/ Xeni Jardin / 1 pm Tue, Oct 30 2012
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  • Open thread: your DIY Hallowe'en costumes?

    Open thread: your DIY Hallowe'en costumes?

    Each year here at Boing Boing, we invite you, dear readers, to share your plans for fun home-made costumes. So what's it gonna be? Frankenstorm Sandy? A Mars Rover? Honey Boo Boo? Do tell, in the comments. Each year here at Boing Boing, we invite you, dear readers, to share your plans for fun home-made costumes. So what's it gonna be for you (and/or your children) in 2012? Frankenstorm Sandy? A Mars Rover? Honey Boo Boo? Do tell, in the comments.

    [UPDATE: You guys, sorry, but Disqus is not behaving well today with image uploads. If you leave a comment with a photo of your costume here, and the image doesn't show, consider sharing it via a third-party image hosting site link?]

    Photo: "Day of the Dead," shared in the BB Flickr pool by Chris Wilson. Make-up by Gretchen Wilson. Hair by Chaunah Macewicz.

    / / COMMENTS

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    1. My 22-month-old is seriously into finding Waldo, so Halloween was easy this year. I knitted him a hat and painted stripes on a t-shirt. Add in some novelty glasses, and, well, can you find him?

      1. Sorry to be a party pooper but it should probably be attached closer to your mouth since it’s actually a tooth.

    2. Continuing my childish tradition of dirty words and puns, I was a Camel Toe (Tow). Previous years, I’ve been a golden shower, a chocolate starfish, and a teabag (which you can easily make by folding a white sheet or with white fabric).

    3. Here’s a work-in-progress shot of the Animal costume I’m making for my 8-year-old. I just finished the oversized drumsticks and the spiky wristbands today.

      1. …and here’s my other son’s Golden Age Cap (store-bought jumpsuit, modded Quidditch goggles and helmet liner, custom shield) and my scratch-built SAMCRO cut.

        (I’m lucky Halloween comes but once a year or I’d never get anything done!)

        1. The Captain America costume is awesome. The SAMCRO one looks good, but you should be careful where you wear it. Real bikers don’t appreciate SOA “cuts”.

          Again, the Cap costume is really great!

          1. Hmm. Good point. I wore it to the bank before, and that was pretty fun — I never had such attentive service! — but for tonight I may bust out this favorite from years past…

            I call it “BREWBACCA,” and yes, that’s a full 12-pack of Silver Bullets in the bandolier (the only acceptable excuse in my book for ever buying Coors Light).


      2. This brought tears to my eyes!  My Mom made me an awesome animal costume when I was about nine!  The head is terrific!

        1. That is fantastic. Thank you for sharing. :) I think it’s the fond memories I have of both of my grandmothers working so hard to make my childhood costume visions come true that keeps me saying Yes to every crazy scheme my own kids can come up with.

    4. My friends and I made costumes from Avatar, the last Airbender: the cabbage vendor, The Boulder, fire-nation Katara, and grown-up toph. They came out great!

      1. I love this so much I cannot even tell you how much. This is awesome beyond belief. Especially that you included that cabbage dude!

    5. I went to a party over the weekend as a plastic wrapped Dexter victim :D It was a big hit! I won the Scariest Costume award LOL 

      Here’s a photo I took looking down at my costume, in the car on the way to the party. It kind of looked like a grim party dress. It was also ridiculously CHEAP 

      i am building a Steve from Minecraft costume for my 11 year old son. Also Cheap but a PITA to make :

        1. That’s great to hear, thanks!  Two sturdy pieces of cardboard in a book bag strap harness for the t-shirt, kinda just lucked out that the make-up was the same shade of red.

    6. This year I am going as Seymour from ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and yes indeed I made Audrey II as well!

    7. In the past I’ve spent the entire day at work as a werewolf, Uncle Fester, Rorschach from The Watchmen, a gargoyle, an Andorian, Detective Columbo, Harpo Marx, Seymour Krelboin and a homemade Audrey Jr., and Mad-Eye Moody.

      This year I’m skipping Halloween. It’s probably just as well. Nothing I’ve done matches up to the rest of y’all.

