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I never understand when people don’t like Halloween. I’ve always loved this holiday, and not just because of the candy (although that’s a nice component, to be sure). There’s something about dressing up –- and all the possibility that exists when it comes to picking the perfect costume -– that continues to spark excitement for me year after year.

The costume selection process is a critical one, and it helps to start thinking about it with enough time to prep for something truly great. One of the things I love about Halloween is that creativity goes further than money, in most cases. Rather than snagging a polyester costume from one of those pop-up Halloween stores that pops up in every strip mall this time of year, asses your closet, hit up your local Goodwill and/or craft store, and get to costume making!

Here are 7 costume ideas that are sure to impress:

  1. Piñata: This was the route I took with my costume last year, and it was a big hit. I used a dress I didn’t wear much anymore as the base and covered it with colored crepe paper (glued to the dress), cut with about inch-wide pieces at the bottom of each strip of crepe paper to simulate the fringed paper on a piñata. I also wrapped two party hats in extra crepe paper to accessorize. (Bonus points: Throw out candy when you walk into a room and/or travel with a friend donned in a blindfold and carrying a stick.)

pinata

  1. Paper Doll: This costume idea is simple to pull together, requiring just poster board, markers, and some super-sticky tape. Just cut the poster board into clothing and accessory shapes (leaving a few tabs around the sides paper doll-style) and color in the clothing (be sure the tabs stay white). Then tape your masterpiece to your clothes, style your hair in ringlets or pigtails, and you’re good to go!

paper doll

  1. Loofah: This costume is so much fun. A shower loofah – ha! It never gets old, and you’re sure to get tons of laughs. To learn how to bring it to life, check out this easy video tutorial.

loofah

  1. Regina George: Any respectable Mean Girls fan will get this easy-to-pull-off shout-out to Regina. Just grab a tank and a colored bra, cut out two holes in the front of the tank, layer, and let the compliments roll in. (You can add a long blonde wig for extra credit!)

regina george

  1. Grumpy Cat: With some simple make-up and a pair of cat ears (oh, and a sour facial expression), you can easily transform yourself into a Grumpy Cat doppelganger everyone will love.

grumpy cat

  1. Jellyfish: Partner an all-white outfit with a clear or white umbrella that you’ve decorated with “tentacles” (a.k.a. streamers or crepe paper) and you’re ready to party. Oh, and throw in some glow sticks for extra nighttime pizazz!

jellyfish

  1. School Picture: Another favorite of mine, this costume comes together easily with a trip to Goodwill for some ‘90s middle school-esque clothes and to a craft store for some foam board. You’ll want to get a laser background to adhere to the foam board to make the whole ensemble really pop.

school picture

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