Last Minute Halloween Costume Hacks for Procrastinators

  • October 27, 2015
  • Jenna Maxwell
Last Minute Halloween Costume Hacks for Procrastinators

Here we go again.  Weren’t we having this same conversation about this time last year?  So, you’ve procrastinated choosing your Halloween costume (again) and your party is just hours away.  No, you don’t have to bail out on your friends --because as always, we are here to help.  We've put together some great ideas for last minute Halloween costumes that are surprisingly not embarrassing.  Although we strongly encourage you to plan better next year, we’ve all been there--so on that note, here are ten Halloween costume hacks for all you procrastinators!

Sexy Cowgirl or Cute Scarecrow:  Got a pair of jeans and a plaid shirt?  Then you can pull together a super easy scarecrow look.  For the scarecrow, add a big sun hat and attach some raffia to peek out of your sleeves and hems.  Paint on a cute scarecrow face.  For a sexy cowgirl look, pull out a pair of old cut off and tie your plaid shirt at the waist.  Add cowboy boots and braid your hair in pigtails. 

1950’s Housewife:  For a cute retro look, wear a dress with a floral apron tied at the waist.  Pull your hair back and add a pair of cat eyeglasses, some yellow rubber gloves, finishing the look with some pearls and a dishtowel.  Wearing a little red lipstick wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. 

Cat:  A cat is a very easy look to pull together in just minutes.  Craft black cat ears out of black paper or felt and glue these to a plastic headband.  Paint cat features onto your face with black eyeliner.  Wear whatever black clothing you can scrounge up from your closet! 

Grapes:  Blow up a whole bunch of purple or green grapes and glue or otherwise attach these to matching or dark clothing.  Add a bright green accessory of some sort on the top of your head to simulate a stem. 

Nerd:  Roll up a pair of jeans and hike them up high on your waist.  Add a button-up shirt and button it all the way up to the neckline;  add a pair of suspenders.  Comb your hair in a side part and wrap some white tape around the center rim of a pair of dorky looking glasses.

Child or Baby:  Wear the most juvenile looking PJ’s you can find.  Borrow a stuffed teddy bear to carry around.  Wear pigtails. 

The Eighties Look:  Use LOTS of neon colored plastic jewelry to accessorize a sweatshirt with the neckline cut out.  Curl and tease your hair so that it is very big.    Add some leg warmers to complete your eighties look.  

Color-Streaked Hair:  Adding a few brightly colored streaks to your hair is a great way to add some jazzy punch to many different looks.  Accomplish this effect with ordinary colored chalk.  Rub the dampened chalk onto your hair and then set the color with hairspray.  The color will wash out when you shampoo your hair. 

Wind-Up Doll:  Dress in your cutest short dress or as a ballerina.  Make a doll-winder out of cardboard and a paper towel tube and cover this with aluminum foil.  Carefully attach the winder to your back using duct tape and a belt.  Paint your face appropriately so that you resemble a doll.

Hopefully, these Halloween costume hacks will ease any pain that may have been caused due to your lack of planning pinch.  Next time you can save yourself the no-costume angst by remembering that Halloween Express has the best selection of amazing costumes and accessories anywhere!  Happy Halloween from your friends at Halloween Express! 

Last Minute Halloween Costume Hacks for Procrastinators

What Does Your Halloween Costume Say About You?

  • October 21, 2015
  • Jenna Maxwell
What Does Your Halloween Costume Say About You?

Halloween is only 10 days away. And while lots of folks associate Halloween with candy and trick-or-treating, Halloween is so much more than just a spooky holiday. Halloween could arguably be the very best opportunity for ultimate role-play.  Costuming up has to be one of the best parts of traditional Halloween celebrating.  But have you ever given any thought as to what your costume choice may be saying about you?  There may be legitimate reasons for the costume choice that you make come Halloween.  Perhaps these selections may say more about your individual personality than you realize.  

So, this Halloween, what are you going to be?

Pop Culture Icon or Celebrity:  If your costume choice is a character straight out of a movie or television show or just part of today’s headlines, this Halloween you will not be alone.  When it comes to Halloween costumes, Pop culture characters are more popular than ever!  Pop culture costume looks are great conversation starters and are often favorites of those that seek attention and want to create a look equated with both power and popularity. 

