Ken Tanabe Halloween Costume 2004
Ken Tanabe Halloween Costume 2004
Ken Tanabe Halloween Costume 2004

This costume was inspired by the discovery of hundreds of videotapes marked for disposal. I realized that the VHS format was doomed. I also realized that I had stumbled upon free materials for my costume. This is the heaviest costume I ever made, even though I used the shorter-duration videotapes with less “tape” inside. I was one of five grand prize finalists in the annual Halloween parade in New York City.

Free of charge: 63 used VHS videotapes (rescued before disposal). Donated: clear red plastic. Bought: black duct tape ($5.50), one sheet of white foam board ($1.50), white acrylic paint ($1.75), medium paint brush ($2.00). Already owned: black pants and turtleneck, Puma Mostro sneakers.

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Halloween Costumes
Halloween Rules
1. Make it yourself.
This is the best way to be original. A store bought costume is better than no costume, but you can do better than that!
2. Use your whole body.
If you wear your usual clothes and throw on a mask, is that really a costume? Go from head to toe.
3. Keep it cheap.
Anybody can spend a zillion dollars on a costume and look cool. The real challenge is making it happen on a budget.
4. Don’t rely on recognition.
Do not dress as a celebrity or a movie character. Standard characters like vampires are off-limits, too.
5. Don’t rely on sex.
Don’t get me wrong – being sexy is great and all. Just don’t rely on it to make your costume work.
6. Don’t rely on horror.
Sure, blood and guts are a Halloween tradition, but don’t feel limited. Take advantage of the day you can wear anything!

Do you make Halloween costumes that follow these rules? If so, contact me.