27 October 2010

Halloween Countdown Day 5: Creative Costumes!

So, you may have gathered from the title that this is the first day of a Halloween countdown. If you've been reading this blog, you've probably noticed that I LOVE holidays. I also love countdowns, like the one I made for St. Patrick's Day earlier this year (and yes, each word is a different post). My FAVORITE holiday of ALL TIME, however, is the one happening this Sunday... Halloween!

It's funny because when I was a kid I'm sure my favorite holiday was something more like Christmas, where you get to wake up early and open presents and drink lots of hot chocolate. Halloween was less exciting, since I usually had to go to school that day and all you really do as a kid is dress up and go get a ton of candy. Now that I have the ability to be more creative with my Halloweens though, I can't get enough of them!

Halloween is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of themed drinks, themed food, spooky decorations, fun traditions, crazy parties, and of course awesome costumes! There isn't any other day of the year where EVERYONE has an excuse to dress up. For people like me who wish they would dress up every day, this holiday is like a dream come true.

So, because of the aforementioned awesomeness of Halloween, I've decided to begin a five day Halloween countdown, beginning with today (Day 5), and ending on Sunday (Day 1). Here's a potential schedule:

Day 5: Creative Costumes
Day 4: So Now You Have a Pumpkin.
Day 3: Creepy Cocktails
Day 2: Frightful Food
Day 1: Halloween Party!

As you can see, Day 1 is all about the party- largely because I'm going to a Halloween party on the 30th so I'll be able to upload lots of cool pictures from that party as well as talk about how to throw a swell one of your own (or make the one you're already throwing even cooler)

But that's in five days! Let's get started with Day 5 of the countdown: Creative Costumes!

I consider myself to be somewhat of a costume connoisseur, if that's possible. I love dressing up and I ALWAYS make my own costumes. I also try to think of costumes that not many other people will think of or dress up as, because I hate when you go to a party and you're one of 7 Alices in Wonderland or one of 15 pirates. Here are a couple pics of my costumes from the last 2 years:

In 2008, I was one of those life-sized dolls from The Nutcracker. You know, the ones that come out of the giant gift boxes on Christmas eve and dance around with the toy soldiers.

In 2009 I was a marionette doll. I think this is one of my better costume ideas so far. Everything I wore I either owned already, got from The Bins and altered, or found at Michael's craft store. The best part is my hairpiece, which is a red feather clip attached to two sticks of wood made into a cross with a LONG black satin ribbon attached to each end, each of which is tied to an ankle or wrist.

This year, I'm going to be la fee verte, or "the green fairy"- who, if you've seen Moulin Rouge or have bizarre drinking habits, you'll know is the Absinthe mascot.  Observe:

Now, I wanted to take the concept shown in Moulin Rouge and take it in a different, less skanky direction. I won't show you what my costume looks like yet because a. It's not finished yet and b. It would ruin the surprise!

What I will do, though, is give you some tips on how to make to coolest, most creative, and cheapest costume possible this year- WITHOUT buying one of those 60$ costumes-in-a-bag from the seasonal Halloween superstore.

Tip#1: Think outside the box.
Don't get stuck on broad, cliched ideas. Anyone can dress up as Marilyn Monroe, a ballerina, or Cinderella. Try to come up with a costume that nobody else will think of right away. A good way to get your ideas flowing is to go to Leg Avenue's online costume page and just browse through all of them. True, most of these have been done numerous times, but they might still help you to think of the type of thing you want to be. Make a list of anything you like or any good ideas that you have. Some of the  best costumes my friends have dressed up as include the Black Dahlia, Old Greg, Alex from Clockwork Orange, the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, Mary Mary Quite Contrary, Pebbles or Bambam from The Flinstones, and the Muffin Man. You can literally dress up as anything you want- a person in history, a stereotype, an inanimate object, a character from a book, tv show, or movie, an animal, you name it. Take some time to really think about it!

Tip#2: Draw a sketch.
This is extremely important. Just draw (to the best of your ability) what you vaguely want your costume to look like. Include ideas for hair and accessories. This will help you to know what you're looking for when you go out shopping.

Tip#3: Buy for the fabric, not for the size or look.
Once you know what you want, go to a thrift store and look for items with the fabric that matches your idea. Don't worry about it being too big or the wrong cut. The shirt portion of marionette doll costume shown began as a huge, long sleeved velvet blouse. I glued some black and white buttons on it, chopped off the collar and sleeves, cut out some of the back and added holes to make it lace-up, and ta da- a fitted halter top. You can do this with many, many different items. If something looks kind of similar to what you want, buy it and manipulate it later.

Tip #4: The hot glue gun is your friend.
Seriously. Don't stray away from making your own costume because you're afraid to use a sewing machine. It's not like you're making something that's going to need to be worn daily for the next 5 years- this is a one night only outfit! Hot glue guns are great for keeping everything together when you're making a costume and it usually looks just as good as if it had been sewed. Make sure you have one and plenty of glue sticks before you get started.

Tip #5: Think about the little things.
After I have an idea and color scheme for costume, I'll walk around a craft store and pick out any little things that I think will make my costume have a little more oomph. Rhinestones, glitter, ribbon, and cool buttons can all go a long way. Also, don't forget about accessories. You should try to think up at least one prop or accessory that is specific to your costume- this year I'm going to wear a little bottle full of glowing green liquid around my neck to symbolize my role as the absinthe fairy. It's the little things like this that make a costume extra special.

Tip #6: Think about your plans on Halloween night.
Are you going to be out and about? It's probably going to get cold, so think of a costume appropriate sweater or jacket you can incorporate or bring along just in case. Are you going to be dancing? You might want to trade in the miniskirt for short shorts, or wear some spankies underneath at least.

Yay! Costumes are so fun, aren't they? I hope you have a good time making a unique, homemade costume. What are you going to be this year? Post in the comments :)

See you tomorrow!


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