The ultimate guide to Halloween costumes in Birmingham, plus two DIY tutorials including one on Harley Quinn

Girl Scouts and Wolf. Photo via @court660

Halloween is just two weeks away! Do you have your costume yet? No? The horror! Here are some costume ideas that are perfect for Halloween in Birmingham.

Children’s Costumes

Endless candy. Trick or treating. Costumes. All of these things, plus so much more make Halloween a thrilling experience for kids. What costume will your child want this year? Here are some costumes that are always a hit:

Superheroes

Superheroes. No Halloween would be complete without seeing at least a dozen Supermans, Batmans and Avengers running around. Hey, I even see them at the grocery store on a typical Tuesday from time to time!

Birmingham, Homewood Public Library, trick or treat, Halloween, superman, costumes
Cutest Superman ever trick-or-treating at the Homewood Public Library. Photo via Judith Wright

If your kiddo loves superheroes, you can find their favorites all over town at stores like Spirit Halloween, Party City, Target and more.

Birmingham, Halloween, costumes, Wonder Woman
Watch out for Wonder Woman! Photo by Patience Itson for Bham Now

Princesses

Along with superheroes, you can expect a lot of Disney Princesses in town this Halloween. Luckily, princess costumes are one of the easiest to find, which takes some stress off all you parents out there. Chances are, your little princess already has a zillion costumes in their mountain of dress-up clothes. Score!

Birmingham, Halloween, costumes, Elsa, Frozen
Princess Elsa will be a favorite costume for years to come. Photo via Katie Storey

Kids DIY Costume

Looking for a DIY children’s costume? Pete the Cat is the ultimate choice—and it’s perfect for boys and girls.

There are all sorts of different options when creating a Pete the Cat costume. My favorite version of Pete is from the book My Groovy Buttons.

Materials Needed

  • Yellow T-shirt
  • Large round buttons
  • Hot Glue
  • Blue Felt
  • Plastic Headband
  • Black costume makeup
  • Navy blue pants
  • Converse
Birmingham, Halloween, costumes, Pete the Cat, cats, kids
Everybody loves Pete the Cat! Photo by Patience Itson for Bham Now

1. The Ears

  • Cut two medium-sized diamond shapes out of dark blue felt.
  • Use hot glue to attach the felt to the headband.

2. The Shirt

Glue four round buttons (evenly spaced) down the center of a yellow T-shirt.

3. The Face

Using black costume paint, draw a nose and whiskers on your child’s face.

4. Complete The Look

Wear a pair of dark blue pants (and a blue tutu if you wanna cutesie it up) and Converse (Pete is a hardcore fan of Chucks!) and the costume is complete. Ta-dah!

Adult Costumes

Some may think Halloween is just for kids, but over all, adults love it just as much. An excuse to dress up and eat candy—what’s not to love?

Whether you’re taking your kids trick or treating or attending the many awesome Halloween parties happening in Birmingham this month, it’s the perfect opportunity to dress up and get a sugar rush! Okay, maybe it will just make those of us who are over 30 want to take a nap—but still! Halloween is fun for all!

Check out these costumes that are perfect for your inner child who can’t wait to bust out this Halloween.

1. Storm Trooper and Darth Vader

Birmingham, Birmingham Public Library, Halloween, costumes, Star Wars, Darth Vader, Storm Trooper
The force is strong in Birmingham. Photo via Birmingham Public Library

2. Deer, Starbucks Coffee And Day Of The Dead

 

Adult DIY Costumes

Are you a fan of Harley Quinn? Then this is the perfect DIY for you! And it’s so fitting with all those clown costumes from the film “It” that you’re bound to see everywhere this year.

Birmingham, Halloween, costumes, October, clown, It, makeup
Harley Quinn Halloween makeup tutorial. Photo by Patience Itson for Bham Now

Products Needed

There are only five products needed to achieve this look—and you can get them all for under $20. Major score! (Plus, if you have great costume makeup, you don’t require an actual costume, which can cost a lot!)

