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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UIC chapter.

Halloween is coming up, and it will look a lot differently this year. Last year, I was working on Halloween so I did not do anything. This year it is the same situation but either way I would not go anywhere. I work at a Halloween store so it is acceptable to dress up all season long. These are some costume ideas that I have for the week of Halloween, while still staying safe with my mask at work. You can use these ideas to go trick or treating with your younger sibling(s), have a socially distance hang out with your friend or have some content for your Instagram. Most costumes are easy to customize, which is what makes Halloween fun: being able to create something. Before working at a Halloween store, I never went into one because my mom would always sew my costumes. Or when I became older I would DIY my costume with items I had laying around (i.e grandma, cowgirl, 80’s girl, cheetah, etc). 

Two Ghosts Standing in Front of a Brick Wall
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

1: Mean Girls‘ Regina George On Prom Night

I thought of this idea before I started my job because I was thinking of wearing a face shield.The face shield reminded me of the head brace that Regina had to wear after getting hit by a bus. I went to Michael’s Craft Store and saw a floral vine that I could use for around the headpiece. I then collected two paper towel rolls, wrapped in black Scotch Tape, for the support beam. I wore a pink cardigan and topped it off with a belt. Of course, adding a blonde wig is preferable but I did not have that.

What you will need:

Pink dress/shirt/cardigan

Paper towel rolls 

Black tape

Floral vine

Face shield

Blonde wig  

2: Billie Elish at the Grammys 

This was an iconic look and easy to think of because she was already wearing a Gucci mask. For this look I bought a plain black reusable mask from Michael’s and green glitter puffy paint. Then I painted the Gucci logo on the mask and added her neon green to the roots of my hair. 

What you will need:

Black reusable mask

Green glitter puffy paint

Neon green hair wax 

(Optional) Small black glasses, gold hoop earrings, black shirt, and a green long sleeve


3. Sally from Nightmare before Christmas 

This was a fun look to create because I used face paint for the first time. For her red hair, I used a red beanie and attached red yarn to the inside, with tape. Then, with eyeliner, I drew on her long lashes. Or you can wear falsies, to create the same dramatic look. I bought three felt pieces of fabric in the colors blue, yellow, and pink. With the blue square and a sharpie, I drew large dots. With the pink, I added swirls, and with the remaining I used that for my sleeves. On a black shirt, I attached the fabric with black tape to look like stiches. With a blue mask you can paint on or sew her stiches and draw on red lips. 

What you will need:

Red yarn

Red beanie

Three pieces of felt fabric: blue, yellow, and pink

Black tape

Black sharpie

Blue face paint

Blue mask

Red and black paint


4) Woody from Toy Story

When I saw Woody’s costume and his bandana wrapped around his neck, it reminded me of the bandanas people have worn these last few months. I remember in the begining of the pandemic, when people did not know how long this would last, when they made DIY bandana masks. While it might be safer to wear a mask underneath, I still think it is a cool idea that can be encorprated. 

What you will need

A mask (doesn’t matter what color because it will be going underneath)

Red bandana

Cowboy hat

Yellow long sleeve flannel

Black and white vest (you can either use cow print fabric or upcycle a white vest and use sharpie 

Light jeans

Cowboy boots


5) Bob Ross

As I was browsing the shelves of the Halloween store I work for, I saw a Bob Ross costume and noticed his huge beard. It gave me an idea that instead of a beard, you can wear a matching brown mask to imiitate a beard. His costume is pretty simple besides needing to buy an afro. Paint those happy little trees, safely.

What you will need 

White collared shirt 

Light jeans

Paint pallete 

Brown afro

Brown mask to match afro 


6) Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland

I actually found inspiration from a costume performer who drew the Queen’s heart-shaped lips on a mask. I thought this was a great idea and led me to think of more mouths you can paint on (such as Sally’s). With her heart-shaped lips, high-up blue eyeshadow, and red hair, this look can come together easily. Add pops of red wherever you feel comfortable. You could even omit the black shirt and go for a dress underneath your white collared shirt and some red legggings. Get creative and mix together a new look!

What you will need

Black shirt

White collared shirt

White mask

Red paint for lips

Red wig or red hair spray

Blue eyeshadow

Some pop of red, either a skirt, pants, or leggings

(Optional) tiny crown 


7) Ninja

A ninja is one of those costumes that already comes with a mask, so it is easy to encoporate in. Looking at the costumes in a box, the idea of a ninja seems simple. The whole idea of a ninja is to not be seen and remain low-key. While the ninja sword is optional, because I know when someone buys something they would like to reuse it, I think it puts the costume together. Some ninja costumes I have seen are all black, while some add a touch of color with a red ribbon. All your preference. 

What you will need

Black body suit or black shirt and black pants 

Red sash 

Black mask 

(Optional) colored ribbon

(Optional) sword 

8) Doctor

Now this is another easy one because doctors regularly wear a mask. So if you need something last minute, you can be a healthcare hereo! Maybe add a cape for empahsis on the heroe part. 

What you will need:

Lab coat

Medical mask

Medical gloves

(Optional) stheroscope 


9) Mummy 

I never thought of mummys as cute, until I saw a costume with a dress, head piece, and knee high socks – all wrapped in fabric scraps. In most costumes where people are mummies, they only show the eyes. So it gave me the idea to do the same with this costume. Adding a white mask and toilet paper or fabric scraps will help it perfectly blend in with your costume. You can add some dark circles or blood for added effects.

What you will need: 

White shirt

White pants or skirt

White mask

Toilet paper or other white wrapping

Clear tape

(Optional) if you wear a skirt, wear white knee high socks and wrap toilet paper around that 

(Optional) eyeshaodw under the eyes and blood on the wrap 

guy fawkes mask hanging off a backpack
Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

10) Masks

If all else fails and you find yourself needing something last minute there are a ton of halloween mask options (not to be confused with face masks). Just be sure to wear a regular mask underneath to guarantee you are keeping safe. 

Happy Halloween!!


Maya is currently a Senior at University of Illinois at Chicago. She is majoring in Integrated Health Studies with the goal of becoming a genetic counselor. She joined HER and is excited for all the article she will create. She enjoys staying connected with pop culture and all the new restaurants.
UIC Contributor.