Okay, so we're back to Halloween. I can't resist. I'm sure a few of you have already thought of your Halloween costume-- or maybe not! But regardless, I realized there are not many tutorials or guides on how to use vintage clothing & accessories to create a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume. Besides, who really wants to buy a pre-packaged costume? 

Pre -Packaged  Costumes  vs.  Vintage

Pre-Packaged  Cons

  • Priced at least $60 and up.
  • Never looks as good as the model on the packaging.
  • Usually excludes all accessories.
  • Cheaply made material. Usually a nasty "faux" satin that creates major static electricity.
  • Someone could easily have the same costume as you.
  • Creates waste-- most people don't wear the same Halloween costume more than once and this creates excess waste in our land fills.

Vintage  Pros

  • Prices vary, but one can usually create a complete costume for $60 or less.
  • Better able to find a personalized fit.
  • Vintage accessories are often cheaper.
  • Generally better made. Many vintage clothing items were made in the USA from the 1940s-1970s.
  • It's basically impossible to have the same costume as someone else. Your costume can be 100% personalized.
  • Better for the environment--plus many vintage pieces you can wear in your everyday wardrobe or pass them on!
Now that you have been convinced you need a vintage costume, I'm here to tell you that you're in luck. I am showcasing four different vintage pieces from my own shop and showing you how to create your own unique vintage Halloween costume. See more vintage costume pieces in my shop.

Peggy  Olson  Costume

If you are a fan of Mad Men like me, you probably like at least one of three female characters on the show: Joan, Betty or Peggy! Peggy as a character develops dramatically in the later seasons. Dress as her in a classy long-sleeve blouse, pleated skirt and snazzy silk scarf. Add a belt or bracelet as a few finishing touches. How do you create Peggy's simple and classic hair-do?
  • Do not wash your hair for up to 24 hours before styling. You want your hair to have some oil in it to withstand this style. Begin by putting a mousse or thickening spray through your hair. Don't use too much!
  • Flip your head upside down and add a bit of the mousse and thickening spray from your roots to the end of your hair.
  • If you have bangs, separate them at your forehead where you want them.
  • Everything behind the bangs, begin to tease! Not sure how? Take a comb or bristle brush and lift up a section of your hair approx. 3" in width. Now brush backwards. Do this a few times to create a "rats nest". It's okay-- it will look horrible at first! Do this to every section of your hair around your crown.
  • Now brush the hair back, smoothing the hair over the rats nest. This nest is what creates the "bouffant" look and illusion of volume. Finish this with a little hairspray.
  • Curl your bangs just slightly (don't over-do it!) and then spray the ends of your hair with hairspray. Curl the ends of your hair up. You will most likely have to hold the curling iron at the ends of your hair for a bit longer than usual. The hairspray sprayed before curling should help keep the hair-do longer. 
  • You can add a headband if you like for a more finished look!

Army  Soldier  Costume

Does your guy still need a costume? I think most men would love the idea as dressing up as a WWII army soldier. Your basic army soldier costume consists of a green army jacket (pictured right above), a helmet, fake gun (if desired), khaki or green pants and brown combat boots.

Want an even more authentic look? Add some shoe polish or grown charcoal to any places with exposed skin. Add some purple eyes hadow in places to create bruises. Even use red liquid makeup or lipl iner for small "cuts" and "scrapes".

Sultry  Southern  Belle  Costume

Ever wanted to be Scarlett O' Hara from Gone with the Wind? A southern belle costume is always a fun standby. The basis of this costume is a fabulous satin or taffeta ball gown style dress. Be sure to use a crinoline or hoop skirt beneath the skirt of the dress to create that bell-shaped look. Use a wide-brimmed hat to tie in the look. Add red lip-stick and dark shadowed eyes for an even sultrier look.

What other accessories?
  • Consider a parasol (for protecting a southern belle's fair skin).
  • Bows to place in the hair
  • A tight waist belt or sash that ties in the back.
  • A hair snood for an easy hair-do.

Star  Trek  Super  Girl  Uhura

If you like to run on the brink of the final frontier, maybe give Star Trek a try! I always admired the character of Uhura from the original Star Trek series. Short red gogo-style dresses, black tights and tall black boots. Sexy in a treky way!

All you need is a Star Trek communicator pin and you're set!
Winter in Minnesota tends to begin in November (although snow has fallen much earlier!). Temperatures begin to dip into the 40s and upper 30s. The skies turn a light gray and the sun begins to go down closer to 4:30pm versus 9:30pm during the summer. My car lacks traction control, so digging at my tires with a neon kid's shovel is a regular occurrence. Plus, the blower motor I thought I fixed in my car is now no longer working-- no heat in an ice box of a wilderness...oh joy.

Okay, so winter is kind of depressing for me. I don't mind the snow--I just wish it wasn't so long & cold!

