14 Ways to Look Awesome for Halloween at Spirits & Skeletons Friday 10/31

Having trouble deciding on your costume for Spirits & Skeletons? I got you, bro.

Spirits and Skeletons HMNSHouston’s favorite Halloween party — the one and only Spirits & Skeletons — is back at HMNS! With the entire museum open you can shake your stuff with a stegosaurus, grab a drink with a skink and get spellbound by bewitching gems, all to live music and your favorite hits played by DJs with fantastic food trucks parked right outside.

Whether you go with scary and spooky or fab and kooky — dress up, party the night away at HMNS and we’ll put a spell on you!

 

Here are 14 costume ideas, perfect for Spirits & Skeletons:

1. HODOR: Because small talk is overrated

Benefits: You don’t even have to worry about making small talk, you can just say “Hodor” to everything. “What’s your name?”… Hodor.“What do you do?” … Hodor. Etc…

Spirits and Skeletons HMNSHow to be Hodor:

Step 1: Get taller. Unless you happen to be 6’10”, then move onto Step 2.
Step 2: Wear dark sweater/dress, scrappy scarf, dark pants, and leather bag – bonus points if you can find a Bran to be on your back  
Step 3: Put on your scruffy white wig
Step 4: Hodor!  

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

2. OLAF: Do you wanna build BE a snowman?

Benefits: Elsa is so overrated (seriously guys, let it go…)
Warning: Be prepared for some warm hugs.

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

How to be Olaf:

Step 1: Wear a white long-sleeved shirt and white pants
Step 2: Olaf is all about the accessories -glue on some black felt circles for the buttons, strap on a carrot nose, and black out your teeth with some gum wrappers for Olaf’s signature buck-tooth smile.
For a more hassle-free version, make your own Olaf hat – see above.
Step 3: Get Elsa to conjure up your own personal snow flurry.

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

3. GUESS WHO: Is it me? Is it you? Who knows!? GUESS WHO!

Q: Do they wear an awesome costume?
A: Yes. Yes, they do.

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

How to be a “Guess Who” character:

Step 1: Make your frame with some cardboard, paint it, and write “Guess Who?” on the frame
Step 2: Find a colored shirt and paint a question mark on it
Step 3: Accessorize! Mustaches, large classes, funky eyebrows, get creative!
Step 4: Be prepared for many questions

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

4. STARLORD (PETER QUILL): Because “Starlord” is the coolest title ever 

Seriously, who wouldn’t want to be called Starlord for the night?
For that extra touch: Add the cassette player

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

How to be Starlord:

Step 1: Put on your get pumped music – Awesome Mix, Vol. 1
Step 2: Wear dark pants, a blue shirt, and your signature red leather jacket
Step 3: Clip on your cassette player and put on some headphones so you can groove to your awesome mix on the go.
Step 4: Remind everyone you meet that you go by Starlord, not Peter Quill. 

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

He’s probably making excuses to Yondu…

5. THE GOBLIN KING FROM LABYRINTH: Because, Bowie.

I can never decide if I hate this movie or if I love it. Either way this costume is awesome and this girl is my idol.

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

How to be The Goblin King:

Step 1: Find a fantastic Bowie wig, or style your own hair if you have skills.
Step 2: Wear the tightest pants you can find, a white pirate/musketeer-esque shirt, black vest, and some sassy boots
Step 3: Layer on some serious eyeliner/eyeshadow
Step 4: Do some sleight of hand tricks with your crystal ball, and you’re done!

People will be looking at your costume like…

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

6. CHER FROM CLUELESS: Um, like, who else would you want to be?!

Iggy reminded us that we have neglected Clueless for far too long, but no more!
Um…It’s a pink pen DUH. Like Cher would have a black/blue pen…

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

How to be Cher:

Step 1: Find a blonde wig, unless you already have beautiful blonde locks
Step 2: Wear your best yellow plaid skirt suit (we all have at least one in our closet, right?), white socks, and black shoes
Step 3: Say the stupidest sounding, yet secretly most brilliant things ever

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

7. TAMAGOTCHI: What? You were thinking of being a goldfish? Pfftt

The best and worst toy of your childhood

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

How to be a Tamagotchi:

Step 1: Wear whatever, it’s the next step that matters. 
Step 2: Cut out an egg shaped piece of cardboard and paste on squares/circles for the screen and buttons
Step 3: Cut out some string and secure it to your Tamagotchi board, creating your Tamagotchi necklace
Step 4: Beep every five seconds

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

8. PIXAR LAMP: Because everyone loves (Pixar) lamp

But really, this looks freaking awesome.

