Wednesday, December 16, 2015

When a company department or social club is given the task to come up with a corporate dinner or annual dinner theme or product launch, a safe option is to go for a colour theme.

Black and white will always be classy and here's how to rock it!

Two by Two for AIDS Art Gala and Action

Two by Two for AIDS Art Gala and Action

Todd Events designed the October 2013 event at the Rachofsky House in Dallas. "The black-and-white theme was selected because every year the event has an honorary artist," said a rep for the company. "The artist from last year worked in a black-and-white medium for his art pieces, so we played the event decor off that." Tables were decked with striped linens and glassware that reflected the theme.

Photo: Roderick Peña

Two by Two for AIDS Art Gala and Action

Two by Two for AIDS Art Gala and Action
The event's menu items also reflected the black-and-white theme.

Photo: Roderick Peña

Two by Two for AIDS Art Gala and Action

Two by Two for AIDS Art Gala and Action
Instead of a red carpet, designers laid down a black-and-white-striped carpet at the entrance.

Photo: Roderick Peña

Canada's National Ballet School Gala

Canada's National Ballet School Gala
This year's event took place at Toronto's the Carlu in February. To bring the old-Hollywood-style Casablanca theme to life, planners filled the dining room with tables decked in simple black linens and surrounded with white-cushioned chairs.

Photo: Courtesy of National Ballet School

Design Exchange Gala

Design Exchange Gala
For the 2008 event in Toronto, graffiti artist Mike Echlin painted trees against a black backdrop for a haunted-forest effect.

Photo: George Pimentel

The Art Institute of Chicago's Woman's Board Gala

The Art Institute of Chicago's Woman's Board Gala
The museum hosted a gala in 2013 to fete its "Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity" exhibition. Event designer Bill Heffernan of HMR Design Group used a black-and-white color scheme inspired by some of the 19th-century dresses on display. To complement the fashion-inspired setting, tables were topped with 19th-century-style wire urns set atop black-and-white hat boxes.

Photo: Courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago

The Phillips Collection's Gala

The Phillips Collection's Gala
At the 2007 event in Washington, designer David Tutera wrapped napkins in paper filmstrips to create an old Hollywood look.

Photo: Anne E. Stewart/BizBash

Central Park Conservancy’s Halloween Ball

Central Park Conservancy’s Halloween Ball
The 2006 ball had a look inspired by writer and illustrator Edward Gorey. Grayson Bakula Design's enchanted forest looked slightly more sinister with Bentley Meeker's barren branch projections.

Photo: BizBash

Massachusetts General Hospital's Storybook Ball

Massachusetts General Hospital's Storybook Ball
The 2011 event in Boston had a Batman theme. In a subterranean carnival area, black-and-white signs for sponsors hung above the games. Winners received prizes from the designated sponsor.

Photo: Aviran Levy for BizBash

Emmy Governors Ball

Emmy Governors Ball
The 2011 Emmy Governors Ball had the theme of "mod illusions" with a 1960s-style black-and-white decor scheme that hearkened back to the era of Truman Capote's famous bash.

Photo: Nadine Froger Photography

HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire' New York Premiere Party

HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire' New York Premiere Party
The theme played out in an exotic, draped setting at the 2010 premiere in New York. The venue was divided into three distinct areas, one of which was the black-and white-toned Rink Bar. The producers built custom cabanas in the area, using striped draping, votive candles, and seven-watt globe lights for illumination.

Photo: Keith Sirchio for BizBash

The San Francisco Symphony's Black and White Ball

The San Francisco Symphony's Black and White Ball
In 2012, the symphony decked its ball in elegant, black-and-white decor from Blueprint Studios.

Photo: Damion Hamilton

LongHouse Reserve Summer Gala

LongHouse Reserve Summer Gala
In 2010, the summertime event took place at an East Hampton sculpture garden and preserve. Presenting a more casual take on the black-and-white theme, planners erected a tented white lounge with large black scrims. The scrims displayed lyrics from honoree Laurie Anderson's songs, including "Falling," "Strange Perfumes," and "Thinking of You."

Photo: Marc Dimov/

Source: BizBash

13 Ideas for Black and White Events

When a company department or social club is given the task to come up with a corporate dinner or annual dinner theme or product launch, a s...

