Every year it's the same: You plan to make an elaborate Halloween costume but procrastinate. Now you're a few hours away from a big party with nothing to wear, and you've never been one to settle for a generic store-bought costume.
Help is on the way: This year we teamed up with , a New York-based craft stylist who has worked her holiday magic for scores of national magazines. We took her shopping to one of our favorite places—Home Depot—and commissioned her to design three simple but original masks you can put together tonight from pieces available in the store. None should take more than 30 minutes to complete. Save more time by ordering the supplies online now and picking them up on your way home from work. And if you're lucky, you may have some of these supplies lying around in a dark corner of your basement.
Approximate building time: 15 minutes
Two ($6 for 25-pack)
Two ($5 for four-pack)
Two ($5 for two-pack)
Two in Bright Orange ($5 for two-pack)
Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes in the base of the rubber-pipe-boot repair. Position the holes about 1-1/2 inches from the top and 8 inches apart. Take care not to allow the drill bit to slip. Widen the hole with a 3/8-inch drill bit.
Use a hacksaw to cut the roller covers in half. A knife won't work here. Be sure to protect your work surface with a cutting board.
Pass the threaded ends of the solar-light stakes through the yellow bushings, and twist them into the holes. Use hot glue to attach the free-hanging side of the bushing to the rubber boot ,and the eyeballs to the bushing.
Wrap the gear ties around the threaded ends of the solar-light stakes, and twist them into springlike shapes.
Approximate building time: 20 minutes
One ($3 for seven-pack)
24 inches of ($6 for 50 feet)
Two ($2 each)
Remove the face mask's protective shield, and using it as a guide, cut a piece of mesh about 1/2 inch bigger than the shield. Fold the mesh over the edges of the screen and glue them down with hot glue.
Glue 10 earplugs into the inside of the downspout outlet. Cut the ends off four earplugs at slight angles so they fit on the outlet's curve.
Wrap yellow electrical tape around each soffit vent. Do the same with the glow-in-the-dark cord, attaching it with hot glue. Reassemble the face mask, and glue on the eyes and mouth.
Cut the hand sections off the gloves and glue them to the backside of the face shield. Wrap green electrical tape along the top of the face mask to secure the mesh there. Finish up by gluing glow-in-the-dark cord along the front edge.
Approximate building time: 30 minutes
Two ($0.50 each)
24 inches of ($3.50 for 20 feet)
12 ($2 for 20-pack)
Two ($4 for 2-pack)
One sheet of ($10 for 40-pack)
Two ($3 each)
Remove the dark lens from the welding helmet. Drill a pair of 1/8-inch holes into the top of the helmet, about 4 inches apart. Take care not to allow the drill bit to slip.
Using pliers, bend out the end of each compression spring just enough to thread them into the holes in the top of the helmet.
Coil a 24-inch piece of 1/2-inch caulking foam into three loops. As you shape it, attach the fluorescent cable ties to hold everything in place. Push the ends into the compression springs. You might need to trim the foam to fit.
Use hot glue to attach the spout rings and faucet handles to the side of the helmet, and the washers to the face screen.
To make the teeth, stick strips of white electrical tape to the face mask and then apply the self-adhesive decorating clips over the top. Finish the eyes with squares of red electrical tape.
Check out Blake Ramsey's tips for getting started:
• Try to stay focused when shopping. Home centers can be both inspiring and overwhelming, and literally everything looks as though it belongs on a Halloween mask. "Look closely at the supplies and ask yourself, does this look like an eyeball, or a mouth, or an antenna?" Ramsey says. Approach every item with a fresh eye.
• Start with a solid base and attach the elements directly to it. Welder's masks and protective face masks are ideal, as they can be flipped up to drink a beer—a key feature. Goggles are a good start, but dust masks and cartridge respirators will feel cumbersome after a few hours.
• Remember, you'll be wearing this thing... all night. The mask must be both comfortable and light. Cast-iron plumbing parts and metal electrical boxes may look cool, but they're heavy. PVC, rubber, and foam items are lighter and less likely to break off if attached with hot glue.
• Industrial parts inspire robot-like designs, but don't forget to mix softer, organic elements such as antennas and eyebrows. These will bring life and character to your mask.
• Accessorize your outfit with rubber gloves and disposable painting coveralls.