How to: costumes in a crunch

A cactus is one example of a fun costume that a student can easily put together last minute. - Flickr.com
A cactus is one example of a fun costume that a student can easily put together last minute. – Flickr.com

With Halloween weekend coming up and midterms still looming ahead, Ephs don’t have hours and hours of free time to get that award-winning costume together. I decided to scour the Internet, including Angela Vitello’s article “31 Insanely Clever Last-Minute Halloween Costumes” from BuzzFeed, and round up a list of last-minute costume ideas that won’t win you an award, but at least won’t leave you looking like the Grinch of Halloween. Who knows? You might even get a couple laughs. If after reading this article, you show up at a party this weekend without a costume, you really have no excuse – I’ve done half the work for you already.

Take a Sharpie to a white T-shirt and write Error 404: Costume Not Found. You’ll be your own inside joke, and the butt of everyone else’s. Or attach dryer sheets, socks and boxers to yourself: instant static cling – make your physics professor proud. Already got an ’80s sweater? Bill Cosby!

Put black dots on red clothes, and you’re now a ladybug. Bonus points if you find a headband to make as antennae. Or you can add a fanny pack to literally any tacky outfit and you have the “Insta-tourist.” Even a fanny pack over a cat costume works. Sunglasses, a black suit, greased hair – you can be the bouncer and keep your enemies out of the parties. Or get a fake ponytail, wear an unbuttoned flannel shirt, jeans and boots, and you’re Billy Ray Cyrus.

Make your cat costume even better by carrying your guitar with you and a sign around your neck that reads Stevens: boom, Cat Stevens. You’re an insta-nerd.

My personal favorite: Dress up as “A Night In.” Just wear whatever you binge-watch Scandal in. In the spirit of TV personas, you need basically no clothing to be Walter White. Just wear Tightey Whiteys, a dirty button down and glasses. You might want to leave the gun at home, though.

Stuff yourself and a friend (or enemy) into an XXXL shirt that reads “our get along shirt,” and then see how long you last without killing each other. Or use that vintage leather jacket you’ve been trying to muster up the courage to wear and let out your inner Fonz. You can put a sign around your neck and announce that you’re a nudist on strike. Another great excuse to wear anything you want.

Fantasy football! All you need is a Snuggie, a football helmet and a beer. A tank top with boob-circle cut outs, and you’re Regina George. Bonus points if you recruit an “Army of Skanks” to match you. And well, if worst comes to worst, just be an underwear model. Six pack optional. If you want to be slightly more covered up than that, paint a box, cut holes for your head and arms, then stick matching colored Solo cups on the front. Write LEGO on the cups if you don’t want your friends to have to think too hard.

Use a paper bag to make a safari vest. Paper towel rolls for binoculars. Caution: this is not ideal for rainy weather. If that won’t work, an old hoodie can be turned into an animal outfit with felt or paper. Bonus points for matching sweats and a tail.

Balloons? You now have a grape costume. Or you can convince Dining Services to give you some tin foil you can easily make into some Viking gear.

Fun fact: Elmer’s glue and food coloring make fake wounds. The possibilities are endless. You can be anything that bleeds. If you don’t like blood, make a headband with ping-pong ball eyes and a green triangle necklace, and you’re Kermit the Frog. Wear all white and attach a yellow paper circle to the front of your chest – you’re an egg. To become deviled, add ears or write “666” on your forehead.

Get some friends together and be a museum. Mondrian, Rothko, Calder, Miro. This one is for all my art history nerds out there. Speaking of art, you could be Magritte’s famous Son of Man painting. Wear a suit and a bowler hat from the guy you hang out with. Guys, wear a wrapped box, put a bow on it: God’s gift to women. Be warned, this costume is dangerous if you’re too good-looking.

Dress in all green, get some plastic straws and staple them all over you. You’re a cactus. That’s clever, right? Rosie the Riveter – bandana around your head, red lipstick and a Canadian tuxedo – a denim shirt paired with denim jeans. Extra points if you’re a boy. Or using white duct tape, make a line of dashes up a black shirt and tie a fork to it: “Fork in the Road.” A super creative one: Greek god or goddess – make a toga from a bed sheet – because it’s college.

A quarterback! Print out a giant picture of a quarter and tape it to your back, actual athleticism optional. It’s fall, dress in green. Find some leaves and branches. You’re a tree. Dress in orange and cut out a pi symbol from black paper. Pumpkin pi!

Be a cardboard box animal, just because. Or a garbage bag witch; might get a bit sweaty, though. And for the truly lazy, print out a picture, find a stick, and put it in front of your face. Happy Halloween, goons.

*This article was updated to reflect the contribution of ideas from Angela Vitello, a BuzzFeed staff writer, whose article “31 Insanely Clever Last-Minute Halloween Costumes” provided several ideas for the author.