Halloween: costume ideas?
October 24, 2005 1:17 PM   Subscribe

Halloween: costume ideas?

I'm trying to think of a cheap DIY costume for a halloween party for a bunch of 20-30 somethings. I've been browsing the thrift stores for ideas, but have so far just come away with the usuals: cowboy, pirate, etc. I'm going after something unique, perhaps Bob Ross. Any other ideas/suggestions? Some thoughtful pranks might also be in order.
posted by masymas to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (36 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You could be the morton salt girl: you need blonde hair, a little yellow dress, yellow shoes and a big umbrella. You could also decorate an oatmeal canister to look like a morton salt container and carry it around.
posted by bonheur at 1:21 PM on October 24, 2005

Dressing up as objects is a lot funnier than dressing as other people/characters etc.

Two of my friends and I always planned on dressing up as the CTRL ALT and DEL keys but it really required too much grey paint and was too much of a nerd idea that nobody would get anyway.
posted by fire&wings at 1:26 PM on October 24, 2005 [1 favorite]

One of my friends had a great idea one year to go as The Last Straw. Not sure how you'd implement this. I figured dress up as a straw, and then have a "last place" ribbon on your chest.
posted by Idiot Mittens at 1:30 PM on October 24, 2005

Thrift-store chic? Cinderella! A little soot smudged on your cheek, a blond wig and lots of cleavage.

This especially works if you have a male friend who likes drag to go as your fairy godmother.
posted by mischief at 1:35 PM on October 24, 2005

I'm planning on wearing a blonde wig, carrying a purse with a stuffed dog in it, and wearing a slutty dress.

I'm calling the costume Paris Motel 6. It's like Paris Hilton, but cheaper and tackier.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:38 PM on October 24, 2005

I'm a fan of mixing metaphors. Go as Zombie Bogart or Headless Tiger Woods. I once saw someone as Hannibal Lecter's love child with Madonna. The guy had the facemask and conical breasts. It was amazing.
posted by allen.spaulding at 1:40 PM on October 24, 2005

I went as former Senator Paul Simon last year. I just wore a suit with a bowtie. If you wear glasses you are half-way there on this one.
posted by aburd at 1:50 PM on October 24, 2005

allen.spaulding, that's just the sort of thing I did last year: I went to the West Hollywood Halloweed parade as a Zombie Prom Queen. I rented a cheesy hot pink 80's style prom dress, smeared my face with zombie makeup, and carried a bouquet of roses and wore fake pearls. Got mad props from strangers all night.
posted by Asparagirl at 1:52 PM on October 24, 2005

I'm a fan of mixing metaphors.

Yes, me too. In college I went as a sort of bovine creature with horns, sporting a top hat, bowtie, cane, and spats. I was Fred, A Steer.

You could also decorate an oatmeal canister to look like a morton salt container and carry it around.

Why not just carry a Morton salt container....?

posted by Miko at 1:54 PM on October 24, 2005

Asparagirl I love it. My brother went as Zombie Michael Moore and had a zombie camera crew with him filming Farenheit 9-1-BRAINS. I guess I have a soft-spot for zombies with personalities.
posted by allen.spaulding at 1:54 PM on October 24, 2005

Mine the wealth of old 70's and 80's tv shows:
Magnum PI (Hawaiian shirt, mustache)
Miami Vice (pink t-shirt, white blazer)
CHiPs (super tight cop pants!)
Three's Company (dumb blonde and sassy brunette may be required)

Also, we had a Zombie Walk here recently, and there were some very clever (but cheap!) costumes. Leprechaun zombie, white-trash trucker zombie, and everyone's favorite, the drunken pajama-wearing zombie.
posted by junkbox at 1:55 PM on October 24, 2005 [1 favorite]

Personally, i am going as "The King". No, not Elvis, but The Burger King. I found a website selling The King masks, and I bought a robe and made myself a Burger King medallion and chain. It's going to be pretty sweet.
posted by deadmouse at 2:04 PM on October 24, 2005

Co-worker of mine came to the office carrying a squirt-bottle, dressed all in grey with cotton balls in her hair. When asked what she was, she would spritz the asker and say, "cloudy with a chance of sprinkles."
posted by FYKshun at 2:20 PM on October 24, 2005

My favorite costume is easy: fishing hat, cigarette holder, drugstore aviator sunglasses, a notebook, and wear whatever the hell clothes you want. Voila! Hunter S. Thompson.

