If you’ve ever bought a packaged Halloween costume at a store, you know first-hand that it’s usually not worth spending of all that money. It’s like buying a bridal gown: it’s something you’ll only wear once (unless you decided to reuse your gown as a zombie bride costume) and pay a lot of money for (granted, not as much for a costume as a gown, but you get my point). Making your own costume is often much cheaper and it adds a fun creative element, which will instill a sense of pride in your costume that money can’t buy. Besides, college students need every way possibly to save money.
Consider these options and tweak as you see fit:
1. Cardboard Armor
Whether you want to look like a roman centurion, a transformer, or a knight of the round table, you can always make some sweet armor out of cardboard. Get some scissors and some glue, plan out your costume design either by following an online template or freehand, and then get to work! It’s a classic college costume design that saves money and recycles leftover cardboard! Be sure to throw your costume in a recycling bin afterwards too.
2. Thrift Stores
Goodwill, Savers, the Salvation Army… Any and all thrift stores are great options to find cheap clothing that you can alter to look like a costume. One year I dressed up as Charlie Sheen’s character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I found a leather jacket at a local thrift shop as well as some ratty jeans that I could tear up to look like a greaser. In total, it cost me $8 – a steal compared to a store bought greaser costume which can cost upwards of $40! All I needed after that was to style my hair and get some makeup for exaggerated effect; which brings me to my next point…
Yes, you can even do your own makeup without having to buy actual monster makeup. Now if you’re female, chances are you have some sort of experience with this. However, I am male and therefore have no idea about the world of makeup. So I asked my one of my female friends to do it for me! She did such good work that I was questioned by a police officer as I was on my way to my friend’s apartment that night. The point is: it’s still DIY even if you ask for help and you don’t need to buy anything marketed as a ‘Halloween product’ to have a killer costume.
4. Turn to Pop Culture for Ideas
If you still don’t know what to dress up as, a good bet is to parody something in the media. Some examples include but are not limited to: Donald Trump’s hair, a Californian Astronaut going to Mars in search of water. Or Mad Scientist Bernie Sanders. Group costumes are always great too with a bunch of friends: Power Rangers, a flock of penguins, hair metal band, etc.