Reeling from sticker shock over the price of elaborate shovel-ready Halloween costumes this year? We feel your pain, so we brainstormed some topical, frugal make-it-yourself alternatives to turn your fright night into a delight night.
1. The Bernie Madoff pyramid. With a little cardboard and green paint, you can create your own walking pyramid scheme. Carefully trim off the point of the pyramid to wear as a hat. Remember to tell the candy giver that for every piece of chocolate they give you, they'll get 10 back within the year.
2. For Californians only -- make a large cardboard sign to wear around your neck that reads "IOU one Halloween costume -- signed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger"
3. Visit the junk yard and grab a few light car parts, the rustier the better. Tie a couple of old car headlights to a length of string and hang it around your neck. Attach the rest of the car parts to your body. Now you're dressed as a clunker, ready to receive some delicious government cash.
4. Twins? Get two head-sized cardboard boxes and paint one as a PC, the other as a Mac. Dress like the TV ad characters, and practice some snappy dialog. I bet the PC gets more pity candy.
5. Take a large piece of golden cloth, tie ropes to the corners and attach them to the back of your best office dress clothing. Now you're a CEO, complete with golden parachute.
6. Dress normally, except wear no shoes. Bring along a carry-on bag, have headphones dangling from your ears and sip from an airline booze bottle. Put price tags on everything; your bag, shirt, pants, socks, nose, etc. Stand in the driveway for a couple of hours before knocking on the door to ask for candy, because you're dressed as a 2009 airline passenger.
7. Dress all in green, including green face paint. Use cardboard to craft a solar-panel hat and, voila, you're Green Tech, ready to receive some stimulus funds.
8. Dress like an Appalachian Trail hiker, except protruding from your backpack have a bottle of champagne, a map of Argentina, airline tickets and (for adult parties only) a packet of condoms. Hey, you're a governor!
9. Make a globe large enough to walk in, cover it with sections of the newspaper's house sales section, and go trick or treating as the housing bubble!
10. Make a body-sized cylinder out of construction paper and paint a spiral thread from top to bottom. Make a wide, flat hat with a slot from front to back to complete the appearance of a huge screw. You're the American taxpayer.
Bernie Madoff, housing bubble: Costume suggestions for a recession Halloween