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DIY Halloween costume ideas that work double-duty

With a few quick and crafty tweaks, you can turn one ordinary costume into something extraordinary.
/ Source: TODAY

There are two types of people in this world when it comes to Halloween costumes: those who are indecisive and those who procrastinate. And sometimes people are both. Whichever category you fall in, TODAY Style is here to help!

Are you wavering between a few options? Perhaps you are torn between a classic get-up and something more timely and current. Or, maybe you’ve waited too long to get this year’s costume and find the stores no longer carry the good options. You can dig through your basement to unearth a costume from three years ago, but, alas, you go to the same party with the same people every year. You can’t show up as a black cat again.

Whether you are of the ambivalent variety or a last-minute decision-maker, we have three DIY costume transformations to come to your rescue. With a few quick and crafty tweaks, you can turn that one ordinary costume into two!

Caped crusaders

One black cape equals two awesome costumes. With the wave of a magic wand, turn your magician costume into the "Game of Thrones" hero Jon Snow.

Halloween costume ideas
Amanda Kingloff

What you'll need:

How to make the magician costume:


  1. To embellish the cape, use glue dots to adhere playing cards to the inside lining of the cape.


  1. Cut a cardboard tube (you can use a wrapping paper tube also) to 14-inches long and paint it black.
  2. Let it dry, then wrap about 1 inch of either end in white duct tape.

How to make the Jon Snow "Game of Thrones" costume:


  1. Cut scarf into two pieces and safety pin each half to the shoulders of the black cape. Make sure to pin on in a few layers to give each shoulder some height.
  2. Paint dashes of white paint on the scarf to create a snowy effect.


  1. Cut a 4-inch-by-24-inch rectangle of cardboard. Cut one end to a point.
  2. Cut a 5-inch long piece to make a decorative guard for the handle.
  3. Cover both pieces of cardboard in silver duct tape.
  4. Hot glue the back of the cardboard blade to the magician’s wand, leaving about 5 inches of the wand showing on the bottom.
  5. Hot glue the guard to the junction of the blade and the handle.
  6. Wrap a bouncy ball in aluminum foil and hot glue it to the end of the sword’s handle.
  7. Optional: Glue the untied bow tie on the end if you'd like to add a fake-blood effect. "For the watch!"

Country "fare"

Even cowgirls get the blues sometimes and need to change up their Halloween costume! Turn that red, gingham shirt into a creative costume: a perfectly crafted picnic!

Halloween costume ideas
Amanda Kingloff

What you'll need:

How to make the picnic costume:


  1. Add lunch-time flair to your shirt by creating a doily border. Cut doilies in half and use glue dots to adhere them to your shirt.


  1. To make the earrings, punch a hole in two plastic potato chips, and loop jump rings through the holes. Attach earring hooks to the jump rings.
  2. To make the barrette, hot glue a metal hair clip to the back of a slice of watermelon.
  3. To make the necklace, poke holes through the plastic foods on either side with a large safety pin or nail. Thread fishing line through the holes, spacing them apart with beads. Tie the fishing line to two 14-inch pieces of ribbon.

Picnic-basket purse

  1. Cut off the majority of the hat’s brim, leaving about 1 inch in tact. Fold that rim into the hat and hot-glue to secure.
  2. Cut detached brim into a 2-inch wide strip and fold to hot-glue the cut edge and prevent fraying. Cut this into two, 10-inch strips.
  3. Hot glue each strip to the front and back edges of the “basket” to make the handles; glue a button on top for decoration.
  4. Line the basket with the bandana.

From pumpkin to Piper

Orange is the mascot of Halloween ... and it’s also the "new black," of course. Turn your innocent pumpkin costume into this saucy and humorous "Orange is the New Black" ensemble.

Halloween costume ideas
Amanda Kingloff

What you'll need for both:

How to make the pumpkin costume:


  1. Cut jack-o'-lantern features from black felt.
  2. Attach them to the shirt with glue dots.


  1. Wrap the middle of the pipe cleaner around the base of the cork and create two spirals outwards by wrapping the ends around your pinky finger.
  2. Hot glue the bottom of the cork to the top of the orange hat.

How to make Piper from "Orange Is The New Black" costume:


  1. Cut the letters D.O.C. out of black felt.
  2. Attach the letters to the back of the T-shirt with glue dots.
  3. Wear it over a long-sleeve white shirt for the full effect.

Duct tape slippers

  1. Trace shoe soles onto cardboard and cut out with utility knife.
  2. Cover each sole with gray duct tape.
  3. Make the strap by adhering two pieces of tape to one another (adhesive side to adhesive side) and hot gluing the ends onto the bottom of the shoes.
  4. If you're trick-or-treating or outside, you can always make them big enough to fit over regular shoes!

This story was originally published on Oct. 20, 2015.