Halloween costume ideas, 2012 edition: Crafty costumes

Halloween costume ideas, 2012 edition: Crafty costumes

For some, Halloween is the sartorial highlight of the year. It's the chance to show off your costume-making prowess, flaunt your obscure knowledge of old or current film characters, and just have fun.

Earlier this week, we explored a few costume ideas for the less proactive/enthusiastic folks out there. Now, we've got the tricks and treats for those who love the holiday, but still haven't gotten their getup together just yet. From group costume ideas to solo-costume inspirations, here are some pointers.

See also:
Halloween costume ideas, 2012 edition: Easy disguises
Halloween costumes that will make you go 'WTF?' 2012 Edition
High fashion Halloween: Costume tips and tricks


The conclusion of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy was the end of an era. However, that doesn't mean you've got to stop dressing up like the heroes and villains from the movie. With Scarecrow, the Joker, Harvey Dent, Bane -- not to mention Alfred or Mr. Fox -- there are so many characters to draw from. We'll focus on a few from The Dark Knight Rises, but remember that this could make an awesome group costume with Nolan-inspired Batman characters from throughout the series.

Hermit Bruce Wayne, Batman
Hermit Bruce Wayne, Batman

Batman: The great thing is that there are so many different routes you can go with Batman as a costume. There's the Dark Knight, with his classic mask and cape. You can go for the billionaire Bruce Wayne with a tux and smirk. Dress up as prisoner-Batman in the pit with a broken back and raggedy clothes. Better yet, try being the decrepit, hermit Bruce Wayne instead of his burly suited-up Batman. Find a suit, a robe, grow some facial scruff, and a cane... although, on second thought, you could just be Howard Hughes.

Where to go: Target or Ragstock for all-black attire and mask-making supplies.


Bane: Your mindset: Get ready for all-out war on Batman. What do you need? A bomber jacket, combat boots, cargo pants, and a military vest. What makes this a really crafty costume is the the fact that you'll have to wear that mask all night. You can make one of your own by learning from this over-achiever.

Where to go: The army surplus store.

Catwoman, Selena Kyle
Catwoman, Selena Kyle

Catwoman: Sultry little cat burglar Selena Kyle's style has changed a lot from Eartha Kitt to Michelle Pfeiffer to Anne Hathway. (We choose not to acknowledge the Halle Berry version of this femme fatale.) To get the latest Catwoman look, you'll need a black bodysuit. If you can get a fancy leather or PVC bodysuit, that's even better, but plain spandex definitely gets the point across. A black utility belt and tall boots top off Catwoman's clothing.

Tip: Like most Batman characters, you'll need a mask. You can easily make one that goes on and off quickly by taking black lace (wide-lace ribbon works well), and hot-gluing it to a generic mask. For a more permanent mask, you can fit the lace ribbon over your eyes, extending it to your temples. Cut eye holes and shape the lace with scissors so it fits your face. Next, apply eyelash glue to the outer edges of the mask, put it on, and you're in disguise.

Where to go: American Apparel for spandex bodysuits, Michael's for lace and masks.

Commissioner Gordon, John Blake
Commissioner Gordon, John Blake

Commissioner Gordon or John Blake: There might be a huge age gap between these two guys on the force, but they're both Gotham detectives wearing basically the same thing: dark slacks, suit jacket, trench coat. If you're going for Gordon, don't forget those trademark glasses and a part down the middle of your hair.

Where to go: Savers or Ragstock for the modern disheveled, disgruntled detective look.

Some of the Avengers: Captain America, Black Widow, Iron Man, and Thor
Some of the Avengers: Captain America, Black Widow, Iron Man, and Thor


Group costume! Was there ever a better way to get a ton of your friends together in disguise? Sure, the Batman brigade is cool, but the Avengers are fun. Here's a mathematical rundown of each major character's trademarks that you can riff on and make your own for Halloween.

Red cape + gray or black shirt + pants + hammer + blonde wig = Thor!

Iron Man
Let's try out the Tony Stark side of this billionaire-playboy-hero-genius.
Suit + goatee + electromagnetic core/chest = Tony Stark

Captain America
Blue shirt with a white star on the chest + blue pants + blue ski a mask (- bottom jawline) + red gloves + circular shield = Captain America

Black Widow
Black bodysuit + belt with the Black Widow symbol + red bob = Black Widow

Green body paint + ripped shorts = Hulk post-monster phase

T-shirt - sleeves or very short-sleeved tee or vest + spiky hair + bow x 1000 arrows = Hawkeye

Nick Fury
Okay, so he's part of S.H.I.E.L.D., but we wanted to include him for good measure.
Eye patch + long, black trench coat x Samuel L. Jackson attitude = Nick Fury

Halloween costume ideas, 2012 edition: Crafty costumes

Moonrise Kingdom

Looking to win for Halloween's best quirky-cute-indie-hipster couples costume contest? Look no further than Wes Anderson's adolescent heart-warmer Moonrise Kingdom. (By the by, this is yet another group costume waiting to happen.)