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The nearly limitless potential of an unused warehouse or an open loft can spark an event host’s creativity, but the flip side to that freedom is that raw space can demand much more in terms of logistics, from permitting to scheduling to laying out the space. Above and beyond the usual rundown event and meeting professionals would ask a venue before signing a contract, insiders say there are a number of specific, sometimes surprising questions that need to be asked when it comes to taking over raw space for an event.

1. Are you legally allowed to have events?

It sounds like a no-brainer, but it is a question planners need to ask when considering raw space. “Many raw spaces are not licensed to host events, so the first thing is to ask to see an occupancy certificate and what licenses they have,” says Sean Cannon, owner and C.E.O. of Event Creative in Chicago. “There are too many raw spaces that just decide to rent out for events,” he says, without bothering to verify the legality first.

2. What permits will we need?

Permitting is a topic that should be brought up regardless of where an event is being held, but raw space might have special requirements or considerations. If organizers are running a generator for auxiliary power or need to valet cars from the street, for example, they might need specific permits for those activities. Likewise, “Ask if their loading space requires street closure permits for load in and load out,” says Jeremy Nichols, executive producer at Sonoma, California-based Pix Productions.

3. Will we need to bring a generator?

If the event requires running catering, lights, audiovisual, and production equipment, the power capacity in a raw space might need a boost. “Ask how many dedicated 20-amp circuits they have,” says Merryl Brown, president of Merryl Brown Events in Carpinteria, California. Organizers should find out if there are any disconnects—switches that shut down individual circuits—available in the space, she suggests; while “plug and play” venues have these, raw spaces often don’t, Brown says.

4. If so, where will the generator go?

If the space’s power needs aren’t adequate and a generator is being brought in, planners should find out where they’re allowed to put it (and if it requires a permit). “If it’s in a raw space you may not be able to help it being in earshot of your event,” says Corrine Statia, president of Absolute Events By Corrine in Jersey City, New Jersey. “It’s not always an optimal situation.”

5. What kind of elevator access is there, and is that included in the price?

“If it’s a freight elevator, ask if access is included in the price or if you have to pay extra because it belongs to the building,” says Michael Tardi, C.E.O. of MMEink, an event management company based in New York and California. Tardi also suggests organizers go over exactly what kind of equipment they plan to bring in to ensure that it will fit in the elevator. (Oversize lighting trestles, for instance, might not.) If a freight elevator is shared by other tenants in the building where the raw space is, hosts might be required to list the entire building rather than just the space itself on their insurance, Tardi says.

6. Where and when can we load and unload equipment, and will we require overnight security?

Many spaces have only a single freight elevator, and the event team might have to share that with other tenants or businesses in the building, Statia says. To avoid having a “traffic jam” with vendors, planners should make sure everyone has a separate, specific time slot for loading and unloading—and don’t expect it to all be the same day, she warns, especially if the elevator is a shared space. “There’s a lot more time needed. If you’re in a raw space everything has to come in, rental companies don’t deliver on the morning of your event,” she says. In all likelihood, Statia adds, organizers will need to either supply their own or pay for security services supplied by the vendor to keep everything secure overnight.

7. Can I put tape on the floor?

Whether wires and cords running across the floor need to be secured to give the crew a guide of what goes where, tape is indispensable. But it might not be allowed, Tardi warns. “Some of the modern raw spaces don’t let you use tape on the floor anymore because it pulls up their finish,” he says.

8. What do you have by way of climate control?

“Ask what they do for HVAC,” Nichols says. If heating and cooling infrastructure is minimal or nonexistent, planners should ask if they can bring in gas heaters or swamp coolers, he advises.

9. What kind of kitchen facilities are there?

It’s a good idea to work with a caterer who has experience working with raw spaces, because they’ll have to bring in everything from stove tops to spoons. “Ask if there’s a kitchen facility, and if it has hot and cold running water,” Brown says. If the space is open and loftlike, hosts might need also to factor in the time and expense to cordon off a makeshift kitchen area with screens or pipe and drape. “Ask where you need to take garbage and recycling,” Brown adds, and find out if that will incur an additional fee.

