By Chevelle Blackburne and Jerica Griffin

Halloween is right around the corner; do you have your costume yet?

It’s not too late to come up with something awesome. Don’t let hefty prices or your lack of creative flow keep you down. We’ve come up with some great, yet simple, costume ideas. And the best part is they’re all affordable: chic but cheap!

These costumes are great for parties, clubs or some good old-fashioned trick-or-treating.

Materials: Black shirt and pants, black fingerless gloves, black headscarves, arm wraps, black shoes or boots, cloth belt, plastic swords from the dollar store or costume store.
How to make it: Raid your closet for the shirt, pants, boots and gloves. If you don’t have fingerless gloves, cut the fingers off of a cheap pair of gloves. Tie the belt over the shirt, then stick your swords under the belt. Wrap one scarf around your head, and the other around your mouth and nose.
Estimated cost: Less than $20

Materials: Long blond wig; glitter; vibrant makeup; boots; fun, loose-fitting T-shirt; anything animal-print or studded (Forever 21, $10-25); feather extension (optional)
How to make it: Style your wig in a messy fashion (use hairspray and comb through it). Attach the feather extension to your wig if you’re using one. Apply heavy eye makeup (preferably blue, black and glittery). You can even get creative and smear glitter on part of your face or create sharp shapes under your eye like Ke$ha. Wearing lipstick is up to you. Put on your outfit and sprinkle glitter on the floor everywhere you go.
Estimated cost: Less than $50

Lady Gaga Materials: Short, strapless black dress (about $30); silver wrapping paper; cardboard (optional); short blond wig (Super Model Blonde Wig, $13 from amazon.com), black fishnet stockings ($8 from Hot Topic); sunglasses; ankle boots ($20 from Wal-Mart), black gloves; tape; scissors
How to make it: Cut out a large right triangle from the wrapping paper, big enough to cover about half of your chest. Then cut out a smaller, more isosceles triangle. Tape the triangles to the front of the dress, the large one in the upper left corner and the small one centered at the bottom. If the wrapping paper isn’t sturdy enough to stand on its own, tape it to cardboard cutouts.
Estimated cost: Less than $75

Meme Face
Materials: All black clothes, printer, scissors, string
How to make it: Print out a full-page meme face (Trollface or Forever Alone, for example). Cut it out, then cut out the eyes. Cut two small holes on the sides of the face, and tie each end of string through the holes. Get your friends to dress up and go trick-or-trolling!
Estimated cost: Less than $10

Materials: White face mask, white gloves, black or red clothes, baseball cap or bucket hat, white shoelaces
How to make it: Buy the mask from a craft store, such as Michael’s or JoAnn Fabrics, or a costume store for about $5. Buy a pair of white gloves from a costume store or amazon.com for $1-4. Switch out the shoelaces of your sneakers to fresh white laces and match them with your outfit.
Estimated cost: Less than $25

Materials: Jeans, cowboy boots, cowboy hat, cowboy costume sets from a dollar store, brown vest, flannel shirt, bandana
How to make it: Alcalas Western Wear (1733 W. Chicago Ave.) has a huge selection of western clothing such as boots and bolo ties to make your costume more authentic. But, cowboy boots are very popular and can be found in many stores. Cowboy costume sets have a sheriff’s badge, fake gun, plastic spurs and a cowboy hat. You could probably find a cowboy hat and boots at a thrift store, too, along with the rest of your costume.
Estimated cost: Less than $50

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Materials: Neon wig and “tail,” stickers or print-outs, mittens, tiara and unicorn horn (optional)
How to make it: Buy two wigs or hair extensions that matches up to the pony of your choice. Wear one on your head, then change the second into a tail by securing it to a belt. Use stickers for a cutie mark, or print out and tape to your bottoms. Wear clothes and mittens (hooves) that match the colors of your pony. Some ponies have a tiara or unicorn horn, so it depends on which pony you pose as.
Estimated cost: Less than $40

Doctor Who (The Eleventh Doctor)
Materials: Suspenders, bow-tie, tweed jacket, button-down shirt, casual pants, lace-up boots or dress shoes, homemade sonic screwdriver (optional)
How to make it:
Nearly all of your materials can be found at a thrift store. Black lace-up boots can be expensive, but simple dress shoes are cheaper (around $30 at Target) and work just as well. To make a homemade sonic screwdriver, use a gold pen and tape a small green LED light to the top of it. Tape a black band around the middle of the pen and a white band of tape near the bottom.
Estimated cost: Less than $50

Angry Birds
Materials: Red hoodie from a thrift store, black socks, black eyeliner, half of a lemon
How to make it: Wear your hoodie with the hood up. Angry Birds don’t have legs, so wear whatever bottoms you choose. Apply heavy eyeliner. You can also make your eyebrows big and black using the eyeliner. Slice a lemon in half, then take one half and slice it into quarters. Remove the pulp. Use the rind as a beak by wearing it as a “smile” over your teeth.
Estimated cost: Less than $20

Materials: Peasant top or off-the-shoulder white blouse, flowing floor-length skirt, gold-colored jewelry, headscarf, sandals, layers of scarves, snow globe
How to make it: A peasant top and skirt are more vintage style, so, again, check a thrift store. Claire’s has gold bangles and gold hoops ranging from $7-15—a necessity for this costume. Wear a lot of long scarves around your waist. A snow globe will act as your crystal ball, but avoid using cheesy or obvious souvenir globes because they take away focus from the costume.
Estimated cost: Less than $50

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The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free every other Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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