10 Tim Burton-Inspired Halloween Costume Ideas
KROQ’s Dead Man’s Ball at LACMA is sure to be a hauntingly good time! This killer party will feature performances from [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]She Wants Revenge[/lastfm], Killsonic, DJ Jeremiah Dead, and Sneaky Nietzsche. Also contributing to the ghoulish delights will be special art environment installations, appearances from your favorite KROQ Joqs, and an “after hours” opportunity to view the exhibition on the imaginative works of Tim Burton.
The festivities will also include costume contests, with prizes being awarded to the Most Creative, Best Movie Monster, and Best Tim Burton character! Tune in to KROQ all week for your chance to win tickets to this SOLD OUT event! You can also enter our online contest!
Whether you’re in it to win it, or just want an awesome costume for the event, here’s some Tim Burton character costume ideas sure to be a hit!
Jack Skellington & Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas
This favorite couple of Halloween Town can be emulated with just a few simple steps! Ladies, a red wig is essential. Hit up your local thrift store and find a simple sleeved dress, then go to a fabric store and choose a few different fabrics to cut small amounts from (you’ll need less than a yard). If you’re skilled with sewing, cut different shapes from the fabrics and sew them on to your dress. If sewing it not your forte, you can easily use fabric “tacky” glue to attach the patch pieces. Get a pair of blue tights, and draw “stitches” on your face and body using washable makeup to achieve Sally’s sewn together body. A pair of long, false lashes adds to her look, and you’re set!
Gentlemen, use an old inexpensive pinstripe suit (which you can find at any Goodwill or thrift store). If you can’t find pinstripes, no problem! You can create your own pinstripes using chalk, which will give the costume some homemade charm. Use white face paint all over your face, and use black around the eye area to make Jack’s skeleton sunken eyes, and draw his famous stitched smirk along the sides on your mouth. You can also “paint” bones on you hands, or purchase a pair of skeleton gloves at any Halloween costume store!
Pee Wee Herman from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
One of my favorite characters, a Pee Wee costume can easily be achieved for both guys and gals! Find a grey pair of trousers and matching blazer or suit jacket (check out Goodwill, thrift stores, or H&M). Wear a cheap white collared shirt underneath, and make sure to wear the famous red bow tie! Finish your look with some snazzy white shoes (or even white heels or flats for the ladies). If you happen to have a red bike, even better!
This detailed costume from the Tim Burton film favorite may seem complicated, but you can do it! An easier approach the costume is to wear Edward’s white shirt/brown trousers look. Under your white collared shirt, wear a black turtleneck. Attach to the turtleneck metal rings and embellishments, which you can find in any fabric store. Get black suspenders and attached them to oversized brown trousers. To make the scissor-hands, rather than buying a pre-made version at a Halloween store, or using actual scissors (which could be dangerous), draw scissors on pieces of cardboard and cut them out. Then, wrap the mock scissors entirely in aluminum foil or silver duct tape and attach them to a pair of black gloves and voila! Finish the look with face makeup (pale face, darkened eyes) and very messy hair!
Lock, Shock, & Barrel – The Nightmare Before Christmas
These three troublemakers is a great costume idea for a group of three! You can find plain masks at any Halloween or craft store, and decorate them accordingly! Use red pajamas for Lock, skeleton outfit for Barrel, and a purple dress with black petticoat for Stock, as well as a witch hat!
Betelgeuse from Beetlejuice
Betelgeuse has many looks, but the black and white suit is very recognizable. Do it yourself by wrapping white duct tape strips around an inexpensive black suit, creating those crazy stripes. Add a collared white shirt and black tie. To make the look complete, don’t shower or brush your teeth, comb your hair, and roll in some dirt! Just kidding – please don’t do that! But do, however, make your outfit look dirty and wrinkled, and use face paint for the white skin and darkened eyes. (see a Burton character trend here?) A five-o’clock shadow and a white messy wig also adds to his unkempt look! But whatever you do..don’t say his name three times! Betelgeuse..Betelgeuse..Betel – shhh!
The Witch from Big Fish
Tim Burton’s wife, Helena Bonham Carter, is in many of his films. In Big Fish, she plays two roles, one being the mysterious Witch! This is very easy to make into a costume that will still make a great impression at the Dead Man’s Ball! Use a long sleeved old dress, preferably something with a puffy shoulder and sleeve. Purchase a cane and a standard black eye patch. Finish the look with a white wig, pinning the hair back in a messy up-do.
Victor & the Corpse Bride from Corpse Bride
If you’re lucky enough to win two tickets to Dead Man’s Ball (or you bought tickets before they sold out), a great costume idea for a couple is this one! Victor’s costume needs a simple three piece suit, along with a pale blue tie – to match your bride’s skin color. If you don’t have dark hair, buy a short black men’s wig.
For the Corpse Bride costume, finding a used wedding dress at a thrift store would be excellent! If not, you can create your “wedding dress” with a white beaded corset and a poofy skirt, as well as a veil and bouquet to add to your look. Finish the costume with a blue wig (or spray your with blue colored temporary hair spray from the beauty supply). If you want to push the look even further, you can purchase some blue acrylic paint, mix it with water, and apply it to your skin for her deadly appearance!
The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland
The Mad Hatter is an iconic character, that can be portrayed in many different ways. One of which is Johnny Depp’s portrayal in Burton’s rendition of the classic story. His look is very scatterbrained, so anything goes! Try finding a brown jacket or coat, as well as some grey trousers. Wear different colored bright socks and roll up the pants. The Mad Hatter’s bow tie is large and includes bright and muted colors mixed, and you can use simple ribbon or fabric to make it. Add fingerless gloves, a red curly wig, and of course the most important part – the hat!
The more eccentric the look, the better! Have fun with it and go MAD!
In Burton’s film, Johnny Depp portrays cult film director, Ed Wood. Wood made the film, Glen or Glenda, about the process of a sex change. He was also well known for his dabbling in cross-dressing, as well as his love for angora sweaters. This would make a great costume for any guy who’s up to it! Use a short blonde wig, and 50’s era women’s clothing to create the look. A necessity to this costume is the angora sweater. Keep your facial hair to give it that Ed Wood feel of masculine and feminine.
The Joker from Batman
Love that Joker!
One of the most iconic villains, Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the Joker in Burton’s film is beyond excellent! Though a purple suit may be hard to find, any combination of bright purple, green and orange will work! The key is to use color blocking (which is ironically in trend right now). Get a sash and make it a bow tie. Use green hair spray to create the Joker’s “chemically treated” hair. You also should paint your face white and create that evil grin with red lipstick or paint. Make it your own my incorporating gag pranks, like a hand buzzer or a flower pinned to your lapel that squirts water.
You’ll have your friends asking, “Where does he get those wonderful toys?”