Halloween How-To

Check out VN’s guide to All Hallows’ Eve, complete with vegan candy, decorations, and award-winning pumpkins!

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The season of spook is upon us! Here’s our handy run-down of everything you’ll need to scare your neighbors, keep your dentist in business for the next year, and give Jack (last name: O’Lantern) a truly terrifying lobotomy/facelift combo.

Eco-conscious Costumes
Halloween is the only day you can respectably take on a new identity, and with shiny new costumes beckoning from every storefront, it can be hard to resist the urge to splurge. But many store-bought costumes are not budget-friendly, and they are even worse for the environment. But that’s no longer an excuse not to celebrate in style.

Be unique and make your own costume using ethical fabrics and recycled materials. Leftover cardboard boxes just need a fresh coat of paint to transform into anything from a robot, to dice, to a bag of popcorn. There are lots of kid-friendly ideas online.

If you are lucky enough to have a sewing machine—or if you know someone who does—you can make your own custom costume. Some good places to find ethical fabrics, such as organic cotton and hemp, are NearSea NaturalsOrganic Cotton Plus, and Hemp Traders. Check out nearby fabric stores or online retailers such as simplicity.com for Halloween-themed patterns. Anyone can wear something generic out of a bag, but a creative homemade ensemble is sure to spark envy.

One way to curb consumerism this Halloween is to look through used clothing stores. It will require some searching, but inspiration awaits in all the retro-tacky clothing of decades past. Stores like Value Village and Goodwill are goldmines for old prom dresses, oversized suits, ‘80’s pop star attire, and loads of costume jewelry.

Another possibility is to create a costume around items you already own. Just add a few choice accessories to an ordinary outfit and you are good to go, without spending a ton on something you won’t wear again. A crisp white shirt and vest becomes a flight attendant uniform with just a badge and a cute scarf. A tiara and sash can make a beauty queen out of a cocktail dress, and a sparkly white glove paired with skinny black pants makes an instant Michael Jackson.

To wear your heart on your sleeve, literally, plan a costume that is veg- or environmentally-themed. Kids always look cute dressed up like some sort of fruit or vegetable—onion suit, anyone?—especially if they have a certified-organic sticker. Other green ideas for adults include Mother Nature, Go-Green Girl, or Al Gore. If all else fails, you can forgo a costume entirely and wear a statement tee instead. Happy costume hunting!

Click here for VegNews’ Official Guide to Vegan Halloween Candy!

Click here for the Ultimate Pumpkin Carving How-To with Dan Piraro

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