But one thing I do love about winter are the warm fabulous coats! I love a cozy well-broke-in wool coat and especially those with a princess cut (longer and flared out slightly at the bottom). Like the snow gray color of the Lanvin taffeta trench to the left? Try the even deliciously warmer vintage 60s wool coat by Pebble Beach to the right. You'll save over $3500. Plus it's good for the enviroment--- reuse & reveit

Like  This ?

Embellished taffeta trench coat

Try  This . . .

Vintage 1960s Snow Gray Wool Coat

A few weekends ago, I went garage salin' with my mom. It was like old times-- digging through boxes, commenting on old hippie things from the 60s and 70s. I found quite a few vintage clothing pieces which I feel are harder and harder to find since vintage fashion has hugely come back in style. At one sale, I happened upon a 1960s dress suit for $3 (what a steal!). As I walked up to the lady, I noticed a jagged pointy-looking piece of hardware. I uncovered it from beneath some rubbish and realized it was an old mid century modern clock (like the one pictured above)....with a tag marked FREE! The lady's husband commented that it was mine if I could get it to work. That was just the challenge I needed.

I took the dress suit & clock home with me...but then I realized something: I've never fixed or rebuilt a clock in my life! So I did some research and found just what I needed. Only this DIY clock is made using recycled plastic flatware. That's right--courtesy of Samuel Bernier at Instructables.com, for just around $15, you could build this clock tonight. 

  • 6 cleaned forks
  • 6 cleaned soup spoons
  • Polystyrene sheet less than 5 mm of thickness
  • A clock mechanism (you can find these at walmart or your local hardware store for around $7)
  • Gorilla or Super glue 
  • Spray paint


1. Clean your forks & spoons.
2. Trace a circle onto the polystyrene (you could simply trace around the mouth of a large drinking glass). Samuel recommends a diameter of 12 cm. Use a cutter or scissors to cut the circle out.
3. Make a 1/4" hole in the center of the circle (you may have to use a drill for this).
4. Grab your gorilla or super glue and begin gluing the forks & spoons in alternating pattern around the circle. You may want to use a ruler to measure for even placement. (Don't want your 3 o'clock turning into a 3:30!)
5. Let the glue set and dry. Once dry, you may spray paint the entire clock using an color desired.
6. Install the clock mechanism--follow the directions in the mechanisms' packaging for installing the hands, battery and for setting the time.
7. You may want to add a ring or hook to the back so you can easily hang your clock.
8. And that's it! These clocks would make excellent gifts and they look especially chic in a kitchen or dining room! Plus it is a sustainable/upcycled piece that you can be proud of.

Perusing the Etsy pages recently, I found a drop-dead gorgeous dress from Israel. When I think of Israel, I don't think of fashion, but that got me thinking: How much are we missing when we only pay attention to American & European designer labels? Let's take a look at some beautiful and original fashion designs from lovely Etsy sellers around the world. I've chosen eight beautiful items from fantastic sellers from California, Brazil, Israel, Norway, Toronto, South Africa, New Zealand and Ukraine.


cotton orange maxi skirt
Cotton Orange Maxi Skirt by AlyssaBird $19


deep blue jersey dress
Deep blue jersey dress by Lirola $137


french silk multicolored crop jacket
French silk multicolored jacket by Bruno Ierullo $195

South  Africa

african pin tuck coat
African fusion pin tuck coat by Sulet Burger Prinsloo $115


olive green tunic
Olive Green tunic with side buttons by bohemianbones $33


nuno felt coat with silk in bright pink
Nuno felt coat with silk in bright fuschia by IngerMaaike $319


Blue & black felted scarf with polka dots by Baymut $79

New Zealand

Pink mushroom shift dress by Anoushka Szybowski $95
In my opinion, it's never too early for Halloween. I am a Halloween junkie. It's my favorite holiday of the year. What is more fun than eating tons of candy, carving pumpkins, dressing up as whoever you want to be and best of all, having a Halloween party? 

