Hocus Pocus: Easy Steps to Creepy Halloween Costumes

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

All Hallow’s Eve is nigh …and spooks come out to play. Get into the spirit of things with these fun Halloween costumes – as easy as pumpkin pie. Just a few everyday items and you’ll be the spookiest (or cutest) character to trick-or-treat around Beijing.

For the big brave kids…

Dark Lord

Spectres and ghouls of Halloween beware… no one is a match for this powerful denizen of evil.

How to do it: Have Mum measure you from the floor, over your head and down to the floor again, then add 20cm (8in). She needs triple that length in black organza. Cut the organza into three equal lengths and lay them on top of each other.

Next, Mum should measure you from one shoulder, over your head, and down to the other shoulder. Add 13cm (5in), then divide by two to get your hood measurement. On one long edge of the fabric, mark the centre and take this hood measurement outward in a semi-circle, pinning the arc with pins. Thread one meter of thin ribbon around this semicircle, remove the pins and gather up the hood.

Put the cloak on and Mum can trim the hem with scissors or even shred some layers to give you a more floaty look. Add face paint and a scary glove.


Fresh from beyond the grave, this costume will scare the pants off unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.

How to do it: You’ll need lashings of bandages for this. Simply wrap yourself from head to toe – and make sure you leave spaces to see and breathe! If you don’t want to cover your face, just use white face-paint. Use face-paints for splotches of green and gray mould all over your costume.
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For the little and easily spooked…

Half Asleep

Too tired to trick-or-treat? Then just take half a nap! If you’re a boy, you can slick your hair back, wear a shirt with one of Dad’s old ties cut in half, and carry a briefcase. For the sleeping side, just muss up your hair.

How to do it: Cut a pair of old pajamas down the middle, then firmly tack-stitch one half over a regular outfit (the tacks can be removed later). For the asleep side, put rollers in, wear one slipper and carry a pillow or teddy bear. You could even close one eye. On the awake side, style hair neatly, put on makeup and carry a handbag.


There’s nothing wrong with being a little, er… chicken, during Halloween. Smaller kids will love dressing up as this adorable clucker – and just see who attracts the most candy!

How to do it: Cut a red glove about an inch from the fingers, stuff it with tissues and stitch it to the crown of a hooded top. Stuff the hooded top with a cushion and tack yellow feather boas all over it (tacks can later be removed). You’ll need about five boas for a five-year-old size. Put on a pair of tights and then carefully slip on the top, stuffing it with cushions or towels to fatten it up. Stuff the ends of the yellow gloves with tissues and then slip the gloves onto your feet. Cluck!
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  • Liangma Flower market for white organza and ribbon
  • Chinese pharmacies for bandages
  • Markets for pajamas, hoodies and feather boas
  • Supermarkets for rubber gloves
  • Jenny Lou’s, Kidz or Tot to Teen for face-paint and Halloween paraphernalia

  • First published, in part, in beijingkids magazine and on the beijingkids website.

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