The CRAFT editors share with you their favorite Halloween costumes that are handmade or put together with some crafty ingenuity!
Natalie Zee Drieu / Princess Leia
As a kid, I was (and still am) a huge Star Wars fan. I was obsessed with everything Princess Leia. When I was 7 (in 1979), my mom sewed up a Princess Leia costume for me using a store-bought pattern. I liked how she improvised on the belt part and used different colored yarns to make up a braided belt. I ended up wearing this costume over and over around the house for play time. My favorite part was the hood on the costume which I would wear over my head and replay the scene of Princess Leia’s stored R2D2 message to Obi Wan. Nerd alert!
Shawn Connally / Bookworm
I was called a bookworm for much of my childhood; I really couldn’t travel in a car for more than 12 miles without making sure I had a book with me, and if I wasn’t outside playing in the forest or riding my horse, I was curled up with a book. Anne of Green Gables was a big hit, as was The Hitchhiker’s Guide series. When I was 10 or 11 my mom suggested that I be a bookworm for Halloween, and the costume shown here was created. We chose Alfred Hitchcock’s Stories that Scared Even Me as the book, which still strikes me as a stroke of brilliance (thanks, Mom!). My mom drew some scary images on a butcher-paper covered box we got from the appliance store. We added the title and author, popped some holes in the sides and top for my arms and head. I wore all green, painted my face to match, and added a top hat and gloves to finish off the costume. It’s still one of my favorite costumes!
Goli Mohammadi / Kali, the Hindu Goddess
A couple of my friends had gotten me a postcard picture of the Hindu goddess Kali, claiming I bore a striking resemblance to her. I took that as a compliment and a challenge, and decided to make this costume. The hardest part was the arms, which I shaped out of heavy duty coated wire. I found tights in the color I wanted to paint myself, bought two pairs, wore one pair on my legs and covered the arms with the other pair. Then I made a sturdy triangular “backpack” out of flat felt, with blue-dyed elastic attached, and secured the extra arms to it. Flat felt and hot glue were my faithful companions for this costume. My arms proved a bit bouncier than anticipated for the boogie-down, and I ended up unexpectedly smacking a few peeps, but I guess that’s how Kali rolls! (Much respect to the amazingly talented Nicole Magne, who crafted the most incredible Kali costume and posted her build on Instructables.
Arwen O’Reilly Griffith / Daphne from Scooby Doo
Last year my friend Andrea came up with the idea that she and her boyfriend and my husband and I should dress up as the four characters from Scooby Doo. We tried to find a Scooby with no success, but the rest of us fit perfectly into our roles. Jamie is tall and thin, just like Shaggy; Saul isn’t blond, but has Fred’s broad shoulders. I was a good match for Daphne since I have long, reddish-brown hair, and Andrea had the perfect glasses to play brainy Velma (plus she’s, well, shorter than the rest of us). We put our outfits together out of things we already had (my raspberry pink heels, Andrea’s dress), some thrift store finds (a huge orange sweater and a collegiate V-neck), and some creative accessorizing. I cut a purple tie in two to act as the belt and hairband for Daphne’s locks, and glued pieces of one of Saul’s old T-shirts to cardboard to make Fred’s cartoonish orange scarf. And when we got to our friend’s Halloween party, someone had dressed up as a dog, so we even had our Scooby Doo!
Becky Stern / Minnie Mouse
My mom’s a whiz on the sewing machine and she’s whipped up some nice costumes for my brother, sister and me over the years. My older sister and I were both Minnie Mouse (I wanted to be just like her), and my brother was a dinosaur. My mom always bought patterns made by Butterick or Simplicity, and let us help pick out the fabric for the costume.
Rachel Hobson / Egyptian
I guess it was 1986 when my mom gave in and made a Halloween costume for me that was based on my favorite song at the time: Walk Like An Egyptian by The Bangles. I loved that song *so* much (and, heck, I still do!) and my mom patiently created an Egyptian-inspired costume for me. I had red press-on nails (not sure why, but I thought they were rad!) and wore loads of eyeliner. I got totally in to it, and loved that my mom did that for me.
Brookelynn Morris / Tin Man
My neighbors had a refrigerator box on the curb for trash pickup that we just couldn’t let go to waste. What kid doesn’t want to be a mechanical man for Halloween?!? My mom and my dad were equal collaborators on this outfit, with my mom decorating the box, and my dad outfitting me with actual metal accessories, including that sweet funnel hat! This was a classic costume that re-circulated for a few more years. Classics never die!
Laura Cochrane / Nurse
Here’s me on the left and my sister, Katie, on the right, making a face. We’re wearing nurse costumes that my mom sewed from a pattern. My mom’s a dietitian at a hospital, so I’m guessing she came up with the idea. This is probably 1985 or 1986.