By Jessica Ghilani

It is getting down to the wire. October’s end is near and costume party season is upon us. Are you stumped for a costume idea to wear this Halloween? With a little bit of money and a lot of creativity you can come up with some great last minute costumes.

Just follow these steps:

(Photo Credit: Jessica Ghilani)

Be resourceful!

Look around your home for materials and inspiration. Open your cabinets and survey your closets. Many brand mascots make for adorable costumes. The Utz Girl, Mr. Peanut, Pringles, Morton’s Salt, Captain Crunch, Count Chocula. Any of these have the potential to become immediately recognizable ideas.

(Photo Credit:

Get crafty!

If you already own most of the necessary items to execute your idea, create the remaining parts yourself. If you need a sash for your Miss America costume or a cape for your classic vampire, head to JoAnn Fabrics or Pat Catan’s to complete the look.

Pat Catan’s
1250 Chartiers Ave
Mc Kees Rocks, PA 15136
(412) 771-0606
Hours: Monday-Friday: 9:00am-9:00pm; Saturday: 9:00am-6:00pm; Sunday: 10:00am-6:00pm
Reviews, Directions & More Info

(Photo Credit: Jessica Ghilani)

Scour the thrift stores to reference classic thrillers.

Fasten a few plastic black crows to a vintage mint green skirt suit and suddenly you channel Tippi Hedren’s embattled character in Alfred Hitchcock’ film, The Birds. With a dirty shovel, tussled hair, a babydoll dress, and some zombie makeup, you can easily pull off Karen Cooper, the terrifying child character in Night of the Living Dead.

Goodwill Store
2700 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
(412) 481-5390
Hours: Mon. thru Sat. 9am-9pm, Sunday 10am-5pm
Reviews, Directions & More Info

Red White & Blue Thrift Store
890 Saw Mill Run Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
(412) 381-1060
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-6pm
Reviews, Directions & More Info

(Photo by Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty Images)

Turn to the experts.

If you are too stumped or too strapped for time to do it yourself, visit one of Pittsburgh’s best costume shops. Kim Brown, owner and president of Spotlight Costumes LLC, says that, “The Halloween industry in the U.S. is very much driven by the entertainment industry.” Television, film, and celebrity culture influence the types of costumes produced and customer demand. She predicts that popular costumes for this year will be inspired by Harry Potter, Glee, Cowboys and Aliens, and because of its local connection, Batman. If you are willing to spend the dough, the experts can certainly outfit you for any costumed occasion.

Spotlight Costumes LLC
1503 East Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
(412) 381-7733
Reviews, Directions & More Info

This month if you are stumped for costumes, think outside of the box, use brand mascots or the entertainment industry for inspiration, and don’t be afraid to get creative!

Click here for CBS Local’s list of free and low cost fun for all ages

Jessica Ghilani blogs about (mostly her own) shopping and dressing in Pittsburgh and beyond at Consume or Consumed