman’s closet already has the makings of this costume, Rosie is a that elicits both admiration and inspiration.
Additionally, what better occasion is there to channel girl power?
Bee costumes are perhaps the easiest, and the quickest to make. Wear a striped shirt, or in the eventuality that you do not own one, simply use black duct tape to create stripes on a plain T-shirt.
Inject the signature color of yellow wherever possible, and suitable.
40. The Minions
Forever etched in the minds of the movie-going crowd, are the minions. Their popularity is unprecedented, hell, they’re even permanent fixtures at Universal Studios!
Supremely easy to recreate, all you got to wear is a yellow shirt and denim overalls.
The googly eyes are a bonus IF your budget stretches to include them.
Halloween may be the season lavish extravaganza, but whoever said it could not be inexpensive?