Last minute, PBS-themed Halloween costume ideas

We get it, sometimes life gets hectic and you don’t do the things you want to do … even if the thing is creating an awesome costume for Southern California’s unofficial favorite holiday: Halloween.

No worries, your friends at PBS SoCal have you covered! Here are some last minute, PBS-themed Halloween costume ideas. Enjoy!

Image via PBS program ‘In Their Own Words’

COSTUME: Puppeteer
LEVEL: Easy
PEOPLE: 1

This is as easy as last minute costumes get! Dress yourself in head-to-toe black, and grab the nearest stuffed Elmo or Ernie–both for a prop, and for comfort! Done.

Credit: Courtesy of Justin Altman

COSTUME: Ken Burns
LEVEL: Easy
PEOPLE: 1
This one’s great because you can approach it a couple ways based on whatever’s in your closet. Start with a pair of jeans and a collared, button down shirt. Now, over that wear a dark colored sweater. Or, a dark colored sweater and a blue blazer. Or, skip the sweater entirely and just go with the blazer. You can’t be Ken Burns without his iconic hair style, so be ready to jump on Amazon and send yourself some clip-in bangs. And while this costume is considered easy, remember the most important accessory: an encyclopedic knowledge of the Vietnam War, the Civil War, America’s national parks, prohibition, Jackie Robinson, baseball, etc. Study up if you go this route!


COSTUME: Arthur
LEVEL: Easy/Moderate
PEOPLE: 1
Our Account Manager Kim pulled this off nicely last year! The costume itself is fairly simple: blue jeans, white collared shirt under a yellow sweater (bonus points for red sneakers). The slightly harder part might be finding the round glasses and ears. For the latter, get crafty with a headband and some pastel card stock. Don’t forget the key accessory: a tightly gripped fist at your side!


COSTUME: The Great British Baking Show hosts
LEVEL: Easy/Moderate
PEOPLE: 1-4

Here’s a fun option that can work for one person, or become a group costume easily. Let’s start with Paul Hollywood; he’s probably the easiest. Black pants, black button down, and some gray spray on your coiffured hair! Mary Berry is super fun: pressed trousers, a floral twinset (or a solid twinset and floral flowy scarf), and if you feel like accessorizing, she likes necklaces. Mel and Sue tend to dress similarly, both ladies wear jeans, though Mel tends towards vibrantly colored cropped blazers with scoop neck blouses underneath. Sue enjoys a boxy blazer and button down shirt combo. BONUS: have more than four friends? They can dress as themselves, accessorize with an tan apron, speak with a British accent and hand out cookies*—now you’ve got a contestant and also the life of the party.

*Be sure to call the cookies biscuits.


COSTUME: Word Girl
LEVEL: Moderate
PEOPLE: 1

If red is “your color” this one’s for you (also, makes a great last minute child’s costume). The base: red leggings and a red top. (Or, a red unitard if you prefer.) Over that: a yellow cape (cut and dye an old bed sheet) and a red head wrap (a red scarf will do the trick). Third layer: a brownish/orangish belt (for extra points color the buckle yellow), deep red boots and gloves. Cheat these as follows: buy two pairs of deep red tights (or white tights that you dye). Cut one pair off at mid-thigh length. These are your “boots”. Put them on and then fold them down a few times until they sit just under your knee. Then wear a red shoe that closely matches the tights color. Cut the other pair of tights at around the knee mark. (You may also want to open the toe end.) Put one one each arm and then fold over until they sit just under your elbow. The final, extra credit step: get a sheet of yellow vinyl sticker. Crop out the shape of Word Girl’s chest star, affix to the front of your costume.

Here’s wishing you a fun and safe Halloween! If you opt to do a PBS-themed costume or decorations, please share them on your favorite social networking site, and tag @pbssocal!

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