Easy Halloween Costumes for Book Nerds

26 Oct

We can totally outdo these kids.

Halloween is just around the corner–do you have your costume yet? No? Even if you’re not Trick-or-Treating, you’ll undoubtably need a good costume for a party or similar festivity. Don’t reach for that old bedsheet: here are some simple book-based ideas that you can probably throw together in an hour or two, and they’re much better than sheet ghosts, if I do say so myself.

Shadowhunter (from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare)

You’ll need:

  • Black clothes
  • Boots (if you don’t have combat boots of some sort, no one will call you out for using black rainboots)
  • “Marks” (I suggest drawing on your hands with a black marker)
  • A low-budget stele–think Duct tape or tin foil

This costume will work best if you already have a wardrobe full of black–everything after that is just icing on the cake. Reference the books for descriptions of the Marks, but if you don’t have copies at hand, go abstract. All you really need to have is the rune of the eye. You can just go as a generic Shadowhunter, but a few extra accessories can make you a specific character. Carry a golden “whip” (decorative rope or a thin belt would work nicely) and you’ll be instantly recognizable as Isabelle Lightwood; have a few snarky comments on hand and you’ll be channeling Jace Wayland.

Demigod (from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan)

You’ll need:

  • Shorts–cut-off jeans seem to be popular among demigods
  • A plain orange t-shirt
  • Black fabric marker

Use the fabric marker to write “Camp Half-blood” on your t-shirt. That’s all the prep this one takes. Like the Shadowhunter costume, you can be your own character or use accessories to become someone specific from the books, such as a New York Yankees cap for Annabeth or a cheap pen/sword for Percy.

Provost’s Dog (from the Beka Cooper series by Tamora Pierce)

You’ll need:

  • Dark-colored breeches/pants/trousers
  • Boots
  • An oversized black shirt
  • A belt
  • Optional: white ribbon

Use the white ribbon if you want to be a Puppy instead of a full-fledged Dog; simply glue or sew the ribbon along the sleeves and hem of the shirt, which will serve as your uniform tunic. In addition to the basics, you can make yourself some Dog gear–the iconic baton, leather hobbles, perhaps a gorget. If you have long hair, don’t forget to put it in a braid.

Teenage Ghost (from the Ghostgirl series by Tonya Hurley)

You’ll need:

  • Your ordinary teenager clothes (convenient if you’re going straight from school to a party!)
  • Pale face makeup and dark eye makeup

This costume is all about pulling it off right. Having the right attitude and atmosphere will make this outfit go from ordinary to a fantastic costume. If it’s been a while since you’ve read the Ghostgirl books, try a bit of rereading to jog your memory and get yourself back into the delightfully wacky ghostly level of Hawthorne High. Again, you can be a specific character from the books–headphones for Metal Mike, one shoe missing for Prue–or your own person. If you’re not imitating an existing character, make sure to have in mind a cause of death that forms an alliteration with your name. For example, I might say, “I’m Allergy Allegra. I died when I accidentally ate a brownie with walnuts in it.”

Accursed Sparkly Vampire (from the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer)

You’ll need:

  • A fashionable outfit
  • White face paint
  • Glitter makeup
  • Plastic vampire fangs (optional, but strongly encouraged)

The way I see it, the best way to be a Cullen is to be a parody of a Cullen. This is a fairly straightforward costume. Lay on the glitter! The plastic fangs will help prevent people from mistaking your Cullen outfit for a Ke$ha costume.

Have a safe, spooky, and extremely nerdy Halloween.



Posted by on October 26, 2011 in DIY, Seasonal


Tags: , , , ,

4 responses to “Easy Halloween Costumes for Book Nerds

  1. juliarose

    October 26, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    I love love love the demi god idea! I would have never thought of it… and it looks pretty easy and cheap too!

  2. Faith Othello

    October 26, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    It seems I am way behind the times of current teenage popular books, the only one I recognized was the second one. But that one is a way awesome one. If I didn’t know what I’m already doing I would be a demi-god 🙂 That’s a great idea.

  3. Nerdygirl98

    October 26, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    Haha love the Shadowhunter one!!! Speaking of which, any idea when the next novel comes out??

  4. Felicity-Zara Stewart

    October 30, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Excellent! xD the Twilight one was something I was going to make my ex-Twilight-fanatic friend do this year, while I dressed as Patrick Bateman. Much more fearsome than a sparkly vampire. xD

    That aside, some brilliant ideas here!


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