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If you haven't already, it's time to...


If you haven't already, it's time to start thinking of Halloween costumes.

There are, of course, the predictable ones. Even Charlie Brown wears a white bed sheet with black eye holes in the "Peanuts" Halloween special. And how many people do you know who will carry broomsticks and maybe even sport a green nose and black hat?

Here are a couple of suggestions that break from the common mold -- and are inexpensive to boot:

* Take two white garbage bags (the tall kitchen sizes work nicely) and fill them half to three-quarters of the way full with dried leaves. Use masking tape to seal the openings of the bags, and tape the tops of the bags to each other at the corners. What you should come out with is something that resembles a thick sandwich sign that slips over your head and rests on your shoulders.

Now, dress yourself completely in white underneath the bags. (Don't forget to dress warmly -- it's cold out there.) When you're all done with that, take two white pieces of cardboard, about 8 1/2 by 11 inches, and cut them into octagons. Then take a plain piece of white paper and cut two strips from it -- each about 2 inches wide and 16 inches long. Tape the octagons to the strips so they look like an inverted stop sign.

Next, tape these strips to the garbage bags so they hang down the center of the bags. Use a brown marker to write "Lipton" on the cardboard octagons. You're a tea bag!

* Find a large cardboard box (preferably white -- although you can always paint over it with white poster paint). Cut out the base of the box, and cut a circular hole in the top of it large enough for your head to fit through. Slip it over your head and mark on the sides where your arms meet your shoulders.

The box should be large enough so as to cover most of your torso. Cut holes where you marked the sides of the boxes for your arms to fit through. Take black poster paint and on each side of the box paint black circles. (Six on one side, five on another, and so on.) Dress in white and wear the box. You're a die! Go trick-or-treating with a matching friend and you're a pair of dice!

* Last but not least, if you're really desperate and short of time -- dress entirely in pink and tape a shoe to your head. You're the gum somebody stepped on!

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