    8. I’m going to be a Pantone chip–3135, to be exact. Since I’m a graphic designer I think this is going to be a big hit at the office :P

    9. My son is going as a Haz Mat guy.  Or maybe the Lego Haz Mat guy.  It’s sort of ambiguious.  

      1. The plunger is nicely repurposed.  Is that an uncovered paint roller for the other appendange?

        1.  If I’m not mistaken, an uncovered paint roller was exactly what was originally used to make that arm… 

      2. Thank you everyone!  Yes, that is an uncovered paint roller and the plunger is actually a cheap funnel with some PVC pipe.  The head is a trash can lid and most of the rest is cardboard and paper mache.

    10. I made this mask earlier in the year and used it for a zombie walk in Montreal recently. It is partially based on my cat, but with an undead zombie twist.
      More photos here: http://www.ianlangohr.com/masks/jean-paul-of-the-dead-zombie-cat-2012/

      Making of video here: http://youtu.be/AXtgtgsJa8Q

      1. Hey Ian! (Celeste the mini-mask-maker from the Faire here) Knowing first-hand how comfy your masks are, I bet it kept you nice and warm if Montreal’s Zombie Walk was as nippy as Ottawa’s. That cat’s just awesome!

        1. Celeste! The walk was mild, but the mask did make it slightly warmer. Glad to have met you and Jacob at the Faire. I have some pics up on Picasa: https://picasaweb.google.com/113576612736791660127/OttawaMinMakerFaire2012

          There’s a lot of you two in there. 

      1. I would Like every single picture post in this thread, but then I would run out of Likes, and then if BoingBoing did an article about Obama on a Unicron trampling Hurricane Sandy I’d be all out.

        1. Obama riding Unicron would be *awesome,* and I mean that in the best 11-year-old boy kind of way. 

    11. Futurama Fry. Fry is one of my favorite all time characters from one of m favorite all time shows. Also, I’m a huge meme-nerd. I had several NOT SURE IFs to flip through throughout the night, including NOT SURE IF LEGITIMATE RAPE SHUTS THAT WHOLE THING DOWN OR NOT. Although I didn’t snap a photo of the one.

    12. Me and about 30 of my cronies are hitting the Portsmouth (NH) Halloween Parade this year as the Gotham City Rockers – all hand made interpretations of Denis Medri’s Rockabilly Batman concept drawings. Link to the process I used to make my Leather Batman Cowl here:  http://imgur.com/a/vWxGU#7

    13. My son as a HazMat guy.  Mostly my Mom’s excellent work, although the backpack (a repurposed large candy tin) blows dry ice steam triggered from a button on the hose.  The fan in his facemask is operational, too.

    14. We’re working Haunted Fox Hollow (http://hauntedfoxhollow.com) again, so our darling new baby girl is joining us in the pirate cove during the “light scares” hour. So far, she’s done great. She’s more giggles than Y’arrr, but we cheerfully tell the guests that she’ll learn to swab the deck or she’ll end up in the pirate’s stew. When the little kids see that she isn’t the least bit scared, it helps them get their courage back. 

    15. My favourite family costume that I saw a couple of years ago was the Bee Family. All wore bee costumes, except for the larva in the stroller. Dad wore a toolbelt, Mum wore a tiara.

      My own best was The Wicker Man, complete with hidden tape loop of Edward Woodward yelling, “Oh God! Oh Jesus Christ!”

    16.  I was thinking of just doing a single bitemark, on a not usually visible location, and then I can roll up my sleeve and say I’m a guy bitten by a zombie who’s obviously a goner but hasn’t quite turned yet.  

      But I might go even lazier and just use the old “a serial killer… they look just like everybody else”/”Mystique, shapechanged into me.”/”alien in disguise as a human being.”

    17. Just in time for the election…. Spider Jerusalem takes on Seattle…
      Not many people have gotten it, but it has been worth it for the couple of people here and there who lose their shit when they see me. Thankful for a bald guy with tattoos costume, since im already there. Homemade glasses and bowel disruptor ftw.