Scary Monster:  Do you prefer to dress up as something scary or do you choose a darker character to be for Halloween?  If so, this is not necessarily a reflection of your true personality.  In fact, most of the time, a costume is an opportunity to be a character that is very different from who you really are.  In the case of a frightening costume, it can be empowering for some to pretend to be a perpetrator rather than a victim. 

Silly or Funny Character:  Comedic costume choices have become increasingly popular for Halloween.  If your costume preference is a silly or more lighthearted character, you likely enjoy being the life of your Halloween party.  In some instances, a shyer person may enjoy selecting a silly costume to show a side of their personality that is usually hidden from others. 

Disney Character:  Individuals feeling nostalgic for the past may choose to be popular Disney character. If you enjoy embracing your inner child and recreating a character you loved as a youngster, then dressing as a Disney character is often the perfect choice.  A Disney look reflects thoughtfulness, innocence, and sweetness. 

Classic Halloween Characters:  Year after year, witches, vampires, ghosts, zombies and other classic Halloween characters are still some of the most popular choices for Halloween dress up.  If you enjoy wearing one of these tried and true Halloween favorites, it doesn’t mean that you are ho-hum or boring.  It likely is more indicative of your love of the simplicity, history, and tradition of Halloween! 

Sexy or Sex Symbol Costumes:  Halloween has become a time for many men and women to express themselves in a more sexually flamboyant way than would normally occur in everyday life.  Sometimes these costume choices can be preferred by sexually repressed individuals as a way of “letting it all hang out” in a socially permissible way.  Women do not hold the corner on the market when it comes to sexy costumes.  Men will often choose powerful or heroic sex symbols on Halloween, selecting looks that emulate masculinity or power. Some of these sexy costumes include firefighters, police officers, military looks or other strong characters such as gladiators or superheroes.  Halloween can be a great time to embrace either your feminine wiles or inner machismo.

Supernatural:  Who wouldn’t like to possess some supernatural power?  Many Halloween characters have rare abilities that surpass the average human experience.  Superhuman strength, the ability to fly or even the power to cast spells are all fun capabilities that are extremely fun for Halloween role-play and dress-up. 

Halloween offers us the opportunity to explore our inner fantasies, even if only for one day.  Often Halloween is about exploring a persona that is the complete opposite of your everyday self.  Other times a chosen costume look might be about giving life to an inner fantasy.  No matter what your Halloween costume says about you, this holiday above all others is about having some good old-fashioned spooky Halloween fun!  Happy Halloween from your friends at Halloween Express

What Does Your Halloween Costume Say About You?

How to Create Creepy Cool Halloween Special Effects Using Dry Ice

  • October 14, 2015
  • Jenna Maxwell
How to Create Cool Halloween Looks with Dry Ice

There is nothing like a creepy, flowing mist to add a spooky effect to your Halloween décor. Fog and mist machines are a super efficient way to accomplish a bit of spooky murkiness on a grander scale.  Dry ice can be the perfect choice to add some spooky fog to a witch’s cauldron.  Dry ice can also complement your Halloween party punch bowl with a bubbling, gurgling effect.  And dry ice can put a shroud of fog over your food table. For those times when all you need is a little bit of cool mist, using dry ice is an easy and effective way to get the job done.  Don’t be intimidated by this cooler than cool type of ultra ice.  Dry ice is very easy to use and may become your coolest Halloween staple.  With a few basic usage tips, you will be well on your way to creating some amazing dry ice special effects.

What exactly is dry ice?  You may be wondering what is in dry ice that makes it so intensely cold.  Dry ice is compressed carbon dioxide.  (C02) When carbon dioxide gas is subjected to a quick change from a gas to a liquid while under intense pressure, it causes it to flash freeze.  When C02 subsequently melts it converts back to a carbon dioxide gas.  Adding warm water or another liquid to the dry ice speeds up this conversion process.  The result? A very creepy fog or mist!  Voila! Now that you know what dry ice is and what it does we know you are dying to try it out--right?

