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The Best Homemade Halloween Costumes

By: Caley Walsh

No one ever wins a Halloween costume contest with a purchased costume, no matter how intricate. Homemade Halloween costumes are simply superior. Those winning homemade Halloween costumes demonstrate superior creativity, crafting skill and most of all, effort. The costume can even be quite simple, as long as the idea is clever. Homemade Halloween costumes based on puns score extra points.

I entered into my first Halloween costume contest at the age of five, alongside my two sisters. We were dressed as crayons thanks to a touch of craftiness from our mother. To make the homemade Halloween costumes, she measured around our bodies, cut out tubes of felt and affixed Velcro at the back. The tubes covered from chest to feet with short and simple suspenders sewn onto the felt. Crayon point hats were created with the help of a cardboard triangle glued into a funnel shape and covered with felt. Black felt supplied the “Crayola” and squiggles at each end.

The brilliant thing about our homemade Halloween costumes is that they were so easy to make but looked quite adorable (if I do say so myself). The felt tubes were quick to toss on over coordinating clothes and were quite comfortable, important requirements for impatient trick-or-treaters.  Requiring only felt, Velcro, scissors and glue, they were also cheap for Mom. Any kid or adult could immediately identify our costume, which indulged such a pinnacle kid favorite. While we did not win the costume contest that year, we still have these homemade Halloween costumes made so many years ago.

Those crayons will always be first in my heart, but I have seen many great homemade Halloween costumes over the years. Groups of people seem to be a contributing factor in great homemade Halloween costumes. A group of costumed people creating a Halloween theme together just compounds the cute, just like with puppies. One year, a group of my friends dressed as Tetris pieces that actually fit together. A series of cardboard boxes and paint provided all the materials. Painting and assembling those boxes might have been more fun than the Halloween party we wore them.

Another year in college, we decided on a rather dark yet nerdy Halloween party theme, Dead Authors. With such a specific topic, homemade Halloween costumes were absolutely essential. We had a prize for the best costume, a collapsible ping-pong table made out of scrap wood salvaged by my engineer roommate. Extra points were given to dead author costumes incorporating how the authors died. The best and winning costume was Sylvia Plath who constructed an oven around her head with a clear, swinging door and knobs. I dressed as Virginia Woolf, filling my cardigan pockets with rocks.

Sure, our dead author homemade Halloween costumes were dark, perhaps even a touch disrespectful, but they were also funny. They commemorated the darker side of these authorial geniuses. More importantly, they were creative and encouraged everyone to make something with their hands. For students accustomed to reading and writing all day long, the homemade Halloween costumes were strangely therapeutic.


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