Oh yeah, make sure you've got that crazy look in your eye. This costume allows you to do just about anything on Halloween night and get away with it.

Watch out for people who'll stop you to say, "Hey, you're Johnny Depp from that one movie!"
posted by viewofdelft at 2:20 PM on October 24, 2005

It's like Paris Hilton, but cheaper and tackier.

viewofdelft, were you at a party I was at last year? Loved that costume, though people either said "COOL!" or "uh, who?" His companion was a flasher - she was in bra and panties under her coat and had a camera flash with a trigger she held in her hand. Which she depressed when she opened the coat. Never did get a good look :)
posted by phearlez at 2:35 PM on October 24, 2005

oops - I meant to comment on the above quote - exactly how is that possible?
posted by phearlez at 2:35 PM on October 24, 2005

I'm a fan of the classic ghost costume: one big white sheet, two holes.

But if you want to get fancy, do the Charlie Brown-as-ghost: one big white sheet, many holes.
posted by soiled cowboy at 2:36 PM on October 24, 2005

I found a website selling The King masks

That seems to be a popular choice this year.

As I said in the other thread: Satan-as-a-lawyer. Goodwill suit, prosthetic horns, red facepaint, briefcase full of drugs/guns/liquor and contracts to buy souls.

Going as zombie Bob Ross ("happy little brains") would completely kick ass, though.
posted by Vervain at 3:15 PM on October 24, 2005 [2 favorites]

How about dressing up as a concept? 7 Virtues or 7 Sins or what have you.

A tip: small details often work more effectively than big elaborate costumes. I was looking for something costume-y to wear but the elaborate costumes were too expensive and too bulky (I was travelling). I found a pair of small faerie wings, went to a party wearing that plus my own clothes of a similar colour - it was a hit.

Good luck! Costumes are awesome.
posted by divabat at 3:53 PM on October 24, 2005

Friend of mine is creating fuzzy brown sleeves on a shirt and going as the second amendment.
posted by sian at 4:27 PM on October 24, 2005

If you're feeling crafty, my two most memorable Halloweens were spent as Beeker from the Muppet Show, and -- the one my friends still talk about -- The Drinking Bird. Both are quite involved as far as construction, but well worth it IMHO. If you'd like help constructing either, let me know. I think I even have Beeker's head laying around here somewhere.

I've found that instantly recognizable costumes are more fun. Otherwise, you get to spend your evening answering the dreaded "what are you supposed to be?" question.
posted by Oddly at 6:00 PM on October 24, 2005

I've been trying to talk a co-worker into covering himself in the leftover cobwebbing we used to decorate the office and go as a cloud. After some thought, he has decided to dress in white with three black dots on one side, and go as three-hole punch paper. (Since someone in our office is always screaming "Who left punched paper in the printer again!")

I've also told co-workers when I was at work without a costume that I was a "disgruntled employee". An optional accessory would be a water pistol or some equally ridiculous piece of fake weaponry. (Of course, this depends on the kind of office you are in.)

My favourite kind of costume to prepare is similar to Asparagirl's, (zombie makeup, saucy dress, glammy accessories) but I usually describe it as a Dead Beauty Queen (Miss Underword 2005!) or as "Death in a Dress". Any excuse to wear a tiara! :)

I do love when people dress up as objects or concepts though. One year as a kid, I put on a box, covered it in pink paper and went as a piece of bubble gum. I love the idea of dressing up as CTRL ALT DEL!
posted by melissa at 6:06 PM on October 24, 2005

A few years back in MN I got a pair of big cheap drugstore aviator glasses, pitcher of kool-aid, and printed a name tag that said "Welcome to Jonestown - my name is" and wrote in "Jim"
posted by nanojath at 6:28 PM on October 24, 2005 [2 favorites]

Last year I went as the guy in the shower (stolen from Karate Kid).

