13 DIY Halloween costumes for procrastinators in Pittsburgh

Rosie the Riveter and Mr. Rogers are classics. But what about the Sprint sign or Tim Murphy?

The Incline photo

While some of you might have been planning your Halloween costume since last November, for the rest of us, there’s that pang of fear every time the mention of costumes comes up.

How do you dress to impress with limited time and a limited budget and show off your *amazing* sense of humor and cultural relevance?

Look no further.

We’ve come up with 13 DIY Halloween costumes for Pittsburgh. Some are classics. Others are timely. Together, The Incline staff searched our closets and spent about $36 at Goodwill, Dollar Tree and Walmart for all of the costumes you see here. And then we forced, I mean asked, our staff to model them.

Have a costume we should add? Tweet at us, or tag us on Instagram.

Won't you be Ryan's neighbor?

Won't you be my neighbor?

The Incline Photo

Mr. Rogers

No explanation needed here: Take on one of Pittsburgh’s most beloved personas for the evening. If you really want to get into it, set your ringtone to “Won’t you be my neighbor?,” sit down every so often to tie your shoes and speak in a calm voice.

What you need:

  • Red sweater ($4.99 at Goodwill)
  • Button up
  • Tie
  • Untied chucks or Keds
The Incline photos

Self-driving car

Once a novelty, you are now part of the day-to-day for Pittsburghers. But remember, you’re not a regular car, you’re a robot ride-share car. So give your friends piggy-back rides, and follow all the traffic rules and be super obnoxiously cautious all night. No Pittsburgh Left for you. Don’t forget your robot voice.

What you need:

  • Gray shirt and pants
  • A colander for your elaborate, mechanical headdress
  • Ribbon to tie said colander to your head ($1 at Dollar Tree)
  • Car ($1.99 at Goodwill)
The Incline Photo

Rosie the Riveter

Another Pittsburgh classic. The subject of an iconic World War II poster, Rosie the Riveter was designed by a Pittsburgh artist, J. Howard Miller, for Westinghouse Electric, per Andy Masich, president and CEO of the Heinz History Center. From there, well, the rest is history. Don this costume, and channel Rosie’s strength.

What you need:

  • Red bandana ($1 at Dollar Tree)
  • Denim shirt
The Incline photo

Log Jammer log

Instead of thinking about the ride’s untimely demise, remember the good times. Spend the evening as the Log Jammer would — breaking down every so often, spraying people with water, and charging people for their souvenir photos with you. Kick it up with some zombie makeup, bc RIP Log Jammer.

What you need:

  • Brown shirt and pants
  • Brown construction paper
  • Water mister spray bottle
The Incline photos

The Rachel Carson bridge

Be the most colorful bridge in all of Pittsburgh. Tie glow sticks at different lengths from your arms. Hold your arms out and move them once in a while to keep those glow sticks moving to mimic the LED lights powered by wind turbines.

What you need:

  • Glow stick bracelets (3 packs of 5 for $0.97 each at WalMart)
  • Gold ribbon ($1 at Dollar Tree)
  • Yellow shirt and pants
The Incline Photo | Jasmine Goldband / The Incline

Mayor Bill Peduto

Yes, you need masking tape for this costume. Why, you ask? To designate bike lanes all around the party. Simply lay parallel strips of tape on the floor in the most inconvenient places. Be sure to Tweet all night.

What you need:

  • Suit and tie
  • Penguins jersey (Free, if you can convince someone in your family to lend you one for the night.)
  • Masking tape
  • Unfettered access to Twitter
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Council Member Darlene Harris

If your best friend goes as Bill Peduto, here’s the perfect pair for your couples costume. Bonus: It’s an easy ensemble to pull together. Just throw on a blazer and randomly like stuff on Facebook all night. Also, if you’re the DD, you might want to take the shortcut home through West Park.

What you need: 

  • Blazer ($4.99 at Goodwill)
The Incline photo

A thirsty Amazon pitch

Amazon announced it was looking for a second headquarters, and Pittsburgh was right there saying “Pick me! Pick me!” This costume requires a sense of desperation, FOMO and talking about Pittsburgh’s attributes all night. Oh, and don’t forget to be late to the party, just like all of your Amazon packages.

What you need:

  • An Amazon box
  • Water bottle
The Incline photo

Sprint sign

Be the sign that everyone loves to hate, or maybe, really just hates. (The city, for example, actually hates it.) But it makes for a pretty easy costume. Once you’re dressed, pick the highest spot at the party to sit above everyone.

What you need:

  • Yellow shirt and pants
  • Construction paper
Official Congressional Photo | The Incline Photo

U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy

Imagine that Tim Murphy has an angel and a devil on his shoulders, except instead, it’s Mitch McConnell and self-interest. We found two “Inside Out” toys, Bing Bong and Anger, that seemed to fit that bill quite nicely, but we’ll let you decide which is which.

What you need:

  • Red tie
  • Suit
  • Angel and devil for your shoulders. Our “Inside Out” toys cost $0.99 each at Goodwill.
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Deb, aka Pittsburgh Mom

You know her. You love her. You probably call her mom. She loves fall for two reasons — her pumpkin sweater vest and watching her Stillers on Sundays. For this costume, the more, the better, so fill your purse with black and gold candy and fire up that tailgating crockpot. Bonus points for bedazzled items.

What you need:

  • A turtleneck and vest ($4.99 each at Goodwill) or a bedazzled Steelers shirt
  • Yuengling … preferably light
  • Terrible Towel
  • Tennis shoes and mom jeans
The Incline photo

The Lanpher Reservoir … and a duck

Remember that one time? Be the reason that northern parts of the city, Reserve Township and Millvale were under a flush and boil order earlier this fall — a tear in the Lanpher Reservoir made the water vulnerable to animal and bird droppings.

You need one person to be the culprit, aka the duck. That’s easy enough. The second person: You’re the reservoir cover, covered in droppings.

Thanks a lot, duck.

What you need:

  • Poop emojis
  • Duck ($1.99 at Goodwill)