 During the Halloween season, dry ice is readily available at most supermarkets or variety stores.  You will want to call your local retailer and make sure that the dry ice that you need is available.  Generally speaking, in October there is a large demand for dry ice so you likely won’t have any trouble finding it.  You will want to purchase your dry ice very close to the time when you need it, however, so reserving what you need is a good idea whenever this is possible. 

How to Create Cool Halloween Looks with Dry Ice

Why use dry ice?  If you are looking for a steady stream of fog that lasts for hours, you may want to consider using a fog machine.  Dry ice is best suited for short-term, sporadic use.  The melting of the dry ice can be somewhat incremental depending on how hot the water or liquid used is and other conditions.  In any case, you will want to time your use of dry ice appropriately or consider using a fog or mist machine for more continual results.

How much dry ice will you need?  The amount of dry ice that you will need is going to vary.  Here are some rough estimates that will help you to approximate how much dry ice you will need to create various effects.  To use in a carved jack-o-lantern or cauldron, you will need about 10 lbs. of dry ice. This amount assumes you are using warm water and want the misty effect to last about 45 minutes.  A large punch bowl will require about 5 lbs. of dry ice for a mist effect that lasts for about 45-minutes. To create mist on a small porch or entryway, you will need about 30 lbs. of dry ice (split) into two separate containers.  This amount of dry ice will create mist for about 45 minutes to an hour.  For a larger or more open porch area, plan on using about 50 lbs. (split) of dry ice in two separate containers. 

Dry Ice Safety Tips:  When handling dry ice, always use gloves or a towel.  Painful burns can occur when bare skin comes into contact with dry ice.  When dry ice begins to melt, it displaces some of the air so make sure the area you are using it in is very well ventilated. Never eat dry ice, as it can cause internal injuries.  It is perfectly safe to use dry ice in beverages, just do not consume any chunks that may be floating around; the beverage itself will be safe.  Keep any unused dry ice nearby in an insulated container to minimize melting.  To make small pieces or shards of dry ice, wrap a large block of dry ice in a towel and hit the block with a hammer.  Make sure when handling the pieces you wear gloves or use tongs. 

Fun dry ice ideas:  To create the effect of a bubbling mess spewing out of a carved pumpkin, put two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid and green food coloring into a glass container.  Add a small piece of dry ice.  Add warm water and place this inside a carved pumpkin or leave the glass out to look like a science experiment gone very wrong. 

Place a cup of hot water inside a carved jack-o-lantern.  Add some dry ice using tongs.  Put the top back on the pumpkin and watch creepy fog come out of the carved area of the pumpkin! 

Hopefully, we’ve cleared the air for you about creating mist through the use of dry ice. There is no doubt about it--dry ice can add some very creepy and cool effects to your next Halloween party!

For additional ideas on how to use dry ice for special effects, check out DRYICEINFO.COM

How to Create Creepy Cool Halloween Special Effects Using Dry Ice

The Spirit of Halloween! Get Yours Now!

  • October 07, 2015
  • Jenna Maxwell
Get Your Spirit of Halloween On!

What are you waiting for?  Halloween is just weeks away.  There is no time like now to start feeling the spirit of Halloween.  Here is our list of some great ways to have some serious (and scary…and creepy…and silly) Halloween fun!  On your mark, get set, BOO!

Decorate. Have you decorated your home for Halloween yet?  It’s time to hang a few bats in your belfry and set those decorative ghouls and goblins on your porch. 

Haunted House.  At Halloween time, most localities host various haunted venues about the town. From the notorious big attractions to the smaller (and sometimes creepier) local ones, a haunted venue is a sure fire way to get into a Halloween mood!  Brace yourself for the ex-FEAR-ience!

Horror Movies.  Whether it is at your local theater or in your very own living room, now is the perfect time to find a spine-tingling, creepy movie to get you in a truly horror-able mood! 

Scary Books. At Halloween time, lots of creatures are stirring--and you can read about them in a good book!  Reading Halloween stories to your kids makes for some pretty awesome Halloween-themed family fun time.  If you want to take story time to the next level, try reading or telling some spooky ghost stories around a campfire.