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

How to be the Pixar lamp:

Step 1: Wear all white (shoes too!)
Step 2: Find your own cone of shame and spray paint it white
Pin some white cloth midway down the tunnel to hide your face
Step 3:  Find a white piece of plastic/cardboard for your lamp base and secure it to your shoes.
Step 4: Hop around, stop, and stare, as demonstrated above by this fabulous person.

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

9. ELLIOTT WITH E.T: In case you need to phone home

With this costume, you have a built in friend!

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

How to be Elliot with ET:

Step 1: Wear jeans and a red hoodie (probably the most comfy costume of the bunch)
Step 2: Secure a basket with a rope/strap around your neck
Step 3: Find an ET doll/mask (a pug doll would do too) and wrap the head with white cloth
Step 4: Bike your way through the sky!…or drive to the party, either way is fine.

Now this is the science museum, so I had to include some costumes to bring out your inner geek. I’ll leave the designing to you.

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

 

SCIENCE PUN COSTUMES: Because anyone who tells you all the good science puns Argon, is lying. 

10. DESIGNER GENES

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

11. PUMPKIN PI

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

12. IRON MAN

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

 

SCIENTIST COSTUMES: Don’t get mad, get brilliant 

You can’t talk about science costumes without mentioning Bill Nye & Ms. Frizzle.

13. BILL NYE: Because he’s THE Science Guy

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

How to be Bill Nye:

Step 1: Wear a white button-up, slacks, pale blue lab coat, and a classy red bow tie
Step 2: Comb your hair over to one side, nerd style
Step 3: Tell everyone that ‘Science Rules’

Remember that time Bill Nye was on DWTS? Yeah, me neither.

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

14. THE FRIZ: Because everyone wants to be in Ms. Frizzle’s class

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

How to Be Ms. Frizzle:

Step 1: Wear a blue or yellow dress
Step 2: Glue science-y things on it – planets, stars, insects, rainbows, rocks. Whatever you decide to glue on, chances are she has worn it (seriously, Google her outfits, she be cray)
Step 3: Wear a red wig
Step 4: For the finishing touch, strap on your bffl, Liz.

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

 

BONUS: Dress your pet! (Sorry, pets are not allowed at Spirits & Skeletons. This one’s gotta be for home only OR adapt it and wear it yourself!)

CHIA PET: Cha-cha-cha-CHIA!

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

How to transform your pet into a Chia Pet:

Step 1: Have a pet.
Step 2: Glue on some leaves/vines onto an old pet sweater
Step 3: Put your Chia sweater on your pet.
Step 4: CHA-CHA-CHA-CHIA!

Spirits and Skeletons HMNS

 

Next step? Strut your stuff in your awesome costume at Houston’s hottest Halloween party, Spirits & Skeletons,  Friday, October 31 at HMNS!

 

This post was written by HMNS Manager of Online Media Sheila George.

We’re gonna scare your pants off: Psycho and The Exorcist showing this month at HMNS

Take Two gets spooky this October with classic horror flicks showing in the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre

We’re bringing “Hitch-y” Back: Psycho showing October 10
Come scream at Hitchcock’s most iconic film, Psycho, showing Friday October 10 at 7:00 p.m.

Obsessed with the Possessed: The Exorcist showing October 24
Relive the nightmarish film The Exorcist once again on the Giant Screen Friday October 24 at 7:00 p.m.

Want to know more about why we feel fear, what happens to the body when we’re afraid and we love horror movies? Check out the video below to learn about the chemistry of fear! Then don’t forget to come out for Psycho 10/10 and The Exorcist 10/24 at HMNS!

And for everyone still making their Halloween plans:

Houston’s favorite Halloween party — the one and only Spirits & Skeletons — is back at HMNS October 31! With the entire museum open you can shake your stuff with a stegosaurus, grab a drink with a skink and get spellbound by bewitching gems, all to live music and your favorite hits played by DJs with fantastic food trucks parked right outside.

Whether you go with scary and spooky or fab and kooky — dress up, party the night away at HMNS and we’ll put a spell on you!

And for everyone who identified with this meme:

 

We spotted this today:

Sweet dreams.

