Homemade Halloween Costumes

Emily Gwen, John Meader, Kelsey Kingnut model their homemade Halloween costumes -- Clint Hienze

Halloween is here and what do you mean you do not have a costume?

Most people would tell you that you might be out of luck because “all of the good costumes are taken.”

Fear not. There are plenty of ways to be prepared for the fun.

California Baptist University student, Emily Green, knows her way around the makeup table and costume shops.

She is a senior Liberal Studies Major who doubles as a costume and makeup designer for California Baptist University as well as a variety of theatre companies including Christian Arts & Theatre and DeoVolente Media.

With three easy steps to instant and easy costumes and a little common sense, you will be dressed and ready to trick or treat in no time.

Step 1) “Choose what to be.”

It is hard to come up with an idea right away. However, there are a few tricks to creating the prefect costume.

“Think of ideas like your favorite band, the cast of a television show, a bag of your favorite candies (i.e. Skittles or M&M’s) or maybe even spoofs on fairy tales or movies that you enjoy,” Green said.

Internet searches for costume patterns and ideas of what other people have come up with can be a good place to start as well. For instance, if you type “Indian Girl Costume Ideas” in Google Images, there is plenty of ideas to inspire you.

Of course, when you are going out for Halloween, you aren’t usually alone. Green says to utilize your friends in helping you choose a costume.

“Sometimes an idea that would otherwise be weak can be a lot of fun if you include a big group of people.”

There are many stores to choose from while creating your costume.

Green suggests being “thrifty” with how you shop for the actual outfit.

Thrift stores hold some great treasures that might not be found in the large Halloween superstores. “Not to mention that you’ll probably save around $20,” Green said.

The Goodwill Southern California, Salvation Army Thrift Store and Rob’s Vintique on Magnolia Ave. are just a few options of local Riverside thrift stores.

Target and Walmart also have great options for costumes.

When choosing that perfect costume, Green says, you must also be cautious not to dream too big. “It’s better to have a simple costume done really well than an elaborate costume that isn’t very good,” Green said.

Using clothes that you already have help to utilize this idea. It is easy to downplay a good idea with old clothes that you don’t wear that often.

Step 2) Makeup, hair…The “Finishing Touches”

Makeup and hair are probably the most important part, next to the costume itself. Of course, you don’t have to be a professional cosmetologist to pull off a great look.

Where does Green say to go? Try Walmart or CVS.

“They have some pretty inexpensive Halloween makeup kits,” Green said. “If you are more experienced in the makeup field, try going to theatrical stores like A&H off of Hole and Tyler for some great makeup choices.”

Of course, not every costume needs makeup to complete it. Try finding some good props to go along with your costume. It is also very easy to run to Home Depot and pick up cheap supplies to whip together your own prop, such as a fake gun or the casing to your “Transformer.”

When it comes to hair, there are some pretty easy looks to pull off, depending on what you are going to be. Green’s suggestion is to be creative before running in the direction of a wig.

“They (wigs) can be expensive and look fairly cheap unless you get a good one. However, I always suggest colored hair spray,” Green said.

These sprays can be found at your local Target or Walmart or the Sally’s Beauty Supply on Magnolia Ave.

Step 3) Have Fun!

Halloween is meant to be a fun experience.

“Half the fun of Halloween is being seen, so get your friends together for a photo shoot or go out to dinner in costume with your buds. The sky’s the limit with the fun you’ll create,” Green said.

Of course, if you are sincerely too lazy to follow these three steps, you could always carry a quarter and a hammer around on Halloween. What are you? A Quarter-pounder.


Creative and Easy Costume Ideas:

American Tourist : This could be for either boys or girls. What you need: Baithing Suite Large Hawaiian shirt

Camera (any kind) Sandles Socks Girl- A wrap of some sort for the bottoms Boys- Kaki shorts

Sun glasses Road map Fanny Pack Put it all together, and you have the makings of a great “American Tourist”.

Miss America : This one is obviously for girls. What you need: An old prom dress Long ribbon, marker (for a “Miss America” sash)

High heels All sorts of good make up (Lipstick, blush, bright eye shadow, etc.) Jewelry Lots of Hairspray! A big smile!

“Deviled” egg : Gender neutral. What you need: All white clothing Yellow circle Horns


Old Man/Old Woman : This is also a gender neutral idea. What you need: Girl- Floral dress, large sweater/wrap Boy- Oversized slacks, button up shirt, suspenders Glasses

Grey/silver hair spray paint Tall white socks Strong cologne or perfume Brown eye-liner (to make wrinkles) A crotchity demeanor!

A Bunch of Grapes :This is also gender neutral. What you need: A pack of small balloons (Red, green, purple) Sweat outfit (Same color as balloons)

White shoes (spray paint to match balloons) Colored Beanie Pin balloons to your body, trying to keep them as close knit as possible You’re a bunch of grapes!

A Christmas Present : Gender Neural. What you need: Christmas wrapping paper Bow


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