Fandom Friday | Costumes on a Budget!

I am a big advocate of the budget costume. For the past few Halloweens I’ve been a poor student, and this year I’m a poor graduate – I have budget costumes down to a T, and by now I think I have enough tips to write at least a post about it!

1) Don’t buy a costume!

Okay, hear me out – of course you’ll have to buy a few things, that’s obvious, but don’t buy a full costume. They may be quick and easy, but they’re also generally speaking cheaply made, overpriced and nothing you can’t do yourself! Unless you’re really pressed for time or intend to wear it several times, they aren’t worth the expense.

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I had to buy the apron & headband for this Magenta costume because I ran out of time & don’t have the sewing talent! I only got one wear out of them – not worth it. 

2) Come up with an idea based on what you already own.

I must admit that most of my wardrobe is black. This makes Halloween pretty easy – just add a few accessories and some face paint to an LBD and I’m good to go! A lot of costumes can be based around normal clothing, and don’t forget any unwanted clothes that still even vaguely fit – they could be zombified! My costume in first year was a zombie look based on a dress with a hole by the waistband; add some more rips and holes and some brown/black eye shadow & it looked great.

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If in doubt, coat yourself in fake blood.

3) Things that are worth buying: face paint, coloured paper, glue, fake blood.

Last year I was a scary clown. As a crafty person I already had things like card and glue, so it was a no brainer to make my own accessories – a ruff, hat and buttons. I already had the dress, so all I spent money on was a face paint set (on sale at a toy shop before I went back to uni), tights and some neon orange paper. If you have a good stash of craft things you’re probably set – if not, there are plenty of places that sell the basics pretty cheap. Unless it’s something you really, really can’t make, I’d say try DIY!

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I was so proud of this costume tbh. Getting blackout drunk was an appropriate way to show it off. 

4) Not crafty? Not a problem.

There are plenty of easy peasy costumes that require little to no crafting ability while still looking good. As previously mentioned, zombie costumes are so easy – just scruff up some clothes you don’t care about using scissors and some dark eyeshadow – you can’t go wrong because they’re supposed to look messy and ripped (although if you don’t want to flash I would suggest tactical ripping!). Another easy one is a mad scientist – you’d have to get hold of a lab coat, but what you wear underneath is up to you; as crazy or normal as you’d like. Mess your hair up, put some blobs of odd coloured eyeshadow on the coat/your face et voila! I did this one for a SciFi social, basing my look on Steam Powered Giraffe’s Walter Workers, and won best costume! If you’re really last minute and stuck, don’t doubt the power of some pound shop/dollar store fake blood – turn dark clothing into a vampire look with a few dots on your neck and some drops on your chin. There’s no excuse not to make even that little bit of effort!

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5) Have fun & get creative!

Halloween is a great excuse to explore your crazy, wacky, fun side and express yourself in any way you want – so go for it! Don’t be scared of having a ‘Mean Girls Moment’ – I have before and while it was a little bit embarrassing at first, I had the most fun putting my costume together and I think I probably felt the best.

Just have fun & so long as you feel good in your costume, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks! These last two are two of my favourite costumes from uni (the other favourite being my clown costume) – in the first I was a gothic loli girl & wore a lacy black dress, ripped tights and boots, all of which I already owned. The second is my Megara cosplay – I did spend money on this, buying a stretchy lilac dress, a violet scarf for her waist and a long, grecian style skirt; but I’ve worn it several times and definitely got my money’s worth, as well as wearing the individual parts for other costumes.

I unfortunately only have pictures of my full body in the costumes with other people and most are pretty messy (read: drunken) so unfortunately shoulders up shots will have to do! I think they illustrate my point well enough though! What are you going as for Halloween? Have you got your costume together yet?

See you soon,

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Fandom Friday | Non-Scary Films for Wimpy Halloween Lovers (AKA Me)

I am the first to admit that I’m a huge wimp when it comes to scary films. It’s the idea more than anything; I watched Blair Witch Project with friends and didn’t find it scary. What I do love though is Halloween – the quirky, fun-loving celebration, the history, the costumes (I am a sucker for dressing up). While a lot of people choose to watch scary films and spend the night creeping themselves out, I’d much rather tap into what has become the spirit of the holiday and enjoy some kooky, spooky fun! Here’s my list of favourite Halloween films – although it should be noted that while they may not be scary, they aren’t all suitable for children!

The Halloweentown Trilogy

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There will be a lot of Disney on this list. The Halloweentown films are essential for 90s kid throwback Halloween film nights! Three ordinary children discover that they descend from the famous Cromwell witches, and embark on a journey to their grandmother’s home in Halloweentown – a place full of weird and wonderful new friends. Unsurprisingly, trouble is brewing and it’s up to the new Cromwell witches (and their brother – the males in the line have little to no magical power) to save the day.

