Why let Halloween be wasted on the youth? Today the holiday is just as much for the adults as it is for the children. But what to wear?
Witches, ghosts and vampires are fine go-to costumes, but what if you want to stand out from the crowd with a great Halloween costume on a budget? The key is to get creative.
If you're into pop culture, scanning the Internet for favorite TV and movie characters, musicians and other icons is a good first step. In fact, for costume ideas in just about any genre, the World Wide Web is a gold mine for brainstorming do-it-yourself costumes, whether you're going for spooky or kooky.
Then, you can make a list and stop at thrift shops and discount retailers (or borrow stuff from friends and family) to complete your home-made costume.
But before you head off searching for some inspiration, we've got five fun, original ideas that will help you stand out this Halloween ...
No. 5: Colonel Sanders/Wendy's Mascot
What's more American than baseball and apple pie? How about fast food and advertising icons?
Colonel Sanders and the Wendy's mascot may not have quite the recognition of Ronald McDonald or the Burger King, but you're less likely to run into your doppelganger with the second-rung mascots.
For the KFC mascot, buy a Santa Claus wig, trim it very short, find some black-rimmed eyeglasses at a dollar store, and wear a white shirt and a red apron borrowed from a family member. Then go to KFC and buy a bucket of chicken. Colonel Sanders -- and the chicken -- will prove to be a big hit every party you go to.
For a Wendy costume, all you need is a red-haired wig in braids, with little blue and white ribbons, a $5 blue and white dress from a thrift store and some cheap black Mary Jane shoes. Be sure to carry a Wendy's fast food bag for the full effect.
No. 4: Cousin Itt/Wednesday Addams
Want a costume that shields your face (and everything else)? Go as Cousin Itt, the lovable hairball from "The Addams Family."
Although this may sound like a lot of work, it actually can be made on the cheap and with very little effort.
First, find a long blond or light brown wig, or some highly frayed yarn, and pin it securely to your hair. The main part of the costume now taken care of, just wear street clothes for the rest of your look and be sure to not forget the sunglasses and top hat.
Looking for a more feminine nod to the Addams clan? If you have long, dark hair, it's easy; just put your hair in braids. Otherwise buy some cheap black spray-on hair coloring or get a cheap wig. Wear a black dress and pin or sew white cuffs and collar onto the dress. Don some striped tights, and voila! You're Wednesday Addams.
No. 3: Orville Redenbacher
Orville Redenbacher's been dead for more than 15 years, yet the product bearing his name lives on. So does his iconic image.
That makes the popcorn king a perfect choice for a homemade costume. You want to be easily recognizable otherwise you'll spend all your time explaining who you're "supposed to be."
Lucky for you, Orville's image is just as easy and affordable to reproduce as it is iconic.
Like the Colonel, Orville has gray-white hair, so an inexpensive Santa or old-man wig, trimmed short, does the trick. Black-rimmed nerd glasses, red suspenders and a thrift store blazer and pants top off this look.
To take this costume over the top and be a true success at every Halloween party, pop some bags of microwave popcorn to share with other party-goers.
That's one Halloween look that really pops.
No. 2: Tippi Hedren from "The Birds"
Few directors go together with the thrills of Halloween quite like Alfred Hitchcock. So why not choose to honor The Master of Suspense when designing your homemade costume?
Sure, there's an actual costume available online to turn you into Tippi Hedren from Alfred Hitchcock's classic "The Birds," but you don't have to shell out the $50 or work for hours to get this look.
Go to a thrift shop or discount store and look for a greenish blazer and skirt and some cheap black pumps. Next, head to a craft/floral shop such as Michael's and ask if they have any fake bird props, or look online (Anytimecostumes.com, among other sites, sell fake black birds for as little as $2).