Halloween Costume – Make your own, Ideas and Advice

Posted in General on October 29th, 2009 by Ghoul

Halloween Costumes and Fancy Dress – Awesome fun, but can be a nightmare in respect to expense or time. You can buy or hire, this will solve the time issue.
But to solve the expense issue, there is the option of buying a cheap Halloween costume and improving it, also making it unique to you, or make your own.

To find the base garment for your Halloween Costume, assuming you’ve decided what you want to look like, could be quite easy – maybe modify existing clothing, dresses, skirts, shirts, trousers, t-shirts etc. Other sources of material for your Halloween Fancy Dress may be old sheets, table covers, curtains, anything really that is either very cheap, maybe damaged or no longer used.

You may need to buy some garments or cloth items for your creation, the obvious place is the second hand and charity shops, you will find an amazing amount of useful goodies for very little cost, any you’re helping charity too!! You may also find good accessories to embellish your outfit, old jewellery and the like.

If you’re creating Childrens Halloween Costumes, maybe even get together with other mums and carers, set some time aside to have a fun time buying and making the Fancy Dress Outfits, maybe even share each others materials and skills.

Some Halloween Costume ideas:

Pirate
Always a popular theme, you need baggy black or brown trousers or jeans, cut them below the knee and maybe give a roughened, almost torn edging.. For the top, a baggy white shirt, ideally cuffed up. Finish this with a waistcoat, easily made, to be worn over the shirt. Boots, gold hoop earrings, a sword, an eye patch, then a hat or bandana completes the outfit. This costume can be easily changed to a female pirate, short jagged skirt, boots and fishnets.

Vampire
Very simple, black trousers, white shirt, maybe a waistcoat, bow-tie or similar neck accessory, wax or gel your hair back, white face makeup, maybe blacken the eyes a little and a blood dribble on the chin. For fangs, it’s probably best to buy some cheap ones, all sorts are available. Finish with black shoes.

Ghost
Possibly one of the oldest and easiest ghoulish Halloween costumes around. You just need a large white sheet that completely covers the person. Simply place over the person, with arms down and cut around the bottom, allowing a small gap to prevent dragging or risk of tripping. From there just add eyeholes, add a piece of white net on the inside of these eyeholes if you wish to cover a little. You could finish with fake chain made from paper, rolled into tubes and formed into links, painted or covered with aluminium foil. Maybe even use a different coloured fabric and sew or stick letters on the front to say BOO!!

Scarecrow
Very simple – find the right hat and some straw used for pet bedding and old clothes. The clothes need to be oversized, with baggy shirt, flannel or chequed are ideal, and trousers, adding holes to look aged and maybe pop out some straw. If you can get some straw to come out of the sleeves and legs, be careful not to make it itchy or scratchy. Old overalls would work very well too. For the hands, either fingerless gloves or garden gloves and old shoes or boots, adding holes maybe for effect. Face paint would finish it nicely. Other accessories can include a fake crow, flowers etc

Tin Man
Following from Scarecrow, another great and simple Kids Halloween Costume would be the Tin Man from the wizard of Oz. Get some old boxes, cover with aluminium foil, silver paint or silver wrapping paper, silver face paint and a funnel on the head!!. Maybe get some gloves and glue card tubes, cut to shape and allowing movement, for tin man hands. Check online and look at the facial detail, just draw on some black lines at the mouth and chin.

Witch
This can be made numerous ways, tighter costumes with puffy or flowing skirts, simpler with darker clothing and a cape. The hat can be made from card, covering with fabric if you want that extra finish. Broomsticks, simply an old cane or brush stave with a pile of straw ties to the end. Although not a must, face paint does add great effect to a witch outfit, for me the most impressive is the all green face, like the witch from the Wizard of Oz movie. A crooked nose is good, you maybe better buying this as you can get them very cheaply. For a younger witch, either use black tights or you can buy coloured striped tights quite cheaply, maybe for a teen or adult witch, with a sexier look, use a shorter skirt rather than flowing, fishnets and boots.

