Some Halloween Costume Thoughts

I was idly flipping through the internet and found a bunch of Halloween costume ideas from Martha Stewart. I thought they would be kind of uninteresting or cliché – a housewife from the fifties, complete with apron and pink foam curlers, a witch with a jagged hem, a ghost made from a sheet (of course a nice sheet). But some of them are quite interesting, although I would change the back stories of at least one of these creations.

This one is a dead bride, or rather the ghost of a bride. Called the Gray Lady, she is meant to be someone who pined away and died of a broken heart after she was jilted. But what if we rewrite her history so that he was Bluebeard, killed her on their wedding night and then she returned and tortured him until he died? (It's okay to be bloodthirsty, in the spirit of the season.) This costume mostly calls for lace, tulle, ribbons and makeup that will make the recipient look dead.

If you've got a fancy hat and want to be known as the headless horsewoman who regained her head, you should give this costume a look. The hat link in the article doesn't work anymore but hats are not so hard to find. Maybe you'll even locate one that already has an ostrich feather. The materials are similar to the Gray Lady, but with a more varied makeup pallet.

This solar system based family costume is cute but I'm not sure how practical it is. It might be good for one of those costume contests where you create a tableau, but it would be awkward to go trick or treating while wearing it. It consists of a moon, a ringed planet, stars and a comet.

Aficionados of jellyfish, bubble wrap and cellophane will be in heaven with this jellyfish costume, which also features a clear plastic umbrella. This one is no sew but it does require a hot glue gun and the nerve to use it.

Continuing the umbrella theme we have this adorable bat costume, featuring wings made from umbrellas. Beyond the obvious ingredient you also need some ribbon, hot glue, safety pins, and pliers. No good costume is finished without some pliers.

If you want a decoration to go with the costume take a look at this weirdly creepy umbrella bat. Maybe it would look less like a mutant spider if something else replaced the faux fur.

This link is to a video that shows how to make an alien costume with a big helmet made of what looks like Styrofoam cups. It also has a belt with a light in the middle. It looks more superhero than alien to me, but I guess alienness is in the eye of the beholder. The costume in the video is being made for a child but it seems as though it would scale up to adult fairly easily.

This next one explains how to make a combo spider costume for mother and baby. Black yarn on a white skirt, or vise versa, makes the web while black men's socks are the foundation for baby's spider legs.

This super simple bird watching costume is just the ticket for anyone short on time, who happens to have sensible clothes, a good hat and binoculars. It could probably be ready in oh, a minute and a half.

My favorite quote of the day comes from a set of instructions on how to create terrific looking mummy makeup; “A simple way to create ancient skin is to use ingredients from your kitchen.” Mmmmm. Someone in the comments points out that the mummy looks as though it could easily burst into flames, so avoid smoking. I made a similar costume for my middle son when he was two but I used elastic bandages and gauze. He got a ton of compliments.

The following link says it's for a lamb, but it's actually instructions on how make a very cute goldfish costume for a baby. In the accompanying image the baby is in a big pot, and looks as though it's about to boiled alive. Yikes.

The hardest part of this beekeeper costume is assembling the headgear, which uses tulle and bees. As someone points out in the comments, you can also make the bees yourself,if you have the time and the inclination.

Next week maybe we'll take a look at some decorations as we count down to the best holiday of all.

Bonus Treat:
This week's bonus treat is an XKCD that looks at a very common, puzzling problem; in particular mindsets about messy rooms.