Halloween DIY: my tips and costume greats

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pumpkin carving is a covid-safe activity too! David menidrey via Unsplash

making a costume is the perfect socially distanced activity

October has been a complete blur. It felt as though yesterday we were attending our first Zoom lectures of the year, and now Halloween is almost upon us. While I sit hunched over my computer, I realize I have not done as many things as I usually do during the Halloween season. Is COVID-19 entirely to blame? No — in fact, it’s the post-secondary workload that has kept me stuck in my room for most of the fall season. I have watched a few Halloween movies and put up a few decorations, but I haven’t gotten into the “spooky groove” like I usually do. 

For example, on any other year, my dorm would have been decked out with the latest decorations by now, and I probably would have made a trip home to help my mom finish up decorating as well. I would have been to a corn maze and a pumpkin patch, and probably hit up a few haunted houses. Most importantly, I would have made my Halloween costume by this point. 

Making my Halloween costume is one of the few times in a year I can showcase my creativity. Over the past few years, I have really gone hard to make sure my costumes were legendary. Dressing up is my favorite part of Halloween; it’s an especially excellent activity because many Halloween festivities have been canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Despite having Halloween from home this year, you can still make your costume and enjoy yourself. In that spirit, here are some of the characters I have dressed up as in previous years to get your creative juices flowing.

All of the following costumes were made by me. One of my best friends, Griffin, would routinely dress up alongside me, adding to the flavor of our costume dynamic. Our first-ever collaboration was inspired by a trip to the Western Development Museum in North Battleford for the “Those Were the Days” fair. Watching the steam engine conductors completely wowed me, and living in a train town, it was easy to access costume supplies.  A train conductor costume was easily accessible from items from Value Village and borrowing from neighbours:

The next year I continued the dynamic costume duo with Griffin. We dressed as the characters Mr. Fredrickson and Russell from the movie Up. After scavenging Value Village and Fabric Land, I had enough items to create the outfit’s base. I then printed the iconic “Wilderness Explorer” logo and badges from the movie, and pinned them on. We even completed the look with helium balloons for a nice final touch. That year, I won my high school costume competition as well as making an appearance in Saskatoon’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show” costume competition. Unfortunately, we were automatically disqualified for not dressing up as a Rocky Horror character. 

By far, though, the best costume I have ever pulled off was my Green Army Man costume from “Toy Story.” Once again, I tromped around Value Village, picking out perfect cargo attire, then spray painting everything green. It took a whopping four cans of spray paint to complete the look, and there is still a green fog on my garage floor from missing the newspaper. I finished the look by painting my face and neck green, and trust me, the words of Oscar the Grouch (“It isn’t Easy Being Green”) only speak the truth. I have never been more excited to go home and shower in my life. The photo shows the result of my work as a Green Army man, featuring Griffin as Buzz Lightyear.

Finally, my costume last year was inspired after many years of watching “The Simpsons.” Fictional beer mascot Duffman, a true hero and icon of the series, seemed like an excellent fit for my first year of University. After donning a blue outfit, painting the “Duff Beer” logo on a hat, shirt, and beer koozies, I was ready to rip. My white boot covers and red towel for a cape very nicely accented the look. 

Many Halloween events have been canceled due to a rising number of COVID cases in Saskatchewan. So while buying a box costume is perfectly fine, making your own costume this Halloween might be a new, enjoyable, and perfectly socially distanced activity to do. It could advance your sewing skills, or maybe motivate you to buy a glue gun to keep on crafting. Regardless of what else is going on outside, you can still stay in the spirit of Halloween by hanging out in your costume for the day.

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