10. What kind of restroom and parking facilities are there?

Don’t expect it to be like a conference center or banquet facility. “They’re very limited,” Tardi says. “You’re not going to find a large number, and it’s usually a coed bathroom,” he says. Organizers can expect maybe four or five units in a typical raw space, he says. Like everything else, if planners need more, they’ll have to bring them in.
Parking space might also be limited so you might have to consider arranging for shuttles from various meet up points.
Source: BizBash

10 Critical Questions You Should Ask When Booking a Raw Space

The nearly limitless potential of an unused warehouse or an open loft can spark an event host’s creativity, but the flip side to that fr...

Monday, December 7, 2015

It's the end of the year and if you've been scratching your heads about what to give your high end customer, here are some ideas for you:


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Art Déco rollerball pen in black composite, palladium-finished details, red resin cabochon. Dimension: 132 mm high.



Habanos s.a. presents Montecristo Petit No.2, a new vitola that enriches the historic Línea Clásica of Montecristo and designed for those who love the brand’s figurados –tapered at one end-formats can savour the Montecristo flavor in less time.



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Cerruti 1881 Wine Set Tenancier


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Take a piece of Harrods home with you with this strawberry jam and ceramic jar gift set. This delightful set is a lovely memento of your visit to their world-famous department store.



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8/15/24/25/32pcs. Gift boxes go with seasonal charm.

7 Year End Gifts to Give your High End Customers

It's the end of the year and if you've been scratching your heads about what to give your high end customer, here are some ideas fo...

Ensure a smooth conference experience for presenters and attendees by reviewing these critical elements at rehearsals.

1. Eyeball the lighting.

No matter the plan for the lighting design on paper, it’s critical to see how it works for presenters after the room is set up, suggests Lana Spivak, director of operations for Bisnow, a digital media company that hosts more than 250 events a year. “A lot of people don’t realize that what may look good in photographs and on stage can actually be blinding to the speaker, especially depending on their height,” she says. Work with the audiovisual team on tweaks if they are needed.
Further, instruct speakers on the correct stage positioning relative to lighting levels, says Hugh Lee, president of Fusion Productions, a meetings, learnings, and technology company that runs the DigitalNow summit. “If a speaker intends to walk the stage during their presentation, be sure to instruct them about how far upstage, downstage, and right and left they can wander,” he says. “This is especially important if there are portions of the stage where the lighting level begins to diminish, if you are capturing video of their presentation, or there are sight-line limitations.”

2. Test out the sight lines.

The surefire way to know what attendees will see when the program begins is by literally sitting in their seats. “Experiment,” Spivak says. “Make sure to do test seating prior to the event to ensure none of your audience members will have any sight-line obstructions.”

3. Proof all files and slides.

Avoid embarrassment caused by a misspelled or inaccurate slide by using the run-through as a last opportunity to double check each file. “Check all video and audio files,” says Bloomberg Global Events team lead Holly Duran. “Play them and run them all the way through. Spell-check all slides, and make sure all are in correct format.” She says that adding this procedure to your pre-event protocol also helps confirm timing and ensures actual presentation lengths match the time allotted.

4. Manage microphones.

Prep the stage by placing a backup wireless handheld in a place nearby, such as under a chair, Duran suggests. This serves as a contingency in case a speaker’s microphone backfires while in use. Also make sure the speaker knows what to do should his or her microphone give out. “Establishing a lectern on stage with a wired mic is always a great backup plan,” Lee says. He also advises using the run-through time to consult with the speakers about whether they’ll be using paper notes, folders, or props, and where they prefer those are placed.

5. Confirm Internet connectivity.

In order to make sure the event runs smoothly, and also so guests can proliferate messages on social media, it’s essential to confirm the Internet is connected and operating without hiccups. That means double checking the Wi-Fi password, Duran says. She also advises checking—and testing—that all hashtags and logins listed on slides are correct.

6. Prepare the speakers.

If using a teleprompter, make sure speakers have familiarity with and are comfortable using it. For the cleanest look on stage, use the run-through as a time to evaluate the speakers’ appearance for professionalism. “Ask the speaker to remove any credentials, pins, or other accessories they may be wearing prior to taking the stage,” Lee says. “These typically reflect light and can be distracting not only to the audience but will also appear as flashes of light on any program record videos.”
Beyond that, Lee suggests having a mirror or restroom available for presenters for makeup touch-ups, tie straightening, and other last-minute visual checks.

