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When it comes to Halloween costumes, I have a very checkered past.
Let me give you 3 personal highlights from my list of 'must try harder' attempts.
Case 1: The photograph below, taken in 1983, shows a typical bunch of Halloween costumes.
I'm in the photo and I will give you 3 guesses, no, I'll give you 4 guesses as to which one I am.
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Wrong. I'm not 'The Bandaged Man' who turns out to be actually the most accidental Milk Tray Man ever.
Wrong. I'm not that 'Cowboy(or could be)Mexican' shouting "we don't need no stinking badges".
And Wrong Wrong Wrong. I am NOT the 'Pink Princess' with glitter wand and tiara.
The other girl by the way, is my sister, in what I believe is a 'Nora Barnacle' costume.
So where am I?
See the brown hooded figure standing to the left just in front of the drain pipe?
Believe it or not that is supposed to be Luke Skywalker from Return of the Jedi.
Not one of my best efforts, I'll admit, but come on people. It's 1983!
I'm 9 years old!
Case 2: Jump ahead 21 years and lots of bad choices and you will meet a 30 year old man who 'doesn't do' Halloween anymore. Then someone in work suggests "Wouldn't it be great if we all came to work in costume for Halloween?". The entire room agreed and my heart sank.
I've never been a victim to peer pressure but I felt I could muster up a simple yet effective costume. And all from my own wardrobe.
A pair of black slacks. Check.
A thick wool jumper, brown in colour. Preferably with a hole or two. Check.
A big old pair of boots. Black. Check.
A big quiff of hair. Check.
And two fake bolts that I could stick on the side of my neck once I got to work and hey presto - a Frankenstein costume.
Imagine my surprise when I walked into work only to see that nobody was in costumes.
It was a stupid idea they all admit.
"Yeah", I muffled, trying to cover the holes in my thick brown scruffy jumper.
"Huh, really", I said, trying to wipe the filth from my black boots on the back of my slacks, "Stupid!"
"You're looking well today." they said.
My God, how did I look the rest of the time?
(By the way, swap the slacks for jeans and this is how I've looked since 2003.)
Case 3: This is a tough one. Do I talk about the year I dressed up as Lee Harvey Oswald and slowly became more and more paranoid as the night wore on, believing there was a actual conspiracy against me, or the time I dressed as Max Cady from Cape Fear and everyone mistook me for Elvis?
No, none of those. Instead, I'll talk about my very last Halloween costume.
I had decided enough was enough. No more. I was going to dress in my own clothes and add a clever prop. That would be my costume.
So, for my last fancy dress, I went as God.
All I needed was one of those Hello - My Name Is badges.
I wore my own clothes.
I filled in the name 'God'.
I picked up a book on magic from the library and taught myself a few card tricks.
I then got so drunk I failed to remember or perform any of the tricks I had learnt.
(Make of that what you will)
It was a shambles.
So, you see, I'm not someone to take advice from when it comes to Halloween costumes.
So when I titled this post - Make Your Own Costume - that's exactly what I meant.
Go make your own.
I'm sure you'll find 1 out of the 85 easy, frugal Halloween costume ideas over on Wise Bread .