Black Cat
Again, very easy, ideally use some sort of old cat suit if possible, or make one from black fabric. Alternatives include just tight black shirt and trousers. From there, you just need a tail, use cloth covered hose or similar, avoid hard wire in case of harming people, you could also make a longer cloth tail, that can be carried and swung around. Facially, there are many cat styles you can create, all over colours, just whiskers, eye patches etc. Ears can be made by making cloth or card ears and attaching to an old headband or just some elastic.

If you’re making masks or want decoration ideas, then pop over to GhoulishGadgets, there is a whole list collected from the internet of Halloween ideas, props and decorations.

As with all Halloween activity, try to make it fun, that’s what it’s all about.

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Halloween Fancy Dress Ideas for 2009

Posted in Halloween Costumes on October 21st, 2009 by Ghoul

No matter if you’re going to a halloween Fancy dress party or need a Halloween Costume for trick or treat, there are many options to fit everyones needs and budgets. You can get creative and make the costume, perhaps watch a movie and research the outfit, well that would be my excuse! I would recommend it though if you need to get familiar with the outfits and masks etc. You could hire quite impressive looking and good quality costumes, sometime for less than the price of buying a costume.

Michael Jackson: Some may be offended by this idea, others may not, each person to their own opinion.
The Most common outfit will be the Thriller costume, comprising the Red Leather Jacket, with Black Stripes.  This costume is already available from many stores (including wigs and masks), or you could try to create it yourself.

Super Hero: Batman, Robin, Spiderman, X Men etc. These costumes are readily available from stores, making them would be quite complex, but go for it if you have the time, material, perhaps a sewing machine and the needed skills.  The easy part for these costumes is the masks, either buy them or make from coloured card, maybe thin coloured foam or even print out a mask and cut it out.

Super Villain: just way too many to list, but as for the Super Heros above, these Halloween Fancy Dress costumes, they are readily available in many stores or can be made at home, if you have the time and ability.

Freddy Krueger: Quite simple, again can be purchased, but most of the costume is easily made, just find a striped jumper and make the knifed gloves – just buy a mask.

Jason Vorhees (Friday 13th): Again, either buy or make. to make, all you really need to buy or borrow is a hockey mask. It would be quite possible to make a mask from paper mache.

Michael Meyers (Halloween): The secret to this again is the mask, using paper mache has been mentioned before, this would work here too, otherwise you need to buy one.

Saw Movies: Make a pig mask from paper mache, finish with a cloak. Perhaps get really fancy and create a billy mask, the puppet, then complete with black jacket, white shirt and black bowtie.

Other similar characters are Hannibal Lecter, PinHead from HellRaiser – masks can be purchased or made for both.

To make masks, take a look at GhouishGadgets Mask section – with plans to make halloween fancy dress masks
GhoulishGadgets also has pages for Latex Moulding and casting – a great way to make masks with amazing detail, that also ensure a good fit too.

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Scare Actors : Add the BOO Factor to your home haunt or party

Posted in Halloween Home Haunts, Halloween Party on October 20th, 2009 by Ghoul

Depending upon your venue, you may have need for real people to add the BOO Factor to your event.

If it’s just a party, you could simply have an Igor character – handing out drinks and snacks, dropping strange comments and doing similar strange things..

If you have a home haunt of any size, you can add real people to give it that unknown element for your visitors.  These people, often termed Scare Actors or Scareactors can be friends and family, volunteers or even paid staff.

What is important is image, planning, training, direction and rules.

Scare Actor image: take time to give a quality look to your scare actors, dress them in quality costumes or tske time to make impressive outfits.  Make up should be considered carefully also, there is nothing better than visitors going away talking about the quality of your event.  If you can afford it, spend a little on good brand make up, maybe latex wounds and features – special effect contact lenses always wow people

Planning: Your scare actor is bascially another prop in your haunt, typically give them a specific area or zone to work in, perhaps with other props that they can use to maximise the impact – chains, chainsaws, axes, fake body parts etc.  Consider the lighting and space for the area they will operate, perhaps where they can hide and appear from, maybe secret areas where thay can get from one part to another without the visitors seeing them. Take into account that a scare actor may need time to reset the scene or his/her position before the next visitors arrive in the area or zone.

