26 October 2012

MacGyver a Halloween Costume: 7 Easy to Assemble Costumes Using Common Closet Items

It’s the Friday before Halloween and you STILL haven’t decided on a costume for that awesome party this Saturday. You’ve considered your options: 1. Go as yourself. 2. Go as your identical twin. 3. Transport yourself to an era when irony is in.

If only you had followed through with the incredible '90s cartoon costume you thought up a month ago! It’s too late now—not only do you lack the crafting skills necessary to build a Hey Arnold football head, you also don’t want to spend $50+ on a costume that's only wearable for one night. Ah, the good old days when parents bought the costumes—hey, weren’t you Arnold that year, too?

Don’t worry! We’ve compiled this list of 5 easy to assemble Halloween costumes for the busy, practical New Yorker. Though they require varying levels of commitment, they all cost under $20.

1. MacGyver

That’s right—we had to. MacGyver is a surefire costume because it’s cheap AND hysterical. Wear a blue shirt and a tan leather jacket with jeans or khakis. You may have to purchase a dirty blonde wig and do some hair styling to make sure you get the classic '80s ‘do.

As for props, carry around some paper clips and offer to save people from impending doom with scotch tape and pens! Because MacGyver is just an “ordinary” due, this costume should be pretty cheap—and it’s guaranteed to garner a few laugh!

2. Binder of Women

Impress your friends with your political knowledge by being a binder full of women this Halloween! Take advantage of the internet meme created in the second presidential debate by throwing together a cheap and easy costume that’s ALSO very clever.

Simply buy or repurpose an old binder by cutting it in half. Poke holes in the top of each half and thread with string to create straps—kind of like a sandwich board! Label the front of the binder with the phrase “Binder of Women.”

WARNING: This costume may cause your political friend to try and engage you in debate. Avoid by laughing into your drink.

3.  Dead Business Person

A surefire way to be creepy and thrifty on Halloween is by throwing the word “dead” in front of almost any noun. A dead business person is especially easy because you probably have everything you need in  your closet.

Dress up in your least favorite work outfit (in case of stains). Use some red lipstick to draw blood coming out of your nose, ears, or cut on your neck. Use black eyeliner to create deep bags under your eyes and to create gashes by outline spots of blood with the eye liner. For added effect, use some baby powder to give your face the bloodless hue of the dead!

4. Greek God/Goddess
For a classical look, dress up as a Greek deity! Those Greeks knew how to party, and you’re sure to revive any gruesome Halloween party with your fresh and fun duds. If you’ve got one, throw on a white dress. If you don’t, buy cheap white sheets from a local home goods store to create a toga. Although toga tying is difficult, we trust you’ll figure it out (and here’s a guide that can help).

After you’ve got your white toga/dress on, dress up your eyes in black or gold eye liner for that otherworldly look. Go to the dollar store and pick up some fake vines or greenery to shape into a crown. Also, cut out a lightning bolt shape from a cardboard box and color in with gold paint or crayon!

5. A Crayon

Get back to your kindergarten roots by being a crayon this Halloween! It’s clever and easy, making it the perfect costume option. To decide which color you’ll be, scan your wardrobe to see if you have any bottoms and tops that are the same color. If you’re like me, that means you’ll be a red/orange crayon for Halloween.

Next run to an arts and crafts store and buy six sheets of paper near the color of your outfit. If you can’t find matching paper color, use white computer paper and color in the paper with the real version of the crayon you’re mimicking. Using a black crayon or marker, create your crayon label. Staple all of the paper together to create a crayon wrapper—you may have to ask a friend to put the final staples in. It’s so easy to make even a five year old could do it!


If you feel like splurging, go out and buy a look off the runway! Your costume can be "Vera Wang Model," and you get to wear the outfit for the rest of the season!

And there you have it! Five easy and cheap (and one not so cheap) ideas to make sure you don’t show up as “Facebook” for the third year in a row. Have a happy Halloween!

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