7. Consider speakers’ comfort.

At the run-through, make sure the event space is equipped with the essential items speakers will need so they’re comfortable enough to do their jobs on stage undistracted. That means checking to make sure there’s ample water supply and designating a person to take water on and off stage as necessary, Duran says. More specifically, Lee suggests having room-temperature water available for the presenters: “Cold water constricts the vocal cords. Have that available for after they present. Tea and coffee should also be available.”

8. Make sure the space is safe.

No event detail trumps the safety and security of participants and attendees. Those matters should be essential parts of any run-through. “Make sure cables and lines are taped down and the path to stage is clear of obstruction,” Duran says.
Source: BizBash

8 Things to Double Check at a Conference Run-Through

Ensure a smooth conference experience for presenters and attendees by reviewing these critical elements at rehearsals. 1. Eyeball th...

Monday, November 23, 2015

Image: The Haven Resort, Ipoh, Malaysia
Do you need to work out a strategic plan? Build your team? Launch a project? It's unlikely that you will be able to work through these projects in a one- or two-hour meeting-;which is why many companies choose to hold an annual retreat.
"You start to understand perspectives that maybe you hadn't considered before," CEO and founder of George Cigale says of his company's past retreats. "Slowing down time allows you to think a little bit differently about the way you communicate and depend on each other." Throughout the years,'s retreats have facilitated both large changes, like deciding to expand into the consumer market, and small changes, like instituting monthly meetings about operational metrics.

Taking time for a retreat eliminates daily work distractions and helps set the tone that the project you are working on is important and worth extra time. Here's how to get started on making yours a success.

1. How to Plan a Company Retreat: Know Your Goal

Without a goal, there's no point to a retreat. "Having a retreat to keep things exactly as they are isn't a good use of staff time," says Marianne Liteman, the president of Liteman Rosse, a small consultancy that designs and leads retreats. "The retreat should have a business purpose. If you don't have a strategic reason for holding one, it's better to do something else with your resources."
Bruce Withrow, the founder of Meeting Facilitators International, helps his clients start to plan their retreats by asking this question first: "If I could wave a magic wand and put it into your hand, and you could make a successful conclusion to your retreat, what would it look like?" It's important to be as specific as possible. "To just say 'strategic planning' isn't enough," says Withrow, who plans between 50 and 60 retreats every year. "It's such a plastic word that means so many different things to so many different people. What is it that you think is missing? What is it that you want?"
Once you narrow down your accomplishment wish list to some specific goals, make sure that they can be realistically accomplished within the time you've allotted yourself. Decide how much time you need to do each item properly, and add up the hours that you've assigned each task you're hoping to accomplish. If the time to effectively complete your wish list exceeds the time you have at the retreat, then you need to trim it down.
Your goals should drive your invitation list. Cigale invited all of his employees to his retreats because one of his goals was to have every employee understand how different parts of the company work. Because has under 50 employees and many people telecommute, this made sense. Depending on your company and goals, it may be more appropriate to invite just the senior management team or a vertical slice of the organization. In some cases, such as when you are looking for ways to better serve your clientele, it might even be appropriate to invite a handful of customers. "In a retreat you make a lot of decisions, and that requires action afterward," says Bruce Honig, the founder of a Bay Area-based meeting facilitation company called Honig Idea Guides. "So if you have people who provide energy or support for that action to occur, you want them there. If they can sabotage the process after the retreat, you also want them there."

2. How to Plan a Company Retreat: Logistics
Before you stress about where you will go and what you will do, remember that, from a business perspective, this is probably the least important part of planning your retreat. Cigale's company has held retreats at a dude ranch, Las Vegas, Florida, and, when the budget was a little tighter, at a conference center near the company's offices. But he considers each retreat to have been successful.
"It's nice to play golf, and it's nice to have trees around you, but that's not necessary to get the work done," Honig says.
If you can afford it, however, adding some fun to the trip does have advantages. First, it can help get your employees excited about the retreat and somewhat compensate for pulling them away from their homes and families. Second, it can provide time for informal discussion and help your team get to know each other better. "Just the time together at dinner and talking about the Olympics or whatever, I think that that helps with communication," Withrow says. Cigale recommends sticking with about a 20 percent fun, 80 percent work ratio.

