Easy and inexpensive costume ideas for Halloween

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 28, 2004

If you haven’t found the perfect costume for your trick-or-treater this Halloween in the stores, consider making one. Don’t let having little or no sewing skills put you off the idea. And you don't have to spend a small fortune to get a great trick or treat look. Here are some costumes that require a small amount of work and still provide ‘boo-tiful’ results.

Start with sweats

The basic sweatshirt and pants can be the basis for several cute costumes.

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n Create a bunny rabbit by choosing a pink or white pair of sweats. Add a cotton ball tail, bunny ears made from construction paper that are taped, glued or safety pinned to sweatshirt hood or cap. Use an eye lining pencil to draw on whiskers and a touch of pink lipstick for a bunny nose.

n Leo the Lion can be created with brown or yellow sweats. A rag mop or yarn for a mane can be glued to a hood or cap. Make a tail from a rope (tuck one end inside the sweatpants) and draw on whiskers with eyeliner.

n For a ferocious dragon or dinosaur, use dark green sweats with a hood. Decorate with a yellow &uot;bib&uot; (made of yellow material) and yellow &uot;spines&uot; down the back (these could be sewn and stuffed, or cut out of stiff paper). Add red eyes and big white teeth to the hood. For a dragon, add &uot;wings&uot; (get a large piece of see-through cloth, cut two triangles. Attach to wrists and under arm and hip).

n Ladybug, ladybug ‘can fly away home’ when you use a red top and black pants. Make antennae out of black pipe cleaners (which can be attached to hair with bobby pins or hair clips). Stuff the top to make it round, then pin or sew on black felt spots to the red top.

n For a beautiful butterfly, use any color sweats and add &uot;wings&uot; made from a large square of see-through multi-colored cloth, cut into two triangles. Attach &uot;wings&uot; to wrists, under arm and hip. Complete the costume with antennae (see lady bug).

Taking out the garbage

Garbage bags are for more than taking out the trash. Here are some great garbage bag costume ideas.

n Be a bunch of grapes. Use a green garbage bag, poke three holes in it for head and arms, then attach (using tape) green or purple balloons to bag.

n It’s the great pumpkin!

Take an orange garbage bag and stuff it with paper. Draw black lines down the sides (make it a jack-o’-lantern by adding a face) using an indelible ink pen such as a Sharpie. Wear a green hat or cap to make the &uot;stem.&uot;

n To become a tortoise, stuff a garbage bag with newspaper; draw a shell pattern across the back and stripes across the front. Make the top loose enough so you can tuck your head in for full turtle effect.

n Countess Dracula: make a cape by cutting apart a large black garbage bag that can be draped across the shoulders and taped in place.

Pull or slick back hair and draw a widow's peak with eyebrow pencil. Use mascara, eyeliner and brow pencil to create glamorous eyes and peaked brows. Face cream with white talcum powder on top will give that pallid vampire complexion. Use red lipstick for lips and add a few bloody drips.

n For Count Dracula, create the same cape and slick back hair with petroleum jelly.

Use your imagination!

Here are some other easy costume ideas that simply require exercising a little imagination, raiding the closets or perhaps paying a visit to the local Goodwill.

n Gypsy: a long, full skirt, peasant style blouse, colorful scarves, a pair of large hoop earrings and lots of costume jewelry necklaces and bangle bracelets.

n 50’s dude: slick-backed hair, blue jeans and jean jacket, white t-shirt and hi-tops. 50’s gal:

tie hair back in a pony tail or use a headband, circle skirt, sweater set, pearls, saddle shoes and socks.

n 60’s flower child: tie-dyed shirts, bell-bottom jeans, long beads, granny glasses, flowers in the hair.

Creating a costume lets you and your child use your imagination and arts-and-crafts skills - and it also guarantees nobody else will have a costume exactly like theirs. Happy Halloween!