Make boo!-tiful last-minute costumes

  • Article by: AIMÉE TJADER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 31, 2011 - 7:45 AM

No tricks, just talent. We asked pros in the Twin Cities to create imaginative, low-cost costumes from objects you already have around the house.

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This Halloween, elements of the perfect costume could be in your junk drawer, closet or garage. To prove that some of the best costumes can be made from everyday items around your house, we sought the expertise of some Twin Cities costume designers.

"A big part of it is just being bold," said Lisa Conley, exhibit props specialist for the Minnesota Children's Museum. "We can get locked into the idea that a box has to be a box, but imagination is all about letting yourself look at things in a different way, and not worrying that it won't turn out quite right."

So, put away the checkbook and put your creativity to the test.

Time traveler

Drawing inspiration from the classic sci-fi novel "The Time Machine," by H.G. Wells, Pierce Brown, 6, dons goggles, a top hat, utility belt and a wrist device to control his trip into the future.

Artist: Lisa Conley, exhibit props specialist for the Minnesota Children's Museum.

What you need: Cardboard boxes, electrical tape and paint.

How to assemble: Cut the cardboard into the shapes you want, then fasten them together and cover with tape.

Tiger

Draped in a bedsheet, Avah Fick-Dorn, 5, is transformed into something more elaborate than a ghost. Use a blue sheet for a "fish in the sea" or a brown sheet for a "lion in the Savannah."

Artist: Cana Potter, freelance floral and costume designer; Mixed Blood Theatre.

What you need: Paper plates, one bedsheet, stuffed animals and markers.

How to assemble: Design your mask and ears out of paper plates; fasten the ears to a headband. Decorate the bedsheet like a jungle using animals, markers or anything you can find.

Bumble bee

Anika Greenside, 10, shows off her sassy personality in this easy-to-make bumblebee costume. A construction hat and tool belt add fun personalization. Be your own bee with a quilt, needle and thread (quilting bee), a crown and party dress (queen bee), or Scrabble tiles (spelling bee).

Artist: Shannon O'Black, costume shop manager, LyricArts.

What you need: Two wire coat hangers, one pair of nylons, black electrical tape and items for personalization.

How to assemble: Bend the hangers (one per wing) into the desired shape and slide into a pair of nylons or tights, then tape them together. For the bee's stinger, roll thin cardboard or card stock into a cone shape and wrap with black tape.

Crow

Crows usually dig in trash bags, not wear them as modeled in this dramatic costume by Daniel Greenside, 13.

Artist: Rich Hamson, costume designer for Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.

What you need: Black trash bags, a baseball cap, black duct tape and yellow reflective tape.

How to assemble: Use one bag as the base, one bag for the wings, one bag for the headpiece and the rest for long strips of feathers, which get taped on. Cover the hat's brim with yellow reflective tape to make the crow's beak.

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  • BUMBLE BEE Anika Greenside, age 10, shows off her sassy personality in this easy-to-make bumblebee costume. A construction hat and tool belt add fun personalization. Be your own bee with a quilt, needle and thread (quilting bee), a crown and party dress (queen bee), or scrabble tiles (spelling bee).

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