Creating costumes on a college budget

Transforming a basic dress into a gameboy is one idea for a Halloween costume. Creative and inexpensive are two main things college students consider when picking out their costumes.

By Natia Katsantonis

When it comes to Halloween costumes, anything goes. Perhaps you have no qualms about dressing up as the same thing every year — you know who you are — or maybe you find comfort in convenient pre-packaged getups that can be purchased at your local supplier.

But this year, why not try to stray away from the typical costumes? Why not surprise yourself and your friends by making your own costume? It does not matter if you are incapable of stringing thread through a needle, or if the thought of entering a craft store makes you want to cry. Creating a one-of-a-kind costume using what you already own is easier than it looks.

Owning a pair of shorts creates a thousand costume opportunities. How about throwing on a cropped tank, sweat bands and leg warmers to transform yourself into an ’80s aerobics instructor? Or put on some boots and a plaid shirt and go as a farmer. Attach a tail and put on a printed top to go as a popular animal.

Own pajamas? Team up with a group of friends and go as a pajama party, though make sure not to forget the gossip magazines and pillows. Or simply wear pajamas to a party, and when someone asks what you are, reply with “tired.” Going even further into the nighttime theme, gather together a bathrobe and a set of curlers to create a ’50s sitcom wife at bedtime.

Need more ideas? Run home and find a tablecloth. It can be made into a toga, used as a superhero cape — remember that you can make yourself into any kind of superhero, not just the famous ones — or two holes can be poked into it to create a ghost.

The tablecloth can also double as a Christmas caroler costume if it is red or green. If it is red and white-checkered, it can easily double as a picnic table, complete with glued on packages of various picnic foods. Ants can even be added by cutting out tiny dots from black construction paper.

Another creative costume is grabbing a Snuggie or sewing a bunch of ShamWows onto a T-shirt and being “as seen on TV.”

How about wearing trendy clothes and dousing them in fake blood or costume makeup to be a zombie teenager? Or dress up in garb to represent any decade’s teen. A leather jacket, rolled up jeans and Chuck Taylors are all you need to be a funky greaser, while the same outfit can be completely transformed into a punk with the addition of ripped jeans — just do not forget the pink hair.

A group can dress up as the characters from Friends or those from Family Matters, though any show will do.

Friends can even be months of the year, as long as it is a group of 12. Each person can wear a white T-shirt with the name of a month on it while also wearing things that are associated with that month. For example, October can wear a witch’s hat and glue fake leaves onto his or her shirt. July can wear flip flops, sunglasses and American flag shorts.

With enough creativity, any Halloween costume can be achieved this year. All you need is imagination, patience and a backup plan just in case things do not work out.

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