News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

A loofah and rubber duckies add an extra touch to this easy-to-make bubble bath costume. And if you have Mr. Bubble pajama pants like Elizabeth Hammon did, you’re halfway there.
Daily photo by Brennen Smith
A loofah and rubber duckies add an extra touch to this easy-to-make bubble bath costume. And if you have Mr. Bubble pajama pants like Elizabeth Hammon did, you’re halfway there.

Tick...tick...tick... or treat
As witching hour approaches, the mad scramble is on for last-minute costumes — it’s not too late for a cheap, creative outfit

By Danielle Komis Palmer · 340-2447

An invitation to a Halloween party is in your pocket, begging you to revel in the night of darkness and bewitching.

But your closet?


And your bank account funds?

Practically nonexistent.

But before you eye the trash bin in the back alley and seriously consider rifling through it and dressing up as a trash pile, take a deep breath. Back away from the Dumpster.

Many clever costume ideas are still floating around out there — ones you could throw together quickly and inexpensively.

Read on for these unconventional ideas that will salvage your Halloween.

‘Dead Tired’

For this costume, throw on your pajamas, paint your eyes black and wear a tag that says “DOA” ... and voila! One amusing Halloween costume that no one else will have.

You’ll need: Pajamas, black makeup or face paint, paper, markers.

Bonus: Isn’t it obvious? You get to wear your jammies!

Bubble Bath

What’s fluffy, pink and full of hot air? This festive costume is not only eye-catching, but can also make for tons of fun with static electricity.

You’ll Need: 30 round white or pink balloons, 30 safety pins, pink sweat suit or other clothes, one barrette. If you want to sit down, though, 15 balloons will work well for just the front.

Attach the knotted tips of the inflated balloons with safety pins to the sweat suit or leotard and tights. Attach more balloons to a barrette (a ribbon will work, too) with safety pins for the headpiece. We also used a hot glue gun to add shredded party bag ribbon in an iridescent pink to achieve the shimmery look of bubbles.

Bonus: You can close the evening with a bang. Don’t forget to bring a pin so partygoers can join the fun.

California Raisin

Remember these classic ’80s characters? Their smooth singing and dancing stole everyone’s hearts (though how the shriveled grapes achieved that is still sort of a mystery).

You’ll need: One large, brown garbage bag, black sunglasses, black tights, a microphone and the ability to croon “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” which you will undoubtedly be required to sing at various intervals throughout the evening. (Search YouTube for “California Raisin” to refresh your memory on their jammin’ moves.)

Bonus: Wearing a puffy garbage bag all night means you can load up on Rice Krispy treats, candy corn and popcorn without straining the spandex of an annoying leotard-and-tights costume. Don’t be surprised if you catch Tinkerbell or Superman eyeing you jealously as you stuff your raisin face.

Facebook Wall

A clever costume that will definitely bring laughs from partygoers and maybe looks of confusion from the “I’m-too-good-for-social-networking-sites” crowd that uses their snobbery as a way to cover up their ignorance about the sites. Not to worry. You will enlighten these poor, out-of-touch souls.

You’ll need: Large poster board, markers.

Bonus: If you don’t know a bunch of people at the party, you’ll have a great icebreaker. But remember; be friendly — not forceful. Nix the “Hey, you in the ridiculous duck costume! Write on my wall, pronto!” And watch out for partygoers’ inappropriate pokes.

Sanjaya: ‘American Idol’ Semi-star

Sanjaya Malakar “American Idol” finalist
Sanjaya Malakar
“American Idol” finalist
This popular Idol finalist was better known for his oft-changing hair than his singing, though he did move one audience member to tears every time he performed. But rather than tears, you’ll likely only get smiles and laughs from people who get that you’re poking fun at the wannabe pop idol.

You’ll Need: Major pony-hawk (using small rubber bands, make small ponytails all along the center line of your head, working from front to back), trendy outfit (think tight, patterned T-shirts, faded jeans, layers), eyebrow pencil, giant belt, multiple necklaces.

Bonus: Here’s your one chance to legitimately sport that Mohawk you’ve dreamed of since the rebel hairstyle hit the scene in the 1980s.

God’s Gift to Women

This costume is guaranteed
a laugh, and maybe even some phone numbers, too (as long as you manage not to come across too conceited). To achieve the look, simply wrap yourself up like a present using romantic wrapping paper. Then, attach a large bow and a tag that says “From: God. To: Women.”

You’ll Need: Wrapping paper, bow, paper, markers.

Bonus: If you’re broke in December, too, then you’ve already got something to give — yourself! Have a backup present ready, too, though, on the off chance that your loved one is not amused or impressed by your generous offering.

The Modern Milkman

It will require more effort to drink a glass of milk than it will to put together this no-brainer costume. With some white face paint streaked onto your upper lip as a milk moustache and a T-shirt with “Got milk?” written on it, you have successfully transformed into the latest star of the popular milk campaign.

You’ll need: Plain T-shirt, thick marker, white face paint.

Bonus: This low-maintenance costume won’t hinder your spectacular moves, so you can hit the dance floor and pop, lock and drop it with the best of ’em.

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