    18. Porcupine made with a trench coat that I screwed in PVC caps to, and then made quills that attached to those from diagonoally cut and painted PVC pipe.  Its great at crowded parties.

      Wind up wife and daughter.  Wind up keys made from PVC center pipe and ABS key cut on laser cutter.

    19. My plan was to be a Robot Chicken puppet but I only got as far as creating the changeable “mouth” that they use on the show. 

      I’ve got a cardboard “backing” hanging off of eyeglass frames with three differently designed “mouths” held up with velcro. I would have preferred some kind of electronic display for the mouth (would have made it much cooler) but couldn’t imagine walking around with an iPad or cellphone strapped in front of my mouth.

      I wanted to design some kind of wrist and elbow “coverings” to make it look like my joints were joined by a metal dowel or something but not sure how to make that look right.Oh, BTW, I’m an actual Robot Chicken puppet as well. Won the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have an RC puppet head carved in my likeness.”I’ll” be appearing sometime this season. Check it out a pic of the carved head at facebook dot com [slash] LorenKlingOfficialPage.

    20. Mine really isn’t that fancy, but the stars aligned and gave me a week of time to work on props. I was Marshall Lee from adventure time, and decided to make his axe-bass instead of just painting a 2d cutout. The results aren’t amazing, but they’re more than I planned to do, and very DIY. I went with my friend who was Fionna. We got a lot of compliments :)

    21. This year I have become Fish-Man! The idea was inspired by the fish-man character, Toby, in the show Ugly Americans.  I think the idea of a fish wearing pants is pretty hilarious, and luckily the costume turned out to be as funny as I hoped it would.  I’ve already worn it out on the bus and train home from work and it made quite a few smiles all
      around :)  The head is chicken wire, screen door mesh, paper mache, foam and fabric.  I also had to special order some very large pants which I velcroed to the fish head.  I’ll be walking in the 16th Annual Halloween on Halsted Parade this Wednesday in Chicago at 7pm CST.  Hope to see you Chicago readers there– Happy Halloween!

      video of fish-man in action: http://youtu.be/sTJeUmcbjOk

    22. My first zipper face attempt, originally for my wife’s all hallows scream roller derby bout.

    23. At my son’s grade-school Halloween party, I was surprised to see a couple kids dressed as cathode tube style TVs which aren’t even made anymore, are they? and could barely be knowable to most of the young-uns these days, right?

      A couple of the parents went as The Princess and Pee-Wee (ha ha!)

    24. Before: slinking about as an alien swamp thing. After: Zita the Spacegirl conquers swamp thing.  (fixed cropped photo)

      1. You’re the second person who’s had that happen with the photo. I wonder what’s up with that.

        1. I uploaded a reasonably sized JPEG (both in pixel dimensions and kilobytes). I was surprised to see half the image load.  Nothing odd happened during the straighforward upload process. I see other posts with larger horizontal and vertical dimensions than my image. Did you see any FAQs about file recommendations/limitations in Disqus?

          1.  just happened to me too, both pictures disappeared, so did April Demetria’s pic. Saw the thumbnail, responded, then both my pic and her thumbnail poofed.

    25. I made a “queen of carrot flowers” (the lady from the cover of the nmh album “in the aeroplane over the sea”) – kind of obscure, but i’ve always loved that image and thought it was sufficiently creepy for halloween, even if you weren’t familiar with the album cover (and it was!). and the people who did know the album cover LOVED it.

    26. Last minute idea: centaur+tourist= centaurist. Centourist?

      And as much as I wish I could claim internet fame, I was not running around shirtless in DC during Hurricane Sandy :)

    27. We’ve made masks again this year. My husband Jacob is a plague doctor: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GDVuhpFWyqk/UJCGlU2aFKI/AAAAAAAAAfA/9yhX18V1m3A/s1600/PlagueDoc2.png

      I’m a spider (ironically, my least favourite animal but I loved working on the mask!): http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5N9GnpuxhKY/UJCIW6CBE0I/AAAAAAAAAgI/Ll1YYmPKrIo/s1600/Spider5.png

