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Our DIY nerdy Halloween was a success! We were a little worried about getting the perfect costumes together on a budget, but we made it happen with what we had on hand + a trip to a thrift store.

Jonas and I went as Star Wars characters. Jonas’s Anakin was pretty easy because he already looks like him. I sewed him a tunic out of 75 cent thrifted curtains, using one of his shirts as a template. He also wore a necklace similar to Anakin’s, tan pants, and leg wraps, which were just rags I dyed with coffee.

Alas, I broke the needle on my sewing machine just as I was finishing Jonas’s costume up. I thought I’d have to tape and staple away to make a Leia dress… but then I realized that I could just cut a head hole in the middle of my long length of white t-shirt fabric, add a belt, and it looked pretty close–no sewing required! I also made a belt by wrapping a regular belt with aluminium foil and taping on shapes made from silver matte board. I drew out templates for those shapes first on regular paper, doing the old fold-the-paper-in-half trick to get them symmetrical. But the most important part, of course, was the hair. The secret: there’s wire in those buns. Yep. Pretty brilliant. They stayed all day. Hooray!

Eliza and Jake went as Doctor Who characters. Eliza went as Rose Tyler, which was tricky, because Rose typically wears pretty normal clothes. I made her a Union Jack shirt using a thrifted shirt, fabric markers, and a protractor. It took forever, but turned out awesome! We also braided her wet hair the night before in five little braids to get the right waves. No one at her school got the costume, but a surprising number of people got it while we were trick-or-treating. We even ran into another kid that was Rose too…with the SAME Rose costume! And her brother was a TARDIS. Awesome.

Jake was the Doctor (ten, of course). We got so lucky with his costume. He found the suit jacket at an estate sale for three bucks, and we found the pants, tie, and trench coat at a thrift store super cheap too. Add some chucks, a shirt from his closet, and a sonic screwdriver and he’s perfect.

It was already dark by the time that we got around to taking Halloween photos last night, so we might have to dress up again this weekend so we can get better photos. Because we’re crazy.

BONUS: We already have everything we need to dress up at ComicCon next year. Happening.

If you celebrate, how was your Halloween? Have you ever done a costume DIY?