Friday, October 16, 2009

Ten Relatively Easy Nature-Themed Halloween Costumes

I love Halloween, but I've always had a hard time coming up with Halloween costumes. (Procrastination doesn't help.) And so, as a public service, I offer you some relatively simple, nature-themed costumes.

1. Ladybug (or any other beetle). Wear all black. Cut a thick piece of cardboard into the shape of a shell, and paint it red with black spots (or the appropriate colors for whatever type of beetle you want to be). Or, use a saucer-shaped snow sled as your shell. For either, attach black straps to go over each arm like a backpack. Make antennae out of black pipe cleaners and attach them to a headband. See also this bug.

2. Bat. Cut the top of a black umbrella in half. You will have two semi-circular pieces of black fabric that will be your wings. To a black hoodie, attach the straight edge of each wing so that it runs along the underside of the sleeve and down the side of the torso. (You can use black duct tape, safety pins, or sew them on.) Make ears and attach to the hood. Or, make a bat hat.

3. Bee. Wear a yellow sweatshirt and black pants. Use black electrical tape to make stripes on the sweatshirt. Make antennae with a headband and some pipe cleaners. Use a pair of fairy wings. Or see this site for a more sewing-intensive, but probably better, costume.  (For a team costume, a second person could be a beekeeper: put netting on a wide-brimmed hat and wear khaki clothing.)

4. The Four Seasons. Go as a group of four, or pick your favorite season. Cover brown clothes in autumn leaves, black or blue with homemade snowflakes, light green with fake flowers for spring, and wear yellow clothes with sunglasses for summer. (I was once in a group that added a fifth person in a tuxedo with a conducting baton: Verdi.)

5. Turtle. Wear green or brown clothes. Cut two large ovals out of heavy cardboard. The larger one will be the back of the shell, and the smaller one will be the front (the turtle's underside). Paint to look like a turtle shell. Attach the shells to each other with two sets of straps: one that goes over your shoulders, and one that connects them at the waist. This costume is especially adorable on children who are still crawling. Ninja eye scarf optional.

6. Butterfly. Wear clothes of one color, and strap on some contrasting wings like a backpack. (Buy a pair of wings, see this template, or make your own template for your favorite butterfly.) Make some antennae out of pipe cleaners and a headband.

7. Mother Nature. Wear a flowing skirt and shirt. Attach to your clothes and hair a variety of fake flowers, leaves, and vines. Pick up a fake bird at a craft store and perch it on your shoulder or in your hair. And so on.

8. Deer. Wear all brown. You may know someone that already has an antler headband from Christmas, or you can make cardboard antlers and attach them to a headband. A partner could dress as a hunter, or as your best friend Flower, the skunk.

9. Skunk. Wear a black hoodie and black pants; attach a strip of white fake fur that goes from the edge of the hood, all the way down your back, and onto a tail made of black fake fur. Make some ears out of wire and more black fur, and attach them to the head of the sweatshirt.

10. Mushroom. Use a hat with a very large brim as the base for your "cap." Make it into a mushroom shape with newspaper or bubblewrap. Then use a glue gun to attach fabric to cover the whole thing -- one color of fabric for the top, and another for the bottom. Wear clothes of a single color for the stalk. Option: put spots on the top of the mushroom and draw gills on the bottom. We're totally going to use this one the next time we get invited to a Halloween party. (And, we may have to get someone who plays video games to tell us about Mushroom Men.)

Do you have ideas for another nature-themed costume? Do tell! Leave us a comment below.

Like the photos in this post? Mouse over for credits; a click takes you to the photographer on Flickr.