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Need a Cheap Brooklyn Theme Halloween Costume? 3 Tips from a Designer

1. Be Creative. #2. Make a Homemade DIY Costume. #3. ... Use Your Head?


Need a Cheap Brooklyn Theme Halloween Costume? 3 Tips from a Designer

Rob Kimmel in DIY skyscraper costume

Photo courtesy of RobKimmelDesign.com

To Stand Out on Halloween, Use Your Head

Here are three quick tips on how to get a cheap, remarkable Halloween costume for adults or kids: 1) Make it at home. 2) Let your imagination run wild. 3) Use your head.

The first two make sense. But .. use your head?

DIY Brooklyn Style: Advice from a Pratt Prof & Designer

"Go to a $1 store," advises Rob Kimmel, graphic designer and adjunct assistant professor in the Communications Design department at Pratt Institute's Brooklyn campus, "and buy an inexpensive kid's helmet."

He recommends using the helmet — which has an inner plastic frame that can be adjusted to fit tightly on one's head — as a cheap, useful basic component for many creative and budget homemade costumes.

Like a chef who relies on roux, or a fashionista whose fallback is fine footwear, Kimmel, who is also the principal at Rob Kimmel Design, likes to make his family Halloween costumes by creating funny tops he hot glues onto a simple, cheap plastic helmet.

"Anyone can do it," he adds.

3 Iconic Brooklyn Costumes You Can Concoct Using Hats

How can the average, non-artistic Brooklynite adopt Kimmel's hat trick to make a killer Halloween costume? Kimmel suggested:
  • To "be" a Coney Island roller coaster, use toy train tracks to build a fantastical track structure that dips and swoops — and hot-glue it atop the helmet.
  • To "be" the Williamsburgh Savings Bank building, create a cardboard model of the 1920s mini-skyscraper on Flatbush Avenue — and hot-glue it atop the helmet.
  • To "be" the Parachute Drop, the historic Coney Island amusement park attraction, create a mock parachute drop using string and cardboard — and, you guessed it, hot-glue it atop the helmet.
If you can't find a cheap kid's helmet that fits, then just cut out a head shape from a pizza box. "You'll definitely get a good laugh," says Kimmel.

Other DIY Halloween Costume Basics: Spray Paint Can Transform Even a Humble Chopstick

A few other items might be needed to make a costume that stands out above the crowd.

For instance, spray paint is transformative. Kimmel, who, incidentally, is married to a costume designer and waxes passionate about what he calls "creative parenting," says, "Don't underestimate spray paint." Because, he explains, "even a chopstick, when you spray paint it and use it as part of a costume, doesn't look like a chopstick anymore."

Other useful basics: hot glue, cardboard, duct tape, a single-color body suit — and, of course, a trip to the dollar store or Salvation Army for cheap props.

Want to make a creative costume for Halloween? Build on the bedrock (or shall we say head-rock) of a helmet, and concoct a costume that's readily, and hilariously, identifiable as some of your favorite people, places or ideas. In Brooklyn.

More about Halloween Costumes in Brooklyn?

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