As Seen on TODAY: 5 Creative Halloween Costumes
Every year the challenge becomes harder and harder – making a costume that will win first prize at the office party and have all of your friends talking for weeks. Want to learn how to make the best ones? Amy E. Goodman shows you how:
Planes Flight Crew
Supplies: Cardboard boxes, Exacto knife packaging tape, white spray paint, computer print outs, Scotch Expressions tape, foil, velcro, hot glue gun.
How to Do It:
Rusty is made out of essentially cardboard boxes I got from the grocery store, stuck together with shipping tape and cut out carefully with an Exacto knife. Then I painted all over with white spray paint. While the paint was drying, I used leftover box flaps to create the wings, which I added to the body of the plane with hot glue from a glue gun. For the orange, instead of having to carefully tape up the box to then paint it another color, I used Scotch Expressions orange masking tape, which is super-easy to work with.
For the nose, I used a styrofoam cone with its tip cut off, wrapped in foil, which I glued to propellers that I cut out from cardboard, and similarly covered in foil. This I applied to the front of the plane with Velcro, so that I could place the propeller at an angle to look more realistic.
To get your dog involved as a passenger on the plane, get his/her argyle sweater and bow tie at Target (available in various sizes for different breeds). Simply print out a boarding pass, glue to cardboard to make more sturdy and secure to the sweater with double-sided fashion tape.
Hot tip: Select boxes that not only fit the proportions of your child but that are as smooth as possible. Any place on the box where tape has been removed will appear rough when sprayed with spray paint.
Supplies: Bandanas, jeans, camouflage and wigs, of course.
How to Do It:
I picked up the hat, wig and vest sets, at BuyCostumes.com for $23.99, which are key for pulling off the look. (I got Cash’s vest I got for $1 at a dollar store.) Just grab a bull horn, a plastic cup and some duck calls and you’re good to go.
Hot tip: again if you don’t own camo, call upon friends, and you’ll be surprised how much they have to offer!
Lil’ Pop & Lil’ Pea
Supplies: What you’ll need for this costume: felt, white glue, a hot glue gun, sharp fabric scissors, fashion tape, baby hat (use a knitted or cotton cap from your arsenal of baby hats that you don’t mind sacrificing that’s a touch big), popcorn or peanuts.
How to Do It:
1. Pick up pre-cut, perfectly sized felt (9″ x 12″) for .34 cents each at the fabric store. Cut each long side off slightly at an angle to make the felt look like a bag. (For the popcorn bag, cut a scalloped edge at the top; for the peanut bag and angled edge.)
2. Using a pencil, trace out an oval using paper and then use this as a stencil to make an oval shape on your felt. Cut oval out. Fold your oval felt in two and use scissors to cut a 1/4″ or so oval outline.
3. With remaining felt, trace letters that spell out “popcorn.” I eyeballed it, but you can chose any fun “font” to inspire you. Cut out the white stripes that run the length of your peanut bag as well. Lay all out on your felt for proper spacing before gluing.
4. Glue down using white glue, and allow to dry.
5. Pop some popcorn, and warn the kids that this time it’s not for snack!
6. Stuff baby cap with small towels until it is rounded, as if a baby’s head were in it. Warm up you hot glue gun.
7. Affix popcorn to cap using hot glue.
Once everything is cooled and dry, with baby in baby carrier, you attach your Lil’ Pop felt bag using double-stick fashion tape. The steps are the same for Lil’ Pea. Keep in mind that peanuts in the shell are quite heavy, so I affixed just to the front and sides of the cap. If you child has nut allergies, feel free to substitute packing peanuts for real ones!
Please make sure that all popcorn and peanuts are securely glued to the cap to avoid a choking hazard. This costume is meant for a young infant who would not yet be able to grab and grasp things off of his/her hat.
Hot tip: When you’re gluing the hat, stuff it with a towel or two, for it to retain the hat’s round shape.
Raining Cats & Dogs
Supplies: Clear dome umbrella, pencil, construction paper, scissors, glue stick, ribbon.
How to Do It:
Grab an umbrella—the clear dome style works best for this costume or you can use a regular umbrella as well (the child would just need to hold up the umbrella higher). Cut out a cat and dog silhouette, have a tracing and cutting party with your kids. I glued the silhouettes onto ribbon and tied it to the spokes of the umbrella, leaving one or two spokes empty so you could see the child’s face. Have the kids wear the rain gear they already own, a rain coat and boots and ta-da!
Hot tip: If your child’s rain coat is a dark color, do you silhouettes in a light color; if the coat is a light color opt for dark colored construction paper.
Supplies: A basic, black commuter umbrella, wire cutters, scissors, hot glue gun, safety pins, fashion tape, black construction paper, stapler.
How to Do It:
1. Unscrew the top cap from the top of the umbrella.
2. Using a wrench or small wire cutters find the two “twisty tie” wires that attach the handle to the umbrella.
3. Delicately untwist each, and unthread the wire from the spines of the umbrella. This releases the handle from the umbrella skirt. In my hand in picture three, you can see that I’ve removed the twisty tie wire. You do this twice.
4. This is what the umbrella spines look like when they are being unthreaded from the twisty tie wire.
5. This is the umbrella skirt minus the handle. Cut from the edge of the skirt to the middle to now make it look like a cape. (Not pictured.)
6. Use wire cutters to remove various parts of each spine (that’s what I call each metal wire, with numerous wires coming off of it) until you’ve pared it down to the main spine. These will be the “veins” of your bat wings.
7. Secure each spine down with a dollop of hot glue on to the umbrella skirt to keep the now loose spines from poking you in the back and keeping the “shape” of your bat wing.
8. Lie down your black hoodie in the middle of your umbrella skirt. Use safety pins to secure wings to hoodie, up the inside of the back and inside sleeves. Use double sided fashion tape to secure any loose flaps.
9. Cut pointy ears out of black construction paper. Staple on towards back of hood with a regular stapler. If you like further support to hold up ears, use black electric tape and secure edge of ear to hoodie.
Hot tip: If you’re making this for a child, you may find that the span of the wings is too wide. I cut off 1-2 spines and accompanying umbrella skirt to make the overall wing span smaller.