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How to Create Your Own Halloween Costume

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/8/2006 | Kids & Teens

In the weeks before Halloween arrives, many people will be checking out the pre-made costumes that can be purchased at any number of retail stores, and on the Internet. However, if you truly want a costume that is unique and will not look like any of the other little goblins in your neighborhood, there is only one way to go: make your costume yourself.

When preparing to make your own costume, one of the first places to check out is your own closet. Old clothing that has gone out of style can be the inspiration for this year's Halloween costume. As an example, do you have an old double-breasted suit with small pin stripes? Then you are well on your way to putting together a credible 1930's gangster look. Pair it with a dark shirt, flashy tie, fedora and a Tommy gun from a toy store and you are all set. 

Moving on from the closet, take a look in the attic. If you don't have one of your own, then ask to check out the treasures in an attic belonging to a friend or a relative. Vintage clothing there can allow you to recreate everything from a 1940's movie star to a Fifties beatnik or a Sixties hippie. 

If you are not sure about being able to tear or alter the clothing you find in the closet or tucked away in an attic, then hit some of the local thrift stores. You can pick up articles of clothing for very little expense, and then you can rip out sleeves or add fake blood to your heart's content.

Sweatsuits can be the foundation for a simple costume. Purchase the shirt and pants in the same color and decorate them with super hero emblems and add a cape. As an alternative, buy gray sweats and match them up with a space helmet and gloves for an easy astronaut outfit.

Even if you want to go for something as simple as a ghost outfit, consider doing something slightly more elaborate than the old white sheet with two eyeholes. As an example, create a two piece outfit by making a skirt with an elastic waistband out of one sheet; use a separate sheet to create a poncho. A pillowcase can be used to make the face piece. This type of ghost outfit leaves the arms with greater mobility, assures the bottom of the costume will not be tripped over, and makes it easier to draw a credible nose and mouth on the front of the mask.

Some people are very creative and may consider sewing their own Halloween costume. If you fall into this category, then the best place to begin your search for the perfect costume is at your local fabric store. There you will find hundreds of patterns to choose from, covering everything from the very sophisticated to the completely outrageous. 

Whatever you want to be at Halloween, there is a way to create your own costume. With a little time and creativity, you can come up with something that will be a big hit, whether the goal is trick or treating around the neighborhood or attending a costume party.