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4 DIY Philly-Centric Halloween Costumes

With all the different Halloween parties coming up this weekend (including those listed in PW’s Halloween Guide this week), now would be a good time to really start thinking about your costume if you haven’t already, especially if you don’t plan on going out and buying one. Obviously, some of you may be more ambitious than others when it comes to your Halloween get-up, but here’s four Philly-inspired costume ideas that are cheap and relatively easy to put together last minute.

A Philly Fan (Any Team)

philly_sports_fansThis is so simple and yet so brilliant. And given the track records of our professional sports teams, this is one costume you’ll be able to wear year, after year, after year.

Step 1: Deck yourself out in any and all local sports apparel you have whether it be the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, Sixers or a combination of all four. Don’t forget silly accessories like a foam finger or football hat.

Step 2: Using red body paint, make it look like you just slit your wrists. Depending how realistic you want it to look, you can follow tutorials like this one or this one.

Step 3: Make your hair look messy like you’ve been ripping it out.

Step 4: If you’re a lady, paint running mascara down your face (by smudging eyeliner and/or black eye shadow down your eyes and cheeks). You may want to use some extra eyeliner and a little bit of red lip liner around your eyes to really give the effect that you’ve been crying. This tutorial may help (fast-forward to 6:30).

Step 5: Throughout the evening, periodically shout out—to no one in particular—such Philly fan catchphrases as “Fire Andy!” and “WHHYYY??”

Glenn “Hurricane” Scwhartz (In A Hurricane)


Basically just recreate this “Caught In The Rain” costume with your own umbrella, business casual outfit, a pair of cheap reading glasses, a lot of hairspray and gel and of course, a bow tie. You could also rock a poncho, as long as the bow tie sticks out. Or you could skip the accessories and go out as regular Glenn, but that’s not nearly as interesting.

A PPA Officer


Everyone will get this immediately. Switch up the wardrobe and this could also work for just about any despised local figures—Mayor Nutter, Andy Reid, Michael Vick, etc.

Step 1: Rock navy work pants and a baby blue button up shirt.

Step 2: Make the PPA patch out of paper or cardboard.

Step 3: Buy a pair of devil horns or an entire devil kit (horns, pitchfork and tail). You can find this pretty much anywhere that sells costumes, including Rite Aid.

Step 4: Either make or buy a fake little gold badge.

Step 5: Stash any old parking tickets you might have in your pockets.

Your Neighborhood


There’s really no limit to what you can do with this. I’m merely offering suggestions. You could also take these suggestions and go out as Philadelphia in general, although this would most certainly require you to get far more elaborate.

Step 1: Using some cardboard, recreate either the expressway ramp sign for your neighborhood, several individual street signs and/or a basic “Welcome To…” sign.

Step 2: Tape said sign(s) to yourself or hang around your neck with string.

Step 3: Dress like stereotypical neighborhood folk. For those living in super gentrified neighborhoods, feel free to mix and match accordingly. If you own a shirt from a neighborhood business, that would work too. You could also just wear all black and create a line of white or yellow dashes down your body like an actual street.

Step 4: Tape various pieces of trash to your clothes that you’d likely see in your respective hood. For instance, if you live in South Philly, perhaps that’s a Geno’s or Pat’s wrapper. If you live in Kensington, maybe that’s a Colt 45 label and fake syringe. I think you get the idea.

Step 5: Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. The more details you incorporate, the better.

DIY Floral Decoupage Handbag (or anything else!)

Floral, floral, floral — we just feel pretty in floral. It also happens to be extremely fashion forward at the moment, especially big, magnified prints. Which is why we loved this do-it-yourself from Honestly WTF on how to make your own floral bag from an old purse, some fabric and some glue. Sure, when we were younger, we modge-podged some bottles, but we never thought of the possibility of wearing it! After we finish floral-ing up our purses, the possibilities are kind of endless. Floral boots? Curtains? Bracelets? Hats? We may just look like a walking garden next time you see us.

You’ll need:

1. Tape off any hardware on the bag.

2. Paint the area of the bag you wish to decoupage with craft paint.

3. Cut out flowers from your fabric.

4. Make sure the paint is dry, then apply your cut-outs with the Modge Podge, adding another layer over the top to seal them in.

Ta da!

DIY Nail Stickers

I’ve never really been into making a big deal out of your nails. It always seemed like way too much effort for something that would look just as good with a simple coat of red polish. But, it’s like you can’t avoid the tricked-out nail trend right now, so you might as well pick one and at least try it. You never know, you might like it.

I found this super simple DIY for nail stickers of Lauren Conrad’s Beauty Department and I thought it was such a cheap and easy way to make a super special nail, that I had to share it with you guys.

DIY Wall Murals

Let’s be honest, most wall murals and decals are pretty cheesy. I don’t think people really think it through when they have a family photo blown up to monstrous proportions and use it as wallpaper. Pretty soon, the sight of your own smile will start to creep you out. Or, those terrible city sky-line murals. What is it with people (especially New Yorkers) who need to constantly remind themselves that they live in a city? Just look out your window! Personally, I like my city apartment to be super tranquil and remind me of being out in the country. Which is why I find these wall murals so appealing.