Sam Shakusky:

Considering how much Sam hates being a Khaki Scout, he sure does rock the look. Here are the things you'll need to get your Shakusky badge of honor: coonskin cap; a khaki, button-down, short-sleeved shirt (don't get traditional navy blue, there's a reason it's called Khaki Scouts); khaki shorts; green, knee-high socks; brown shoes; a bright-yellow bandana; lots and lots and lots of scout patches (you can even make your own!); map; backpack; and, finally, a cork pop-gun (or not, depending on where you go for your festivities).

Where to go: Get your Khaki Scout needs at Ragstock and Savers, make your own patches from felt from Michaels.

Suzy Bishop:
Hailed for her incredible fashion sense, Suzy Bishop is the epitome of the retro-girl-next-door in her Peter Pan-collared dress, knee-high socks, and saddle shoes. Show off Suzy's rebellious side with her trademark bold streak of blue eyeshadow on your top lid. Pull your hair back into a half-ponytail, or don a raspberry-colored beret, and you're ready to go on some adventures.

Where to go: Vintage stores like Up Six, Tatters, or Blacklist Vintage are perfect for the wardrobe; hit Target for bright-blue eyeshadow; try out Goodwill for any vintage portable record players, suitcases, or for Suzy's signature binoculars.

Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit
Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit

The Hobbit

If you're already thinking about being a character from The Hobbit, chances are that you dressed up like one of the Fellowship a few years ago anyways. Pull that stuff out of your closet (we know you know exactly where it is), and put it on, Bilbo!

If you weren't nerdy or Tolkeinspired enough to delve into Middle Earth the last time this franchise made the rounds in theaters, then here are a few steps in the right direction towards Hobbitdom: A light-colored blouse or button-down, vest, breeches (feel free to cut a pair of old trousers a little shorter. Say, mid-calf), and the ever-necessary pipe or flagon. Feminine Hobbits can switch out the breeches for a mid-length circle skirt and a crown of roses atop a head of curls.

And don't forget the most important part of being a Hobbit: hairy feet. If you're daring, then you can try making your own (so you don't have to go barefoot all night). Take a pair of sandals and a patch of faux fur (readily available at craft stores!), secure them together, and you've got yourself a precious pair of Hobbit feet.

Walter White and Jesse Pinkman
Walter White and Jesse Pinkman

Breaking Bad:

Who doesn't want to be badass Walter White and lovable miscreant Jesse Pinkman? This is a good dude-duo costume that's not super difficult to put together. But it still in the "people who get into it" category because you're going to be stuck in a yellow jumpsuit and gas mask all night.

Where to go: Ax Man, Halloween Supply

Note: So you like Breaking Bad, but you don't want to commit to it all the way? Good news, unlike Walt, you've got more options.

Walt wannabes will need a pair of khakis, a dress shirt, and a khaki-colored jacket. Slap a bald cap on, get some readers, and grow (or buy) a goatee. If you want to go deluxe, get a black pork pie hat, and plant it firmly on your head.

Jesse hopefuls can raid the XXL section at the nearest cheap clothing mart. Items needed include a t-shirt, pants (preferably with lots of pockets for storing the goods), and an even larger hoodie. A beanie can complete the Jesse look. If you want to go a step further, get a black-eye kit and go to town on your face. Dropping Jesse's trademark "bitch" at the end of your sentences brings up the realism of the costume -- as well as your likelihood of being misunderstood.


Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln: It seems like it's not a huge deal to be good ol' Honest Abe. But if you want to do this correctly and not end up looking like the Doctor, then there are a few essential things you need.

First: beard. There's no being Lincoln without some Midwestern facial scruff. (Okay, sometimes he didn't have a beard, but no one pictures him that way anyways.)

Second: stovepipe hat. That was his thing, and now it's your thing. The taller the hat, the better.
Third: suit with an overcoat.

What's even better about this costume is that you can just grab a wooden stake (or literally any piece of wood) and bam, you're Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. That movie might have flopped, but your costume will be a hit.

Where to go: Ragstock, Savers

Binders Full of Women: This costume may or may not be everywhere this Halloween, but we're confident you can make it your own with a little grade-school spirit. Did you ever see any two binders decorated the same way? From Lisa Frank to those strange S-shaped doodles, everyone had their own binder style.

Our first option takes the sandwich board idea and puts it on its side. Take two sheets of foam core or poster board, then cut three equidistant holes on the left side to fit rings through. Cut two holes near the top side of both boards. These are where you can put long string through for the sandwich board effect.

Then, feel free to let your imagination run wild. Are you a lady? Then you're already a woman in a binder, so you can just stand there and be yourself. Are you a dude? Grab some discount Barbies and secure them to the board, or cut up a magazine and paste them on.

Where to go: Office Max, Office Depot, Target, Walmart, or any office supply store.

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