      More pics and a bit of info on how they were made here: http://celesteagnes.blogspot.ca/2012/10/halloween-costumes.html

    28. My 5 year old twins as ewoks complete with clubs and spears made from melted plastic bottles and their 7 year old brother as a jawa thanks to all the outstanding tutorials out there on the internet (my first time soldering – it worked!).  The ewoks needed someone to chase them, so I’m an ATST with functioning guns shooting marshmallows and gum balls inspired by this summer’s Make magazine.  A picture doesn’t really to it justice. Here’s some dark video, I’ll catch some video in daylight tonight: http://youtu.be/tMq0Yx0g3Qw

      1. Here’s some more that I put up on Google +.  https://plus.google.com/u/0/103785063394356290256/posts

    29. My Ursula costume that was a huge hit at the party I went to.

      My favorite part is the tentacles. They’re a separate skirt from the dress under it to make it easier to get in my car. Also, while not very visible, there are clean suction cups glued to the underside of each tentacle. 

      1.  dude, I need to ask you a favor.  replicate little Larry’s homework and put it in a ziplock.  just carry it around in your pocket until, especially in the presence of a group, a friend introduces you to someone new.  To your friend, say “Oh, no ma’am, we didn’t mean to give the impression that we were police.”  To the new guy, pull out the bag and keep repeating “is this your homework, Larry?”

        you must do this.  try to get a friend to video and post a link.  please.

    30. My daughter rolled her own Tardis dress!

      [This image might be clipped. Check out the photo in my reply.]

    31. Ever see Karate Kid?  I spray-chromed some PVC that I bent using hot water.  I won 2nd place at the party last weekend!

    32. My youngest with her best friend (since they were babies).  The friend’s hair has darkened now, but she was a tow-head blonde for the longest time, and our families have often affectionately referred to the girls as “Salt & Pepper”.  This year, they decided they wanted to make it literal.

      The tops are chef’s toques with sprinkle holes cut out and then spray-painted silver; the bottoms are cloth, wire, and elastic.  (This picture was taken before the armholes were cut or the S & P sewed into place.)

      Really, an easy costume to make.  Much easier than the Mai from Avatar: The Last Airbender costume I had to make one year!

      Edit: Per Xeni’s request, here’s the imgur link: http://i.imgur.com/qYlqD.jpg

        1. It was funny how many adults started singing whenever they passed the girls last night.  Of course, we also had an adult dressed in a well-made binder (and yes, there were lots of pictures of women on the pages inside) so our group got a lot of attention in general.

    33. Lots of Day of the Dead this year.  Here’s my take on La Catrina (some smudging may have occurred on the dance floor…)

    34. I was Little Edie Beale over the weekend, but if I wasn’t laid up with a sinus infection, I’d be scaring the kiddie (and Stormtroopers) tonight with this…

    35. My boyfriend went to our halloween party as the first man of the Night’s Watch to be killed by an Other in the opening chapter of Game of Thrones (Ser Waymar Royce for those who were interested). 

    36. My son (3) designed “Dinosaur Fighter Truck”. I bulit it out of cardboard and dollar store stuff. There is a cage in the back with a bunch of dinos.

    37. Guys, I’m so sorry that Disqus (our commenting platform) sucks such a huge bag of dicks, but maybe use imgur or something else if your pix fail to load?  We’re missing a lot of your wonderfulness, please forgive our reliance on a third-party service over which we have no control.

    38. I made robot costumes for my 4yo and 6yo boys.  Built-in robot voice changer (cannibalized toy), a grid of LEDs with a couple of different behaviors (arduino), an accelerometer-based robot walking sound (also arduino), and a walking light.  Front and top of the torso are edged with el wire.


    39. My 7-year old son learned to solder for this one–he’s going as Mars, with the Curiosity Rover as his head. We had to learn to code a Parallax Stamp (an Arduino-style microprocessor) and used an ultrasonic sensor atop a servo as the laser/camera. It scans back and forth, and when it detects something within a couple of feet, lights up a ton of LEDs off a relay. This thing almost failed in a number of ways, but finally worked last night…

      My 4-year old daughter wanted to be a robot butterfly. You can’t tell in the photo, but her antennae LEDs change colors, and the side LEDs are black light, with the wings painted with UV paint that glows brilliantly in the dark.