Sugar Skull How-To Part II: Royal icing’s not just for royals

When last we left you in the sweet lobotomies how-to, we had made the actual sugar skulls, let them dry and scooped the backs out.  In this post, you will learn how to make the icing used to decorate the skulls and cement them together.

We taught you how to make sugar skulls from scratch; here's how to decorate 'em!Materials:

  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • ½ cup meringue powder
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Several bottles or jars of gel food coloring in a variety of colors (available in the baking aisle of your local craft store)
  • Heavy-duty Kitchen Aid-style mixer
  • Sturdy tall cup
  • Good quality plastic sacks
  • Clear packing tape
  • Scissors
  • Small rubber bands

 

Procedure:

1.  The most important part of this whole how-to is obtaining the heavy-duty mixer. If you don’t own one yourself, you’ll need to find one or borrow one. I’m a pretty proficient baker, but one year (with great hubris) I tried to skip this step and use my hand mixer.  After we put the fire out, we swept up the pieces of my sad little hand mixer and said a few kind words before dumping it in the trash. In short? Do not skip this step.
2.  The second thing you need to know is that royal icing for sugar skulls is not an exact science, and you will likely have to feel your way through the first batch. You definitely want your icing to be pasty rather than runny, so adjust as needed.
3.  Once you have your heavy-duty mixer, dump a 2-pound bag of powdered sugar into the bowl. To this, add ½ cup meringue powder and about 2/3 cup water.
4.  Start the mixer on slow, but after you know the powdered sugar isn’t going to go everywhere, bump it up to a medium speed. Keep an eye on it.
5.  Stop the mixer after a minute or two and scrape the bowl. You may need to add a little bit more water or powder to get the right consistency.
6.  Let the mixer run again on medium speed.  I don’t have an exact time, but here’s what I usually do: Start the mixer, get distracted with something, forget that you are making icing, come back in 3 to 15 minutes, add a tiny bit more water, mix again, and then think, “That’s probably alright.”
7.  Now we are going to get some piping bags ready by reinforcing them.  The point of steps 7 through 11 is to reinforce the edge of the sack so that it doesn’t split when you squeeze it. To reinforce your sack, you will need to get out your good quality plastic sacks, scissors and clear packing tape. My version of this can be a little tricky, so I have included a terrible drawing and a picture of the finished product. Enjoy.
8.  Cut off a piece of tape about 7 inches long. The piece of tape in the photo has the edge outlined in black so that you can see and hopefully follow the line.

We taught you how to make sugar skulls from scrach: Here's how to decorate 'em!

9.  Lay the tape on the edge of the counter, sticky side up.
10.  Place the bag on the table with one tip touching the edge of the counter.
11.  Wrap the extra pieces of tape up on the bag so that the lower two edges end up meeting on top of the bag, perpendicular to the edge of the counter.

We taught you how to make sugar skulls from scratch; here's how to decorate 'em!12.  Once you have your sack reinforced, tuck your taped corner into a sturdy glass and fold the edges down — much like you might put a trash bag in a trash can. Pull the edge of the sack down tight so that the least amount of sack is in the glass.

