Crafters, makers, DIYers and all creative geniuses: Halloween is your time to shine like dewdrops on a spider web. And the good news is that a spooktacular costume doesn’t have to break the bank. Your local 99 Cents Only Store has a bounty of premade ready-to-go costumes for adults and kids, as well as plenty of budget-friendly raw materials for your own boo-tiful creations.
Feeling crafty? Here are nine easy-to-make costume ideas. The bolded items are readily available at 99 Cents Only Stores.
1. Cereal Killer
Who doesn’t love a punny costume? Hit the Dry Goods aisle for cereal boxes, Homewares for plastic knives and the Halloween aisle for some fake blood. Hot glue empty cereal boxes to your shirt, stab them with plastic knives and drizzle fake blood to proper gruesomeness. Have fun murdering some Count Chocula.
2. Identity Thief
It’s all about the art of disguise with this one. Grab a stack of blank nametag labels from the Office Supplies aisle, add sunglasses and a funny hat. Write down the name of every ex-girlfriend/boyfriend, math teacher or co-worker on the labels and then stick all over your shirt. Challenge your fellow revelers to figure out who you really are.
3. Rosie the Riveter
There’s a feminist icon in your closet, and you probably didn’t even know it! Add a simple red bandana — tied ’40s style with a knot on top — to your own jeans and denim shirt ensemble, then roll up the sleeves to reveal your true strength. Work boots optional; red lipstick and womanpower required.
4. Frida Kahlo
Wield kohl eyeliner to create the iconic unibrow, then weave brightly colored fake flowers into a crown. Layer your own floral scarves and skirts to channel the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
Sometimes, it just takes a couple killer accessories to channel the Halloween spirit. Buy a skeleton mask or draw a skull face with white/black face paint. Make a DIY skeleton rib cage shirt. Just download rib templates from the Internet and cut into a white undershirt. Wear the white shirt over a black shirt or tank. For a pair of skeletons, reverse the color scheme for your friend: Cut into a plain black tee and wear over a white undershirt.
6. Black cat
A black cat is a Halloween classic — and for good reason. Don black leggings and form-fitting black top, buy a kitty mask and grab your black liquid liner to create some quick whiskers. Variations include: tiger (tiger mask, orange/black/white face paint, tiger print shirt or dress), leopard (leopard mask, orange/black/white face paint, leopard print shirt or dress) and silver disco kitty (silver cat mask, black liquid liner, silver shirt and leggings).
7. Bag of Jelly Beans
Sweet enough to eat — and easy enough to pull off 30 minutes before heading out the door to trick or treat. Blow up a couple dozen multicolored water balloons, cut leg and arm holes in a clear trash bag, step inside and fill past your belly with make-believe jellies! Cute enough for kids, easy enough for adults. Bonus points if you draw on your own Nutrition Facts label with a permanent marker.
8. Autumn Fairy
If your seasonal vibe is more ethereal than spooky, an autumn fairy is the supernatural choice for you. Pre-made autumn wreaths make great head adornments and can also be deconstructed and hot glued to adorn your base layer. Glue assorted nuts and pine cones to your garments and spice things up with fall-inspired makeup and glitter. Voila! You’re queen of the wood nymphs.
9. Crime Scene
A five-minute fix for the I-forgot-my-costume blues: Just wrap caution tape around your torso at odd angles. Black leggings and slim-fitting black top make for the perfect neutral background but aren’t required. For a more ghoulish edge, use Halloween-themed caution tape from the Halloween aisle.
—Laura Lambert for 99 Cents Only Stores