Halloween’s coming up which means that stores are full of racks of cheap, synthetic costumes (possibly to be worn only once and then disposed of the day after the party.) Holidays have become so commercialized, being more about what can be sold than about the holiday itself. Consumerism creates a lot of waste, not only the costumes & decorations themselves but also all of the plastic packaging that they come in. So this year, consider doing a DIY costume: they’re cheaper, more ethical, friendlier to the earth, and are an outlet for creativity.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween and have dressed up every single year. It’s fun to put on a costume and be someone else for a night, but sadly costumes are generally made of petroleum-based fabrics (think nylon, polyester, and acrylic) because they’re cheaper than natural fibers. After the parties they’re typically just tossed out in the trash, making their ways into landfills (being too poorly made to be handed down – simple stitching on those short-lived fabrics means they’re likely to fall apart before making it to a thrift store.)
Here are some tips for making a DIY Halloween costume.
- Start early, finding the right things will take longer than just popping into a box store and pulling something off of the shelf. If you’re reading this on the day of your party, don’t panic, think outside of the box and you’re sure to pull something together (stuffing socks into black panty hose and pinning to a black skirt with eyeliner whiskers is an instant and easy cat!)
- Scope your closet. All you need is one item to begin the creative process. Once you have a defining piece, try to match something else you have with it to build upon the look. If you can’t find it in your own closet then look in your friends’ and family members’; for example overalls and your boyfriends flannel morph into a farmer or scarecrow.
- If all closets leave you empty handed, or you don’t want to risk staining your clothes with fake blood, then head to the thrift store. Don’t feel stuck with the way the clothes are, cut them up or alter them if you have the skills.
- When in doubt, Google search! You’ll find loads of images that you can get inspiration from and might even find a blog or Youtube tutorial to follow.
Here’s a little gallery of previous DIY costumes friends and I have done.
Have fun with Halloween and be safe! What successful DIY costumes have you come up with and how are you decreasing your impact on our Earth this Halloween?