It’s that time of year again. You know, when your kids are clamoring for their annual dose of let’s-play-dress-up-and-solicit-the-neighbors-for-candy. Mom and Dad often spend time, energy and moola shopping to find the right cape and mask for their little superhero or even feeding fabric through the sewing machine to craft the perfect princess ball gown, leaving little opportunity to plan getups they like for themselves. While some parents could care less about sporting a wig and clown makeup, you and your sweetheart actually want to join the ranks of grown-up trick-or-treating enthusiasts. You think to yourself, “We’ve got a few minutes, some paint and spandex. What can we possibly do with that?” Behold 5 motifs:
1. Mimic characters from TV AND MOVIES with your existing wardrobe
Don and Betty Draper from Mad Men: For Don, have him sport his best suit and tie, dress shoes and side-slicked hair. For Betty, wear a fitted floral knee-length dress, red lipstick, pumps and pearls. Curl hair or pin it into a sleek up-do. A dapper duo, you’ll look like you stepped right out of 1950s New York suburbia!
Effie Trinket and Haymitch Abernathy from Hunger Games: Got a couple of wigs laying around? For Effie, sport a blonde short, curly wig or spray-paint it pink, pin a big, fake flower in it and wear a bright blouse with puffy sleeves. For Haymitch’s look, have him part his hair down the middle or sport a chin-length blonde wig and wear a bright colored (or dark) suit. Complete his look by carrying around a glass bottle. May the getups be ever in your favor!
2. Raid your recycling bin for ZANY getups
Google Maps Points: Cut two large rounded “points” out of red cardstock with a smaller hole in the center of each for faces. Label his A and hers B, or vice versa. For extra fun, use iron-on paper to print out various street names in an oversized font and adhere the words in criss-cross patterns to your shirts, or, easier yet, print two large-scale street maps on regular paper and tape one on each of your chests. It won’t be hard to “find” yourselves in these costumes!
Robot Lovers: Spray-paint cardboard boxes silver for your robots’ heads and bodies. Cut out square holes for eyes or faces. Use dryer hoses for arms. Tape it all together with duct tape. Fasten old cell phones or calculators to the bodices to look extra techy. Apply “buttons,” “switches” and write your new android names using bold paint. You two will be speaking robot before you can say, “Bwee bop de doo dwap!”
3. Create CLASSIC costumes using simple accessories from around the house
Bandit Couple: Don matching black-and-white striped shirts, black pants and shoes, and “bandit hats” (cut eyeholes into black beanies) or berets with masks. Add fun by toting around fake money bags (paint a contrasting $ on a stuffed fabric sack) or toy guns. Partners-in-crime never looked so good so fast!
Super Parents: Check your underwear drawer and old costume box for capes and spandex bodysuits or leggings. Make masks out of felt by cutting eye holes and fastening to heads with string. Cut simple block letters (M for mom and D for dad) out of paper or felt, and tape or glue to the back of the capes. You’ll be super in a flash!
4. Get SPOOKY with little effort
Modern Vampire and Victim: Use fangs from costumes past or purchase a pair from Walmart http://www.walmart.com/ip/Carded-Fantom-Bat-Fangs-Halloween-Accessory/26980908 and make fake blood using chocolate syrup and red food coloring (quick, easy tutorial here: http://www.howcast.com/videos/508348-How-to-Make-Fake-Blood-Special-FX-Makeup.) Throw on some everyday clothes that you don’t mind spilling a little “blood” on and voila! You and your love are ready for a “bite!”
Skeletons: Both wear all black. For “bones,” keep lines simple; you can paint them on your clothes or cut them out of felt and adhere to clothes or old black pillowcases with fabric glue. (Go here for a tutorial with printable templates: http://www.squawkfox.com/2012/10/27/halloween-costumes/.) Top off your spooky look by painting white “skull” faces with black “hollows” around eyes, noses and mouths. Costumes this good will make your observers think they’re looking through x-ray goggles!
5. Use face paint to go CONCEPTUAL
Pop Art People: If you’ve got a little time, paint and makeup, you can become the art of Liechtenstein or Andy Warhol. Use various colors of eyeliner and face paint to draw dots and strong accent lines on your faces and necks. Wear clothes with bright colors and polka dots. Spray hair yellow or blue if desired, or wear bright colored wigs. (Here’s an excellent how-to for the makeup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPtmVXfD9Oo.) Pow!
Silent Film Stars: To inspire yourselves for this getup, pull up an old Charlie Chaplin film on YouTube (like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L1cFwPVKLQ.) For him, a black suit, black tie and white dress shirt will do. Wear baggier pants to look more like Chaplin, and if you’ve got a bowler hat or fedora around you can really nail the look. Paint on or wear a fake black mustache. For her, wear a slim, knee-length black dress, black pantyhose and black T-strap pumps or Mary Janes. Accessorize with a fancy brooch and lacy headband. Paint both faces, necks and exposed skin gray so as to appear on film before the age of technicolor. You’ll be looking like Charlie and his leading lady before you know it!