It's that time of the year again. Trick or treating... parties... watching for the Great Pumpkin. Whichever activity you choose, it's best to be dressed for the occasion. For those procrastinators out there who haven't even thought of their costume, I've pulled together some fun costumes of literary characters that can be made just by what you have at home. My beloved carebear that my fiance gave me is modeling each sample costume.
Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor. Although it takes a lifetime to perfect the art of fancy, you too can be fancy for just one night. Certain accessories are required, such as classy sunglasses, feather boa, high heels (preferably red,) and sparkly clothing. Red wig is useful, but not completely mandatory, just pile hair on top of head and accessorize with glittering things.
Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo is another quick idea to put together. Despereaux's main distinguishing feature was his enormous ears. Locate a brown paper bag and a headband to make these. Paper plates can also be used if you have the time to color them brown. Draw a large needle shape on a cereal box and cover it with tin foil for Despereaux's signature sword. If you have eye liner laying around, add some whiskers onto your face.
Darth Paper by Tom Angleberger was one of my favorite sequel books this year. To dress up like Darth Paper, start with black clothing as a base. Then, you'll need a large piece of black paper. (This may be tougher to get last minute, but sometimes you can find black posterboard at drugstores.) You could try using a black trash bag, I didn't have one around, so I couldn't try it. Follow the directions on Tom's site to fold a giant darth paper. Don't forget to add paper light saber. (If you have wrapping paper around, it might be great to use for this.)
Elephant And Piggie by Mo Willems is a early reader series that focuses on two great characters. The entire book is organized into speech bubbies where Willems ingeniously creates an entire story out of a bit of dialogue. This costume is best if there are two trying to dress up. For elephant, you'll need a pair of grey tights or pantyhose and a slinky. Stuff the slinky inside of the pantyhose using safety pins to secure it to the top of the hose. Use posterboard to make a speech bubble and add some dialogue.
The Lunch Lady Comic series by James Krosoczka is another great resource for halloween costumes. Who wouldn't want to be a Lunch Lady superhero? I, myself am envious of her spork phone. Luckily, dressing up like the Lunch Lady can mostly be accomplished with items from your local cleaning cabinet, assuming you have someone in the house who is handy with pinesol. To start with, you'll need a white shirt and grey pants if possible. Next, add on an apron, (yellow if possible.) The last and most important thing is yellow rubber gloves. If you don't have these, I would suggest buying them from the drugstore to complete the look. Hair nets are of course optional, the Lunch Lady isn't normally depicted wearing one, but her sidekick Velma always has one on. If you don't happen to have a hair net just lying around, you can use the netted bag that apples or oranges come in. Just thread a piece of string through the opening like a drawstring. Pull and tie to secure it once on your head. All that's left after that is to arm yourself with a customary implement of kitchen doom, such as a spork phone or jet propelled mixer. If unavailable, arm yourself with a spatula.
And with that, I bid you all Happy Halloween!