Make last-minute costumes out of materials from your craft closet.
The best costumes often emerge from last-minute, flat-out panic. Over the years, I’ve transformed myself into a glow-in-the-dark constellation, the Brawny man (from the paper towel ads), a Solid Gold dancer, Roy G. Biv and many other oddball characters. All in probably an hour or less.
The key to pulling off a last minute costume is a deep dive into my craft stash, and the ability to see ho-hum materials in a new light. And then the confidence (or stupidity, you be the judge) to believe in your last-minute creation.
Of course, the most important ingredient is your imagination. But it doesn’t hurt to know your way around supplies that lend themselves to being glued, cut and assembled without much fuss. Here are my go-to’s in that category:
The fact that felt comes in a dizzying rainbow of colors, is widely available, cheap, and doesn’t need to be hemmed makes it a go-to in my book. Cut it, sculpt it, glue gun it — felt can take a beating and stand up to kids, pets and adults alike.
2. Pipe Cleaners
Whiskers, ears, oversized jewelry — and so much more — can all be made in seconds flat with pipe cleaners. Or use them to perk up costumes that require shaping (animal ears in particular, such as kitten or bunny ears). Simply insert pipe cleaners into felt or paper to keep the shape, or twist onto headbands to create quick features. Also, don’t forget the decorating options for hostess gifts. Twist orange and black pipe cleaners together and then bend them into a heart, a candy corn, a broom — you get the idea.
Like most self-respecting Californians, I am eager to recycle all the cardboard that comes through our door. But this time of year, I try and hang onto some, because sometimes all you can muster up is a painted cardboard costume. My childhood Halloweens were spent inside a cardboard box — I was a refrigerator, a gas pump, a box of animal crackers. Sometimes you just should stick with the classics, and there is nothing more classic than a painted cardboard box with a hole cut for your head and arms.
Above all else, relish in the fact that Halloween is perhaps the best night of the whole year to look absurd, no matter what materials you use.