You’d think in the country that coined “cosplay” (costume play), there’d be an over-abundance of costumes available for purchase. Didn’t really seem to be the case. Crappy (polyester) costumes (the usual slutty pirate, maid, school girl, etc.) can be purchased for about 4000-yen ($50 USD) at any Don Quijote (chain) around Halloween in Tokyo, but it’s hard to find expensive-but-interesting or crappy-but-cheap costumes. You can see from the abudence of EARS in the above photo that I wasn’t the only one struggling to find an affordable costume in Japan. I personally wasn’t keen to do ears, nor do a bagged costume, so I chose the third option — getting a little ghetto and a little creative with a DIY Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume I made for around 1500-yen! I felt it was perfect for me this year — something kind of Japanese and a whole lot of American x).
The inspiration for this costume started with this a half-moon shaped planter I found at Daiso. I put two together (only 100-yen each) with zip ties and filled it with a sheet of green felt (100-yen at Daiso) and plastic grocery store bags (so ghetto), added a kids samurai sword (100-yen at Daiso), and finally safety pinned on straps (100-yen at Daiso) to make the shell you see below:
The dress was on clearance for only 500-yen at H&M in Harajuku. I don’t know why H&M has such bonkers sales in Japan, but they consistently have tons of stuff for a ridiculously cheap price. In any case, I purchased a sheet of yellow felt (100-yen at Daiso) and beige duct tape (100-yen at Can-do) and made fake turtle abs, which I affixed to my dress using a 100-yen sewing kit (lol). I also purchased a 100-yen brown belt and duct taped on a big “L” (for the
nerds nit-pickers who know that Leonardo was the blue one with the samurai sword). I also made a headband, wristband, and elbow bands from a sheet of blue felt (100-yen at Daiso). That’s pretty much it for my TMNT costume made almost entirely with supplies from the 100-yen store!
My girlfriend got the idea of being a cat when she found a pair of ears for 100-yen at Daiso. I suggested she add a few DIY touches using 2 scarves we found for 100-yen each at Daiso. I cut apart a 100-yen white fuzzy scarf and made two leg warmers, which I sewed using elastic (100-yen at Daiso) and my crappy 100-yen sewing kit. I also cut apart a black fuzzy scarf and quickly sewed a black tail. I sewed it to an elastic band that went around her waist so it wouldn’t poke her (another friend said the tail she safety pinned to her skirt kept coming undone and stabbing her – OUCH!).
My other friend was a “White Board” — very clever! He purchased a cheap white turtle neck and white sweat pants and a 100-yen set of markers and some twine. He made a twine necklace and hung the set of markers from it. People had a great time writing sweet messages on him (“hello!” “Happy Halloween!”) — if it had been America, there’d probably be a whole lot more penises on there, lol, but Japanese people are too kind for that. I skirted the line and drew an Eggo waffle with the blue market (don’t google ‘blue waffle’, you’ve been warned). ^O^