Halloween on a budget: DIY costumes for lazy people

Love making stuff, or hate spending money on costumes? Check out our guide to making Halloween costumes...the lazy way!

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The Independent Online

Halloween is almost upon us, and for most university students, it’s the first opportunity of the year to really let your hair down. We’re all about saving money and time, and there’s no better way to save money than to go DIY – and very very simple – with your fancy dress clobber. You won’t win any prizes but at least you won’t feel left out.

Simple Jack-o-Lantern

  1. Grab an orange shirt and some black paper – or black electrical tape
  2. Cut out triangles for the eyes and nose
  3. Cut out a jagged smile
  4. Assemble into a face and attach to a t shirt – if you’ve used paper, attach with either double-sided tape or pins
  5. To make the costume better, you might want to buy an oversized t shirt and plump up a bit. Buy some padding from a craft store and glue or sew that into the inside. Alternatively, if you don’t mind being a little two dimensional, you can tape a bowl to your front and back

Toga Up

This is versatile and can be used as the basis for many different costumes or themes

  1. Don’t use a sheet if you can avoid it – buy four or five feet of material from your nearest craft store
  2. Fold in half widthways so it can fit around your middle but the length is kept
  3. Wrap it round your waist 1.5 times (at least! – if you think you might need more, then buy a bit more) and then throw it over your shoulder
  4. You may want to pin the toga so that it stays in place
  5. Accessorise with swords, shields, vine-leaf headbands, golden belts, etc. Your accessories will really make the costume, more than the toga itself

Where’s Wally (or Wanda)

Super simple. All you need:

  1. Red and white horizontally striped long-sleeved t shirt or jumper
  2. Black rimmed round glasses
  3. Red and white woolly hat
  4. Blue denim jeans
  5. Wooden cane with a curved handle
  6. A tendency to get lost in large crowds

If you can’t find the stripy things you want, why not get a red t shirt and bobble hat, and try using white tape to make the white stripes?

For the even less committed or time-constrained, there are some simple additions to any outfit:

Devil horns

  1. Roll lightweight air-drying clay into cones and curl the tops with your hands, ensuring the cone bottoms are flat
  2. Let the clay dry according to instructions
  3. If the clay is white, paint with black or red acrylic paint

OPTIONAL: Coat one side of each horn with craft glue and apply glitter generously. Repeat for the other side. Once dry, attach horns to a headband with glue

Bat Headband

  1. Find a bat-shaped template online
  2. Fold two pieces of black paper in half and trace half of the template on the paper
  3. Cut out the shape, and you should have two bats
  4. With black craft wire, poke a hole into the centre of one bat, and hold the end of the wire
  5. Glue the second bat on top, ensuring that the wire is sandwiched in between
  6. Wrap the opposite end of the wire around a headband to secure it
  7. Repeat for as many bats as you want

Spider shades

  1. Grab an inexpensive pair of round, black-rimmed sunglasses
  2. Trace a spider web pattern onto the front of one lens with Tippex or a white-tipped pen. If you’re not feeling confident in your painting abilities, make a spider web template and tape it on the inside before you do it
  3. Let it dry and repeat for the other lens
  4. For legs, use pipe cleaners. Trim the fuzz on both ends so that they both come to a point
  5. Cut each pipe cleaner in half
  6. Attach the halves to the back of the frames with hot glue, being careful to leave enough room around the hinges for the glasses to open normally
  7. Bend the pipe cleaners to resemble spider legs