DIY: Charleston-themed Costumes for the Broke & Busy

Jessie Parks


From our longtime mayor to our colorful architecture (and locals), it seems that everyone wants a piece of the Holy City. This Halloween, reconsider that Ray Rice costume (dude, you should know better) and the sexy bacon look (she’s a piece of meat, get it?). Instead, show off your Charleston pride with these four last-minute DIY costumes. Minimal craft skills (and cash) required. 


Photos by Mac Kilduff

Mayor Riley 

What you need:

·      Old-dude glasses

·      Two-piece pajama set

·      A tie

·      Navy/black blazer

·      One sheet of paper

·      A Sharpie/marker

·      Double-sided tape

·      A pen

Write “Go To Bed” on a sheet of paper, then attach the paper to the pen with double-sided tape. Put on your pajamas, tie, blazer, and glasses. Bonus points for haranguing youngsters after midnight about the importance of King Street not turning into Bourbon Street.



The Royal Tinfoil (Voted “Best Band in Charleston” in 2013 by Charleston City Paper readers—and rightfully so)

What you need:

·      Tinfoil

·      Tiara or crown (we got ours at the Dollar Store)

·      Kitchen spoon

·      Red wig and acerbic wit (optional)

Wrap the tiara/crown in tinfoil. Do the same with the kitchen spoon—instant scepter! Don’t bother trying to make it perfect because it’s Halloween and no one really cares. Wrap some tinfoil around your waist/torso/whatever part of your body you have the manual dexterity to cover. Boom. Done.

Holy City

What you need:

·      A map

·      Ribbon/string/leather cording

·      Two clothespins or paper clips

·      Gold pipe cleaners (Dollar Store)

·      Gold tinsel garland (seriously, the Dollar Store is magic)

·      A headband

·      A Sharpie/marker

Peeps, if you only have 10 minutes and $5, then this is your costume. Scribble “Charleston” on your map. Tie whatever string-like object you found in your junk drawer to the clothespins/paper clips, then attach your new DIY lanyard to the map. The halo is slightly tricky, but it shouldn’t take longer than five minutes (we used this tutorial). This costume couples exceptionally well with a Holy City Pluff Mud Porter.

Shovels and Rope

What you need:

·      Three garden trowels

·      About a yard and a half of rope (make sure it’s thin enough to fit through the handle of the garden trowels)

·      Spray paint (optional)

·      Duds that are a little country and a little rock and roll

Admit it: you can’t get enough of Shovels and Rope (neither can we). Fortunately, you can channel this hardworking duo with minimal effort. Make a small knot in the rope about a foot from the end. We spray painted our garden trowels copper, which is totally unnecessary but cute.  Slide the garden trowel onto the rope and up to the knot. Tie another knot on the other side of the garden trowel so it stays put. Repeat. Now, tie the ends of the rope together. Throw on your new duds and hit the road.