Do-it-yourself Halloween
Get creative by making your own costume this year

Store-bought Halloween costume prices are steadily increasing, and the same cliched costumes are lining the racks at every department store. So this year, try making your own costume for a more original - and cheaper - look.

In the days before Halloween stores and costume shops, mothers handmade their children's costumes. However, that yearly family tradition has faded away, making room for a new one - hauling the kids to Wal-Mart to pick out a Spider-Man suit.

"Anything big at the box office, we get calls for," said Richard Morris, a manager at Eddie's Trick Shop in Duluth.

Buying a costume, rather than making one, is easy and takes virtually no time at all. Homemade costumes are more time-consuming, but they're also one-of-a-kind.

Designing your own disguise is a lot easier than it seems, and there's no need to start from scratch. Most of the elements of a great costume can be found at a specialty retailer, like Eddie's Trick Shop, 3675 Satellite Blvd. in Duluth.

With a bit of creative makeup and some flashy accessories, you can alter your look to become a completely new character. A simple wig, mask or fake scars, can transform any outfit in your closet into something else, to go trick-or-treating incognito.

Morris suggests dressing as one of the cavemen from the Geico commercials and the new ABC comedy series.

"There's not really a costume, so people rely on the makeup and facial hair," he explained.

Another easy homemade costume, he said, would be a pirate, using hats and grungy makeup to accessorize.

SideBar: DIY Costume Ideas

Here are a few of our favorite homemade costume ideas:

Become Catwoman by applying black eyeliner on the top and bottom eyelids, and extending the line about an inch away from the eye to create cat eyes. Wear all black and throw on some cat ears and a tail.

Go as a punk rocker by wearing dark makeup, heavy eyeliner and black eye shadow. Wear a black shirt and jeans or fishnet stockings, and add a studded belt and choker.

To dress up as the girl from "The Exorcist," use makeup to create a very pale complexion and scratch marks. Wear dark eye makeup and a white nightgown.

If you want to be a fairy, put on some glittery mascara and shiny lip gloss. Then don a flowy dress and a set of wings.

Be '80s-era Material Girl with thick eyebrows, dark eyeliner, curly hair and lacy clothes. Add fishnet stockings and gold chains.

Think outside the box, by finding a box and cutting a hole in the top. You can paint the box to be anything you'd like, such as a Pokemon card, a head on a silver platter, a Christmas present or a jack-in-the-box.