Halloween is coming! Finally! And with all the events going on in and around Staffs, you’re gonna need a costume. And fast! (And most importantly, cheaply!)
So, as a cos-player (someone who creates costumes to take to comic conventions) and a student, I am more than used to creating costumes and outfits on a budget. And now, I’m going to share all the annoyingly simple little tips that took me three whole years of being a poor cos-player to figure out!
The golden oldies
Now, I’m not using this blog as a way of saying you can’t go for the golden oldies of costumes! Because you can!There is no way that the classic ‘sheet ghost’ will ever lose its appeal (unless, alas, like me you have sheets that aren’t just plain white). So, if you want to throw on some cat eyes, black clothing and some heavy black cat-eye liner – go for it! Those costumes never fail to be perfect!
Decide what to dress as
First of all, you need to decide what you’re going to be dressing as. There are three types of costume going around at Halloween, usually.
Number one, the legitimately scary costume. This is usually worn by the guy that really gets in to the spirit of Halloween and goes all out (think Cady in ‘Mean Girls’), and is the hardest of the three types to pull off on a budget.
Number two, the funny/ironic costume. Usually pulled off in groups, but not always, and quite easy to get right.
And number three, casual, stereotypical Halloween. These costumes are the kind of things you expect to see at Halloween – vampires, witches, ghosts, basic zombies. All three can be equally brilliant if you get them right, but a favourite among university students is the funny costumes. A good place to start if you don’t know what costume to make is to work with what you have. Take a browse through your wardrobe and see if there’s anything that could be developed into a costume, or maybe a costume you already have that could be made a little… spookier!
Start on the outfit
Okay, so now that you’ve chosen a character/idea, you’ll need to start on the outfit part of the costume. One of the things I love about living here is that Hanley has a Primark AND a Poundland, and these places are goldmines for costume makers! The best thing for starting an outfit for a costume is a plain item of clothing and some fabric paint/Sharpies. So, head down to Primark and grab yourself an orange long sleeve shirt and some orange or black leggings and scribble on a pumpkin face and you’re done! There are so many options that can start from just a plain, coloured top, and Primark has stacks of them.
I stand by my ideology that there’s nothing you can’t make out of a bit of cardboard and masking tape. Save up a few boxes from your Amazon orders and get cutting out some shapes, then wrap up in masking tape and paint. This year, I’m making a crowbar this way! There are lots of tutorials to help you with this kind of thing on sites like Pinterest, Instructables and CosplayTutorials.
Another option for saving money on costumes at Halloween is using face paint to form much of your costume. This is especially easy around this time of the year, as all the shops are filled with cheap face paint. But make sure to be careful with these as a lot of cheaper brands can irritate sensitive skin.
Happy Halloween and have a spooky, scary week!