The Flavorpill Guide to DIY Pop Culture Halloween Costumes: TV

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Halloween: It’s always more complicated than you want it to be. Even if you’ve got your plans set, it’s a struggle to find the perfect costume — without resorting to the same crappy, overpriced, pre-packaged getups everyone else will be wearing. Thankfully, just as we have done for the past two Octobers, Flavorpill is helping you out with a series of easy DIY costume guides tackling various pop-culture realms. Don’t worry — there’s no sewing involved.

For 2012’s first installment, we visit the world of television, where the horror genre is having quite a moment. You may have cringed at the news, earlier this month, that Target was offering an American Horror Story-inspired bondage costume. But we can do much better than that. We’ll show you how to transform yourself into some of the year’s most memorable characters and outfits, from Community to Game of Thrones, after the jump.

Constance Langdon, American Horror Story

With all due respect (or, uh, whatever) to the bondage-suit rapist, the only American Horror Story character we’d want to dress up as is Jessica Lange’s murderous Southern belle. Call us crazy, but if we see someone on Halloween who thought it’d be a laugh to impersonate a fictional sex offender, we’re running the other way.

The costume:

Vintage lavender flowered dress — $25, Etsy

Short, curly blonde wig — $19, AliExpress

15mm faux pearl stud earrings — $7, Claire’s

Cigarettes. Lots of ’em.

Evil Abed, Community

On the only day of the year when you might plausibly want to see what the Darkest Timeline has in store, transform yourself into Evil Abed and attempt to foil all of your companions’ best laid plans. Bonus: Easiest. Costume. Ever.

The costume:

Mens black button-down shirt — $20, Amazon

Black felt — $3 (package of six sheets), FactoryDirectCraft.com

Spirit gum — $3, Party City

Scissors

Blood-bathed Lilith (or Bill), True Blood

Brave about baring it all but want to walk the line between sexy and scary? We suggest you revisit Lilith, the world’s first vampire, who often appears to her followers naked and covered in blood. If you’re a guy, you can use the same basic costume and play the possibly more terrifying blood-god version of Bill Compton who drank the entire vile of Lilith’s blood in the most recent season finale.

The costume:

Nude bodystocking — $30, Discount Dance Supply

Jug of fake blood — $7, Toynk.com

Plastic vampire fangs — $1, Party City

Hare Krishna Paul Kinsey, Mad Men

Were you surprised when Paul Kinsey returned this year, after a few seasons’ absence, as a full-on Hare Krishna with a terrible Star Trek script and a girlfriend willing to schtup Harry Crane to serve a higher purpose? We sure were. This Halloween, surprise your own friends and pay tribute to Paul by coming for the ladies and staying for the chants.

The costume:

Mens mock turtleneck in beige — $29, Land’s End

White bed sheet — $11, Target (or just use an old one you’ve got lying around)

Mens white cotton scrub pants — $7, Tafford Uniforms

Bald cap — $9 at Halloween Express

Scissors (to cut a hole in the bald cap and pull a bit of your own hair through)

Sheaf of printer paper to carry around as your teleplay

Liz Lemon as the Joker, 30 Rock

Why come up with your own pop-culture mashup costumes when 30 Rock already has you covered? Liz Lemon’s slow transformation into The Dark Knight’s Joker made for one of the funniest episodes of last season. How better to celebrate the show’s final season than to pay homage to one of its best moments?

The costume:

Purple wool coat — $44, Overstock.com

Wet ‘n’ Wild Stoplight Red lipstick — $2, Drugstore.com

Black Radiance Truly Black eyeliner — $2, Drugstore.com

Wild Zombie wig — $20, Costume Kingdom

Future Walter White, Breaking Bad

Oh, sure, at least someone you know will get his hands on a yellow hazmat suit, slap a Band-Aid across his nose, and show up at the party as Walter White. But you can do him one better — you can be Walter White of the future, the guy we’ve only glimpsed once in a flash-forward that kicked off Season 5 and colored our interpretation of the episodes to come.

The costume:

Mens Carhartt Sherpa Lined Sandstone Jacket in army green — $45, Super Casuals

Nerd Glasses — $4, Goggles and Glasses

Gray Halfling Mustache and Beard — $10, Totally Costumes

Scissors (for cutting beard to size)

Fake ID — check local listings

Shania Clemmons as Grey Gardens‘ Little Edie Beale, The New Normal

So far, The New Normal hasn’t dazzled us as much as we hoped it would. But if there’s one high point, it’s precocious eight-year-old Shania, who lets her freak flag fly on the regular. We love her as Little Edie and recommend the costume to any weird kid with a flair for accents.

The costume:

Girls long-sleeve turtleneck leotard — $20, Dancewear Solutions

Girls black leggings — $6, Target

Black jersey scarf — $10, Amazon

Vintage paisley shawl — $26, Etsy

Red-frame glasses — $7, Tri North Lighting

Super Ray army, Bored to Death

Pledge your allegiance to Jonathan Ames’ canceled-way-too-soon HBO comedy Bored to Death by dressing up as Ray’s beloved, if obscene, comic-book character Super Ray — or rally your friends to create the army that rose up around him last year. If the photo above proves anything, it’s that you can totally improvise this costume with some red and yellow articles of clothing, as long as you pin a giant “R” to your chest.

The costume:

Mens long-sleeve unitard in yellow — $66, Costume Plot List

Mens red silk bikini brief — $9, Zoogster Costumes

Red superhero cape — $6, Toy4education

Captain America Deluxe Adult Gloves — $10, Totally Costumes

Red felt square (package of 6) — $3, FactoryDirectCraft.com

Ron Swanson’s mom, a.k.a. “Tammy Zero,” Parks and Recreation

Few character origin stories in recent memory have been as fantastic as Ron Swanson’s. Not only has he married two women named Tammy, but that’s also his mom’s name — and, as we learned last season, she’s a real firecracker. Who wouldn’t want to spend Halloween as the woman who made Ron the man he is?

The costume:

Womens brown plaid shirt — $24, 6pm.com

Womens burgundy goose-down vest — $40, Cabela’s

Old Lady Wig — $9, Wholesale Halloween Costumes

Red body paint — $5, Party City (use sparingly!)

Jug of Moonshine (TM) — prices and locations vary

Pyat Pree, Game of Thrones

There was plenty to creep us out in Game of Thrones Season 2, but the character we see in our nightmares is Pyat Pree, the warlock from Qarth who steals the khaleesi’s dragons. If you’re really committed to this costume, you’ll want to find someone to dress up as an identical Pyat Pree and freak people out all night by faux-replicating yourself. Just make sure you get that ghostly pallor right!

The costume:

Lavender quilted robe — $75, Etsy

White mens T-shirt — $7, Jockey

Zombie gray cream makeup — $1, Wholesale Halloween Costumes

Manic Panic Lip Locked Lip Color in Lethal — $8, Drugstore.com

Bald cap — $9, Halloween Express

Plush baby dragon — $10, Toys R Us