3. How to Plan a Retreat: Choose a Facilitator

Another planning issue that should be on your mind from the start is who will facilitate the retreat. The most important qualities in a facilitator is that he or she is trained in group processes and able to maintain a neutral position throughout brainstorming and debate. For the later reason, the CEO or a manager of the company is often a poor choice. One popular alternative is to hire a professional facilitator, which may cost up to $5,000 per day but will ensure that time is used efficiently.
If you do chose to facilitate your own retreat, however, Withrow suggests that you save a seat at the table while you are standing by a screen or at a flip chart taking notes. If you have an opinion that you need to express, walk to the chair, sit down, and announce that your facilitator hat is off. "You have to be really careful not to overstep your bounds," Cigale says. "Give people the comfort and permission to speak openly. If you're the facilitator and an authority figure in the room, the risk really is that there won't be open and honest debate."
Using a facilitator from a different department may also be an option. "In a strategic planning session, it will be very tough to have someone more junior in the organization telling the CEO and the VPs when to talk, when not to talk, and pushing back on them," Withrow says. "But a retreat for another reason, say it's a customer support area or they want to talk about new CMS system or something like that, a peer facilitator from somewhere else in the organization could handle it."

Burma Bridge

4. How to Plan a Retreat: Using Your Time Effectively

Planning is your friend when it comes to retreats. By the time you arrive at the retreat location, you and every attendee should already have a good idea of how you are going to accomplish your goals. Will you make decisions by consensus or majority? Does the person whose organizational responsibility the decision is get the final say? Will you debate, branch out into smaller discussion groups, or brainstorm? These are questions that you should work out before you get to the retreat.
"Participants should know from the beginning whether they are being asked to make decisions that the organization's senior leadership will support or recommendations that senior leadership will take into consideration," Liteman says. "Either is okay. What's not okay is for participants to be led to believe they're making decisions only to find out that the boss is cherry-picking: 'Let's implement this suggestion, but not that one. And by the way, here's something the participants didn't even think of that I'm going to ask them to implement.'"
There are innumerable ways to format your meeting time. Honig likes to start out strategic planning sessions by examining the history and milestones of the company. Withrow sometimes asks people to defend assigned positions during a debate. Cigale devotes much of his time to presentations by different departments of his company. And Liteman uses tools including improvising, role plays, storytelling, music, metaphor, silence, and art to facilitate retreats.

Some key principles to follow no matter what approach you choose are:

  • Collaborate. "Even if there are fifty people, everyone should have the means and the opportunity to contribute to everything," Honig says.
  • Make discussion introvert-friendly. Ask people to write down answers to questions instead of blurting them out, and ask every person in the room to give his or her opinion in an organized manner.
  • Encourage people to express themselves. Have people use the same marker and type of paper to submit their opinions so they won't be afraid of judgment. Make sure minority opinions have a way to be heard.
  • Combine team building with work. Obstacle courses might be a good way to diagnose team problems or have fun, but the real team development happens around the work. "What you do in team development is look toward the future and think about how the team is going to be different," Honig says. "Specifically, the team should decide their next steps in the future, versus just experiencing a task together and saying, 'look, we can work well together.'"
  • Stay on topic. Withrow uses a "parking lot" to accomplish this. When someone brings up an issue that isn't on the agenda at that time, he'll write it down on a whiteboard or flip chart and come back to it at the end of the meeting.
  • Diverge, converge. It can be effective to break up the team and assign them different aspects of the project that they can bring back to the larger group for discussion.
  • Document your next steps. Assign a champion for each step that the team has agreed on. Make these steps as specific as possible. "Document who does what, by when, as measured by how at the end of it," Withrow says

4 Things to Know when Planning a Corporate Retreat

Image: The Haven Resort, Ipoh, Malaysia Do you need to work  out a strategic plan? Build your team? Launch a project? It's unlikel...

Friday, October 23, 2015

Since way back in 2007, we've been rounding up our favorite Halloween costumes each year. If you're looking for a costume idea, here are some of the best!


In 2010, Flickr user vietnamted put together a costume that recreated Sputnik 2, the Soviet spaceship that took the dog Laika into space. As you can see, Laika is aboard and ready for liftoff. However, this Laika survived the mission. See the costume at a different angle at Flickr.


Sesame Street's popular aliens, the Yip Yips always appear in twos, so this is a costume that should be worn with a buddy. It take two people to properly fit one according to this Instructable, so you may as well help each other out and into a great costume!