Go to a Pumpkin Patch.  Just like Charlie Brown on his legendary quest to see the Great Pumpkin, it’s also time for you to make your annual sojourn to the local pumpkin patch to find that perfect Halloween pumpkin.  If you are lucky enough to be able to catch a hayride or wind your way through a corn maze, by all means, stop in for a spell.

Halloween Crafts.  Halloween and crafts go together just like tricks go with treats.  Check out some ghoully Halloween craft ideas.

Seasonal Foods and Treats. Halloween is a great time to eat drink and be scary.  Halloween themed recipes are easy to find online, or you can look for some fun and terror-ific food ideas in magazines or your local market.

Costume Party.  You didn’t put out all those Halloween decorations up just to scare yourself did you?  It’s time to gather the local boys and ghouls for a spook-fest at your place.  C’mon--you’ve always wanted to be the ghostess with the mostest, so now is your chance. 

Get into Character!  There is no time like the present for a little costume drama.  If you need some ideas on how to amp up your chosen Halloween character or costume, check out our how-to video page for lots of really spooktacular ideas!

Carve Pumpkins!  Pumpkins lend themselves well to carving out some very good times.  Assemble your pumpkin carving tools and have some serious fun adding a friendly (or not) face to your jack-o-lantern. 

Take a Look-Back.  Halloween is all about making memories that will last a lifetime.  Remember the ghoul times from your own childhood?   Bet we made you smile.  And if that didn’t do it, check out these vintage Halloween pictures from days gone by.

The Spirit of Halloween!  Get Yours Now!

Hey, Pumpkin!

  • October 01, 2015
  • Jenna Maxwell
Hey Pumpkin!

It happens every year about this time.  Suddenly, it’s as if we see the world through orange-colored glasses. Wherever you go these days, you can see stacks of vibrant orange pumpkins piled up in supermarkets and pumpkin patches. The subtle scent of pumpkin spice lingers in the air.  Yes, there is no doubt about it.  The fall is the season of the pumpkin, and no one seems to mind.  Since the pumpkin is clearly here to stay, here is our list of ways to fully indulge your pumpkin passion!  

Pumpkin Goodies.  Let’s get right to the good stuff.  Let’s face it; pumpkin sweets and baked goods are on just about everyone’s favorite fall fare list.  Pumpkin pies, cookies, bread, cakes, pancakes, muffins, biscuits and more--there is very little in the world of baked goods that hasn’t been adapted to incorporate the taste of beautiful pumpkin.  Coffee houses are brewing magically spiced coffees and teas that have become favorite fall indulgences.  Now is the time to try pumpkin lattes, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin cocoas, pumpkin cocktails and spicy pumpkin ales.

Pumpkin Candles.  Can’t get enough of the smell of cinnamon-ny, pumpkin deliciousness?  Burning a pumpkin candle or using a pumpkin scented air freshener or even potpourri is a great way to infuse your home with the scent of something deliciously pumpkin, all without any calories! 

Pumpkin Scented Play Dough.  Recipes are popping up all over the Internet for homemade, pumpkin-scented play dough.  Your kids will have hours and hours of fun playing and making fall creations with this fun and squishy heavenly scented dough.   Try this positively delicious smelling recipe!

Decorate!  Even if you aren’t going to be carving your pumpkin into a Jack-o-Lantern for a few weeks, pumpkins make fantastic, brightly colored fall decorations that can be the perfect accompaniment to your other Halloween décor.  If you picked your pumpkin when healthy and free of disease, it should last (uncarved) for up to 8-12 weeks when stored at mild temperatures without freezing. 

Costumes.  Pumpkin themed styles are some of the most appropriate and traditional Halloween costumes ever!  For a costume look that never goes out of style, consider dressing up in one of these vibrant, whimsical looks! 

Obviously pumpkins are good for so much more than just being a Fairy Godmother’s warped form of punishment. Fall is the time to enjoy all things pumpkin, so what are you waiting for?  These remarkable squash scream fun and opportunity.  It’s October.  It’s pumpkin time! 

Hey, Pumpkin!