Halloween is about three months away and as a result, I've compiled together a "vintage-inspired" Halloween party. From decorations to desserts, this blast from the past party is sure to bring lots of spooky fun.
Vintage halloween beer advertisement from the 1940s by FrenchFrouFrou
Mummy cake pops by ACakePop
A great dessert to include in your vintage-inspired Halloween party could be cake pops! There are lots of options for these handy little munchies-- make them into zombies, pumpkins, bats, eyeballs, etc. Buy them online on etsy or make your own.
1930s Black owl oil lamp tin by NostalgicArtifacts
Black, orange & brick ivy tablecloth from the 70s by InspiredSalvage
DIY Make-your-own halloween earrings set of 4 by Laura Fransworth
Orange & Black books for party decor by rivertownvintage
Black upcycled candelabra by StrictlyVintage
Halloween party decorations don't have to be just black and orange. Add some purple, teal or lime green for an extra retro kick! Atmosphere is everything if you're looking to create a "spooky" haunted house feeling. Don't forget the music & sound effects...just make sure to hide the boombox from guests.
Printable halloween stickers for candy by PoshPixels
Full Halloween Apron with lots of glam by 4RetroSisters
The Annual Witch's Ball Distressed Sign by AndtheSignSays
A great activity for your vintage Halloween party might include playing an old-fashioned "Mystery game". These are great ice breaker games for guests who might not know many people and can provide many laughs & memories. Even better-- provide "props" for your guests so they can become more in character (think monocle, feather boa, 1950s hat, lots of jewelry, mens ties, etc.)
1950s Alfred Hitchcock mystery board game by JewelsThings
Going over a list of style trends for Fall 2012, I definitely noticed a trend that stood out-- hot neon colors! Lemon yellows, lime greens and tangerine all top the list, but hot pink is the go-to color for Fall! The two dresses featured below were chosen as pieces that would work well in the workplace but transfer to happy hour or a dinner date later. And with a vintage 1960s hot pink dress, you really can't go wrong...

Like  This?

Pleated pink stretch-jersey dress.
Long sleeves.

Try  This . . .

Hand-constructed hot pink dress with long sleeves and A-line skirt.

Okay, okay....so I have a major problem with weddings on the brain. BUT I think I've come up with my ultimate color combo-- four colors that seem to blend together in a classic, sophisticated, feminine and marie-antoinette-esque way. I give you the champagne, charcoal gray, dusty rose and olive green color combo. I picked out a few things that bring this wedding color theme to life.
Upcycled burlap coffee tote by BackAlleyChic $60
It's the seller showcase of the week & this week's theme is the industrial and recycled. Industrial design elements are in as far as I'm concerned. What once was thought of ass mediocre junk is now a priceless treasure (which I love). I'm also a huge fan of upcycling (better than recycling in my opinion) because there are so many unique designs out there using such awesome materials! This ain't your average notepad and drawing pencils people....check out some of the lovely Etsy sellers & their products below! 

ALSO-- please leave a comment if you like what you see! I get so excited to hear from my readers...even though sometimes I feel like I'm writing for no one but myself!
Gold pen nib necklaces by PhulEffect $19.50
Upcycled Industrial Blue Vacuume Table by RustySpoke $165
Cowhide upcycled industrial stools by Chezboheme $145
Mainspring industrial hat fascinator by Canocopia $25
Reclaimed Barnwood Edison Bulb Chandelier by UrbanChandy $600
Hand forged rose sculpture by CheringtonMetalCraft $35
Industrial door key rack with metal deer by baconsquarefarm $55
Metal steampunk waist corset by Brooksbot75 $120
Steel sphere sculpture home decor by NayaStudio $25
Letterpress printer type tray used for display by fishbones1 $36
Vintage gown from TheIndigoCowgirl $50

I have had weddings on the brain lately. Not that I'm even engaged yet (Brent--wink, wink). My boyfriend and I have been happily sharing an apartment for the last two years and every once in a while, I tag another "wedding idea" on my "dream wedding" pinterest board. Knowing myself, I will want to do as much on my own as possible--partly because I believe if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself and also because it can be a heck of a lot cheaper. I think I'd even bake/decorate my own wedding cake if I gave it some practice.

So this post is in honor of those budget-minded brides out there. We all want a fabulous and memorable wedding---just minus the $30,000 price tag. Am I right? And once again, I will be featuring a host of Etsy sellers with budget-minded brides in mind. Enjoy lovelies!

Hand-stamped silver cake forks for the bride & groom by BabyPuppyDesigns $34.00 for a pair.
Mason jars covered in lace & ribbon used as candle holders & centerpieces by loveinamasonjar $24 for a set of 5.
Ostrich feather & rhinestone brooch bridal fascinator by YellowGateDesigns $15.
Faux pink roses embellished with silver butterflies and rhinestones by ynasbridal $38
Digital print-yourself invitations with custom colors, fonts and text by seedtosprout $20 for the template.
Simple pastel-colored bridesmaid hair fascinators or brooch pins $24 for a set of 3. Custom colors available by DeesByDesign
Uncut diamond stone gold-filled engagement ring by ASecondTime $195.
Clear pale pink vintage cake stand by silkcreekgallery $22
Personalized lip balms as wedding favors by SakuraBathandBody $62.00 for a set of 30.
This week's "Get the Look" feature focuses on the classic ballet flat. This flat features a two-tone look with polished low-profile heel and black cap-toe. For a touch of European chic, this flat is for you. Comfortable yet stylish for everyday wear or a cocktail party: the ever versatile cap toe ballet flat.

Like  This?

Cream & Black Cap-toe Leather Ballet Flats

Try This . . .

1980s Beige & Black Cap-toe Vegan-friendly Flats size 6

© 2011-2012 Bonfire Vintage Co.