Creating Your Own Halloween Costumes for at Home
By Rhianydd Sword
Normally a tradition where we dress up and go trick or treating, Halloween may look a little different this year due to current covid restrictions. However limited resources in what we can do doesn’t mean we have to forgo fancy dress completely, if anything it gives us the opportunity to be more creative in our costumes without worry of them looking out of place.
This year I’ve decided to challenge myself and make my own Halloween costume and I’ve stumbled upon the best person to ask for advice. Claire Franklin is the manager of the Greyhound Rescue charity shop in Swansea. If you’ve seen the store with the Alice in Wonderland display, then you’ll know where I mean. Claire designed and created the display herself, all from recycled materials. In fact you’d never guess, but Alice’s dress was made from an old curtain that had paint on it. She’s also made a dress from crisp packets and a bodice from kinder egg toys, perhaps not the most comfortable items to wear but both are stunning to look at.
As a side note, making our own costumes is not only a good way to save our money, which as students is always an added bonus, it’s also a chance to encourage sustainability and recycling, which in our present day is incredibly important.
If, like me, you’re a little wary about making your own costume, for you feel that it may be a little too complex to design and create your own, then why not start off simple? Charity shops such as the Greyhound Rescue are great places to pick up preloved items and you can pick up an outfit for little money whilst still being sustainable. Perhaps, you could buy all red items and be a devil for Halloween. One year previous I bought a black dress and used dress scissors to cut a zig zag hem to the bottom and paraded round as a witch.
Making our own costume isn’t as complicated as it may initially seem. When it comes to designing an outfit, Claire suggests looking at social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration. She also stated that an idea for a design may occur from simply looking around, you never know when inspiration may strike. As for the creating part, whilst it may initially seem the case, sewing skills aren’t needed. Many of the costumes that you see in the pictures weren’t put together with a needle and thread but with a hot glue gun. If, when you’re making your own costume you’re looking for a brief step by step guide then a good place to look is YouTube. There’s many different tutorials showing how to make various outfits with little to no prior skills needed. Whilst it may appear so lack of experience doesn’t matter, it really is just about having a go and having a laugh, as Claire said, ‘Don’t be afraid to have fun with it too, try things, it may not work out but on the other hand you could come up with something spectacular. Let your imagination run wild!’
If you’ve now decided to make your own costume then I hope that it turns out how you want it to, and I’d love to hear about it! In case that you want some help and advice when creating your piece, Claire has stated that she always happily helps those who come to her asking for tips. Furthermore, if making your own clothing for Halloween inspires you to want to produce more then Claire is encouraging students to get involved, with the possibility of showcasing their work for the Greyhound Rescue shop’s display window. The only criteria is that all the items are recycled but apart from that, the sky’s the limit.