A-Z of Fancy Dress IDeas
I thought I'd veer away from my usual topic of crafts (briefly) to make a video listing a LOAD of fancy dress ideas. I made this list years ago but just thought I'd put it into video form just in time for Halloween!
The video starts with a huge list of ideas, and then I pick a few topics to expand on - and these subjects are all a great source of costume design inspiration.
You can buy costumes of course, but since I love crafts I would naturally encourage a DIY creation :) So I really hope this boatload of ideas will get your imagination going and help you think of a creative and unique outfit this year!
If you want to see the Lichtenstein character costume I talked about in the video, please follow this link:
Big thanks to Pixabay and The Met for copyright-free images, as well as to:
Chris Gent: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tangentical/4988282410/
Karl Stanton: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lynt/5137213653/
Savannah Tully: https://www.flickr.com/photos/148695160@N04/33362299816/
Heather Miller: https://www.flickr.com/photos/heathervesta/9699417259/
And Juska Wendland: https://www.flickr.com/photos/juska/4960133147/
Thanks for watching!
Photo of a funny homemade witch prop - by Rozanne.
An Introduction To A Homemade Halloween
Halloween is a fun holiday where for one day only it's completely normal to dress up like a living corpse and demand sweets from strangers (which is kind of weird if you think about it!)
Also called All Hallows Eve, the holiday falls on the 31st of October and is the amalgamation of Christian and Pagan festivals from the past, although the origin is not known for sure because Halloween seems to have been influenced by many different rituals and celebrations.
Fancy dress, trick or treat and home/garden decorations are the 3 most popular ways to celebrate Halloween, although my favorite thing to do as a kid was go to a local event which combined fancy dress, a disco, a bonfire, fireworks and toffee apples...it was fantastic, and it made Halloween into a much-loved holiday for me, especially as it falls very close to my birthday.
This page focusses on making decorations at home from scratch, which is great fun as well as (usually) being cheaper. For people with young kids, the decor is usually kept family-friendly, with cute ghosts and inoffensive designs, but if you don't need to worry about scaring children senseless you can really go to town with the blood and horror! The style of your haunted abode can be anything you like, including sophisticated (think gold leaf pumpkins and blood cocktails), silly (funny props) or downright terrifying (bloodied handprints, fake corpses and flickering candles) - just pick what suits you best and run with it.
The usual themes for Halloween are: black and orange colours, bats, zombies, vampires, skulls, skeletons, spiders, witches, Frankenstein, blood & gore, horror and monsters. You can stick to one (e.g. transform your house into a witch's coven) or you can mix them all together for an overall spooky effect. The tutorials below usually incorporate one of these theme ideas, although don't be afraid to invent your own project from scratch and simply use the how-tos on this page for inspiration.
Even if you're not into crafts, I think that everyone should carve their own pumpkin, right?! The humble Jack 'o' Lantern is the symbol of Halloween, plus it's relatively easy and quick to cut out a face, and it looks fantastic in the dark when you put a flickering candle inside. If you're up for the challenge, you can also take on much more advanced carvings - examples of which you can find below.
With regard to decorating the garden, any props are usually made from wood or other durable materials so will require more heavy-duty tools to make, but on the plus side they will last for years so it's totally worth the extra effort! Popular ideas include: a fake graveyard with funny names on the gravestones, and pumpkins placed in the porch area. Sound effects coming from hidden speakers in the garden are lots of fun for trick-or-treaters too, as are fake skeletons and scarecrow-like figures you can make yourself to look like a witch or other scary beast.
If you are a fan of electronics and/or invention and you want to go the extra mile, I have seen a few awesome ideas for making moving puppets, ghosts and other creepy characters in the garden so that they move at regular intervals or are controlled from inside the house - this often involves a motor but you could also rig up an effective prop using just a rope or string to provide the movement. Whatever you decide to do, just have fun with it!
Photo and gold foil pumpkin by Le Living and Co.
Spooky Ideas & Creepy Crafts:
Fanged pumpkins, paper bats, glittered skulls and much more.
Dripping black and red wax creates a gory effect.
Fun hanging porch decoration made via recycling.
Cheap and quick spider webs to hang all over the house.
Pacman has turned evil!
Temporary chandelier made of card, a plastic bottle and some paperclips.
Straightforward makes using mini ornamental pumpkins.
Elegant spiders you can also use for place settings.
Go all out for Halloween by making the front of a haunted house!
Pretty pumpkins and gourds for Fall.
Easy and creepy ceramic cat revamp.
Adorable felt decorations to hang up.
F i n d H a l l o w e e n D e c o r a t i o n s o n A m a z o n U . S . :
Photo and concrete gravestones by Lenore Edman.
DIY Halloween Props:
Amazing effect made with latex balloons.
In a fun and economical way.