Instructables member dannyeurena turned cardboard, duct tape, and hot glue into a satisfyingly authentic Optimus Prime costume. According to the accompanying video, it was comfortable enough to dance in!


Evan Booth's costume for Halloween 2006 seemed to be a nondescript "dude in a wig" until you looked at the GAPING HOLE in his midsection! This was accomplished with a camera in the back of the shirt that recorded a background scene and fed it to a travel-size DVD player in the front that displayed the backdrop. In 2008, artist Nicole Magne used the idea for a costume recreating a scene from the movie Death Becomes Her where Goldie Hawn has a hole blown through her body. The creation process is detailed on her blog, and theInstructables version is available if you'd like to try this yourself.


Linkfilter member Reapre had considered a Rocketeer costume when he hit on the idea ofBoba Fett Hovering on a Column of Flame. He used a purchased Boba Fett costume and converted it using a homemade jetpack. The column of flame below hid his legs. Reapre wore platform shoes made from roller blades to make himself several inches taller.


Flickr user Alida Saxon's brother put this Helmet Cat costume together at the last minute. The helmet is a basketball painted green, and the fur was salvaged from a stuffed toy. Make your favorite internet meme into a Halloween costume and half the folks you encounter will laugh; the other half will scratch their heads and wonder.


A group of five friends dressed as the monsters plus Max from the Maurice Sendak's bookWhere The Wild Things Are for Halloween 2008. Craftster member sjeanette made papier mache heads of the monsters. The eyes glow in the dark! I can't really tell how one would seewhile wearing these, but I assume they made a great impression.


Kevin made a Mega Man costume for his 3-year-old son a few Halloweens back. What made this so awesome is the Mega Buster with working lights and the authentic helmet fashioned from a bike helmet. See more pictures of the finished product.


Chris Miller made his own Bender costume back in 2005. The eyes moved by a servo controlled by his hands! He was a finalist in a costume contest, but I can't imagine what costume could beat this.


The Mask of Emotion hides your face but displays emoticons instead. This helmet was created by the Digital Media Design Dept at Hongik University in Korea. What emoticon is shown is controlled by the wearer's body actions. If you want to make your own, the original websitehas design specifications and video. It will help if you can read Korean.

11. AT-AT

Katie Mello of LAIKA House in Portland made this AT-AT Costume for her dog Bones.
Bones has his own Facebook page, where you can see more pictures: in this costume, other clothing, and as nude as other dogs. In fact, there's a photoset that takes you through the process of building this costume.


Darth Vader and the Death Star
Image by Flickr users Bob909 and Anditron.
Anditron always dresses up for Halloween, but when she was pregnant, she wanted to incorporate her bump without being too traditional. So she made a Death Star costume. Or rather, her round belly was the Death Star, with small x-wing fighters attached. The rest of her was dressed in black. The Darth Vader helmet was incidental, but worked well. Take a look at the Death Ray deployed:
The Death Star ready to destroy Alderaan
Image by Flickr user Bob909 and Anditron.
It appears to be some fiber optics and a few light sticks, but the effect is, um, not earth-shattering, but Alderaan-shattering!


It's a logo everyone knows from as far back as we can remember. The little Coppertone girl's tan line is revealed when her puppy dog pulls on her swim pants. Anna at A. Party Styledressed her adorable daughter in a tan leotard and tights, then reconstructed the backside to reflect the logo, puppy dog and all!


You can buy a Leg Lamp Halloween costume referencing a prop from the movie A Christmas Story. But redditor mjr214 has a friend who has only one leg, which made her homemade costume so much more fitting -and awesome! You can see the comparison in this photo.


Alison at Mod Mischief put together a dinosaur illusion costume a few years ago. She even wore stilts! The dino she is riding is an allosaurus made of papier-mâché. See some of theconstruction pictures in this post. Allison set the bar pretty high for herself after the kidnapped mermaid costume she posted at Instructables from the previous year.


Allison also posted an Instructables guide to recreating this Genie on a Flying Carpet costumeone of her friends pulled off. The secret to carrying this around all night is a walker on wheels that supports the carpet!


Cyriak Harris and Sarah Brown made an animation featuring zombie cats called Meow. Dawn Weast and Suzy Gruber were inspired by the video and made a Zombie Cat costume for Weast's 5-year-old daughter Bell. The handmade costume is a dead ringer for one of the cartoon cats that gets turned into a zombie.


