Sometimes we get stuff in the mail that is too good (well,... Enter Now
Amy Hochderffer is what you'd call a Halloween enthusiast the kind of girl who cleans out her whole house to make room for the spooky decorations. While you're making the annual trip to the strip-mall super store to spend too much money on a pleather-and-polyester pirate suit (though it does come with an itchy beard and fake-o plastic sword), she's at home painting, sewing and gluing her costume together.
If that sounds like too much work for just one night, Famous offers these hints for a do-it-yourself Halloween (courtesy of Hochderffer).
Of course, you can always go as a less-than-dressed nurse/bar wench/corrections officer/cat (meow!).
Focus on what you do well
We've all got crafty little talents. Use them. Some people paint, some work well with cardboard and construction paper.
The year she went as a Stepford wife 1960s style with the flip hair-do she found a pattern and sewed a period dress. OK, it took her forever, she got the seam wrong, it was baggy and she ended up pinning the thing together last minute, but it was a learning experience. Now, every Halloween she's busy sewing for friends.
Sometimes making the costume is the easy part.
If you're struggling to come up with a solid idea, don't be above stealing, Hochderffer says. She's gotten plenty by wandering through the mega Halloween stores. That's how she found the idea for this year's costume.
Not to ruin the surprise, but she's going as America's favorite toy-in-a-box (and we're not talking Star Wars).
Thrift stores are also great for inspiration, she says. You might even find a ready-made costume on the cheap. Hochderffer found a Gumby suit at a thrift store in Feburary and bought it on the spot, because ... you never know when you might need a Gumby suit, right?
Also, ask friends and use the Web, Hochderffer says.
Candy company Web sites like hersheys.com often have do-it-yourself costume ideas and DIY-queen Martha Stewart is always good for great costume ideas (and a little self loathing).
Keep it simple, stupid
Just because your costume might seem silly on paper, doesn't mean it can't work.
For instance: Paint a dress slip with the words Id, Ego and Mother. Voila, you're a Fruedian slip (wacka, wacka). Throw on a gray sweatsuit, glue some cotton balls on a shower cap and grab a spray bottle. When people ask what you're supposed to be, squirt them in the face and say, Cloudy with a chance of sprinkles.
Or go simpler yet.
Put a couple of red magic marker dots on your neck and go as a vampire victim.
Whatever the costume, remember logistics, Hochderffer says.
In the fever of the moment you might forget that you'll probably want to eat, drink or, let's say, move around during the night. Make sure the costume works accordingly. Remember, no matter how cool you look as a mummy you're probably gonna need to pee.
Just don't stress out, Hochderffer says.
This isn't a contest (unless it's a costume contest) and you're not being graded.
As a bonus, Famous has some quick ideas from the ladies at Yoshi Now!
Shannon says: Vintage and thrift stores offer military and other uniforms, clothes that can be easily zombified.' We have everyone's old wedding dresses, square-dancing dresses, hunting wear, hats, a bullfighting outfit, witches clothes, Mrs. Roper's old mumu, tie-dye, cowboy shirts and boots ... Wrap a baby blanket around your head, wear three sets of thermal underwear and be Kilgore Trout! Ting-a-ling.
Joy says: My personal favorite and old standby ... throw on a fez ... joy buzzer in my hand ... lots of booze equals fun-lovin' shriner. It's not just a costume ... it's my alter ego.