It’s October, which is officially Halloween Costume Crunch Time. We’ve featured a post like this before, two years ago when Amanda made five great literary DIY costume suggestions: Oliver Twist, Jane Austen, Miss Havisham, Ernest Hemingway, and Sylvia Plath, complete with how-tos. I’ve got five more for you here, all pretty simple to make at home.
For this DIY costume, you’ll want some plain white pajama pants or similar, and an old, was-probably-blue-a-long-time-ago, long-sleeved shirt to wrap around your head. If you really want to stand out or make your costume more obvious, you should grab some kind of tiger plush to carry around as your little Richard Parker. Round it off with a bright orange whistle hung around your neck.
The pants should be cut off over the ankles, or, if you don’t want to ruin the pants, you can roll them up inside the pants leg and tie it into place with a rubber band. Seriously though, bonus points if you can make those pants look filthy and torn and frayed. Then… voilà! You’re a castaway.
The items you’ll need to make this costume are two identically-sized bits of cardboard, balsa wood, or your board-like material of choice for the front and back of your body, a belt, some painter’s tape, a pencil, paint, glue, and brushes.
Start by painting both boards white, and then picking out which book cover you’re going with. Once the paint has fully dried and you’ve got a plan, stencil it on your board with pencil and use the painter’s tape to mark out the borders for the white areas, and go from there – get the colors and letters on, and finally the penguin at the bottom. Use the belt (cut it in half) for over-the-shoulder straps and… boom. You’re a book.
Bonus: find a cap and pair of shoes the same color as your book to complete the theme.
The nice thing about Nancy Drew is she doesn’t really have a specific uniform. Pick out something in your wardrobe that feels right – plaid skirt with a blouse, and a rad belt works. Slacks with a polo and a coat? Sure. Amazing ’60s style mini dresses work fine, too. If you do an image search, you’ll get plenty of ideas.
This costume is mostly about the accessories: you’ll want that magnifying glass for sure, and then maybe a book, binoculars – sleuth-y stuff. Think sleuth-y thoughts.
Tintin’s iconic blue sweater and brown pants shouldn’t be too difficult to put together. You’ll also need a collared white shirt to wear under that sweater, white socks, brown shoes, and a watch.
The only real challenge you might face with this is the hair. If you aren’t a dude with short hair that can be combed up at the top, consider a wig, maybe. But I actually think you can get away with wearing it in a bun or something if you’re a lady, too. The important thing is getting it that crazy carrot orange color. Between that and the rest of the outfit, it should be obvious.
For extra emphasis, get a plush that resembles Snowy, Tintin’s dog.
You’ve got a bit of flexibility with this outfit as well, for the base clothing. Some kind of slacks, usually black from what I’ve seen, and some kind of button-down shirt (can be short- or long-sleeved) in a warm or dark color. Once you’ve got that down, the big distinguishing characteristics are going to be an awesome beard, suspenders, glasses and Martin’s iconic fisherman’s cap.
If you’re the really detail-oriented type, you may have noticed that he sometimes appears with a turtle brooch pinned to the front of his hat. This would be the one challenging thing about this costume: finding a pin that matches his. Hit up some craft stores, Etsy, or any other places you can think of until you find a pin that satisfies you. Maybe it won’t even be exactly like Martin’s – but it’s a nice touch. I leave that up to you.