Halloween is on its way, and it’s time to get your costume ready. Maybe you’ve been writing down your ideas for months, or you have a Pinterest board with the best ideas stashed away. If you’re reading this, though, chances are you’re running out of ideas and need a quick costume. There’s no need to shell out for an expensive, pre-packaged costume, though — get some gaffer tape, evaluate your existing wardrobe (maybe schedule a quick trip to the mall), and try one of these ideas below!
Whether you need a last-minute, low-effort do it yourself costume or you’re into elaborate and crafty looks, you’ll be able to show up to the party and fit right in.
Low effort, last-minute costumes:
Tape something to yourself.
Turn into a vending machine for the night and tape a bunch of empty soda cans to yourself, or be a generous candy bowl and tape some candy to your clothes. Give it away throughout the night, and who knows? Maybe you’ll make a new friend. Make sure you pick a tape with an extra strong adhesive so that it can hold the added weight of whatever you decide to tape something to yourself.
Make a pattern on a shirt.
From skeletons to Charlie Brown, there’s a ton of different costumes you can make just by cutting some strips of tape and taping them to a t-shirt. Check out this video about some amazing costumes – they might be for kids, but any adult could use these ideas as well. While the tape will stick to a shirt easily, the adhesive works best when the shirt is clean and dry.
Go as your favorite emoji.
Take some yellow tape and adhere it to a mask — or a cardboard circle — and put your favorite expression on it! Whether you over-use the heart eye emoji or you’re into the cat that’s crying laughing, you’ll be able to wear your normal clothes and get into the Halloween spirit. That’s a win-win.
Make a pattern and grab some accessories.
Gaffer tape comes in a wide range of colors, so if you can’t find a yellow shirt and black tape, use a black shirt and yellow tape and go as a bumblebee. You’ll probably need a pit stop at the craft store or the mall to get the wings and antennae. The stripe pattern is also handy for other quick costumes like going as Waldo of Where’s Waldo fame.
Go as your favorite video game.
Throw it back to the eighties, cut out squares of different colors and turn a t-shirt into a Tetris screen. See here for a tutorial. Or, go with something a little more recent and use the squares to create something out of Minecraft.
Conceal your identity.
Make a mosaic of pink, taupe and brown tape squares to create a ‘pixelated’ effect. Put this on a mask or a sheet of cardboard and pretend you’re keeping your identity a secret. This one could be re-purposed in a variety of ways, so make sure that you’re dressing for your audience appropriately.
Use tape instead of foil to toughen up parts of your costume.
More of a tip than a full costume, but tape can reinforce those costumes that take a little more effort. For everything from medieval knights to the Tin Man himself, reflective tape will last longer throughout the night compared to easily torn aluminum foil. It’s also lighter weight that most real metal accessories, so consider taping up clothes and accessories instead of fashioning them out of whatever you have lying around the house.
Tape a full dress or shirt.
Instead of just doing the front, go one step further and tape up your whole shirt. Or, get a tube top or dress and tape it all up. Popular costumes that work well for this include crayons, beverage cans, and candy packages. This is an especially popular option with group costumes as it doesn’t require a lot of effort to coordinate, but it can take time to make sure that every costume is completed to the same degree of effort.
Make some witchy shoes.
These require a little more than just tape. Make your own witch shoes by extending existing shoes with tape, then covering the new shape and painting. This principle could be applied to other costumes that require certain shoes for a distinctive look, like clowns. It’s best to do this on a pair of old and/or cheap shoes, as it’s hard to predict what your shoes will look like after they’ve been used for crafts.
It’s a good idea to have tape lying around for any quick fixes or fitting adjustments. Certain types of tape, like gaffer tape, is heavy duty enough for sound stages and productions, so it’ll definitely stand up to whatever you throw at it this Halloween. Other types, like reflective, are also a good idea to keep around to keep everyone safe at night. Halloween is one of the busiest nights in many neighborhoods, with drivers and groups large and small, all competing for space. Make sure that you’ll be able to be seen no matter the conditions.