Hunt through your closets for old clothes you might be able to use. That old shirt you never wear anymore can get cut up for a vest, hood, or sash. That old skirt can be made into a cape.

Rip that chiffon layer off your old prom or bridesmaid dress and use it to make a harem girl costume. And old sheets are great for more than just ghost costumes.

Hey, Scarlett O’Hara made a drop-dead dress from some curtains, so keep an open mind! You can always dye things to make them the color you need.

Items like belts, hats, or even old boots can be spray-painted for a new look. And don’t forget to surf the web for images of your costume character to help spark your creativity.


If the costume is for an adult, you can piece together items with staples and/or masking tape. (Well, they only need to last one night!)

Just turn everything inside out, staple along the seams, and cover the staples with masking tape. Hemming can be done with just tape (hide a couple of staples along the seams if you can, to make it stronger).


An easy way to make a skeleton – use all white clothes and then put on electrical tape to form the bones. Or use all black clothes with white cloth medical tape.

You can use tape to make stripes on clothes for a prison uniform, or to put stripes down the sides of pants legs for police uniform, etc.

The beauty of this technique is that the tape comes off and you don’t have to destroy anything to make your costume.


Leather look: black trash bags over something padded

Metal items: cardboard covered with aluminum foil

Poor man’s bald wig: cut up some pantyhose and stretch it over your hair

Five o’clock shadow: burn a piece of cork and rub on your face… or create stubble
by using coffee or tea grounds stuck on with eyelash adhesive

Facial hair: cut some fur off an old stuffed animal and apply over eyelash adhesive

Ghoulish skin: for skin that actually peels and falls off, use any type of peel-off facial mask, found in most drug stores.


Apply base make-up all over face and neck. “Scrunch” up your face first to emphasize your “natural” wrinkles, and apply make-up that is lighter than your natural skin-tone (work on a small area at a time for best results).

Then “de-scrunch” and fill in the creases using a soft brown eye-liner pencil. Create sunken cheeks by darkening the cheek hollows.

Emphasize the creases around your nose, and darken along your jaw line. Create crows feet by your eyes. Pucker up your lips to create wrinkles around your mouth. Add liver spots, broken capillaries, etc.

Blend everything with a make-up sponge. If you use make-up with a small amount of yellow added, you’ll get a more realistic look. Use the same techniques on your hands for more realism.

When you are all done, powder all over with baby powder to set make-up and give a dry skin appearance. You can also use baby powder to make your hair look gray.


Take some light corn syrup and add a lot of red food coloring until it looks about right. Then add blue food coloring a drop or two at a time to make the color closer to real blood (a little green might help too). If you mix in some peanut butter, the blood will be less likely to stain.


It’s possible to make homemade scar “stuff,” but it’s much easier to purchase a Halloween scar kit from your local store – they only cost a few bucks and they work fine.

Be creative to make the scars look as ugly as possible. Throw in some dry oatmeal to add a gross texture. Be sure to mix in lots of fake blood. To make burn scars add something black (burn a piece of cork, or use wadded-up pieces of a wet magazine page).


Take a pair of pantyhose and cut off both legs. Use a sewing machine or glue gun to make a seam all the way up the middle of each leg (don’t make the seam very even).

Cut off unneeded halves and turn the others inside out. Fill with cotton or cut up cotton cloth. Twist at random places and make a few stitches to make them look more realistic. Soak in fake blood and let them hang from torn shirt or zombie costume!


Get a band-aid about the size of the boil you want. Then, dip some tissue (toilet paper works best) into a mixture of PVA glue and water, and form it onto the band-aid. Make a groove by pushing a pencil about halfway into the tissue.

Wait for it to dry and cut around the hardened glue and tissue. Peel the backing of the band-aid off and place it in the desired location. Use makeup to blend it onto your skin.
Submitted by John Simon


Find a good tree branch to use for the handle (a little crooked works best). Take some straw (pine needles can also be used) and tie it into many small bundles using strong thread or string.

Tie each bundle as tight as possible. Then begin attaching the bundles around the bottom of the branch, tying them one or two at a time, winding the string around, and then adding more.

When you get to the last bundle, wrap the string around that one and tie it off tight.

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