The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – DIY Halloween

I realize that I am over a month late, but I am also an advocate for Halloweentime all-the-time, so whatever. Throughout college I have always created my own Halloween costumes. What is the point of buying a lame store-bought one that you will never wear again? I think it’s a waste, and I also have no desire to wear most of the pre-made costumes out there, which all seem to assume that I want to look like a tarted up version of every boring occupation imaginable (slutty plumber? what?). So, although December is upon us, I hope these costumes of yesteryear will help get you thinking creatively about next Halloween, or any costume party for that matter. I definitely still wear pieces of all of these costumes, and I had so much fun making them!

 Super Last Minute Kate Moss

Topshop dress + Unflattering heart-shaped cutout of Pete Doherty’s face + Ziploc bag of powdered sugar = Cocaine Kate Moss

Pete got rained on.

With a present and Amy Winehouse.

This outfit was thrown together in an afternoon before my sister’s DePaul Dems party freshman year of college. Sure, I had to tell everyone who I was, but when I whipped out the powdered sugar they got it.

80s Punk

I was originally supposed to be Nancy Spungen (because what is scarier than that?), but I couldn’t procure a Sid Vicious, so I was just a generic 80s punk. I wore a zebra-striped shirt, neon skirt, and fishnets that I already had, and a used  jacket from Ragstock with homemade patches pinned all over.

I just found band logos via Google and Stencil Punks, printed them on iron-on transfer paper, and ironed them onto t-shirt scraps. EASY AS PIE. I had also made the British flag patch earlier for another project which has still not been finished.

The leather jacket was pre-vegetarian era, but at least it was used!

Rocking out in the Students Co-op kitchen!

Yes, my mother, who introduced me to the likes of the Dead Kennedys and Circle Jerks, was proud. She said, “Ooh, I would want to wear that everyday!” My parents are super weird.



I bought three cheap t-shirts at Goodwill and set about giving my red shirt green sleeves, using the template from Project 9 in Megan Nicolay’s Generation T and my Hello Kitty sewing machine!

Bonus: once I chopped the sleeves off the green shirt I had a sweet Tumwater T-birds muscle shirt!

I printed a giant R, traced it onto some of the yellow t-shirt fabric, and sewed it onto a circle I cut out of some spare black fabric I had on hand. I cut three strips from the yellow shirt and hand stitched those onto the red shirt, along with my R circle.

For the face mask, I simply googled “robber mask” or something similar and found a template, which I printed and traced onto my black fabric. For stability, before cutting, I pinned my fabric to some plastic material from an American Eagle envelopey thing that a raincoat was sent in. I cut it all out and glued the fabric to the plastic, creating a sturdy mask ready for a night of superhero antics. I had some elastic, so I sprayed it black and stapled it to my mask. See? Hoarding comes in handy! I used the rest of the yellow shirt for my cape, safety pinned it to my shirt, and voila!

Right out of the Batman comic!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (circa Season 1)

Cheerleader Buffy came together in one day, believe it or not.

I picked up an ugly old cheerleading skirt from Ragstock, and an ugly used yellow sweater from Everyday People in Sunnydale High School colors. Like my Robin costume, I printed an S, traced it onto a red t-shirt scrap, and sewed it to the sweater.

Next, I cut a cross out of cardboard and covered it in duct tape. For the stakes, I just got some sticks off of the ground and covered them in fake blood (99 cents from Walgreens!).

I found a belt, stuck in my accessories, and that was that. Best costume ever, am I right? I don’t know why I waited until I was un-blonde for this one, but oh, well.

Once I get a chance, I am going to dye the ugly yellow sweater black so I can wear it on real occasions!


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