Easy Halloween costumes
Chia Pet: Get a bathing or shower cap and a plastic plant (with small leaves like a chia pet). Staple enough plant to cover cap (before you put the cap on your head, silly). Wear rusty brown clothes. Carry a watering can -- to put your treats in.
Clock: Paint your whole face with white grease paint. With black eyeliner, draw numbers around face and draw clock hands originating from your nose. Slick hair back. If you can find a large spring, attach it to your hair (as if the clock is broken).
Bag of candy: Find a large clear garbage bag. Cut two holes in bottom of bag for your legs, and two armholes near opening of bag. For M&Ms, take multicolor round balloons and choose ones that match M&M colors. Blow them up to about 80 percent (less likely to break), and write "M" on each of them with black marker. Half fill bag -- then you have a chance of sitting down). For jellybeans, do the same with longer balloons.
Work of art: Pick your favorite style of painting and think of a way to match it. For Jackson Pollock, take a clean white T-shirt and splatter with paint. For Picasso, use black eyeliner to draw a profile of a face down the middle of your face, and color in one half. Perhaps you already have a shirt with a work of art on it? If the painting is only on your shirt, take a frame that is bigger than your "picture" and hang it by a ribbon around your neck. If your painting incorporates your body and head, you'll need to carry a large frame in front of you.
Siamese twins: Suggest this fun two-person costume to a special friend you'd like to get to know better. It requires a minimum amount of sewing. Take two large men's T-shirts. Cut the right sleeve and side off one, and the left sleeve and side off the other. Sew the two T-shirts together so that you end up with one big shirt with two armholes and two neck holes. Both people get into the shirt and walk around together all night.
Mr. Potato Head: Cut leg holes in bottom of a large burlap bag (you might have to make it). Cut out armholes near top of bag. Cut out eyes, nose, ears and mouth from appropriately colored felt. Attach Velcro to the backs of these items. Attach Velcro backs to the bag. Use black sweat pants or leotard for legs. When you're in the bag, fill it with old shirts or rags. Let people change your "face" around all night. Wear a hat.
Road kill: Find black clothes you're willing to sacrifice for a very funny and gross costume. Paint a white dotted line down the middle of the clothes (think "road"). Staple a rubber chicken or small stuffed animal to shirt. Dash animal with red paint.
Dionysus/Bacchus (God of wine): Take a sheet and wrap it around you like a toga. Buy a branch of plastic leaves at a craft store (or pluck a branch from a bush outside). Fashion leaves into a half-circle to wear on your head. Tie a cord around your waist, and hang a corkscrew from it. Carry plastic or real grapes. Eat, drink and be merry!
Timely Halloween costumes
Netflix envelope: One clever and creative budget costume will remind everyone of a favorite pastime -- movie and popcorn night at home. To create a Netflix envelope costume, buy two red poster boards and some string to create a sandwich board. Cut out the Netflix letters in white and paste them in the center of the board. If you're feeling meticulous, add bar codes, white borders and the sticker.
Walking coffee: Display your love of java with a Starbucks cup costume that you can whip up on a dime. Either print out 2 large copies of the circular Starbucks logo or paint your own on cardboard, and use string to create a circular sandwich board. Wear all white, and use black electrical tape on your side to create the tick boxes on the side of the cup. You can fashion a lid hat by using elastic and an actual Starbucks lid, a white beret, or if you have some time on your hands, white cardboard.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Buy two yellow poster boards; poke two holes in the top of each board and using ribbon or yarn, tie them over your shoulders like sandwich boards. Wear a red tie, white shirt, knee-high athletic socks and black shoes. Practice your squeaky-voice before heading out: try saying, "Krabby patties!"