Halloween Costumes Made Easy

This costume was sort of the opposite of cheap and fast.

This costume was sort of the opposite of cheap and fast.

Here’s a piece we ran last year. Since these ideas are all long-established characters, the post hasn’t gone out of fashion.

Halloween is our favorite holiday, even in those years when we can’t afford to drop a lot of money on costumes and decor items or don’t have time to create elaborate pieces. In the 28 years we’ve been married, we’ve done costumes that took a lot of time and money (the Rocketeer, for example), and costumes we pulled together the day before the party from stuff we had around the house. Over the next week, we’re going to tell you about a whole lot of different costume ideas you may be able to use, broken down into categories based largely on what to start with.

Today’s theme is “thrift store costumes,” so you can go prowl the Salvation Army or Goodwill over the next few days. You may already have some of the makings for a costume, or you may just need to find a simple item or two. How about…

Nancy Drew
Find the preppiest skirt and sweater combo you can and add a magnifying glass.

A great family costume in basic black, and appropriate for the season.

A great family costume in basic black, and appropriate for the season.

Wednesday Addams
Basic black & white. A straight black or gray dress with white cuffs & collar, black or gray tights, black Mary Jane shoes. Braid your hair into two pigtails (or buy one of those horribly racist and stereotypical “indian maiden” wigs). The whole Addams family makes for a great family costume from the thrift store. If you find a great garment in the wrong color, remember there is such a thing as black dye.

The Invisible Man (or Woman)
Find a trenchcoat and gloves. Wrap your head in bandages, throw on sunglasses and a hat.

Where’s Waldo?
Look for a red and white striped long sleeve shirt (a rugby jersey is perfect), blue pants, glasses, beanie.

Calvin and Hobbes
Find a red t-shirt and black shorts. Using a yardstick and a sharpie, draw horizontal black stripes on the shirt. Add a stuffed tiger from the thrift store’s toy section. Or, for a couple’s costume, find an orange hoodie and sweatpants; cut a stencil from cardboard and spray-paint black stripes on it. If you’re handy with a needle & thread, add ears and a tail.

Another great group costume (dog optional).

Another great group costume (dog optional).

The Scooby Gang (recruit your friends!)
Velma: Orange turtleneck, red pleated skirt, orange knee socks, glasses

Shaggy: Olive green t-shirt, brown pants (ideally bell-bottoms), don’t shave

Daphne: purple dress, green scarf, purple headband, red hair/wig

Freddy: blue shirt, white sweater (or white shirt w/blue collar), blue pants, red neckerchief, blond hair

futuramaFuturama (again, recruit your friends!)
Philip J. Fry: Simplicity itself: white t-shirt, blue jeans, red jacket. Comb and spray your hair up into points (Next year you can wear the same costume and be James Dean!)

Leela: White tank top, black pants, boots, and a purple wig. If you want to get ambitious, you can use craft foam sheets to make her wrist gadget. Buy a standard Halloween mask and paint a big eye in the center.

Professor Farnsworth: Green scrubs, lab coat, glasses and old age make-up (or just being old; ask Grandpa to come to the party!)

Amy Wong: Pink sweatshirt and pants, cropped to calf-length and bare midriff

Zoidberg: Green scrubs and really ambitious makeup (I’d start with a baldy cap and a rubber glove)

Hermes: Olive green suit, yellow-green shirt, glasses

Zapp Brannigan: Red shirt (add yellow-gold epaulets to shoulders), black belt, white cowboy boots, no pants.

Bender: You know that talented show-off friend who can make anything? Let him figure out how to make a Bender costume. I can’t do everything for you.

Peanuts_Characters-1024x662The Peanuts Gang (once more, friends!)
Charlie Brown: Mustard yellow shirt, black shorts. Paint a black zig-zag stripe on the shirt. Also, Charlie Brown isn’t really bald; he’s got blond hair cut really short with a bit left long in front, a popular hairstyle for kids in the early ’50s when the strip started. So don’t shave your head.

Lucy: Blue dress with short sleeves. Matching hair ribbon, saddle shoes with blue socks.

Linus: Pretty much the same as Calvin, only use a blue t-shirt. Add a blue blanket.

Schroeder: Same as Linus, only a green shirt and a toy piano.

Pig Pen: Mucky brown-green shirt and shorts (or overalls, if you can find them); grubby them up with stains and add dirt make-up.

Sally: Same as Lucy, only in pink.

Peppermint Patty: Green or purple striped shirt (vertical stripes if you’re lucky), black shorts, sandals.

Marcie: Standard Peanuts wardrobe, this time with a yellow/orange/golden shirt and black skirt or shorts. Add glasses.

Snoopy. White sweats with hood. Paint black spot on back, add red dog collar. Get a white baseball cap and attach black felt ears to the sides, a black pom-pom nose at the front of the brim, and googly eyes.

We’ll be back with more ideas on Monday. Enjoy your shopping!




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