Dressing up like a favourite character can be a fun start to a great costume party. When throwing a party, challenge guests to choose a character from a book rather than a movie or cartoon character. Go back to childhood for inspiration, or consider the reading list from university; either way, books are flush with great characters to emulate, and many of them will be easy to make.
A whimsical character from a childhood book, Pippi Longstocking was a rambunctious little girl with freckles and braids who went haywire. To make a Pippi costume, wear long, mismatched socks pulled up as far as possible or striped tights with a dress. She was dishevelled because she lived with a horse and a monkey, but no parents. Take two spools of red yarn and make two separate braids. Unravel each spool and make three equal bundles that are about 30 cm (1 foot) long. Braid the three sections into one braid, using rubber bands at the top and bottom to secure it. Insert the wire through the yarn after it is braided to give shape to the braids. Put your real hair into two pigtails using hair rubber bands. Insert the top of the braids into the same rubber bands that hold the pigtails together. Tuck the yarn underneath your natural hair to blend them together. Then secure the top of the braids with hair pins to make sure they won't fall out. Use the wire to sculpt the braids outward. Make freckles with a brown eyebrow pencil.
Whether dressing up like a character from "The Twilight Saga" or doing a more traditional take from Bram Stoker's "Dracula," a vampire makes a great costume from a book. For a modern-day version, wear jeans and a T-shirt and slip false vampire fang teeth in your mouth. Style your hair as crazy as possible with lots of gel, having it go in many directions. For a traditional vampire look, wear a black suit and cape with the false fang teeth. For both costumes, paint your face a pale colour with make-up or white face paint.
Alice's tea party
Reuse an old pair of bunny ears to dress up as the March Hare from Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." People often overlook this character, but it's an easy costume. He attended the tea party with the Mad Hatter, so don a nice jacket or sports coat and a bow tie. For added dimension, use a cane like the White Rabbit's, and carry a large pocket watch, like the one consulted by the Hatter and the Hare at the tea party. Make the watch by cutting a large circle out of cardboard and draw in numbers and hands.