DIY Halloween costumes: Berkeley edition

Photograph: Jennifer Tanji/File, Drawing: Kelsi Krandel/Staff, Design: Sabrina Werts/Senior Staff
Photograph: Jennifer Tanji/File, Drawing: Kelsi Krandel/Staff, Design: Sabrina Werts/Senior Staff

It’s the week of Halloween, and you still don’t know what you’re doing just yet. It happens sometimes. You’re in a crunch, the costume section at Party Heaven is almost completely sold out, and you don’t know what else to do. Luckily, that’s why the Pinterest deities invented DIY. Besides, the best costumes are do-it-yourself costumes. But where to begin? We at the Clog are, of course, brimming with uncontrollable Berkeley pride. So when we think of creative and original DIY costumes, our first thought is this campus. We’re here to help you out with awesome costume ideas that can come from your closet — with some help here and there from Michaels and Party Heaven.

1. Oski

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Photo: Sean Webster/Creative Commons, Drawing: Kelsi Krandel/Staff, Design: Sabrina Werts/Senior Staff

We might not know who it is inside Oski’s costume, but we’ve always wondered what it would be like to be everyone’s favorite golden bear. If you’re in the same boat as us for that, then now’s your chance to fulfill your Oski-costume-wearing dreams! If you’re having trouble finding a yellow cardigan, you can always go navy with the cardigan and wear khaki pants instead. Making the mask can seem like a daunting task, but with a little pencil and paint on cardboard, it’s easier than it looks. Alternatively, the Cal Bears store has this awesome hat, and several other local apparel stores have bear hats of their own as well.

2. Chancellor Dirks

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Photograph: Jennifer Tanji/File, Drawing: Kelsi Krandel/Staff, Design: Sabrina Werts/Senior Staff

If you want to feel powerful this Halloween, then why not just dress up as the chancellor? With his round glasses, fabulous mustache and eyebrows on fleek, Dirks has become something of a style icon in the UC Berkeley world. And we think his look would work great for your last-minute Halloween costume. Bonus points if you go up to the north side of campus and knock on his door for trick-or-treating!

3. The Campanile

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Photo: John Morgan/Creative Commons, Drawing: Kelsi Krandel/Staff, Design: Sabrina Werts/Senior Staff

It’s featured in every promotional camera pan, is visible from almost any corner of campus and lives somewhere on almost every student’s Instagram account. If you don’t think the Campanile is a campus icon, then we really don’t know what to say to you. This is probably the most crafting-intensive costume, because painting really makes it all work. Luckily, all you need is a cardboard box and a party hat, traffic cone or some other pointy hat. Just saying, party-goers may or may not be dying of excitement if they see you dressed up in this Friday.

4. Naked Run streaker

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Drawing: Kelsi Krandel/Staff, Design: Sabrina Werts/Senior Staff

It’s nighttime in early December, and you’ve been crouched over your laptop in Main Stacks for the entire day, leaving only for pee breaks and three to four coffee runs. Your brain is fried, and you just need to not think about school for a minute. At that exact moment, you hear a commotion and you look up to see … naked people? Yup, naked people running through Main Stacks. Wow. OK. This is happening. The semesterly dead-week streak is a time-honored Berkeley tradition, and it’s a costume guaranteed to make people laugh. All it requires is minimal clothing in the cream, tan or brown category — the closer you can get to your skin color, the better. Just don’t actually walk around naked. PLEASE don’t walk around naked. The Clog is not responsible if you are arrested for public nudity.

5. UC Rally Committee member

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Photo: Jeffrey Joh/File, Drawing: Kelsi Krandel/Staff, Design: Sabrina Werts/Senior Staff

We’re pretty sure that no one has more fun at football games than Rally Comm, and especially the the spell-out crew. If you’ve been to a game, you know who these guys are — the awesome and enthusiastic men and women with their UC Rally Committee rugby shirts around their waists and messages such as “Fight for California” and “Roll on you bears” spelled out in blue and gold across their chests.  We’d honestly love to be them for at least a little bit. Luckily, their outfits are pretty easy to replicate. If you know someone on Rally Comm, you can borrow their rugby shirt or purchase a similar one at one of the local apparel stores (Bear Basics at Telegraph and Durant avenues has a good one). And if for some bizarre reason people think your costume choice is weird, you can just tell them you’re really, really excited for the next day’s away game against Oregon State University.