Nightmare Before Christmas

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This one is pretty self explanatory. A classic Autumn-Winter film, this is a must watch around Halloween. If you need a costume idea, you will almost certainly find inspiration here!

The Addams Family

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Is it Halloween without the all together ooky-ness of The Addams Family? Whether you prefer the original tv show or the later movies, nothing helps get those festive spirits up like the Addams’. Also, Gomez + Morticia = Goals. Seriously.

R.L Stine’s The Haunting Hour (Don’t Think About It)

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This is a great first “scary” film – it’s not really scary, but it has the tropes and suspense of horror films. A classic DCOM-style Halloween film.

The Corpse Bride

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Burton at his best, the Corpse Bride combines the darkness and kooky, colourful madness that make Halloween what it is.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Do I really need to say anything about this one? Just watch it.

Coraline

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Okay, so this doesn’t fill the “non-scary” quota as well as the others. Coraline is certainly much darker in tone than the others, and definitely creepier, but it didn’t scare me so you’re probably good. It’s a beautiful film and a really strong concept that I’d definitely recommend.

Beetlejuice

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If you’ve followed my blog for a while you are probably aware of my huge crush on Winona Ryder, so this will come as no surprise to you. It’s dark, it’s funny, it’s sick – but it’s not scary. Perfect.

I know this post is really short and it’s definitely not at the level of quality I wanted for it but I ran out of time and I just don’t have the time this weekend to do it as a late post instead. Hopefully it’s been useful anyway and you like some of my recommendations!

Are you a massive wimp too? Did I miss any of your favourites out?

See you soon,

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Me Monday | Very Superstitious…

Superstition has been around as long as humans have. Good luck charms, rituals to ward off bad energy and precautionary tales have become part of the human condition. Even those who may claim to not believe in anything of the sort may find themselves following a superstition, from avoiding ladders and cracks in the pavement to wearing certain things for certain events (anyone else have exam pants?). Even saying ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes stems from superstition – there are many variations of this all over the world, but all appear to originate from the belief that a sneeze opens the body up to evil spirits; blessing the person protects them from said evil.

We throw spilt salt over our shoulders, ‘touch wood’, dislike black cats (black animals continue to be the least likely to get adopted from shelters – because of a ridiculous and harmful belief stemming from associations with witches.)

But why, in a world that increasingly rejects the belief in anything other than the known world, do we still have superstition?

Personally, a lot of my beliefs are based on the idea that we simply don’t know what’s out there. We can’t prove that there is a god or higher being, but we can’t solidly disprove it either. There are plenty of things without scientific explanation, and plenty of reasons to believe that there could be something else. Luck and karma may seem farfetched, but energy is definitely something I can get behind; it is common sense that if you have a good attitude towards something that you’re more likely to be successful, right? So why is it so crazy to believe in letting good energy in and keeping bad energy out?

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Is this the face of evil? I mean she is, but not because of her colour!

Of course, many superstitions do stem from basic common sense. Walking under a ladder is dangerous to both yourself and the person on the ladder, and walking on uneven paving can make you trip over. I also feel, however, that many superstitions that we still follow nowadays may simply be a case of not wanting to find out what happens if you don’t follow the superstition. People with good luck charms tend to get distressed and thrown off if they forget or lose them, in the same way that not following a routine may stress someone out. There is also a sense of fear; while you may not believe in whatever bad thing will supposedly happen if you don’t follow superstition correctly, there may still be enough fear there to do that thing. This article by The Atlantic discusses this phenomenon – while atheists should have no issue reading statements claiming God will damn them to Hell, it still makes them as uncomfortable as it does religious people. When asked what would happen if a witch offered to cast an evil spell on them, students said that they should accept the spell with no worries – and yet personally most wouldn’t risk it.

It doesn’t matter how logical we are, humans still have some kind of doubt about what exists and what doesn’t. Superstition and religion are thought by many to be irrational and illogical things to believe in. They’re often seen as old explanations for things, which are becoming more and more obsolete with the evolution of science. While this may well be the case, there is clearly something about superstition and supernatural belief that sticks with us – whether it’s force of habit and a matter of tradition or a sincere belief and fear of a judgemental universe with a distaste for umbrellas and love of rabbits’ feet.

Are you superstitious? If so, what superstitions do you adhere too & why? If not, do you believe in luck or karma?

Some more things I read while writing this that were really interesting:

13 Common (But Silly) Superstitions– Live Science

Why Do We Say ‘Bless You’ or ‘Gesundheit’ When People Sneeze? – Howstuffworks

Knock on Wood in Different Languages (or the equivalent sayings) – WordReference

See you soon,

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