Friday, 4 November 2016

Reused Halloween at the Reuse Centre

Halloween has come and gone for another year. That means it's time to put away the costumes and decorations until next year. This year for Halloween, our blog team decided to focus on reuse for our costume ideas. We left the theme of reuse open to interpretation. Our ideas included borrowing an old Halloween costume from a friend or family member, purchasing a second-hand costume, wearing a Halloween costume from a previous year, and creating a new costume from reused or repurposed material. Here's our showcase of reused, repurposed, and upcycled Halloween costumes.


I made this 1880s bustle skirt last year, entirely out of reused materials, though I confess I did buy the pattern new. The dark blue underskirt and white panel are both made from curtains, and the light blue over-skirt is made out of a tablecloth. I already had the lace edging in my sewing stash, from a long ago trip to the Reuse Centre!

The bustle pad (basically a pillow that you strap around your waist under your skirt) is made of an old pillowcase I already had. The blouse came straight from my closet. I reused the costume again this year, and given the time it took to make, you can bet I'll be looking for every excuse to wear it again!


Every year when I think about what I want to be for Halloween, I set a few rules: one is to incorporate my normal wardrobe and supplies at home, as much as possible; the second is to have a work-appropriate outfit.  Restrictions help breed creative solutions and I believe it has made my Halloween costumes thrifty with minimal waste. Here are a few costumes I've created:

Cap'n Crunch

Cruella de Vil

and this year, Olive Oyl

To create Olive Oyl, I safety-pinned a piece of yellow scrap ribbon on a black skirt and pinned cotton ribbon trims around the collar and sleeves of my red blouse. For my mate, Popeye, we taped yellow foam to a black polo shirt, cut up a red place mat for the collar, and borrowed a captain's hat and pipe.


I crafted this Rubik's Cube costume last year and wore it again this year. My goal for the costume was to only use materials that are available at the Reuse Centre. It was very simple to create. I cut off the bottom flaps and three of the top flaps of  an empty moving box and covered the box with black poster paper. I used scrap booking glue runners to hold the paper in place but any glue or tape will work. The colourful squares were made out of file folders! I measured and cut out 6-7 squares in each colour and glued them to the existing black paper. Then I just tied some yarn to the front flap and back of the box. Voilá, I had an affordable and unique Halloween costume made entirely out of reused materials!

We had fun thinking outside of the box creating our Halloween costumes and look forward to reusing them in future years. Do you have any reuse themed costume ideas? Share them in the comments section. 

All photos provided by volunteers and Reuse Centre staff

Vanessa (Staff)

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