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Halloween costume ideas on a budget

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For some students, Halloween is a time to head over to a costume store and splurge on an ensemble, but for many others, it is a time to get creative and brainstorm costume ideas.

It is easier than one might think to use items you already have or to purchase a few inexpensive accessories instead of buying an entire costume.

With Oct. 31 rapidly approaching, Alaunna Hamilton, a 20-year-old member of the fashion club TRENDS who is studying fashion design at CSUN, offered tips on creating a custom, elaborate-looking costume for a fraction of retail price.

“Recycle an old costume and tweak it to make it different,” Hamilton said. “For example, taking an old baseball costume and tweaking the accessories and makeup to turn your look into a scary or zombie-like baseball player.”

There is a growing trend of a do-it-yourself approach, and in order to find ideas to make costumes, many turn to Pinterest, which announced that it reached 100 million users last month.

“I had no idea how to begin making my Snow White costume on my own, so I found several guides on Pinterest and I’m almost done with it,” said Joanna Whyte, 21-year-old CSUN junior majoring in history.

According to a 2014 survey by the National Retail Federation, the average person celebrating Halloween will spend about $77, and for many students, that amount is not something that they can afford to spend.

“I’m against buying my costume at a store where everything is overpriced. I always make my own in order to stand out,” said Trevor Martin, 20, a CSUN sophomore majoring in business. “Often, I receive the most compliments on my costume out of all of my friends who buy theirs.”

Martin plans on making his own Darth Vader costume this year and has already bought all necessary materials, which he said cost no more than $30, about half of the estimated price for a retail costume.

According to a 2015 survey by the National Retail Federation, trending costumes this year include characters from Star Wars, Disney’s Frozen, and Minions.

“Everyone loves Fox’s new show Empire. Meaning we might see quite a few characters from that show walking around this year,” Hamilton said.

Many students opt to put their creative skills to work and use Halloween as a way to make some extra money instead, by making costumes and selling them.

“I’m actually making custom orders for Halloween and I am a pattern maker,” said Maritza Pinedo, who graduated earlier this year from CSUN as a fashion design major and is still very involved in putting together clothing.

Whether buying or making a costume, everyone is keeping the Halloween spirit alive.

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