Your Guide to a COVID-Safe Costume Party

CONTRIBUTED BY: AUGUSTINE PILON (@LAMYRTILLE), SALVATION ARMY THRIFT STORE CREATIVE EXPERT

Fall is my favorite season not only because Mother Nature is making us live a range of emotions with all its colors changing, but also because we celebrate Halloween! Being a fan of orange, yellow and warm colors in general, I'm always excited to add these colors to my home decorations. In collaboration with The Salvation Army Thrift Store, I created a festive Halloween look with items entirely found in their Montreal Thrift Stores. I was amazed by the quality of the products I found, the very affordable prices, and the variety of items available for "spooktacular" decorations. First, I show you my thrifted decorations that you can easily reproduce at home without too much effort. Then, my thrifted festive servingware. Third - ar a COVID-friendly Halloween costume to celebrate with your "social bubble" or simply to inspire you when you can celebrate this fun holiday.  And lastly, outdoor decor to finish it off!

Step 1: Indoor Decor & Decorations

To bring the Halloween effect into your home, choose a highly visible location and transform it completely with orange and themed accessories. In my home, I decided to transform my fireplace with garlands, a pumpkin, a skeleton, as well as adding a natural touch with autumn vegetation. It is clear that my guests will immediately understand the concept as soon as they arrive home. Also, big and funky old glasses can be useful either for a costume or to disguise elements in your home, such as the white deer head wall decor I dressed up. I also hung a small skeleton that I found for the modest sum of $0.25. Perfect to add a little "terrifying" touch to the decor!

 

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The pumpkin garlands I found at the Salvation Army Thrift Store were practically new! I paid 4$ for these two bright garlands that will be a regular fixture in my Halloween decor year after year. They can be plugged into the wall to dim the room in the evening. On the picture with the skeleton, you can see that it was placed on fake autumn vegetation (a kind of small centerpiece for candles) that can be used in different ways. With its colors, I could practically reuse it at Christmas! I love this kind of versatile item that can be used for different holidays. This is what I call a good buy. Finally, I found 2 black hats at $1 each that I decided to buy either to embellish my decor or to use as a disguise. In my opinion, they add a funny touch to the pumpkin and the skeleton!

 

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Step 2: Indoor Decor & Servingware

On the picture below, I show you 6 plastic Halloween glasses found in thrift stores for only $0.30 each. All the glasses were in excellent condition and each one had a different "face" (which is perfect to prevent mixing them up between guests!!). Also, I suggest you serve a drink with thematic colors to make the party even more fun!

 

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Finally, the last Halloween indoor decorations I found in The Salvation Army Thrift Store are this pretty vintage garland and this fabric ghost. The paper garland seems to be a few years old, but it was in excellent condition and only $1! I am always extremely happy when I find this kind of item, since I know it is unique and that no one will have this kind of decor at home. I also like the idea of being able to give a second life to a decor that was once part of another family. The garland folds easily, which will allow it to be stored safely and will help keep it in good condition. As for the ghost, it cost $1 and had a small transparent clip, which allowed me to hang it on my stairway light. Thrills guaranteed! 

 

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Step 3: Prepare your costume

We all know that this year will be different in many ways and the holidays are no exception. Personally, I am a huge fan of dressing up and the thought that Halloween wouldn't happen makes me pretty sad. So, I used my creativity and decided to create an easy costume that would include a face cover. Before going to the thrift store, I had an idea of three costumes that could include a face mask, one of which was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume. I was shocked when I found a Nina Turtle shell as soon as I entered the Salvation Army Thrift Store! I have to admit that I often visualize items before going hunting and actually find these same items in thrift stores. I know this is only luck, but I like to believe that visualization helps me find what I'm looking for.  

 

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At home, I already had a green jogging suit and a green cap. To complete the suit, I also found a big piece of yellow cloth and a camo hoodie in a thrift store. I was thinking that these items would be perfect to create my Halloween costume. So, I cut some yellow fabric to create a mask and protections for my wrists, stomach and knees. If I had had more fabric, I would have also put the yellow fabric on my elbows. I put the green cap upside down on my head to hide any bits of skin on my forehead and then I put the hood over it. I was amazed at the quick "Ninja Turtle" effect! I think the human aspect of my face was completely gone with both masks. Just add the turtle shell and there you go J.

 

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Having some basic sewing skills and green gingham fabric at home, I made myself a protective mask in order to respect the hygiene measures put in place by the government and to complete the costume as well. I also found a big green leaf in the woods that I used as a “ninja weapon”. I could have also used a wooden stick. Don't hesitate to use your creativity and nature to help you complete your costume!

 

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The trick to making your costume look credible is to have the attitude of your character. I tried to put myself in the shoes of a ninja and adopted typical poses to look as much like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as possible. I managed to create this costume for the modest sum of $10 !!! I promise you that with a little imagination, patience and willpower, it is possible to create a fairly simple costume that respects the protection measures currently in force. Use what you have at home and complete the costume with items found in thrift stores. Here are some great costume ideas with face masks: a ninja; a skeleton (you can draw a mouth on it!); some Star Wars characters (Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Yoda...); a ghost created with a white sheet; an astronaut wearing a helmet; or any character of your choice in a "COVID version"!

 

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Step 4: Outdoor decor

100% second-hand outdoor decoration. With a few simple accessories such as a pumpkin, a small fall wreath and a fake skull, your outdoor decor will take on a very "halloweeny" twist and will quickly set the mood as soon as you arrive home.  Add candles at night and dim your lights. The "Halloween" effect will be created quickly!

 

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Happy Halloween to all!

Be creative, be green, and most importantly, be safe!