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Halloween is obviously the greatest time of the year. You can fight me on that. But trying to find a costume without breaking the bank or spending half your life constructing it can be challenging. This is why I’ve put together some simple, quick and easy but recognizable halloween costumes that don’t require a professional workshop to create.

Sabrina Spellman from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

I was obsessed with this show when it debuted on Netflix. If you already have a red dress, it would be simple to add a lace collar. Amazon does sell collar inserts as well. Or you can purchase a full dress.

Sabrina typically wears loafers, but I would guess any black flat would do. Throw on some red lips and dig out your old headband and you’ve got yourself a Sabrina costume. Kiernan Shipka actually wears Christian Louboutin lipstick in Very Prive on screen but since that lipstick is bascially the price of the moon, any dark red matte lipstick will do the trick. The white wig is optional, but elevates the look some.

Scarlet Witch from Avengers

Scarlet Witch might be a little harder for some, but if you have a red leather jacket, this one might be a good choice for you! You don’t necessarily need a full a-line dress. You could pull this off with a black tee and black skirt combo. For the stockings, you could wear black tights that you distress yourself or just a plain pair of black stockings. The arm bracer is probably something most of us don’t have, but another option are black arm warmers. Visit the amazon list below for other ideas.

Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter 

Luna Lovegood is so fun to wear. The costume is so quirky and recognizable. I have personally bought the tights, spectraspecs and the unicorn skirt you see above and it makes for a super easy costume. As for the jacket, you’ll want to look for a pink tweed blazer. These are not in style at the moment and you will mostly find designer brand jackets. I encourage you to scour local thrift stores and online second hand clothing stores like Mercari, Poshmark, Ebay etc. You can usually find a super deal on a pink tweed jacket someone doesn’t want anymore.

Luna wears a limited edition converse high top shoe called “autumn flower.” I have searched high and low for a pair and they are HARD to find and usually expensive. Any dark colored high top shoe will pull the ensemble together. Or if you already have a pair of converse, that works. It will still get Luna’s style across.

Negan from The Walking Dead

Negan is always one of my favorite costumes to suggest. He’s so simple, very unisex, and still looks menacing! If you already have a leather jacket and dark pants, then the rest of the ensemble is easy to throw together. You don’t necessarily need the bat as long as you can wear a red bandana. However, its always a bonus to have the bat.

Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family

Wednesday Addams is a classic costume. It’s immediately recognizable and fairly simple to put together. Especially if you already have dark hair!

Damian from Mean Girls

Who remembers the scene from Mean Girls of Damian at the rally belting “She doesn’t even go here!”? This is a SUPER easy costume. Throw on some jeans, a blue sweatshirt and aviators. Voila!

Pac Man

Pac Man and Mrs. Pac Man are a couple of my favorite old school games. This costume could be achieved with a black dress or pants/shirt combo and some colored felt. Most craft stores have felt sheets super cheap. Group costumes can be made even easier with colored tees, black pants and felt.

Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story

The leg lamp is a bit more involved but not impossible and definitely no sewing involved! Go to your local thrift store and find a lamp shade that is triangle shaped. Cover it with a gold or beige cloth and glue it secure. Old sheets and table clothes are great for this purpose. Stop by your craft or fabric store and pick up some fringe. Put on some fishnet tights, black shirt, and black shoes.

I would definitely suggest wearing black shorts underneath the lamp shade if you ever want to sit down in this costume.

Flo from Progressive

Everyone knows Flo from Progressive. Amazon has a handy costume set for Flo. If you already have a white pair of pants, white polo or tee, and converse shoes, this is an easy costume. Just have it shipped to you! No crafting, no sewing, no thinking. Don’t forget the red lipstick!

This could also be an easy couple’s costume! Pair Flo with Jake from State Farm.

Olive from Easy A

Olive is another recognizable pop culture character. Most all of us have a pair black pants in the closet we can pair with a black corset and sunglasses. Create the red letter A from construction paper or felt.

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Supplies Needed

Paper

Pencil

Scotch tape

Tape measure

Scissors

Learn how to draft a pattern for a curved belt with your very own measurements! This tutorial is great for making a belt pattern that sits freely across the hips and lower waist (below the belly button). It's also great for creating a better fitting gun holster belt.