Impressive wall prop.
Browse this website for amazing how-tos and ideas.
Paper bat shapes hanging from twigs.
An engaging activity for kids, and they make cool props.
Fun vampire themed DIY project which can double as a bookcase!
Ideal for putting the Halloween candy in.
To give trick-or-treaters a laugh!
Silly green blob creatures that are so easy to make.
Make little ghosts using ping-pong balls and plaster gauze.
Photograph and fun outdoor scene by The Crafty Hag.
Photograph of hanging plastic pumpkins by Mike Spasoff.
How to Carve a Pumpkin:
With a large pumpkin eating a small pumpkin!
Funny replica of the famous robot.
To help you create a successful carving.
Traditional pumpkin carving.
Print out your design beforehand.
Transferring a photo image onto a pumpkin.
Great video demo.
Funny ideas and helpful instructions.
The best examples and inspiration.
Amazing artwork made by Villafane Studios.
Many patterns to choose from including bats and skeletons.
Clever design made by combining 2 pumpkins together.
Amusing idea for adding a brace with staples and wire!
Nice choice of free Disney templates.
Photograph and hacked Lego minifigs by Windell Oskay.
Halloween Decoration Tutorials:
Create some spooky mood lighting.
Made from just clotheslines.
Built up using paper mache and chicken wire.
Easy and effective idea.
This backlit plywood scene looks really effective.
A few brilliant tutorials for props and ornaments.
Made using the simple reverse stencilling technique.
Fun variety of projects.
Gallery of imaginative Halloween ideas.
Funny plaque for your driveway.
Paper garland for quick and easy décor.
Photograph and cheesecloth-covered mummy head by Kinwart.
Make Your Own Halloween Ornaments:
Great centrepiece made using plaster.
Creepy Halloween prop.
Brilliant results for creating pumpkins from scratch.
Realistic end result.
Chicken wire silhouettes for the garden.
Made from rubber gloves!
Perfect for putting over your mantelpiece.
In shades of orange and black.
How to age labels to put onto jars of eery potions.
A really effective and spooky table display.
Photograph of Halloween Piñatas by OscarFalcon.
More Fun Halloween Projects:
Quick-to-make pumpkin decorations.
Spooky skeletal angel figurines.
Pumpkin-inspired candle lights.
Made with just cardboard rolls and glow sticks.
Plastic toys + jars + food colouring = gross.
Make little hanging ghosts with cheese cloth and glow sticks.
Brilliant kitchen set-up plus free printables.
Shape and color an old book to make a pretty decoration.
Including a grave and a scarecrow.
Make clay specimens and sotre them in jars for a horror themed centerpiece.
Totally creepy ornament made from cheesecloth and a display head.
Make a sturdy stand for your prop cauldron.
DIY Halloween Lanterns:
How to Carve a Pumpkin with a Stencil:
Build a Giant Spider Prop
Make Your Own Gravestones
Glowing Ghost Balloons
Made by moulding cheesecloth into shape.
Spooky hanging decoration made from a lampshade frame.
Unusual idea to make a spooky telly.
Cut-out felt runner inspired by spider webs.
Cute ornaments you could make a few of for a display.
With free scary designs to download.
These look great with candles in.
Make by cutting out and painting sheet music.
Clever way of making bell jars without spending lots on the real thing.
Print out these designs to make your own hanging ornaments.
Using a family member or friend as the model!
Create flickering silhouettes of skeleton, pumpkins, cats and more.
Arrr...walk the plank!
Photograph by Kinwart.
Even More Petrifying Props!:
DIY Halloween wall decoration.
So easy to make with just flour, salt and water.
Simple shape but very effective.
Effect made using just a silver gel pen.
My favourite idea is the Jack Skellington string garland.
Classy decorations with a lovely texture.
Fabulous ideas for Halloween food displays.
Funny wig monster to hang on your door.
Yarn wrapped creations painted with glow-in-the-dark paint.
Build your own house prop with cardboard.
Including an easy pop-up ghost book idea.
Spooky print on a burlap runner.
Photograph of an awesome Dalek pumpkin by Windell Oskay.
Haunted & Homemade:
Funny door decor which is really easy to make.
Hanging decorations made of yarn.
Who says Halloween needs to be dark and moody...go glam instead!
Temporary glow stick lanterns which are perfect for a spooky party.
Free templates to easily transform your home for the holiday.
I love the cut-out bats and skeleton boneyard.
Spindly tree decorations created using wire and paper tape.
Easy way to 'spookify' all of your lampshades!
Make your own spooky cardboard house covered in black glitter.
Mini mummy monsters to display all over your home.
A spectacular and inexpensive centrepiece.
I love the idea for using a hot glue gun for cobwebs.
I really hope you enjoyed this roundup and found some ghoulish projects to try!