Birmingham, Halloween, costumes, It, It movie, clowns, makeup, costume makeup, October
DIY products for It clown makeup. Photo by Patience Itson for Bham Now
  • Black eyeliner. Shown: (Covergirl, Perfect Blend Eyeliner, Basic Black, $3.84)
  • Black eye shadow. (Shown: Wet n Wild, Color Icon Eyeshadow Single, Panther, $ .75)
  • Black cream costume makeup. (Shown: Rubies Cream Makeup, Water Washable, $1.89)
  • False eye lashes: (Shown: e.l.f. Cosmetics Natural Lash Kit, $2)
  • Red lip pencil. (Shown: Wet n Wild, Perfect Pout Gel Lip Liner, Red the Scene
    $2.99)
  • Makeup remover. Shown: Beauty 360, Refreshing Cleansing Towelettes, $4.99)

Total cost: $16.46.

(All products can be replaced with other brands, even colors. Use what works best for you.)

The Steps

1. Prep Face

Prep your face however you choose. Use your usual base and concealer or opt for nothing. It’s totally up to you!

2. Darken

Darken eyebrows with black eyeliner pencil and lower eyelid with black eyeliner. Don’t be shy, you want it to stand out.

3. Add Mystery With Shadow

Apply black eye shadow across entire eyelids. The darker the better so swipe it on thick!

4. Triangle Time 

Use eyeliner to draw a triangle above each eyebrow. The base of each triangle should be touching the top of each brow. (Don’t fill them in. You are simply creating an outline.)

Then draw a triangle below each eyebrow. The base of each triangle should be touching the bottom of each lower eyelid. (Don’t fill them in. You are simply creating an outline.)

Birmingham, Halloween, costumes, Harley Quinn
Harly Quinn Halloween makeup tutorial. Photo by Patience Itson for Bham Now

5. Lines

Using eyeliner, draw a straight line from the point of each triangle below your eyes down each cheek, stopping about level with the bottom of your nose.

6. Fill ‘Em In

(For this step, I suggest using a very small arts and crafts paintbrush, but a makeup brush will work too.) Dab a very small amount of costume makeup onto your paint brush, then fill in the triangles you drew in steps 4 and 5.

Why use costume makeup for this step instead of eyeliner? Costume makeup is much darker and smoother than eyeliner, and can be applied and removed much easier.

(Tip: To make costume makeup stay on longer without risking a lot of smearing, dab black eye shadow on top. This will create a seal so your look will last much longer.)

7. Let’s Put A Smile On That Face

To complete your look, you must have that creepy clown grin. Using a red lip pencil, outline your lips. Then fill in completely.

Finally, starting from the corner of your mouth, draw a slightly curved line that moves toward your ear. Make it as big or small as you’d like—as long as you look like you are “smiling”.

Repeat on other side.

(Tip: To make your lips more prominent and full, trace along the outside of your lip line.)

Birmingham, Halloween, costumes, DIY, makeup, clowns, It
Photo by Patience Itson for Bham Now

8. Add lashes

Apply false lashes to top lash line. (Swipe them with black mascara if you’d like!)

(Tip:Save your false lashes. They can be reused several times! Like next Halloween, for instance!)

9. Removal

When the night’s over and it’s time to remove your look, be sure to use makeup remover. Any kind will do. But trust me—you will save yourself a lot of scrubbing and damaged skin!

Couple Costumes

Whether you’re in a committed relationship or just want to dress up alongside your best bud, couple costumes are a great choice—and there are so many options!

Check these out:

1. Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf

Birmingham, Halloween, party
The Big Bad Wolf meets Little Miss Riding Hood. Photo via Patience Itson for Bham Now

2. Blue and Steve—Blues Clues

Birmingham, Halloween, Blues Clues, Blue and Steve, costumes, October
It’s Blue and Steve from Blues Clues! Photo via Hilary Meares

3. Dumb and Dumber

Birmingham, Halloween, costumes, October, Dumb and Dumber, couple costumes
Who loves this Dumb and Dumber couples costume? Photo via Hunter Holland

Group Costumes

Do you have a group of friends that dig Halloween just as much as you do? Then grab your crew and opt for a group costume. The only problem may be finding an idea that everyone will agree on. Need some ideas? Here are two that are sure to be popular this year, and definitely lots of fun!

