Arts·Hi, Art

Still need a Halloween costume? We've got you

The only real Halloween scare is being caught with a boring costume. In this week's edition of "Hi, Art," get inspired to get crafty.

The only real Halloween scare is being caught with a boring costume. Get inspired to get crafty

Mask by Texas artist Dakota Cates (@wizardofbarge), one of the countless felt monsters now roaming the planet because of a CBC Arts how-to video by Montreal's Ian Langohr. (Instagram/@wizardofbarge)

Hello! You're reading the CBC Arts newsletter, and if you like what you see, stick around! Sign up here, and every Sunday we'll send you a fresh email packed with art, culture and a metric truckload of eye candy, hand-picked by our small and mighty team. Here's what we've been talking about this week.

Hi, art lovers!

Haunted houses, demonic possession, razor blade apples? Whatevs.

The only real Halloween scare is being caught on Oct. 31 without a costume — or, even more ghastly, getting stuck with a boring one.

We get it, though. Doing a last-minute dash down Dollarama's "seasonal aisle" is a time-saver, but have some pride, bb's. The world doesn't need any more basic witches, and we've all got more than a week left to get crafty.

Where to start? Well, around this time last year, we produced this classic DIY.

Ian Langohr, the Montreal artist better known online as "Hand Sewn Heads," taught us how to make a massive, mascot-style monster mask using ordinary fabric store supplies like felt and foam. And it's totally no-sew!

(CBC Arts)

The mask Ian made for the video is pretty incredible in and of itself, but ever since we published his tips, something scary good has been happening.

Ian's video has inspired more makers than we'll ever be able to track, and people have been sending him photos of their creations since the story went up on CBC Arts.

He figures things really snowballed after an artist in Texas, Dakota Cates (a.k.a. @wizardofbarge), tried the tutorial and tagged the results on Instagram. "He has since made two masks from my tutorial which are probably my favourites," Ian told us in an email the other day. "And because he's shared them and tagged me, I have been receiving submissions from a lot of his followers."

"I can't say how often I receive them. It seemed like every two weeks since Wizard of Barge released his first. I was overwhelmed by the response! I don't think I expected anything."

Ian's been saving some of the photos on his Facebook page, so we pulled a few to share with you.

As you can see, his instructions will give you the foundation to build just about anything you can imagine.

You've got to send us a photo if you make one, too!

But before you get gluing, here are a couple of bonus tips from Ian: make sure you make your mask big and comfy — "and add lots of colourful drippy ooze and large teeth."

Dakota Cates (@wizardofbarge)


Sean Rall (@thatredkid)


Jodi Faber (@gobi_grime)


Payton Finney (@p_f_design)


Jessica Craddock (@_deadringers_)


Not a glue gun person? No judgment. There are so many ways of turning household junk into a next-level costume. Here are some more wearable works of art to get you thinking...


Since 2003, designer Ken Tanabe has been challenging himself (and the entire internet) to build a crazy cheap and crazy creative full-body Halloween costume using a single ordinary item. (The outfits above? They're made out of foil balloons and old DVDs.)


If you've got a few old cereal boxes (plus $7.95), your Halloween is sorted. U.K. artists Steve and Marianne Wintercroft sell designs for cardboard masks that could double as your new favourite piece of home décor. From demonic skulls to the stars of classic horror, you'll find endless DIY options for sale online.


Here's something that'll really pop...but hopefully not until the end of the night. Check out these photos from Jason Hackenwerth's "Animal Soul." The exhibition appeared at Brookfield Place in New York City this summer, and there's loads of wearable balloon wizardry on display.


Know how to needle-felt? That's the technique Paolo Del Toro uses to create these expressive masks. Good luck tufting anything quite this incredible by Oct. 31, but there's no in harm planning ahead. Here's to Halloween 2028!

You've got to see this

(Courtesy of Jude Griebel)

Miniatures that force you to look closely — really, really closely — at climate change - So, the planet's a mess and we're all going to die. No wonder it's so easy to ignore warnings of environmental disaster. But Jude Griebel's art is all about helping us take the blinders off...with a little dark humour and some seriously little sculptures. Get a peek at his new series of doomsday dioramas, which are now appearing at the Nickle Galleries in Calgary.

(CBC Arts)

Who says you have to move to a big city? - There's no place like home? Depending on your dreams, you might not agree, but P.E.I. artist Megan Stewart shares a compelling bit of wisdom in this short doc. Since coming back to Charlottetown, Megan's been building the sort of theatre scene she's always wanted to be a part of — a community she originally thought she'd have to move away to find. To paraphrase her "aha moment," if something doesn't exist, make it yourself.

(CBC Arts)

Putting the 'high' in DIY - While you wait for your first order of legal cannabis to ship, learn how to make a (beautiful) ceramic bong with the folks at Montreal's High Art studio.

Follow this artist


Meagan Durlak (@_powersof10) - "There's something very powerful in having an object, whether it's real or not, to really make an experience real." That's one reason why designer Meagan Durlak Instagrammed a line of (fictional) inventions last week — gadgets that respond to a misogynistic world. Here's more of what she had to say about the collection.

Got story ideas? Typo catches? Photos of your all-time favourite hand-made Halloween costumes?

We're always around. Hit us up over email and we'll do our best to get back to you.

And if someone forwarded you this message, and you like what you've read, here's where to subscribe for more.

Until next time!



Leah Collins

Senior Writer

Since 2015, Leah Collins has been senior writer at CBC Arts, covering Canadian visual art and digital culture in addition to producing CBC Arts’ weekly newsletter (Hi, Art!), which was nominated for a Digital Publishing Award in 2021. A graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University's journalism school (formerly Ryerson), Leah covered music and celebrity for Postmedia before arriving at CBC.


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