Redditor notsohipster has a young cousin who has no legs. He and his little sister trick-or-treated in these clever costumes portraying a shark and her surfboarding victim.


Pregnant Zombie
Image (cc) by Flickr user ian aberle
Amanda Fite was the pregnant zombie that stood out from the crowd at the 2009 Texas Frightmare Zombie Walk. Be assured, it was totally fake. A series of photos give you some idea of the work that went into this costume. See more photos from the 2009 Texas Frightmare Weekend Zombie Walk in Flickr user Ian Aberle's photo set.


Sam's brother had a homemade illusion costume that set him in a Port-a-Potty in 2010. Seven-year-old Ben could walk around and "sit" at the same time! The brand name in their area is Honey Bucket, so Ben's door was labeled the same.


Matthew Varas built a Pacman costume a few years ago, and this decided to improve upon the idea by building a Pacman with a Chomping Mouth! The project took six weeks, but as you can see, the results are awesome. See the building process at Make.


Instructables member onebrokenneck made a robot couple for a costume competition. Theseclassic Hollywood-style robots are made of aluminum, but according to the build process at Instructables, you can probably use cardboard instead if you don't have a metal shop. The arms and legs are dryer ducts, and various LED gizmos were used to give them an electric personality.

23. HALO

Shawn Thorsson has made a bunch of fantastic costumes. He planned a Halo-themed build for Halloween 2008, but then was deployed to Afghanistan. The project was finally completed the next year. Thorsson fabricated armor from the video game world of Halo, painted them in different colors, and dressed his friends as the characters from the Red vs. Blue series. He posted lots of pictures to show you the process.


A few years ago, redditor CampingIsInTents posted a picture of her Tippi Hedren costume and got a rousing response. The idea references a popular movie, but you won't see other people wearing it at the same party. She bought the birds, but had to alter the wings to make them just right. The idea has been used by creative costume-makers a couple of times before, even on TV.


Melissa Dunphy made her husband a Krang costume for Halloween 2010. Krang is a cartoon villain who vexes the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The costume required a lot of foam rubber, repurposed electronics, and duct tape. See some still photos at Flickr.


Nicole Magne, who wore a gaping abdominal hole in the Death Becomes Her costume above, made this awesome Marie Antoinette getup a few years ago. Of course, it wouldn't be so awesome if she hadn't been decapitated! See the process of building this costume at Etsy.

27. 8-BIT GARY

Kiel Johnson and Klai Brown created this 8-bit costume out of foam cubes glued onto a cardboard suit for a Toshiba ad in which the "real" Gary was pixelated into a low-res version of himself. The process is documented in photographs.


Instructables member Kaged Konbat made himself into a LEGO Minifig. The head is made from a tube sold as a form for concrete -strong but still lightweight. The wearer sees through the facial features, which are covered with mesh speaker fabric. Your buddy could accompany you as a LEGO brick.


(Image by Flickr user Kevin Tostado)
I was blown away by this Darth Vader costume spotted at Downtown Disney in Anaheim for Halloween 2007. Someone took a lot of care in constructing a TIE fighter around a wheelchair. See more Halloween costume ideas for children in wheelchairs.


Steampunk Iron Man won the Marvel costume contest at Comic Con in 2010.


This costume was inspired by the double rainbow meme from Paul Vasquez's awe at seeing a double rainbow at Yosemite.


Karol Bartoszynski has been many of the characters from the Mad Max movies. He became a fan as a teenager, and over the next twenty years turned his enthusiasm for Mad Max into a career as a costume designer, and now organizes Mad Max fan gatherings and re-enactments. Bartoszynski runs the fan site Mad Max Costumes, where you can draw plenty of inspiration.  Imagine showing up looking like this at your local Halloween party!


The greatest Halloween costume idea ever was one related in this story from Mefite np312. Apparently no pictures were posted from that Halloween long ago, but Doc Pop took the idea and illustrated it in a comic. You can see the whole thing at Flickr. I hope someone picks this up and runs with it this year.


Have you ever looked at a broken umbrella and thought about how it resembles a flailing bat? Lenore at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories made this Umbrella Bat costume out of one umbrella and a hoodie, and posted instructions so you can do the same.


