I've never been the girl who goes all-out for Halloween. In fact, this weekend was the first time I'd celebrated Halloween in three years! When I do go out, I challenge myself to create a costume that can be made entirely out of clothing I already own, can borrow from friends, or will integrate seamlessly into my everyday wardrobe after the ghouls and goblins have gone to rest. This saves me some time, a lot of money, and has the added bonus that I can usually pass for a regular civilian on the streetcar. At the party we hit this year, it seemed like a lot of people were following similar rules for simple costumes. Although the weekend is drawing to a close, it's never to early to start filing away great costume ideas for next year. With that in mind, I give you: Halloween on a Dime.
This year, I dressed up as "A Small Town Girl on a Midnight Train to Anywhere" from Journey's party anthem "Don't Stop Believin'"; or a Cowgirl, depending on how I felt at the moment. I only wore clothes pulled from my regular wardrobe: plaid shirt, jean shorts, and cowboy-style boots. In less than 10 minutes, I made myself a little train ticket from "South Detroit Railways" and pinned it to my shirt. I wasn't sure how well I'd be able to pull this off, but 100% of people who read the ticket totally got it, and everyone else just thought I was a farmer.
Laura's Black Swan costume probably took the most effort but it was still done on a great budget. All you need is a black tube top or bodysuit, a black tutu, and a black feather boa. Pin or hot glue some feathers to your bodysuit and you're done! Bonus points for adding some feathers to a tiara to create a Natalie-Portman-style headpiece. Ally also did all her costume shopping in her own closet and went out as an art student. She simply picked out her most hipster-style clothing, put it all together, and added some paint smears to her face. To complete the look, she carried a paintbrush and artist's pallet. I've discovered that the trick to creating a costume out of your own closet is to put together your everyday items in combinations that you would never normally wear and top it off with some unusual makeup or a different hairstyle. I, for example, would never be caught wearing pigtails any other day of the year...
Simple and budget-friendly Halloween fun includes treats of course! Ally made these mummy cupcakes by squeezing normal vanilla icing through a piping bag to create a bandage effect. Top with edible eyes, and you're done!
The house party we went to definitely kicked it up to another level with their impressive decorations. The ceiling in this room was covered in a canopy of evergreens, and the room was filled with pumpkins, candles, and twinkly lights. This is the perfect room to have deep mystical discussions about seances, vampires, and recent municipal elections.
"Beyond the veil" / "Across the Hall", we found another world. The entire room was draped in white sheets to create a mystic tent-like feel. Our hosts provided a couple mattresses and plenty of cushions for anyone who wanted to chill out between the hardcore dancing going on upstairs. The decorations were really impressive, they created an amazing atmosphere and really made it feel like Halloween, not just an everyday house-party. Although they probably took a lot of time to set up, they didn't require a ton of supplies, included a lot of pieces you can find around the house or in your yard, and were definitely budget friendly.
More costumes! Zombie Barista: If you have a recognizable work-uniform, add some bloody makeup and you're good to go. Traditional bed-sheet ghosts are making an awesome comeback. The Paper Bag Princess just needs a big paper bag, like the kind you use for leaves, and a construction-paper crown.
On the right, we have another costume made entirely of everyday clothes: Tintin. On the left, we have one of the more complex costumes of the evening. If you look closely, you can see that this guy dressed as Alice in Wonderland is also wearing fake chains around his neck and arms. Put the two things together and you get American Rock Band "Alice in Chains".
A ghost and the medium who conjured it! Melyssa combined as many different boho patterns as possible with some scarves and mix-matched jewelry; now she's ready for a seance!
I was super-impressed this year by the creative ways that people got into the spirit of Halloween without breaking the bank. A couple other great costumes I saw included: "A Smarty-Pants" (just tape smarties to your pants); "Singing-in-the-Rain" (tape some sheet-music to a raincoat); and a "Magic 8-Ball" (wear all black, cut out a white circle with "8" on it, cut out a white triangle with a fortune on it and tape one to your front and one to your back).
What budget-friendly costume ideas have you come across? Let me know in the comments! I'm going to need inspiration for next year...