Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Haunted House Party - DIY Troll Costumes

My husband and I love a good couples costume for Halloween, but we love saving money even more. This year we decided to throw it back to the 1980's and dress up as Troll dolls, a tribute to our childhood and a great opportunity to DIY. With the upcoming release of the animated Trolls movie, we were even able to pull our dogs into the mix! Not only did this make a great, budget friendly costume, it is a great last-minute fix too!

For each costume we needed a few basic items
  • Nude colored clothing
  • A brightly colored wig (that we did not mind roughing up a bit)
  • Sparkly paper to create the iconic belly button gem
  • Optional: color coordinated clothing

Step 1: Find your nudes!

The hardest part of our costumes was finding nude colored clothing but this is also the best part. Since it is fall, beige and brown tones prevail in department stores.

This means you can get your shopping done outside of the busy costume stores! 

I decided to go as a hot pink troll and Ross a blue troll. Ross was planning to wear a pair of blue shorts, so he only needed a beige tshirt. I needed something for my top and bottom half, which meant they needed to match each other. I had seen some beige dresses on Forever21, but none fit very well once I made my way to the store. They are a great source of cheap, basic pieces, which was great for putting together a low budget Halloween Costume. I tried looking into tank tops and leggings, but none matched in color. Finally I was able to find a pair of leggings for $3.80 and a crop top for $7.90 that were an exact match to each other and myself. Ross was able to find a tshirt on clearance at Express, where we had a reward to redeem, anyway. It would have cost $12, but came out to $0 with our reward.

Step 2: Add a punch of color!

I decided to be a hot pink troll and Ross went with blue. He already had a bright blue wig, so that was done. I was able to find a hot pink wig on Amazon. The wig retails for $16 regularly, but I got it on sale for $8. I had a gift card so this ended up costing $0 out of pocket. I followed a tutorial to rough up the silky hair using Elmer's glue. I opted to style it in a simple messy ponytail and pin back the bangs to hide any exposed webbing of the wig. This was much easier and less straining on my neck than building a cone out of cardboard to support the wig and make it stand up. This also saved a lot of time constructing a custom headpiece.

For anyone trying to do this last minute, you can easily forgo a wig and use a washable hair chalk, link this one by Splat available at Target.  

I also opted to order a pink tutu from Amazon to cover myself up a little, since I was only wearing leggings on my bottom half. The tutu retails for $12.50, but I got it on sale for $4.50. This was worth the few dollars to be comfortable and not worry about whether or not my leggings were too revealing.

Step 3: Bling it up!

Finally, we headed to Michael's and found pink and blue glitter scrapbooking paper to use for our gems. With a 40% off coupon, these came out to 1.00 each. To make my gem, I made a 4" square and 3" square out of cardboard. I cut these out and covered them with the glitter paper. The glitter paper is thick and tough to fold over. Tape and gluestick did not work to hold it. I suggest hot glue to keep the flaps folder over. I then mounted the small square to the large square and applied 3M adhesive velcro to the back of the larger square. This held the gem to my clothing without making it permanent (now I have the option to reuse these clothes for another costume). I did the same for Ross, but in a hexagon shape. Doing 2 shapes on top of each other with a thick material like cardboard helped to add depth, like a real gem.

Here are some templates for the cardboard and glitter paper cutouts that I set up. Check out the square, hexagon and triangle templates for free. You want to make sure the glitter paper is larger than the shape you cut so it can wrap around the back of the cardboard, covering the edges.

Step 4: Outfit the whole family

Last but not least, we found troll costumes for our chihuahuas, Coco and Chanel. I found these Troll wigs for dogs at our local Petco. We got hot pink for Coco and white for Chanel. These each cost $9.99.

All in all, the dogs costumes ALMOST cost more than the full size human costumes that I made for Ross and myself. Out of pocket, we spent $18 on our costumes. Factoring what we would have spent without rewards and gift cards, this jumps up to $38. This is definitely much cheaper than heading to the local costume shop or Party City, where the average costume runs $50. An added bonus, the individual and plain costume components can be reused for future costumes down the road.

Can't wait to see more Halloween DIY. Share me your costumes and projects in the comments! Be sure to check out my Halloween Haunted House Party - Recipe Rendezvous for ghoulish treats and creepy cocktails to complete your Halloween festivities. Happy Haunting!