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5 DIY Movie Costumes You Already Have In Your Closet

Lilian Min
October 30, 2013

For every person who lovingly stitches/welds/duct tapes together an elaborate, true-to-the-last-detail Halloween costume, there's someone wrapping a sheet around their shoulder and calling it a toga.

But for those of us who fall in between the two crafting extremes, making a DIY Halloween costume that a) is actually recognizable, and b) makes us look like we tried, but didn't try too hard, can be a challenge.

Enter Yahoo Movies's shortlist of six (one of the five doubles as two) easy costumes from the world of cinema!

[ALSO READ: #YCostumeContest]


"You've got red on you." ... If you're determined to get a little bloody on Halloween, there's no costume as rad as that of Simon Pegg's dumped office worker-turned-zombpocalypse hero.

You'll need:

- a white button-down shirt
- a red pen
- paper and a printer; use it to print a nametag, then color in the scraps with aforementioned red pen
- a red tie
- black pants
- black shoes
- tape and scissors
- cricket bat; I made mine out of a spatula and some cardboard

To assemble, put on the shirt, pants, and shoes. Tie the tie. Print out the nametag; cut it out, and tape it to your shirt. Then, color in some of the print scrap paper and color it in with the red pen. Tape that scrap paper to the bottom of your shirt pocket and slip the pen in if you have one; if you don't, like me, then tape it to where your shirt pocket would be. Make your cricket bat out of something with a handle and some cardboard.

FOR THE FULL EFFECT: Cover yourself in flecks of red dye and carry around a looped recording of Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now."


Of all the costumes in "Pulp Fiction," these two are probably the safest/easiest ones to wear. Best of all, they're almost exactly alike, so you've basically got two costumes with one set of gear, or grab a friend and switch off while you boogie all night long.

You'll need:

- a black blazer
- a white button-down shirt
- black pants
- black shoes
- a black shoelace

To assemble Vincent (seen here on the left), put on the shirt, blazer, pants, and shoes. Half tuck the shirt, and wrap the black shoelace under your shirt collar for a DIY bolo tie.

To assemble Mia (right), wear the shirt un-tucked with the pants. Seriously, that's it.

FOR THE FULL EFFECT: Don a black wig — long for him, bobbed for her. For the full full effect, make it appear as though a syringe is sticking out of your chest (Mia only).


Having unnaturally colored hair is a classic Halloween staple, but if you're looking for a tame outfit to offset your new striking 'do (whether synthetic or natural), your best bet is to channel Kate Winslet's heartbreaking Clementine from "Eternal Sunshine."

You'll need:

- a bright orange hoodie
- cargo pants, or anything in a similar hue
- boots
- hair dye or a wig; I opted to skip this step, but if you're looking for some striking hues, Manic Panic and Special Effects dyes are relatively cheap and effective ways to change up your 'do

To assemble, put on your hoodie, pants, and boots. Do what you will to your hair — if it's long enough, braid them into loose pigtails like Clem has in the film at one point.

FOR THE FULL EFFECT: Break Jim Carrey's heart, erase your memory.


An oldie but a goodie, Marty McFly spans multiple generations (literally) and takes little to no effort to pull off. The hardest thing to find is the vest, but once you get your hands on one (or a totally non-janky-looking costume shirt), you're pretty much set.

You'll need:

- an orange vest; puffy is best
- silver sneakers (Nikes, obviously, preferred)
- jeans
- a jean button-down
- a light colored button-down
- a red shirt to go underneath everything else; not necessary if you're going to be all buttoned up aka I forgot to bring one...

To assemble, put on your red shirt, then layer the light button-down over that, and the jean button-down over that (basically, lots of layers). Put on your jeans and sneakers. Top it all off with that vest.

FOR THE FULL EFFECT: Skateboard everywhere, invest in a pair of Nike Mag sneakers.


Oh, Margot. Is there any other character in the Wes Anderson film canon as cool as this play-writing, cigarette-hiding, 9-fingered polo dress aficionado? Probably, but no one else would look as good walking to the tune of Nico's "These Days."

You'll need:

- a polo dress
- closed-toe shoes; buckled shoes and brogues work best
- hair clips
- black eyeliner
- paper and a printer
- scissors and tape

To assemble, put on the dress. Part your hair on the right and clip your hair on the left side with two hair clips. Print out a wood pattern and cut it out. Roll it around your right ring finger; tape your new fake finger in place. Take your black eyeliner (I used a pencil, but any kind works) and really work it in around your eyes. Normally, "raccoon eyes" is used as a derogatory for too much black eye makeup. Aim for raccoon eyes.

Photo by Lilian Min.
Photo by Lilian Min.

FOR THE FULL EFFECT: Don a long (faux) fur coat and glare at everyone you meet.

[ALSO READ: 3 DIY Halloween Costumes of Music Stars—Who Are NOT Miley Cyrus]

And of course, if you're in a pinch, you can always channel the ladies of cinematic masterpiece "Mean Girls":