      And… it’s going to be raining steadily tonight. I fear it’s bad karma to sit in California after Sandy and complain of rain, but these are the least waterproof costumes ever made. Sigh.



      1. I feel your pain.  Cardboard box + arduino + 5 separate power systems.  I’m thinking about integrating an umbrella holder.

        Your 7yo learning to solder for his halloween costume is awesome!  Looks like a really fun project.

    40. My little brother and I made steampunk costumes! His was not modeled after anything in particular, but I was going for a “Girl Genius” look (http://www.girlgeniusonline.com). We didn’t have time to do as much detail as we wanted, but they came out pretty nicely! He has continued to modify his accessories so he can use the costume in the future, and in addition has acquired a bowler hat…we agreed a top hat would be better, but it still helps complete the look!

      EDIT: Can’t get the image to upload, so here is an imgur link, per Xeni’s comment above! http://i.imgur.com/eeCIa.jpg

    41. I built my Promethea costume from chipboard, hot glue, fabric scraps, ribbon, paint and safety pins. To me, it’s not a costume unless you made it yourself as economically as possible.

    42. I was the Flying Spaghetti Monster! (I was kind of lazy on Saturday night, so I just put my hair up.) Work with what you got, right?

    43. Image here: https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/247709_10151133503592913_674812511_n.jpg

    44. My friends Randy and Natasha are a couple of kick-ass graphic designers in Nashville. They take the halowe’en costume thing seriously – very seriously.

      Last year Randy and his daughter went out in a combo “Busker Monkey with Organ-Grinding Dad” costume (see image attached).

      You can see the reveal for this year’s costume here: http://www.forwaverly.com/reveal/

      You won’t be disappointed!


    45. My DIY costume is Russell from “UP”.  I created the badges using felt furniture pads and adhesive transparencies.  I made a custom badge with my work logo and distributed candy for my team in prescription bottles (i work in pharmacy benefits).

    46. My boyfriend and I have dressed up as the couple from Juno. The baby and umbilical cord thrown in to try and make it a bit more spooky. Lots of people have informed me that they are offended.

    47. Ocean inspired – this home-made fascinator has koosh ball anemones, sea shells and netting. Plus it lights up, unlike real anemones (that I know of). It was a lot of fun to make and still demands respect in the workplace. Maybe.

    48. I went as Darth Vader’s sexy counterpart (there was a helmet, but it was so damn hot and hard to see out of that I avoided wearing except in “action photos”). All the pieces were homemade with duct tape, cardboard, fabric, and hot glue. The base level has served me well as Selene from Underworld and Baroness from GI Joe. Recycled AND DIY!

    49. My son wanted to be the Lich King from WoW. There was much spray paint and foam involved. Oh, and EL-wire, so he and his sword can glow at night.

    50. despite her trepidation about it being potential “sacrilege,” my mom crafted an awesome “Ecce Mono” papier-mâché mask for me!

    51. T-rex piñata and militant piñata costumes

       My fiance and I made these for a charity bike ride, we had an amazing amount of smiles and comments. I’m wearing mine now answering the door for trick-or-treaters and letting them take a whack at me for their treats. Here is a link to more photos. http://imgur.com/a/YnP8P

    52. My wife was so excited to try out her costume on Saturday, and then perfect it for Halloween.  Hurricane Sandy decided that once was enough, I suppose.  The face is two separate foam pieces.  We ate at a buffet!  Great looks!

    53. Made my son a punk rock sheep – green yarn mohawk, sock ears with skull earring, checkered tie, and lots of cotton balls!

    54. My friends had a 50s party but I really wanted to be the TARDIS so… I made a TARDIS poodle skirt, complete with a K-9 “poodle! I sewed the skirt from a pattern I found online and stitched on a hand-drawn, felt K-9 and door sign. I also made myself a blue crinoline out of SIXTEEN YARDS of tulle. (Never again.) I hand-painted the bodice too. On the back of the skirt, I scrawled “BAD WOLF”, just for added effect. (links in case the pics don’t work: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dithie/8143272567/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/dithie/8143303930/

    55. My daughter wanted to be the Mad Hatter this year, so I made a Cheshire Cat costume out of an IKEA Rusig rocker and a whole lot of black duct tape.

