I can confidently say that I’ve never worn a store-bought costume for Halloween – or for any other dress-up event, for that matter. Though it was easier when my mom would spend hours sewing something together for me, I haven’t lost hope since I began doing it on my own. And neither should you.

Do-it-yourself (DIY) costumes are easier, cheaper and — in my experience — turn out much more authentic than anything found in a Party City. Don’t get me wrong; if you spend wads of cash at a high-end costume place, your costume will be tip-top. But that’s expensive and no fun. Here are some ideas for month-before, week-before and day-of costumes.

WINNIE THE POOH
What you need: Red shirt, yellow bottoms (can be a skirt, pants, overalls, etc.), jar with “honey” on it. *Optional: Bear ears, “Pooh” in yellow writing on the shirt.
Cost: $

VELMA DINKLEY
What you need: Orange shirt (preferably a turtleneck), red skirt, long socks (orange or white), dark shoes (red if you have them), glasses. *Optional: Bangs (just find a pair of scissors, and you’re good to go.)
Cost: $

GHOST
A classic. What you need: A white bed sheet with holes cut for eyes. *Optional: A mouth hole, clothing under.
Cost: $

CATCHER IN THE RYE
What you need: A white shirt with “The Rye” written on it, a baseball mitt. *Optional: Full catcher’s gear, a red hunting hat.
Cost: $

SOUPER HERO
What you need: A cape, a shirt (preferably half red, half white with a yellow circle at the middle) with “Campbell’s” written on it. *Optional: A spoon.
Cost: $-$$

SPICE GIRLS
What you need: two to three friends, shirts with different spice labels (e.g. Ground Cinnamon, Thyme, Rosemary Leaves). *Optional: The level of effort you want to put into this.
Cost: $-$$

BRAWNY MAN
What you need: A red and black flannel (preferably unbuttoned with a bit of white undershirt showing), a pack of Brawny paper towels. *Optional: Rolled sleeves, a fresh shave, pine trees looming behind you.
Cost: $

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