It’s October. ’Tis the season for bending one’s brain to the task of fabricating the perfect Halloween costume. There are many ways to approach the task — buy a pattern, some spooky fabric and stitch one. Throw a sheet over your head and say, “Boo!” Or do what Michael Couglin, executive director of Goodwill Industries, suggests — shop at a Goodwill store for second-time-around costumes or items to create your own idea of a costume.
Shopping at Goodwill, in my opinion, is a “treat-treat” situation — no trick about it. Goodwill gets the benefit of shoppers’ dollars, which support employment programs for those in need. The shopper gets the fun of putting together a unique costume at an affordable price.
Halloween accounts for Goodwill’s highest retail sales for the year, according to a press release, which is a pretty good indication that a lot of people find what they are looking for at Goodwill.
The Goodwill Web site at www.goodwillnj.org/halloween/make-costume.html offers many suggestions for putting together costumes, such as the Mod look — think go-go boots and microminiskirts; the flower child look of the 1960s sporting tie-dye clothing, love beads and leather vests; and the Disco Fever look with bell-bottom pants and head-to-toe polyester knit fabrics for those who want to channel an inner John Travolta or Olivia Newton-John.
Other clever ideas at the Web site include Black Mail, which involves dressing in black and attaching a postage stamp to your chest; taping purple balloons to a body suit to turn yourself into a bunch of grapes, becoming a mummy by purchasing old sheets, cutting them into stripes and winding yourself into the appropriate ghoul, or using a black hoodie, black sweatpants and black tube socks to transform yourself into a big ugly spider.
Suggestions for character costumes include Betty Rubble, Sherlock Holmes, Princess Leia and Betty Boop. These costumes rely on wigs and accessories, such as a plastic bone in the hair, a cape, hoop earrings and thigh-high stockings, but achieving the look allows for a lot of creative leeway.
The easy costume list at the Web site, labeled easy because few items are needed to create the costume, includes a construction worker — jeans, white T-shirt, boots, hard hat and hammer holster; Miss America or beauty queen — prom dress, gloves, tiara, heels and sash; and cowboy or cowgirl — jeans, Western-style shirt, Western hat, boots and a bandana.
Shoppers at Goodwill also will find vintage clothing for those seeking a 1950s rock ’n’ roll vibe, gowns for bringing out one’s inner princess, and black leather and velvet items for those leaning toward a Goth ghouls look.
Goodwill stores also carry new manufactured Halloween costumes and Halloween decorations and accessories.
Another option, which also benefits a good cause, is the Penobscot Theatre annual Halloween costume sale, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, in the lobby of the Bangor Opera House, Main Street, Bangor. Proceeds will benefits Penobscot Theatre’s annual fund.
Church rummage sales and yard sales also are great places to find just the item you need to complete a ghostly — or ghastly — look.
Dolls handcrafted by women who live in Kabul, Afghanistan, are on display and for sale at the Gibbs Library in Washington village. Proceeds from the dolls help the Afghanistan women support their families. The dolls are on display during regular library hours. For more information, visit www.gibbslibrary.com or www.kabuldolls.org, a Web site created by Lily Casas, who sells the dolls on behalf of the Afghanistan women.
The Maine Crafts Guild and the Maine State Museum will celebrate the tradition of making things by hand 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 7-8, in the foyer of the museum and the library complex.
Thirty artisans of the crafts guild will offer their work for sale. In the museum, visitors can view hand-made items that span 10,000 years.
Admission to the sale and the museum is free on both days.