    56. Pretty simple, but rather fun: Ghostbuster, with the added bonus that the photon pack can be used as a bag for holding your wallet and phone, plus halloween candy to hand out! 

    57. I’m a math teacher so I try to keep it nerdy with my Cow Pi costume, standing beside by Pumpkin Pi.

    58. My daughter loves animals and wanted to be a white Bengal Tiger (they are from India of course) so we made it complete with a bindi and a sari. I made the tiger costume, paws and ears from synthetic felt and hand stitched it all (I’m a bit kooky that way). The sari and nose I found second hand.

    59. My hero Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers. Let’s just say I’ll be touching a lot of butts this evening. 

    60. Our seven month old is trying to earn his geek cred… So he of course, had to go as the Doctor. Eleven, Fez included. Trousers & shirt off the rack. My lovely wife made the jacket, fez, bow tie & sonic screwdriver.

    61. Grunkle Stan from Gravity Falls, because I know you guys love it here. I didn’t sew the Jacket, obvz, but I made the tie and the hat and gussied up the face gear.

    62. My wife outfitted our 11-month-old son, Nico, as a tiny Michael Phelps. She carefully selected the 22 medals, matched to the proper corresponding Olympics color scheme (representing Athens, Beijing, and London). She made the cap, bought the micro bike shorts, and insured that our little boy had a truly memorable first Halloween. Plenty of suggestions for additional props came our way (goggles, Subway sandwich, contraband paraphernalia), but this was about as much as you could reasonably expect a proto-toddler to tolerate before autonomically inserting stuff into his mouth then hurling it onto the ground.

    63. Here’s my “Tim the Enchanter” ver 1.0. Usually it takes me a few years to build up the costume. 

    64. During a recent spate of creative energy I made Barriss Offee and Anakin Skywalker (on his way over to the dark side) costumes for my daughter and son.

    65. My friends threw a Halloween party with prizes for the best costumes (singles and couples). The invitation told us to “be creative” so I got friendly with a bunch of cardboard and my glue gun and made myself into GRIMLOCK.

    66. NES Control Pad. As one who was raised in the 80’s this was an exercise in nostalgia. Foam, fabric, duct tape, electrical tape, cardboard.

    67. My son really, REALLY wanted to be an outlet this year.  Padded white pleather sandwich-board style tunic with a knitted earwarmer from the dollar bin basted on to make a knit neck hole.  The outlets are made from craft foam and covered in glow in the dark duct tape, and spraymounted on, supplemented with double stick tape.

    68. My son and I went Steampunk this year.  He is Abraham Lincoln, Steampunk Vampire Hunter (not because of the book/movie – although that does make him more recognizable to his peers!)  I am his librarian/research assistant – the Giles to his Buffy, so to speak.  His flamethrower/holywater dispensing harness is made out of vintage fire exthinguishers,and my overskirt is made from my deconstructed, dyed wedding dress.
      More pictures here: http://smg.beta.photobucket.com/user/wasagooze/library/Halloween%202012

    69. My fellow and I went as two variations on creepy film characters: Sally (Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas) and Alex DeLarge (Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange). I found a cheap dress on ebay that I tailored and painted, traced some stitches onto tights with a sharpie, and went through almost three tubes of white makeup for the corpsey effect. The Fellow threw his together pretty well, too (I think)

    70. I outfit a trench coat and top hat with some sound reactive EL wire.

      Video of it flashing to the beat of the music:


    71. I was Mr. Rogers; I chose this because I could construct the outfit from clothes that I already had in my closet. 

      I look forward to living someplace where people actually trick-or-treat (we had one show up this year) and/or having a good party to go to, so that I can justify doing something more elaborate (not to mention that I look forward to having a job so I can afford to build something cool for a costume).

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