Last minute costume ideas can be clever and easy.
With only a few days, a few hours or a few minutes before a costume party, there's still an opportunity to throw together a quick outfit using materials that are easy to buy or to find around the house.
If the costume occasion is a few days away, consider getting creative. MarthaStewart.com offers easy-to make costumes including the "bubble wrap jellyfish." All that's needed is a clear umbrella, bubble wrap, and white or light gray clothing. Cut the bubble wrap into long strips, starting a few inches wide and narrowing toward the bottom. Simply glue or tape these tentacles to the inside of the umbrella, and throw on some white clothes.
For a quick-and-easy bat costume, find an old black umbrella and a black outfit. Use a bolt cutter to detach the umbrella from the handle, then cut the remaining circle in half for bat wings. Attach the wings to a fitted harness. Or simply put on black clothing, attach one edge of each half to the underarm running from the armpit to wrist, and attach the other edge of each half to the side seam of the shirt.
A children's hula dancer costume can be made using a tank top, flip-flops and a rope-style mop head, some simple bows and ribbon. Cut the mop down the center to create two panels for a hula skirt. Use a hot-glue gun to attach these panels to ribbon, and tie the ribbon around the child's waist once dry. Use two more lengths of ribbon to make a lei and headpiece by gluing on multicolored gift bows. Finally, glue one bow to the top of each flip-flop.
If there are only a few hours to throw something together, try a classic standby like the sheet ghost or toilet paper mummy. For a quick ghost costume, grab an old white sheet. Make small marks where the eyes and mouth should be, and cut circular holes around the marks. Drape the sheet over the head, and secure it around the neck with loose string or safety pins.
For a fast mummy, wrap toilet paper in spirals up the body. It may be easier if you have a helping hand.
To dress up a baby or toddler quickly, find a black outfit and eight black adult-size tube socks. Stuff the tube socks with newspaper, and use safety pins to attach four onto the back of each side of the child's clothing for a fast spider costume.
Realistic looking blood can liven up any costume. Try this easy recipe from HalloweenOnline.com:
1 pint clear corn syrup
¼ cup water
100 drops red food coloring
8 drops blue food coloring
1/4 cup cornstarch
Be sure to mix together the first four ingredients before adding the cornstarch.
If there are only minutes to spare, try a quick fix like taping a quarter to your back to become a "quarterback." Or dress in all pink and carry a feather to be "tickled pink." Or simply draw the letter C on your body seven times to become the "Seven Seas." You can find these last-minute ideas and more at Halloween.com.