Homemade Halloween

We are in the throes of costume preparation at Frugal. Spooky Victorian? Check. Day of the Dead? Check. Big ’80s? Check. ’70s prom? Checkity check. In fact, the Courier Post just ran an article about DIY costumes featuring yours truly 🙂

Here is my list of the easiest costumes to thrift and create at home:
1. Jedi. Layers of earth tone shirts and light pants with a belt or two. Crisscross some laces or twine up the lower legs. Done. Light saber optional.
2. Frida Kahlo. Brightly flowered dress, flowers at the crown of your head, eyeliner pencil uni-brow. Done.
3. Zombie. Any theme, any period. Rip the clothes, green-tint the skin, dark-circle the eyes. Done.
4. Sleepy kid. Pajamas, robe, teddy bear. Done.
5. Secret Service. Suit, tie, glasses, ear wire. Done. Lose the ear wire, instant Blues Brothers.
6. Mummy. Wear white, partially wrap strips of white sheet around your limbs and torso, white face makeup, dark eyes. Done.
7. Seasonal Fairy. Frilly layers, crown of leaves, flowers, or snowflakes; glue a bit of crown material to the end of a stick for a wand; bend wire hangers into wing shape and pull hosiery legs over the frames. Done.
8. Elderly Man/Woman. Button shirt and cardigan or house dress, sensible shoes, powdered hair, eyeliner wrinkle lines, glasses. Done.
9. MineCraft. Painted cardboard box head, t-shirt, jeans. Done.
10. Scarecrow: Jeans, plaid shirt, straw hat, straw, eyeliner stitched face. Done.

It’s a great journey to leaf (or scroll) through photos of Halloweens past. Making costumes created memories of collaborating, as well as memories of the day itself. It fosters family time and creative thinking. I have purchased a couple of costumes when my boys really preferred the store ones, but overall, it’s been one unique look after another. So much fun.

Willy Wonka. All thrifted in the women’s department. A world of pure imagination…

You Shall Not Pass! Gandalf the Grey. Leggings, wig tied under his chin, spray painted witch hat, drapey women’s tops, staff. Done.

Duck Face concept costume. Ski mask, rubber ducks. Done.

Baby Jaguar and Diego. Go! Diego, Go!

Baby Jaguar and Diego.
Go! Diego, Go!

David Byrne of the Talking Heads. Super-sized suit and a curtain rod. Done.

David Byrne of the Talking Heads. Super-sized suit and a curtain rod. Done.

King of the Road. A sharpie, a cone, eyeliner treads, and his toys. Done.

King of the Road. A sharpie, a cone, eyeliner treads, and his toys. Done.

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The Ugly Christmas Sweater: Real Talk

The Ugly Christmas Sweater parties have reached every corner of everywhere. The sweaters are available at every corner of retail. It’s mainstream, sure, but theme parties are fun, and I have this to say: Go all in.

You can get a moderately Christmas-y, pretty unattractive sweater. You can. You can show up at the party and barely qualify to be there. But you can also go out in the thrift world (specifically, Frugal) and score the big winner. Throw some extra ornaments and battery lights on that sucker and be the damn party.

In-house Frugal creations and their all-in owners

In-house Frugal creations and their all-in owners

At Frugal, we learned a couple of years ago that we couldn’t meet the ugly sweater demand through donations alone, so we started our workshop. We gather Christmas baubles and bits throughout the year and sew and hot glue them all over some of our plain sweaters. They are hilarious and hideous, and they fly out the door.

The Contest Winner. The back lights up.

The Contest Winner. The back lights up.

This party philosophy carries through to any theme party or holiday. You will always have more fun if you go over the top. If you have to dress for any theme or time period, you have to go a couple of steps beyond the authentic dress of the time to qualify as constume-y. Push it. It’s more fun.