If you aren’t the handiest with a paintbrush, here’s some methods you can use to make your own wall mural.

1. Use PosteRazor to slice an image into squares that can be printed out to make a large poster size image.

2. Construct a make-shift projector from a box, a lamp and some tape.

DIY Bow Tie

Lucky for us tomboys, borrowing fashion from the boys has been super “in” for the past few seasons. It all started with the brogues, then the collars, the ballcaps, now, the latest addition, the bowtie! Bowties on chicks are super adorable and sharp. Just check out our exhibit A right here:


You can go out and buy a bow tie from the men’s or little boy section, but it’ll set you back almost 50 bucks. Oh, and those over-sized jawns from American Apparel? Too costumey. What you need is a neat, little bow that will look polished and cool and not like water could squirt out of it.

The ladies at Honestly WTF have a super easy tutorial on how to make a bow tie yourself from scraps of fabric.

Start by drawing a horizontal and vertical line on a 6″ by 3.5″ piece of fabric. Pinch the fabric where the lines intersect and pick it up.

Flip the fabric over and place a drop of hot glue where you are pinching. Fold it in half lengthwise, pressing it together. Then, put a dab of glue on the backside, on the horizontal line, right next to the fold.

Fold the fabric back again and press down where you just glued. We will continue this process to form the middle accordion shape of the bow.

Turn your finished bow over and glue the tip of a .75″ by 2.5″ strip of fabric to the center. Wrap it around and seal with glue.

Glue a pinback to the back of the bow.


Brilliant Idea: Magnetic Nail Polish

whitehall-magnetic-polish nailsThe other day I was hanging out in Sephora, and one of the sales associates, Sara, showed me something new. It’s called Whitehall Magnetic Nail Polish by Nails Inc., London.

Here’s how it works:  you paint your nail with the polish and then hover the magnet (located on the top of the bottle cap), over the paint and viola! Your nail has this funky, shiny, squiggly thing going on.

I wasn’t so sure about the polish at first, since I usually stick with neutral colors.  But it’s been about 24 hours since I got a sample on my pinky finger – and even though the nail looks totally busted- I can’t find the will to remove it.  I’m sold!  Neutral colors, step aside.whitehall-magnetic-polish before after

Sara mentioned that she recently read an article about how nail salons are suffering since people are doing their own nails in order to save money.  So, I guess when you think about it,  $16 isn’t a bad amount for nail polish you can get a nice amount of uses out of and have fun with it.

You can get your own bottle in silver, purple or teal at Sephora in Center City.

~Zenovia Campbell

Local Vintage Enthusiast Shares Her DIY Style

tick_tock_vintageLast week, PW Style invited readers to submit any sort of DIY fashion or design project they were working on for the chance to have it featured on the blog. Sadly, only one reader accepted this invitation. This would have been much more disappointing however had that reader not been Veronika of Tick Tock Vintage.

Not only has the South Philly resident and third grade teacher amassed an enviable wardrobe of amazing vintage finds, but her expertise on second-hand shopping and restyling garments has been solicited by websites and magazines like Seventeen, ModCloth and Forever 21’s The Skinny.

On her blog, Veronika shares advice and photos of her latest alterations and thrifting adventures as well as her love of Philadelphia. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent the last few days just going through her beautiful photos of the city and very vintage wedding (which included many items that she re-purposed or handmade). You can also see and purchase some of her thrifted finds on Tick Tock Vintage Closet.

“Whenever I take a trip somewhere, I always Google thrift stores in the area,” Veronika says. If a garment doesn’t look or fit quite right, the skilled seamstress will find a way to make it work. “My mom taught me to sew when I was five or six and I would make costumes for my guinea pigs,” she laughs.

Should you see her creations below and and suddenly feel inspired to revamp your own garments, Veronika offers this piece of advice: “It’s best to keep projects simple if you’re just starting out—work on just hemming a skirt or changing out buttons.”

So anyway, without further adieu, I present Veronika’s three latest DIY style projects…

XXXL Choir Robe to Mini-dress

ticktockvintage2“It was an XXXL choir robe-ish dress with giant shoulder pads, the frumpiest neckline and possibly the worst sleeves ever. I first took the white panel in the bodice apart and cut it much shorter. I made the sleeves shorter, took the bottom hem up, and made the overall dress smaller.” More…

Suede Skirt to Clutch with Tassels

ticktockvintage3“It was a pretty simple project; I wanted a triangle shape at the bottom of the purse, like a real envelope. I also wanted to incorporate tassels somehow, and decided to use them as a weight to keep the top flap closed. The suede was not very stiff, so I cut Ikea placemats ($2.99 for a set of four) to the size of the rectangles in the front and attached it with spray adhesive. You can’t tell that they are there because the lining covers it all.” More…

Early 80’s pioneer woman dress to Russian sarafan-inspired dress

ticktockvintage1“I used RIT dye to change the color. I was originally going for navy blue but the color didn’t seem to hold very well. After washing, it turned to this light cornflower blue, which I’m okay with. I searched Jomar for colorful trim and added it along the waist, neckline, sleeves, and hem. There are five different kinds of trim in all.” More…

Impressive, huh?

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