I got all of the peices from Home Depot, and it didn't cost all that much:

  • PVC piping
  • flood light (the shower head)
  • blue colored mylar
  • shower curtain
  • external frame from an old backpack

    I wore a bathrobe, but if you have a good body (and it's warm), you can wear boxers. Don't forget the shower cap!

  • posted by splatta at 6:32 PM on October 24, 2005

    oh, and sian, that's the funniest costume I think I've heard this year.
    posted by splatta at 6:34 PM on October 24, 2005

    What about a chicharrone or pork rind? All you need is some foam and some balloons to mimic that bubbly texture. A variation of the costume would be if you periodically release or pop a balloon thus making it an ovary.

    Another possibility is to be framed art. Recreate a famous portrait and carry a picture frame around making you, the art piece.

    Continuing on the autophagia, what about the pig that is always seeming to be eating one of his brethren? I notice that every BBQ joint seems to have a leering and would be enticing anthropomorphic pig with a huge hunk of meat in "hand". This costume gives you a chance to have a nice rib in your hand always.
    posted by jadepearl at 6:46 PM on October 24, 2005

    junkbox - I can't believe I missed the RVA Zombie Walk! How would I be able to find out about that next time?
    posted by Alt F4 at 7:18 PM on October 24, 2005

    Ah. here we go.
    posted by Alt F4 at 7:39 PM on October 24, 2005

    In college I went as a sort of bovine creature with horns, sporting a top hat, bowtie, cane, and spats. I was Fred, A Steer.

    posted by Miko

    I laughed so hard I almost hurt myself.

    I currently work at a burrito-and-burgers joint, and have been threatening to be a burrito for Halloween - just wrap a brownish sheet around ya, and you're set.

    Check out Cockeyed for some great (though involved, and maybe not cheap) costume ideas and pranks.
    posted by attercoppe at 8:35 PM on October 24, 2005

    Perhaps not as eleborate as you're looking for, but this year I'm going as myself. Get a blank mask, and some printouts of your face, and glue away. It'll hopefully look something like this when you're done.
    posted by JackarypQQ at 9:35 PM on October 24, 2005

    Holy crap, JackarypQQ, that's the coolest thing ever! So creepy!
    posted by kosher_jenny at 10:36 PM on October 24, 2005

    Something along the lines that JackarypQQ suggested...maybe do a mask of yourself as a little kid? Or recreate your middle school years (god forbid)? An adult with a little kid face would be extra creepy...
    posted by elquien at 6:20 AM on October 25, 2005

    (Just FYI, I did Sian's right to bear arms thing one year and no one, but no one, got it. Plus, it was very unwieldy. It's way better on paper.)
    posted by CunningLinguist at 9:53 AM on October 25, 2005

    (And thank you for explaining it, CunningLinguist, because I felt way too stupid to ask what the hell it meant. And I'm a lawyer!)
    posted by elquien at 10:53 AM on October 25, 2005

    I'm considering Professor Chaos this year. If you had a partner in crime he/she could go as General Disarray.

    My wife is pregnant and brunette, so she's getting a shirt printed that says "I Love Scientology" and in small print above it "Tom tells me:"

    In past years, I've gone as:
    • an 8-Ball (wore all black, shaved head, painted head black with bright white 8 on forehead. warning: you may look a little Al Jolson-ish)
    • A Tie-Fighter
    • A Fried Egg
    • A monk, complete with Tonsure

    posted by mcstayinskool at 3:27 PM on October 25, 2005

    I'm gonna wear something slutty looking (slip, fishnets, etc) and wear a nametag that says "Hello My Name Is: Your Mom".
    posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:52 PM on October 27, 2005 [3 favorites]

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