Most belts you buy at a store are straight pieces of leather, cloth, etc. Ever notice after wearing a leather belt for a while, it starts curving in the back and front? This is how your body is actually shaped. We are cylindrical. Unless your belt or waistband is sitting at your waist line, it will fit better with some curve to it.

Step 1

Put on your costume pants (if you have them) or pants of similar weight. Take 2 measurements around your body where the belt will sit. One where the top of the belt sits and the other where the bottom of the belt sits. Keep the tape measure loose but not sagging.

If your belt will have an overlap, add 5 inches to that bottom and top measurement number. Let’s say that model’s bottom measurement is 43″ + 5″ = 48″ and the top measurement was 42″ + 5″ = 47″.

If you have no overlap, then keep your measurements as they are.

Step 2

Let’s start drafting the pattern. Tape some copy paper or tissue/tracing paper together wide enough to accommodate half your bottom measurement. The model’s bottom measurement was 48″ total, so half of that is 24″.

Draw a rectangle with the desired dimensions of your belt in mind. That wold be the belt width x half bottom measurement. The model’s rectangle is 4.5″ x 24″. Cut out the rectangle.

Step 3

Now its time to “slash and spread” the rectangle to make a curved pattern for the belt. This is a basic method of pattern drafting so pat yourself on the back. Slash and spread is typically used to add or reduce fullness by opening and closing the pattern at certain points. For the curved belt, we’ll be closing the that pattern.

To evenly “slash” the pattern, we need to divide the rectangle into fifths so we have 4 points to “slash and spread”. Mark these lines on your pattern. Since the model’s rectangle is 24″, I will mark the pattern every 4.8″.

Cut along the lines down to the bottom edge, but DON’T cut through the edge. You want the pieces attached by the tiniest bit.

Here comes the “spread” or “closing” part of this technique, but first we need to do some simple math to determine how much to close the belt pattern. Subtract the bottom measurement from the top. Then divide that result by 4. For the model’s belt….48 – 47 = 1″ / 4 = 0.25″

At each cut, overlap the top edge by your closing amount just figured above. and tape it. The model needs to close her belt by 1/4″ at each cut section. Keep your piece furthest to the left straight (don’t rotate it) because this is your center back edge.

Step 4

On a new piece of paper, trace this new shape with smooth edges. For smooth curves, you’ll need to true the lines….which means use a french ruler and draw the edges as one long, smooth curve. There should be no sharp edges or angles on your pattern.

Step 5

On the center front (right side) you can add a curved edge or whatever decorative edge you desire.

curved belt half pattern

When you use this pattern, you will cut “on the fold” which means you fold over the fabric and align the “center back” on the fold. You will be cutting through two layers of fabric to create one symmetric belt.

This is also a great technique for creating a fitted waistband!

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how to draft a curved belt pattern

Don't want to buy a whole bottle of paint that you'll barely use? Mixing paints is the cheapest method to work around that dilemma. Save your hard earned cash on crafting and cosplay endeavors by learning a little bit about basic color theory and how to mix paints.

Essential Terms

To mix paints successfully, you’ll need to know color theory basics and where to start mixing. There have been peer reviewed papers on this topic, but let’s not get that deep. We’ll start with terms and how to visualize them using a color wheel.

PRIMARY COLORS

There are 3 primary colors: Red, Yellow, Blue. They’re considered primary because they cannot be created by combining any of the other colors.

Primary = Primary

SECONDARY COLORS

There are 3 secondary colors: Green, Orange, Violet (purple). These are secondary colors because they are created by different combinations of the primary colors.

Secondary = Primary + Primary

TERTIARY COLORS

There are six tertiary colors as described by modern color theory. These are colors in between the secondary and primary colors and are created by different combinations of primary and secondary colors. They are yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green & yellow-green.

Tertiary = Primary + Secondary

HUE

Hue is the origin of a color. You can find the hue by the dominant color family which is typically the Primary and Secondary colors: red, blue, yellow, orange, purple, and green.

White, black, and gray are not referred to as a Hue.

Reading a color chart

Now that you’ve learned about different color groups, let’s go over how to actually read the color chart.

Choose 2 colors on the wheel. The hues in between will be the result depending on the mix ratio of those 2 original colors.

