This Homemade Blithe Spirit Costume was my entry in the 2009 Toms River, New Jersey Halloween Parade. Mr. Charles Nelson Blythe, a ghost himself, perpetually in search of his three ghost pals, Ruth, Elyra and Kent. The names are from Noel Coward's play, "Blithe Spirit".
I found the eyeglass frames, and made the stocking cap from a cast-off pair of pajama pants (FREE), the wig was from a thrift store ($3), the nightshirt was from a flea market (.25 cents), the mask and gloves from a costume store ($30 total), the long johns are mine (FREE), the LED candle is from Lowes hardware ($5) I also made a pair of bunny slippers fror him ($5 total)
Mr. Blythe's ghost pals are felt, suspended on coat hangers running to a piece of corrugated plastic held on by nylon straps. They are also lit by LED lights to give them that ethereal glow. ($10 total)
So. The rundown of costs:
Glasses.....FREE Scarf......$2 Pajama pants for hat.....FREE Wig....$3 Nightshirt....25 cents Mask/gloves $30 Long johns....FREE LED candle....$5 Homemade bunny slippers...$5 Ghost rig with lights...$10
GRAND TOTAL $55.25 (US)
Now compare that to renting a costume ($100-300 deposit plus rental fees) or buying a cheesy costume from Party City ($30-50 plus accessories) I'd rather be creative, spend a little and have something I can wear for years to come. The mask is optional, of course, but I think it adds personality.
I had a BLAST doing my Charles Nelson Reilly impression, asking people along the parade route if they had seen three little ghosts. I then turn around, and the parade attendees had a good laugh telling me the ghosts were right behind me. Where? I would ask, all excitedly. I didn't win any prizes, but I had FUN.
And that, kiddies, is what making costumes is all about. Fun dreaming up an idea, fun building it, fun showing it off, fun looking back at pictures, and of course, fun sharing it with everybody!