Casting: It may sound over the top, but you may need to actually cast the scare actors – for any scale event.  You will need to find people with the right body sizes, voices and character to maximise the part and effect.  It may be hard to say no to close friends and family, so maybe offer them other task.

Direction: Actually, I mean have a storyline, give your haunt a story, a reason for the events and characters. You don’t actually have to tell your visitors, but it will help to gel your event and improve the visitors experience.  Having a story will mean you can give the scare actors specific roles, with defined character, location and maybe behaviour.  This could even mean having a script for the actors.

Training: Train your scare actors, rehearse the event, maybe even get friends to walk through to test it. This will ensure that all runs smoothly on the night or nights. It also gives you a great reason to have an after event party!

Feeding and Watering Scare Actors: remember that your staff may need to have breaks, refreshments and toilet! Either swap scare actors around or control the flow of visitors to allow this, you can allow people to build up a little, then let them in in groups.

Rules: One general rule is that they should never touch the visitors, there are too many complications, including legal, with this – some get offended, someone could claim harm, others damaged clothing etc, it’s not worth the trouble. Equally, visitors should not touch, or abuse, physically or otherwise, any of your staff, this should be reported to the owner/operator and the offender removed without delay.

Scare Level: Ensure they consider the victim, I mean visitor, if they’re already terrified, don’t over-do it, try to avoid making anyone cry, especially small children, perhaps try to have a slight comical side to some characters where small tots are concerned.

Don’t forget to check the List of Halloween projects on GhoulishGadgets – Halloween Props, Halloween Costumes and much more.

In general, it’s all about both haunt staff and visitors enjoying themselves.

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Credit Crunch Halloween : 7 Places To Find Free or Cheap Items

Posted in Halloween Costumes, Halloween Home Haunts, Halloween Props on October 19th, 2009 by Ghoul

Why break the bank to decorate yourself, your home or your garden for Halloween?  Here are a few ideas of where to buy materials for your halloween costumes and decorations.  In following blog entries, I’ll cover some of the things you can make with these treasures.

1. Car Boot Sales – everything you may want
2. Charity shops – clothing and more
3. Car Breaker yards – lighting, motors, batteries, cable and similar
4. Local refuse tip – if you ask, you may be able to take for free or buy some items
5. Friends and Family – what are they throwing out or no longer need?
6. Free Ads – look for bargains or free if collected items
7. Discount or Pound Shops – fixings, adhesives, rope, torches etc

When looking around these locations, don’t actually look at what you see, imagine what you can do with it.

  • Clothing could be for costumes or clothing on spooky props like corpses, grave diggers, scarecrows etc
  • Old mirrors can be used for many things, maybe only the frame, with perhaps 2 way film to make a magic mirror effect.
  • All forms of lighting may be used, lamps – perhaps with a flourescent starter to create an eerie flickering light.
  • Old car motors – wiper or window, to animate your props, perhaps a rocking gravestone?
  • You could use an old oscillating, side to side fan, modifiy it and make a character that looks left to right.
  • Don’t forget old audio equipment, either connect to a pc, mp3 player or make a cd or tape for spooky noises, thunder and more…
  • When it comes to screws, fixings, paint, glue etc – the discount shops are great places to check out.

For many ideas like these, wander over to GhoulishGadgets.co.uk to the Halloween Project List

When it’s over – are you storing your creations or recycling them? think ahead, there’s nothing worse than slaving over a huge masterpiece to then have to destroy it as you can’t store it.

Most importantly, safety – when picking up second hand equipment, especially electrical, take great care that it’s safe.  Ensure no shock or fire hazard and that your halloween fun doesn’t become a nightmare.

Enjoy the treasure hunt, if you’re of your creation, we’d be happy to include it in our Halloween Project List at GhoulishGadgets.co.uk

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