By Hannah Gamache

Junior, English major

Why bother forking out $40 or more for a cheaply sewn, plastic-looking costume in a bag when you could look infinitely better by putting together your own costume? Prepare for the inevitable parties to come, and try out some of these awesome costumes this Halloween.


1. Zombification

With Season 4 of The Walking Dead back on television, zombies are going to be huge this Halloween. Why not join the fun and go zombie this year? Or, put a twist on the typical character costume by making it zombie. Try zombifying Mario or Princess Peach. Zombify Superman, or make your favorite Disney princess into a zombie. Undead is in.


  1. Use gray face paint to give your flesh that cold, rotting tone. Use black to create shadows and hollows in the cheeks.
  2. Buy some clothes from Goodwill that you won’t mind tearing up and getting dirty. The filthier and more tatty the clothes, the better they are for the zombie apocalypse! If you are zombifying another character, buy a cheap costume and have fun cutting it up and getting it dirty.
  3. You can’t have a zombie without blood. Buy a bottle of fake blood at the nearest party store or mix up your own with some ketchup, BBQ sauce, and red food coloring at home. Blood should be splattered on your clothes and dripping down your chin. Get some all over your hands, too. Remember, it should look as though you’ve just been feasting on some tasty flesh!

2.     The Flapper

If gruesome isn’t your style, try out this glamorous costume and dress like it’s the Roarin’ Twenties. Ladies, try dressing like a flapper with headdresses, glitzy necklaces, and draping dresses. Gentlemen can wear a Gatsby-inspired, all-white suit. If Gatsby’s not your thing, just pick up a toy gun and rock the white suit Al Pacino-style.


  1. This outfit is all about the clothing. Go to a thrift shop for the best finds, or try the mall and eBay. Get a dress from anywhere but a Halloween store, otherwise it will look cheap and gaudy. You can always re-wear portions of your outfit, so spend your money on something versatile that you can wear more than once.
  2. Accessorize! Forever 21 has some great cheap necklaces and other accessories for the flapper outfit. Guys can be glitzy, too—pick up a gold tie and cane to complete the look.
  3. Dark red lipstick completes the flapper costume, and guys should add gel to their hair to get the Gatsby look.

3. The Mad Hatter

You can make a Mad Hatter costume from Alice in Wonderland crazy and unique with an outrageous hat and wild hair. Depending on the makeup you choose, you can make this look either whimsical or creepy.

  1. Check out Goodwill to find random articles of clothing and a funky hat. Buy more than one hat and stack them, if you so desire. Wear different colored socks and a funky bow tie. Roll one pant leg up and leave the other down. Buy colorful shoelaces and lace them through dress shoes. The possibilities are endless!
  2. The makeup is a key part of the Hatter’s look. Paint your face white for a clownish look. Use black eyeliner or face paint and paint diamonds over your eyes, or put some flashy red and blue designs around your eyes, like Tim Burton’s version of the Mad Hatter. Wear a crazy lipstick color, like red, blue, or even black, if you’re going for a creepy look. Have fun with the Mad Hatter’s face paint.
  3. For the finishing touch, make your hair look crazy with spray-in color or hairspray. You can even buy an outrageous wig from the party store if your hair is too short or you want to play with more volume.

Show up in one of these awesome costumes, and you will put all the store-bought  “sexy nurses” and “hipsters” to shame. With a little creativity, you can save money and take pride in your own creation.