My 6 Favorite DIY Halloween Costumes.

Somewhere in Beverly Hills, Richard Simmons is applauding.
Somewhere in Beverly Hills, Richard Simmons is applauding.

I’m into Halloween.

It’s 100 percent because of the costumes. I love thinking about them. I love assembling them. I love getting ready to go out.

Halloween parties are okay.

But the stuff leading up to Halloween parties? I love it!

I don’t have anything planned for the 31st, which makes planning this year’s costume a little pointless. But I will still get a costume together, even if it means I sit at home and watch TV. (Any Halloween event suggestions in the Twin Cities? Lay it on me.)

In my opinion, it’s the details that makes a good costume great. Here are some of my faves from previous years.

1. Richard Simmons

Do you wanna burn some fat?! 
Do you wanna burn some fat?!

I’ve never had a more fun Halloween. It was this night back in 2011 that I realized Richard is my spirit animal. I got to hug people and do aerobics all night. It was almost as good as the time I took his workout class in Beverly Hills.

Richard Simmons Recipe:

1 brown ‘fro-y wig

1 red or blue tank (the classic Simmons look; I bought a thrift store tee & cut off the sleeves/neck)

1 sports bra in the same color as the tank (ladies only)

1 pair 80s-style hot pants (mine were an American Apparel splurge). Dolfin shorts are ideal.

1 pair white slouch socks

1 pair ugly, white athletic shoes (Goodwill, baby!)

Silver glitter


Glue (definitely some sort of fabric glue; a hot glue gun helps attach sequins)

Optional: shiny, tan tights

Everything here is basically ready to wear, aside from the tank’s design. I went with a classic Simmons look: glittery starbursts and big, graphic SWEAT lettering. You can get crazy here. I mean:


The only issue: you’ll be finding glitter around your house for months, which I kind of loved.

Richard Simmons Halloween Costume.
Richard Simmons Halloween Costume.


2. Liza Minnelli

Liza Minnelli!
Liza Minnelli!

I’ve worn this number twice and am considering it again for this year. So comfortable, super dramatic and cute without being skanky!

Liza Minnelli Recipe:

1 black pixie wig

1 package fake eyelashes & glue

1 over-the-top glitzy earrings

1 thrifted sequin top that just barely covers your butt

1 pair black booty shorts

1 pair opaque tights

Black jazz shoes or another pair solid black, pointed shoes

Do this makeup look, finishing with the eyelashes. Wear the booty shorts over the tights for a covered, but glam-jazz-hands look.

The wig makes this costume. If you buy a wig at a costume store, you’re probably going to pay loads for cash for a crappy wig. But do you want to go to a real wig shop for a costume? Nope, that’s going to be expensive, too.

My favorite place to buy wigs in the Twin Cities is 7 Mile Fashions at Lake & Hiawatha. It’s an urban beauty supply shop. Their wig selection is outstanding. Mine was about $30 & was my splurge costume item. I’m sure your city has a few similar shops; Google it.

All the single ladies, all the single ladies.
All the single ladies, all the single ladies.


3. Sookie Stackhouse (+ Frida & Rachel Zoe)

Obviously the real versions of these three hung out in real life.
Obviously the real versions of these three hung out in real life.

2010 marked the year I took some Halloween pics with my real camera!

True Blood is a little over now, but Sookie Stackhouse is still a great costume that’s easy to pull off.

Sookie Stackhouse Recipe:

1 fitted white tee (I splurged on an actual Merlotte’s shirt from the show)

1 piece of green construction paper to make Merlotte’s logo (if you don’t get the real-deal shirt)

1 pair black shorts

1 waitress apron

1 pair sneakers

1 latex-y vampire bite + adhesive & fake blood

1 waitressing tray

3 plastic bottles (I used SoBe)

Super glue

1 can red spray paint

1 roll duct tape

3 copies of this True Blood label, printed off your computer

The clothing aspect it pretty straightforward. However, I think the True Blood bottles make the costume. I peeled the labels off three SoBe drinks, then sprayed painted the bottles red. After they dried, I attached the True Blood labels.

Next, I glued the bottles to the waitressing tray. I added a strap of duct tape on the bottom to make it easy to carry.

Bonus: Frida & Rachel Zoe

Maggie’s Frida costume:

Hair in two braids; fake flowers glued onto hair clips (about 6-7 individual pieces); eyebrow pencil to connect brows; high collar white shirt; necklaces; vibrant shawl; floor length shirt, preferably of some sort of woven fabric… she found hers at a thrift store and it’s perfect.

Allison’s Rachel Zoe costume:

Blonde wig; 70s sunglasses; bathrobe; the biggest Starbuck’s cup possible with Rachel written on it.

Sookie & a race car driver!
Sookie & a race car driver!
Navigating the crowd with ease!
Navigating the crowd with ease!


4. Red Hat Society

Red Hat Society meeting!
Red Hat Society meeting!

This is one of those costumes you either REALLY get or don’t get at all (maybe this link will help). It’s a great group costume. My grandma absolutely loved it, which is all that mattered to me!

Red Hat Society Recipe:

1 red hat. Decorate with purple & red garish stuff. We did feathers and bows.

Dress in head-to-toe purple and red… bonus points for polyester fabrics

Sensible shoes to match

Old lady purse full of Werther’s Originals or your old lady candy of choice

The ideal place to take this costume is any sort of daytime riverboat cruise. Be sure to not tip your bartender to be extra authentic.

Next stop: Dayton's for a luncheon!
Next stop: Dayton’s for a luncheon!


5. Elliot from ET


A shout-out to my friend Liz, who built this entire costume around the fact that she found an ET doll at a thrift store. So good, right?!

Elliot Recipe:

1 plain red hoodie

1 plain white tee

1 set of handlebars from a kid’s bike (check out a used bike store or thrift shop)

1 plastic waffle-y basket

1 E.T. doll

1 white hand towel

1 bag Reese’s Pieces

How awesome is that costume!?

6. Bridesmaids

And you said, I'll never wear this dress again. Ha!
And you said, I’ll never wear this dress again. Ha!

Another great group costume for the ladies (or guys, too!). Pretty self-explanatory. And you thought you’d never wear that dress again!

* * *

What was your best-ever Halloween costume? What are you wearing this year?

P.S. What HarMar Superstar had to say about wearing a costume.

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