Starting with primary colors, mixing red and yellow together will create a myriad of orange shades. More yellow will give you a yellow-orange. More red will result in an orange-red.

This same principle applies to the secondary colors. Mixing different ratios of orange and purple will result in an orange-red to purple-red shade.

Tertiary colors have the same outcome. A mix of teal and orange will give you a range of yellow to green shades.

Using Black, Grey, and White

Colors can be lightened, darkened or muted by mixing white, black, and grey respectively. This is otherwise known as tints, shades, and tones.

You can change the tint of a color by adding white. This will look like a pastel color to our eyes.

Change the shade by adding black. The color appears darker or muddier.

Alter the tone of a color by adding grey. This will appear as a dusty or muted color.

Warm and cool colors

Warm and cool colors are based on the primary and secondary colors: Red, Yellow, Blue, Orange, Green and Purple.

You can directly divide the color wheel in half to show warm and cool colors. Think of it like fire and ice. Fire is usually red, yellow, and orange colored. Ice has blue and purple hues.

Green can be tricky since we don’t usually equate this hue with fire or ice. If the green has a more yellow or olive tone then it’s warm. A true green or kelly green leans more blue and will be cool.

The 5 basic colors and supplies you need to mix paints

I use Liquitex Basics Acrylic paint. For greater flexibility, I have the primary colors in different warm/cool shades and a black and white. For simplification purposes, I would suggest starting with the 3 primary colors and black and white. As you grow comfortable mixing paints, you can add more colors.

Getting a palette to mix on is crucial. Any palette will do. As a beginner, you could even make your own by covering cardboard with foil or saran wrap. Since I am not an avid painter, I use a paint brush to mix the colors. Some painters use palette knives for this purpose.

How to mix paint colors

There is no official instruction to mixing colors. Everyone learns differently and finds their own method within the madness. Below I’ve outlined my process.

Choose a color on the color wheel and then determine what colors should be mixed to achieve it.

Start with a base color. Typically, the primary colors will be your base. You’ll choose this by the nearest adjacent base color on the wheel.

Add tiny amounts of other colors. Once you’ve got your base color, it doesn’t take much to alter it. The ratio of other colors should be small. Small increments is the key!

Let’s try an example with the teal color (next to blue).

Teal is a tertiary color which is created by mixing a primary and secondary color. The teal color is situated between Blue (primary) and Green (secondary) so we’ll mix Blue and Green.

Teal color is closer to blue than yellow on the color wheel so you would need to start with blue as the base. Add a very small amount of yellow. Keep doing this until your get the teal color.

Tips on mixing colors

It’s easier to darken a color than it is to lighten it. Add a dark color to a lighter color to make a specific color. For example, if you want pink try adding red to white instead of mixing white into red. It would take a considerable amount of white to lighten a red up to pink. You’ll use much less paint this way.

When trying to darken a color, don’t always use pure black. Black may seem like the obvious choice for darkening a color, but this can sometimes lead to loss of vibrance and turns out muddy. To create a darker color with the same brilliance, try adding a blue or make a brown color.

Remember warm and cool shades. Try adding a blue to make a color appear cool and a yellow or red to make it look warmer. Always remember to add in small increments.

Upgrade a paint set to include secondary and tertiary colors. The primary colors are good to learn mixing paints. When you are forced to mix your own secondary and tertiary colors, you lay a foundation for understanding color theory. However, it can be time consuming if you are using paints a lot. There are sets that include the secondary and even tertiary colors for quick mixing. For example, Liquitex has a burnt umber (brown) that is great for darkening colors.

Mix colors slightly lighter than your desired color. Because paints dry a bit darker than what you see straight out of the bottle, its good practice to mix them a couple shades lighter. This ensures your finished product is the color you envisioned.

Mix enough custom color for your project. If you are using a lot of one color that you’ve had to mix, be sure to mix enough to finish your project. Or at least write your mix ratios down so you can achieve that color again. Some paints can be saved in a container for a few days, or even covered with saran wrap, but they will eventually dry out.

Supplies Needed

Black knee high, mid-calf boots

Black faux leather

EVA Foam, 2mm

Washable marking pen

EZ steam tape or glue

Black semi gloss spray paint

Sewing machine

Black thread

Iron

This tutorial shows you step by step how I made boots for my Cara Dune cosplay and what supplies I used! It's easily the simplest piece of this whole costume.