We taught you how to make sugar skulls from scratch; here's how to decorate 'em!13.  Take a big fat dollop of your icing and stick it in the sack.
14.  Pull the sack out and twist the open end shut. Rubber band it tightly! You don’t want any escapees.
15.  With your fingers, massage some of the icing into the reinforced tip of the bag.
16.  Snip off about 1/8 of an inch from the corner of the bag. If you aren’t sure what an 1/8 of an inch looks like, snip off the least amount you can possibly cut. You can always cut more off, but you can’t put any back on, as they say somewhere about something.
17.  Take the sack in your dominant hand (unless you want to make things harder for yourself), and cup it gently in your palm with the twisted end in between your thumb and pointer finger.
18.  Squeeze your thumb against your pointer finger. If your sack is super full, you won’t be able to touch the two together. The point is to keep the icing from coming out of the twisted end.
19.  Practice squeezing the frosting out of the hole onto a piece of paper towel by rolling your fingers — pointer to pinky — down the bag. With a little practice, you will get a feel for it and probably develop a technique that feels okay to you.
20.  Adjust the size of the hole as needed. (Note: More pressure does not equal more awesome. If you use too much pressure, your sack of icing will explode). If the frosting isn’t coming out, there may be a lump caught in the hole or your icing is too thick. If it’s the former, pinch the tip between your fingers to squish lumps. If it’s the latter, put the frosting back in the mixing bowl and add a bit more water.
21.  Now for the fun part! Take one of your scooped skull fronts in your hand, face down, and squeeze out a line of icing along the scooped rim.
22.  Take a scooped skull back and press it to the frosted edge.
23.  Press the two skull parts together with a tiny, tiny bit of twisting back and forth. If some icing squishes out of the joint, wipe it off with your finger.
24.  The skulls are technically ready to decorate now, but if you need a little more practice with the piping bag, let them dry a bit first. Wet, the skull bits might shift if you aren’t careful. Dry, nothing will get those two to move!
25.  To get colored frosting, you will want to scoop all of the icing out of the mixing bowl and then put back just what you want to tint with the first color of gel food coloring.
26.  Select a color for the icing from your gel food coloring options. I suggest starting with the lightest color first so you don’t need to wash out the bowl between batches. Some might call this lazy; I prefer “efficient.” We made our icing in this order: First batch, yellow, orange, red and second batch, green, blue, purple, black.
27.  Put about a quarter of the food coloring into the mixing bowl and mix well.  If it is too bright, add more white. If it’s too soft, add more coloring.
28.  When you have the right color, reinforce another sack and put the colored icing in it.  Don’t cut the tip yet.
29.  Repeat steps 25 to 28 until you either run out of frosting and have to make another batch or have all the colors you want.
30.  Black icing is not necessary to make a sugar skull, but many people prefer it for eye sockets, noses and teeth. To make black icing for the skull, get an unreasonable amount of black food coloring – let’s say three bottles or jars. Add the coloring a half a jar at a time until you get the right color. It often seems purple, grey or dark blue for a long, long time but eventually turns black. If you have the time and are patient enough to wait, letting the black icing sit in the piping bags for a few days seems to help the color darken.
31.  When you’re ready, snip the bag corners and decorate your skulls. Pay attention to where your skull touches the table when resting and try not to decorate it there.

We taught you how to make sugar skulls from scratch; here's how to decorate 'em!

32.  If you want to save your bags of icing for more skulls or a later use (like gingerbread houses), squish the icing out of the tips so that the tips are flat for a centimeter or so, and then put painters’ tape across the holes. If you are going to use the icing within a week or 10 days, you can leave it out. If you are waiting longer than that, you might want to put it in the fridge. When you are ready to use the icing again, bring it to room temperature and remove the painters’ tape.

Fun Facts:

Fun Fact No. 1: Gel food coloring will stain everything you own. Do not decide to make colored icing the day before you are in a wedding, or your hands will be purple.

Fun Fact No. 2: As far as we can tell, sugar skulls are unattractive snacks to pests because of the meringue powder. So, if you are careful with them, you should be able to use them from year to year!

A Spirits & Skeletons wrap-up: 4,000+ guests, 13 Cruella Devilles and nearly 500 pictures

Were you one of the more than 4,000 costumed guests to grace Spirits & Skeletons 2012 on Friday night?

It was one of the best-attended events in museum history, and we were delighted to have everyone out in full, freaky regalia. We’ve compiled a few of our favorite snapshots below:

To peruse the full gallery of nearly 500 photos by Catchlight Group and order prints of your favorites, click here!

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
ZOMG ROFL it’s LMFAO

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
More like Beelzehub(ba hubba)

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
Rosie finds Scooby Doo riveting!

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
I went to Prom with these people. No joke here, just the facts.

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
There’s history here, I can feel it.

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
Ironman meets Leather Lady.

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
Jellyous?

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
It’s heart not to have a blast at HMNS.

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
There! There in the world is Carmen San Diego.

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
Rocket maaan, on his way to Moriannn alone!

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
If Keeping Up with the Kardashians is what’s wrong with America, Duck Dynasty is what’s right.

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
You had me at cat breading.

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
Fred Flintstone parties in the paleo hall.

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
Is that a banana on your person, or are you just happy to see us?

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
Erhmagherd, binders full of women!

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
Dancing with the dino.

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
In the thumbnail version, I thought this lovely young lady was a narwhal. Maybe next year?

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
McKayla Maroney is impressed!

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
Can pandas be the next villains of Gotham? Imagine the pandamonium.

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
Who doesn’t love the story of Little Red Riding Hood and the big, bad Chewbacca?

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
Who are these freaks?

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
Do I make you … oh never mind.

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
Molly & The Ringwalds rocked it.

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
This guy went as a nevernude.

Spirits & Skeletons 2012!
Zombie Christopher Lloyd?