5 Thrifty and Trendy 2012 Halloween Costumes


Big Bird became an Internet meme after Mitt Romney claimed he would cut funding to PBS, the home of ‘Sesame Street’, if elected president. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

After the first Presidential Debate, ABC reported the sales of Big Bird costumes skyrocketed. It has become one of the top costumes for this Halloween season. According to SheFinds.com what makes a great Halloween costume is if it falls into one or more of these five categories: hilarious, topical/relevant, sexy, clever, and unique. Big Bird’s relevancy might explain the jump in costume sales. Many of SheFinds.com’s suggestions are pop culture staples from this year and some can be found at your local Halloween store. However, if you want to save money, or you just like putting together your own costume, here are some thrifty ways you can create your own trendy Halloween costume.


This ‘Walking Dead’ sponsored zombie costume includes robe/shirt, shorts and slippers. Photo courtesy of BuyCostumes.com.

While being a zombie might seem rather clichéd, between the attack in Miami, Florida and The Walking Dead returning for its third season, zombies are extremely topical this Halloween. AMC even released a line of official Walking Dead zombie costumes. For the Walking Dead zombie girl costume you only need a few things and a little creativity:

  • Pajamas & Robe – you can get these inexpensively at Wal-Mart or use some old pajamas that you haven’t gotten around to throwing out yet.
  • Fake Blood is cheap and easy to find, anywhere that sells Halloween stuff should have it in stock. You can get the capsules for your face and I’d recommend a full bottle for your clothes.
  • To zombie-fy your clothes just rip, tear, splatter blood, and rub some dirt on them however you want. Have fun with it!
  • Makeup – I’ve found some good tutorials on YouTube from users Sccastaneda and Emma Pickles, but there are a lot of tutorials so find the one that works best for you.

Katniss Everdeen

This “Contestent” costume includes the jacket, pants, belt and Bird Pin. Photo courtesy of BuyCostumes.com.

Jennifer Lawrence starred as Katniss Everdeen this spring in The Hunger Games. The movie broke opening weekend records for a non-sequel by bringing in $152.5 million in North America; 3.8 million copies of the DVD and Blu-ray sold in the first weekend after release. Plus, Katniss is a great character, so it’s no wonder that anyone would want to dress up as such a badass. To build your own Katniss costume you’ll need a few things:

  • Boots – they just need to be black or brown although combat boots are more true to character. The cheapest I’ve found online are at Discount Women’s Dress Shoes, but I’ve never ordered from them so I can’t vouch for their quality. Target has some great boots that are a little bit more expensive but I trust them more.
  • Clothes – the jacket and pants you can improvise with using your own clothes or you could try looking through a thrift store.
  • Hot Topic is selling the Mockingjay pins for %50 off right now.
  • Bow & Arrows – You can find one at most Halloween stores and I would recommend not buying or using a real bow and arrow set because that could end badly.

Marvel’s Black Widow

This superhero costume includes the jumpsuit, 2 belts, buckle, and wrist cuffs. Photo courtesy of HalloweenCostumes.com.

Scarlett Johansson first appeared as Black Widow two years ago in Iron Man 2 and reprised her role for Marvel’s The Avengers this summer. The movie made $200.3 million in sales during opening weekend and within the first week of DVD release, topped the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart. Black Widow is the only female in the Avengers team and can easily keep up with the likes of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. So why wouldn’t you want to be her? Here’s what you need to make your own Black Widow costume:

  • Black unitard or bodysuit with black tights—Party City has some options for low prices—and black shoes. You can go for boots, but anything will work.
  • Belt – I had some difficulty tracking down a utility belt. If you’re crafty, you could probably make one or Amazon has a SWAT utility belt and a Steampunk belt. There are also Ninja utility belts that are more expensive but closer to Black Widow’s outfit.
  • Red hair – Natasha Romanov’s vibrant red hair is a staple of her character. If that’s not your natural hair color, you can get a wig or some spray hair dye. Party City, or any Halloween store, should have some in stock.

Big Bird

This character costume includes a dress, pink and red striped knee highs, and Big Bird character headband. Photo courtesy of Yandy.com.

This 8-foot, 2-inch bird has been hanging around Sesame Street since 1969. Although Big Bird is not the only Sesame Street character that has a sassy Halloween alter ego, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that Big Bird costume sales increased 500% on CostumeCraze.com after the Oct. 3 presidential debate. To make your own sass-ified Big Bird you’ll need:

  • Yellow clothes – this is fairly open ended. You can mix and match whatever yellow clothes you have, pick up something at a thrift store or get a t-shirt and shorts.
  • Feathers – you can get some from a craft store or a couple feather boas and maybe a mask.
  • You’ll need orange tights, which you can find at Target or probably any Halloween store. For the pink rings on Big Bird’s legs you can either use paint or some pink ribbon.
  • If you’re a bit craftier, YouTube user JacquieLongLegs posted her own DIY Big Bird costume tutorial video. There’s no sewing involved, only hot gluing, and she also shows you how to do Big Bird’s makeup.

Honey Boo Boo

This Little Miss Supreme Beauty Pageant costume includes a pageant dress, sash, pink satin bow and matching crown. Photo courtesy of Yandy.com.

Alana Thompson, better known as Honey Boo Boo, was introduced to America on TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras, but was so popular that TLC created a show just for her: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The mid-season finale topped Nielsen television ratings and has averaged 2.4 million viewers throughout the season. Honey Boo Boo is America’s darling right now and the perfect Halloween costume. Here’s what you’ll need to be the sassy pint-sized pageant princess:

  • Alana wears a lot of bright colors, more pink than Elle Woods, and a lot of prints, so unless you find an adult pageant dress in a thrift store, keep that in mind when assembling your Honey Boo Boo clothes. You can play around a lot with this costume.
  • Blonde wig – Halloween is the time to buy wigs because you can get them for pretty cheap. Costume Supercenter has some for less than $20 or you can pick one up at a Halloween store.
  • Sash & Tiara – you can make your own sash with ribbon from a craft store or Party Cheap has some inexpensive sashes in a lot of colors. You can get a tiara at any party store or Halloween store.
  • No matter what else you wear, a pink tutu would be a nice touch because who doesn’t want to wear a tutu all night?

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