I’m notoriously bad with money. I’m not one to max out my credit card at the mall (anymore) or go to Europe on a whim, but I just really like doing cute things. I like going to cute restaurants and sipping fancy cocktails. I like getting caramel apples at the apple orchard, hot cocoa at the Christmas parade and an ice cold Guiness on St. Patrick’s Day. I like traveling to every Illinois home football game and wearing my Illinois Jersey. And unfortunately, cute things tend to cost money.
So, given those characteristics, you might find it odd that I have never bought a real halloween costume. Of all the places to cut corners, it’s weird that I chose this of all things to save a few bucks on. I’ve never been a hot referee or a sexed-up fairy tale character. Even as a kid, I remember going into the attic with my brother, pulling down the two Halloween boxes and tearing through it to see what we could wear that year — and we had a blast! Making my halloween costume has always been half the fun!
Last year, I made my Minnie Mouse Costume, which came out adorable (if I do say so myself). I made a Ninja Turtle costume at 10 PM the night of Halloween a few years ago — that was a fun one. This year, I’m working on making my Poison Ivy costume, slowly but surely. But if you are cooler than me (which, let’s face it, is not that hard) and don’t have tons of free time and craft supplies, I would like to propose one of my personal faves: my super-easy lion costume.
I wore this costume for a jungle-themed party for my old gymnastics team, but there’s no reason you couldn’t wear it for Halloween instead.
What you need:
Yellow construction paper
1 plain plastic headband
4 rubber bands (I used hair bands)
Glue (I used white, school glue)
What to do:
The mane is actually just a headband. Cut several pieces of yarn about 6 inches in length. Fold a piece of yarn in half. With the handband laying flat, place the yarn under the headband so it crosses perpendicularly. Pull the two ends of yarn, together, over the headband and through the loop created by the folded side. Pull firmly to secure. Repeat several times, alternating colors and bunching together tightly until you’ve covered the entire headband except the bottom inch on both sides. Secure the last piece of yarn on either side with some glue to keep it from sliding off.
Set aside to dry. Meanwhile, cut two “ears” out of yellow construction paper. I used a curved, triangle like this.
When the glue has completely dried, you can attach the ears and trim the mane. Take your scissors and cut the ends of the mane evenly around — I have mine about 2 inches long. To add the ears, simply poke two holes on the bottom of each piece of paper. Using four pieces of yarn (one for each hole), string it through the paper and then tie it to the headband. And then you have a mane!
Wrist & ankle bands:
I just think these are fun! These are made exactly like the headband. Using the same looping method that you used on the headband, attach several 4-inch strands of yard to each of four rubber bands. I didn’t trim the ends of these like I did the mane. Wear one on each wrist and ankle.
The tail is super easy. Cut eight pieces of each color yarn to be about 4 feet long. Gather them all together so the ends are even (or close to even) and secure by using another piece of yard (about 6 inches) and tying a tight knot 2 inches below the top. Loosely separate the colors and braid until about 2 inches remain. Secure by tying a knot with another short piece of yarn. Last, cut eight, 18-inch strands of each color. Bunch these together, mixing up the colors, and fold in half. Secure to the end of the tail by tying with another short piece of yard. Voila!
Now that you have the accessories, the rest is cake. Throw on an orange, brown or yellow tank with a pair of jeans or leggings. This would also look super cute with a short and sassy dress that fits the color sceme! It shouldn’t cost you more than $10 and it won’t take you more than an hour to put together.