Why buy a costume when you can make your own? Creating a costume is fun, inexpensive, allows you to reflect your personality, and – best of all – you end up with a one-of-a-kind look. It’s easy to put together a costume, using old clothes in the back of your closet, thrift store finds, and simple homemade items. Makeup, accessories, and an appropriate hairstyle add to the look.
Simply choose something that fits your personality (and available clothing and accessories). A visit to the thrift store can usually complete your outfit. Basic sewing ability helps. Make-up and/or face paint can go a long way, and is much safer (and more comfortable) than wearing a mask. The possibilities for costumes are endless, but here are a few examples:
Gypsy Costume for a Female
Combine a flowing skirt with a peasant top in bright colors. Cover your hair with a gypsy-like scarf. (Check the second hand stores.) If you can’t find one with enough bling, try sewing some shiny trinkets on it. Finish with as much jewelry as you can find in your collection (and your mother’s collection, if you can), especially shiny necklaces and bangle bracelets. Wear lots of makeup, with the emphasis on eye liner and bright red lipstick. See the first photo below for an example.
Hobo Costume for a Male
Find some old clothes, the more rumpled and ill-fitting the better. Second-hand stores or your grandpa’s closet might be a good place to start. Focus on brown, and don’t forget an old-fashioned hat. For an unshaven look, apply petroleum jelly to your face and sprinkle generously with coffee grounds. A piece of licorice makes a great stogy. See the second photo below for an example.
Peasant Costume for Female
Start with an old fashioned skirt in a plain earth tone, such as brown or tan. Add a white peasant top and cut a white piece of fabric to make an apron. Find a camisole in an earth tone, preferably one that is a bit too small for you. Cut it in the front and then lace it up with leather laces (available at a craft store) or shoe laces. Put your hair in a ponytail, leaving some straggly strands out. See the third photo below for an example.
Hippie Costume for Anyone
Anyone can be a hippie: male, female, young or old. Combine a tie dye shirt with an old pair of flared jeans. Paint hippie symbols on the jeans, and if possible, sew triangles into the bottom seams to increase the flare. (Remember hippies love “bell bottoms.”) Wear lots of long beads, hippie pins (think peace signs, flower power and smiley faces), a headband, and a wig with long, straight hair. See the fourth photo below for an example.
Animal Costume for Anyone
An animal is easier than you think, and it’s not just for kids. Want to be a black cat? A bird? A puppy? Start with clothing the color of your animal (usually brown or black). Choose a snug fitting long-sleeved knit top or turtleneck paired with leggings, close-fitting knit pants or sweats. Sew a tail if you can, using fleece to stuff it. Sew the tail to your pants, or cut slits and loop it through a belt. Sew paws and make some sort of head covering, either out of cloth or by adapting an old baseball cap. The fifth picture below shows a bird hat made by cutting the brim of a baseball cap into a “beak” and painting the entire cap. Paint your face the same color as your clothing and add whiskers, if appropriate.
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