A Very DIY Halloween: Tips and Tricks

By Tori Stukins

Man, Halloween has really changed between the years of elementary school and college.  I don’t just mean the fact that costumes have gotten more risqué with age–how we view a costume and what we use it for has also undergone a certain evolution.

For instance, we used to rush out with our parents to the nearest store and buy up costumes based on the latest animated feature.  Back then, we didn’t care if we were all Ariel or Darth Vader because we were in it together, and we looked awesome!  These days, if anyone of us is caught dead with the same costume as someone else, we sulk home and plan for another year in our sadness over being thought of as “uncreative.”  Don’t even get me started on the pressures of looking attractive for Halloween or couple costumes.

In the past couple of years, Do-It-Yourself (or DIY) Halloween costumes have swept Pinterest and other social media sites.  Goodwill and Ragstock have become safe havens for those who want to create their own costume.  Everyone is out to become the next viral image with their very own costume that they thought of and designed themselves.

Well, ladies and ghouls, I’m here to help you along in your Halloween quest with helpful hints and encouragements on the path to make your own costume.

Same Costume

Courtesy Of: Teen Nick

1. Research several looks for the person/thing you are trying to emulate.

When it comes to making your own costume of, say, Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, do not limit yourself to one outfit he may have worn in the movie.  If you are trying to be a certain character, there are usually several different looks you can choose from!  I often go through pages of pictures before I find the right one that I want to base my costume off of.  It also makes shopping easier and doesn’t limit you to one particular look.

Thrifted Marty

Courtesy Of: Meatball Candy

2. Secondhand stores and the “basic clothing pieces” departments are now your best friends.

Goodwill is a godsend for people who want to do an authentic looking DIY Halloween piece.  Getting too many new expensive things will just make a costume look tacky and can often be uncomfortable.  Plus, secondhand pieces give your costume a specific feel that only you can bring to it.  It’s completely something you created then!  Also, stores like Forever 21 and Ragstock have nice, plain clothing pieces to give your outfit layers and the right style.

Courtesy Of: Hannah Posted

3. Know how to budget when creating your costume.

I know this sounds odd, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve nearly broken my tiny bank on trying to bring a costume together.  There is typically always a cheaper alternative.  You don’t have to have the perfect sweater or colored shirt.  My current costume that I’m working on calls for a rainbow theme, but a rainbow colored skirt would be upwards of thirty bucks.  Definitely not worth the money for something I will probably wear once.  If you intend to wear a piece of your costume more than once then I, by all means, spend the extra cash on it!

 Shark Week

Courtesy Of: Coolest Homemade Costumes

4. When in doubt, go for the group costume!

If you’re afraid your costume won’t be recognizable or that it will be too hard, get some friends together for an ensemble costume!  It will take off a lot of stress of putting it together if you have several people doing the same thing.  Plus, you will feel less self-conscious on Halloween when you’re traveling in a group of people.  There is strength in numbers!

Everything Is Okay

Courtesy Of: Know Your Meme

5. Most importantly, RELAX. It’s just a costume.

As someone who has cried tears of frustration far too many times over costumes, I can tell you that it’s not worth it.  Take a deep breath.  If something that is supposed to bring you joy is causing that many negative feelings in you, it’s wise to simply drop it and move on.  No one will care, and I mean that in the nicest way possible.  Halloween is about being goofy and having fun with everyone no matter how great your costume is.  Charlie Brown didn’t let his ghost costume get him down (too much) and neither should you!

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