6. CREAM ice-cream sandwich

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Drawing: Kelsi Krandel/Staff, Design: Sabrina Werts

We’re not really sure why cookie-and-ice-cream sandwiches have become a point of pride among universities, but it’s safe to say that Berkeley is pretty in love with CREAM. It’s a local staple and a must-visit for any Berkeley tourist. If CREAM and UCLA’s Diddy Riese went head-to-head, we know who we’d be defending. Food costumes are the best things ever, so we recommend a delectable CREAM costume to look extra awesome. Two cardboard circles put together to form a sandwich board make for easy cookies, and you can just tape a ton of pillows to your person to form the ice cream. Decorate it to your liking to form your favorite cookie-and-ice-cream flavor combinations!

7. Berkeley squirrel

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Photo: Birdphotos.com/Creative Commons, Drawing: Kelsi Krandel/Staff, Design: Sabrina Werts/Senior Staff

We certainly love our squirrels here — they’re almost our unofficial secondary mascots. They try to share our food at Golden Bear Cafe and even have their own Facebook page. If you like the idea of being an animal but want to stand out from the 50 million cat costumes, then a squirrel costume might just be the way to do that. We recommend getting the raccoon ears and tail at Party Heaven — yes, they actually have those — and using paint of some kind to make them brown, but you can also get creative with other animal ears and tails, because they have a ton. Or you can use a feather boa or paint a duster brown or cut a tail out of paper. Get creative!

8. Sad Stanfurd University student

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Photo: Daniel Radding/File, Drawing: Kelsi Krandel/Staff, Design: Sabrina Werts/Senior Staff

For a second, pretend you go to Stanfurd. All of your sweatshirts are that unfortunate red color. You’re watching your life savings go down the drain with every lucrative private school tuition payment. And your school’s mascot is a tree. If you really want to dress up as something you would never ever be on any other night, dress up as a Stanfurd student. We understand if you can’t find a Stanford shirt to wear for this, because of course neither you nor any of your friends would be caught dead with that in your closets. But you can always print out a Stanford logo from the Internet and stick it on a red or white shirt. We recommend accessorizing with the sort of clothes you wear when you don’t want to deal with life anymore — your gross sweatpants with the bleach stains, smudged makeup — if you happen to wear makeup, of course — and the messiest hair you can muster. For an extra touch of drama, carry around a water bottle and use it to dab your face periodically to make it look like you’ve been crying over your life choices and rapidly depleting bank account.

9. Protester

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Drawing: Kelsi Krandel/Staff, Design: Sabrina Werts/Senior Staff

One of the defining characteristics of Berkeley is definitely its political culture and the strength of its advocacy and protest movements. So what better way to dress up in true UC Berkeley fashion than to be a protester? You don’t even need to do anything with your clothes for it! Making a protest sign is fairly easy and just requires a PVC pipe or a stick, some tape and a posterboard or piece of cardboard.

10. Sproul bulletin board

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Drawing: Kelsi Krandel/Staff, Design: Sabrina Werts/Senior Staff

Would this really be a Berkeley Halloween costume list if we didn’t include any costumes that somehow incorporated flyers on Sproul Plaza? Being a tabler is a good idea, but you can do more. Those large blue bulletin boards in Upper Sproul Plaza have the right idea in our opinion, and we think it’d be awesome if you were as covered in flyers as they are. This is actually the easiest costume to put together — just wear a dark blue T-shirt with denim shorts, and spend the week actually accepting flyers when you walk through Sproul Plaza. If you’re still in need of some more, go to the bulletin boards and pull off some old fliers for your own use. If you want to be extra thorough, make a hat or headband with “student activities and notices” written on it — you know, just for that extra level of authenticity.

If you use any of these — please use any of these — let us know! You can submit a photo of your costume to the Daily Clog’s Facebook page. It would make us die of happiness. Figuratively, we mean. Maybe. Happy Halloween!

Image Sources: Sean Webster, John MorganBirdphotos.com under Creative Commons

Contact Kelsi Krandel at [email protected].