For the boots, I chose black boots from Amazon. They have a moon boot look with a very short wedge heel. They are not your traditional western boot heel. These also have a zipper up the inside of the shaft and fur lining which was not preferred, but these were the closest match I could find at an affordable price.

 

Step 1: Making the bands around the boot shaft

I carefully removed the extra buckles. If your boots have hardware you might need pliers or a seam ripper to help you remove it. The boot needs to have a bare shaft. Be careful with this process. A lot of the faux leather, cheap boots don’t have the best fabric and it can rip easily.

Lightly iron the boots if they need smoothed. Keep your iron on synthetic or low setting. Test the iron on an inconspicuous spot first. Use a pressing cloth (piece of cotton or jersey t-shirt) between the iron and the boot to help protect the boot fabric.

Step 2

Mark the boots where you’ll be applying the bands around the shaft. I marked 5 areas around the shaft starting from the top. Each band is 1″ wide with 1/2″ space between. You could also do 3/4″ – 1″ space between. It’s personal preference. 

Step 3

Cut 10 strips from the black leather fabric, 2″ wide by the circumference of your boot shaft. Mine were 2″ x 18″. My boot shaft is 16″ but I added a couple extra inches to work with.

leather fabric strips

Step 4

Now fold and glue 8 bands in half, with the edges meeting in the center back. You don’t want any seams or raw edges on the front side of the strips. Use an iron to get crisp, folded edges.

folded leather strip

Leave 2 of the bands with one side unfolded. This will be the top band for each boot.

half folded leather strip

Step 5: Applying the bands on the boots

Starting with the very top band, glue the folded side to the exterior of the boot, at the very top of the shaft. The unfolded edge of the strip should be facing upward. Fold the side edge under, and place it next to the zipper. Then glue the band all the way around ending at the other side of the zipper.

Then fold the raw edge over the top of the boot and glue it to the inside of the shaft.

inside of boot shaft

Step 6

Continue gluing the rest the bands down the shaft aligning them with the guides you marked earlier. Try to keep the short edges in a straight line down the sides of the zipper.

bands on boot shaft

Step 7 (optional)

Sew the side edges of each band along the zipper. I used a sewing machine for this, but you can also hand sew it with a little elbow grease.

close up of boot zipper

Step 8: Making the decorative side piece

Under the silver greeblies of the right boot, is a decorative patch. I cut this long rectangle with slats using my Silhouette cameo machine. The material I used was 2mm EVA foam. If you don’t have a cutting machine, you can draw the slats on the foam and hand cut it with an exacto knife.

I measured from the top of the boot shaft to the bottom of the last band. This was the length I made the patch and the width is 2.5″. The slats are about 1/8″.

eva foam slatted patch

I added a plasti dip coat to make it more durable and a satin clear coat to resemble the sheen of leather. You could just paint the foam with a semi-gloss black paint and call it good or leave the black EVA foam bare.

I glued the patch to the right boot centering it on the outer seam.

cara dune boots

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Other Cara Dune Tutorials

Cara Dune cosplay tutorial: Blaster Pistol and Holster

Cara Dune cosplay tutorial: Blaster Pistol and Holster

Featured Image Credit: @StarWarsIRL This tutorial will show you step by step how to make the Cara Dune blaster and how to put together the blaster holster. Supplies I used: Black faux leather fabricLight to Medium weight fusible interfacingEVA foam or something...

Cara Dune cosplay tutorial: Boots

Cara Dune cosplay tutorial: Boots

This tutorial shows you step by step how I made boots for my Cara Dune cosplay and what supplies I used! It’s easily the simplest piece of this whole costume.

Cara Dune cosplay tutorial: Belts

Cara Dune cosplay tutorial: Belts

This Cara Dune belt tutorial will show you how to create the teal and black belt, including the blaster holster. We will be doing everything except for the buckles and ammo/greeblies on the teal belt. Supplies I used: Black faux leather fabricTeal faux leather...

Cara Dune cosplay tutorial: Pants

Cara Dune cosplay tutorial: Pants

This Cara Dune pants tutorial covers drafting a pattern for the leg panels and sewing them to the pants You will also be adding a waistband to the pants.