Costume Ideas for ABC Parties

Updated July 20, 2017

What is an ABC party? The acronym ABC stands for Anything But Clothes. Guests attending the party will be expected to come dressed in any material that they choose as long as none of it is real clothing. Guests should be inventive and try to create a unique look using just about anything they can find. Costumes made from things around the house can be inexpensive and creative. It is also acceptable (and probably encouraged) to wear underclothing, as long as it is concealed with added ABC materials. As one might imagine, the possibilities are endless!

Duct Tape

An easy costume supply could be duct tape. Simply use duct tape to create a custom piece of clothing. For a woman this might include a skirt and a tank top with various colours of duct tape. For a man the costume could consist of a pair of shorts and a contrasting coloured belt with a T-shirt on top. It is important to make sure that the duct tape is sticking to another material or to itself and not to areas of exposed skin, as this could cause irritation and chaffing.


Newspaper would be another easily accessible choice and might be a quick fix for someone who forgot to choose a costume in advance. Newspapers are large and cover the body easily, and can be folded to fit all body shapes and sizes. It is important to remember that newspaper is also very thin and can tear easily and might require the guest to wear something else underneath, such as cling film and undergarments. A quick and easy idea for a woman would be to make a strapless dress, which would require just tape and newsprint. For a man's costume, a pair of trousers would be easy to assemble with little planning.

Garbage Bags

Garbage bags can make a simple costume. Simply cut a hole in the bottom of a black or other coloured garbage bag and slip it on. Then decide where the armholes should be and cut them out of the bag as well. For a someone who is tall, it might take two bags taped together to achieve the desired length. For a woman, a fun addition might be to create leggings with another trash bag to wear underneath a garbage bag dress.

Unconventional Items

If the guest is more of a creative thinker and wants to stand out in the crowd, he might consider using unconventional items such as a lampshade, toilet paper, packing boxes, styrofoam, carpet squares, heavy duty aluminium foil or curtains. Other materials might include balloons, tea bags, feathers, gift bags, unused diapers, pillowcases or paper towels. Whether creating a bra out of gift bows or constructing a suit jacket out of candy wrappers, let those creative juices flow and make a costume no one will forget!

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About the Author

Melissa Wilson has been writing since 2002, specializing in topics related to education and business management. She received her Bachelor of Science in human services management from the University of Phoenix. Wilson is the owner and lead teacher at a private preschool in Houston.