The Cast Of Stranger Things

What fits into the Halloween spirit more than this sci-fi drama Stranger Things? As fans of the series await season three, you can be sure that you and your crew will be the hit of any party in Birmingham.

While the show has a lot of characters, here are a select few who may be most worth your while:

  • Eleven
  • Mike
  • Will
  • Joyce
  • Jonathan
  • Dustin
  • Lucas
  • Chief Hopper
  • Demi-Gorgon

Get The Look

Eleven

Are you the lucky one in your group who gets to be the mysterious and powerful Eleven? Then it’s all about that pale pink dress she is known for in season one. Luckily, it’s really easy to find around town. Purchase the Adult Replica Eleven Costume from stores like Spirit Halloween or Party City. (It’s also available in kid sizes.)

Birmingham, Halloween, Stranger Things, Eleven, Eleven character
Eleven from Stranger Things. Photo by Patience Itson for Bham Now

Throw on a blonde wig (unless you already have blonde hair), some tube socks and some Converse and you are all set to rock Birmingham as Eleven.

Joyce

Remember how Joyce was a general store manager before all the Will mayhem hit? You can find the shirt—plus name tag—at Spirit Halloween and Party City. You can also easily find a similar shirt at one one of the many thrift stores or consignment shops  around, or hey, maybe even in your own closet!

Be sure to wrap a few strands of Christmas lights around yourself—you know why!—and carry around a plastic ax or corded phone and your transformation to Joyce is all set!

Birmingham, Halloween, Stranger Things, axe, Halloween accessories
The perfect prop for many Halloween costumes. Photo by Patience Itson for Bham Now

Mike, Will, Dustin, Lucas and Jonathan

You can also create the Stranger Things look by simply wearing a Stranger Things T-Shirt. Pair it with some jeans and a hoodie/jacket and you are pretty close to the usual attire of characters like Lucas, Dustin, Mike and Will. (The unpossessed Will anyway!)

Birmingham, Halloween, Stranger Things, Eleven, Eleven character
Stranger Things shirts are sold everywhere, including Target. Photo by Patience Itson for Bham Now

Extra Accessories

Dustin: Trucker hat
Eleven: Box of waffles
Jonathon: Old-school camera
Lucas: Camouflage bandana

The Cast Of Scooby-Doo

Scooby-Dooby-Doo, where are… sorry, but that song is just so catchy! When it comes to group costumes, there’s no tighter gang than the cast of Scooby-Doo. Haven’t you always wanted to be them?

The Characters
  • Fred
  • Daphne
  • Velma
  • Shaggy
  • Scooby

Where can you get the look? A great place to shop for costumes like these is at Zoe’s in Forest Park. From clothes and accessories to silly and spooky costumes, there’s a good chance you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for—plus more!

Birmingham, Zoe's in Forest Park, Forest Park, Halloween, costumes
The store front of Zoe’s in Forest Park is rocking that Halloween vibe. Photo via Zoe’s
Find Zoe’s at 3900 Clairmont Ave in Birmingham.

Pets

There’s no denying pets are cute. But put them in a Halloween costume and they instantly go from cute to adorable (and hilarious!).

A huge theme for pet costumes this year is food. We do love to eat in Birmingham! But it also takes the expression “you’re so cute I could eat you up” to the next level. Do we really want to go there?

Here are two options that provide the adorable and hilarious features every pet costume needs.

Thrills & Chills Halloween Taco Pet Costume

Soft sell or hard shell? It doesn’t matter wen the taco is this cute!

This decorative suit has soft material and also light so your dog won’t be weighed down wearing it. Plus, it is super easy to put on and take off, which makes dressing your pup easy.

Find it atPetSmart.

Birmingham, taco costume, costumes, Halloween, October, pets, pet costumes
Taco dog loves Halloween. Photo by Patience Itson for Bham Now

Halloween Pineapple Cat/Dog Costume

If cats could talk, this lovable feline would proclaim “I am Pineapple King!”

The material on this costume is super soft and cozy, and the head piece has ear holes that hold it in place.

Birmingham, Halloween, costumes, pets, pet costumes, animal costumes
The Pineapple King. Photo by Patience Itson for Bham Now

Find it at Target.

What will you be this year? We want to know!