This Trash Can costume is also a prank!
When I was a kid there was a guy in our neighborhood that used to jump out of the bushes in a gorilla suit and scare the bejeezus out of us. It was one of my fondest memories of halloween. One year I decided to be that guy.
Unfortunately, I don't have any bushes. An alternative would be to build a trash barrel disguise. I built the disguise below and then sat in it right on the front lawn. Not one single kid realized that It wasn't a trash can and I scared so many of them that I lost count.


You might not recognize the name Caterpillar Power Loader J-5000, but surely you remember the mechanical power suit Sigourney Weaver used to fight the alien queen in Aliens. Ben Hallert built this one for Halloween in 2006. Read his story with links to photos and a video. Hallert previously made an APU costume from The Matrix, and a Mech Warrior costume.


Flickr user mcredis built a Rubik's Cube costume and posted the process in photographs. He wore it to a costume parade in New York, and heard "Can I solve you?" all night long.


The Flaming Carrot is one of the more bizarre comic book characters you'll ever encounter, but it's the look that makes a great costume, rather than the backstory. RoG posted details onhow he contructed this one.


Jay Maynard, the Tron Guy, shows you step-by-step how he made the costume that made him an internet legend.


Honus at Instructables posted instructions for making your own, complete with goggles and weapons. The backpack really makes this; I hope it isn't as heavy as it looks!


Graphic designer Harrison Krix made a costume of the character Big Daddy from the video game Bioshock. This is a work of a serious propmaster. It took seven weeks of sculpting with foam, cardboard, and fiberglass. The finished product, complete with a working drill arm, is a work of art. The post includes many more pictures and a couple of videos of the drill arm in action.
Every year, people amaze me not only with their ideas, but with their talent and dedication at bringing the best costumes to life for Halloween (and other occasions). I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!


Rebekah Tennis made this costume for her son in 2011. He wanted to be an Army guy, but with a little work and a lot of green paint, he's a soldier straight out of Toy Story! She then posted the process of creating this costume.


Photograph by Flickr user Cameron Yee.
The character Cherry Darling from the movie Planet Terror startled folks when they saw that one of her legs was a machine gun. Then it inspired some women to recreate the scene. Now, if you are a beautiful amputee like Lacey Henderson, who gained note as a college cheerleader a few years ago, you can make hay by cosplaying the character at fan events. Henderson has a webpage with instructions for those who aren't amputees on how to recreate the Cherry Darling look, and an annual competition is held for the best machine-gun-leg costume.


DeviantART member Mnemousyne created this super-tall Jack Skellington costume by making a suit that fits over stilts. The head is built over a helmet, making it more stable, but still a bit hard to see from. Her sister is modeling the costume here; Mnemousyne is in the Sally costume.


The Weeping Angel is a scary character from the Doctor Who episode "Blink." Livejournal userpenwiper337 made this costume of the Weeping Angel to wear at DragonCon. You can follow the process of building it at her blog.


The costume was created for a career day fair, but would work for Halloween for any redheads out there.


Heather and David as Dorian Gray and his Picture
The party was literary-themed, so Heather and David came up with a couple's costume right out of the novel The Picture of Dorian Grey. Heather is Dorian, of course, and David is aged up and framed to be …his picture! Photograph by Flickr user Jason Adams.


Jeff from Ohio told the story of how he made this mousetrap costume for his 3-year-old daughter. Being trapped is a very good excuse for not walking house to house, but a set of wheels got her there anyway! He cut the wood and mounted it to a wagon, welded on the metal hardware, and made the back half of the mouse to work as a cushion for the child's back. Adorable!


Jake Meek said his Bob Ross attire was purchased in the ladies department at a local thrift store, "which I can only assume is where all men's clothing from the '70s currently resides." He's posing with the Orbit Gum Lady.


Here's that same pair, this time as The Hamburgler and the woman on the Sunmaid Raisins box.


Longtime mental_floss contributor Scott Allen won season tickets to the Washington Wizards for this!


You can even dress up as a browser logo. Firefox is the preferred costume, as it has recognizable features. This Firefox costume was entered in Crunchgear's contest last year.


Or you could go as me! (Going as a rock & roll witch.)

55 Awesome #Halloween Costume Ideas

Since way back in 2007, we've been rounding up our favorite Halloween costumes each year. If you're looking for a costume idea, h...


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