Our own Monica Harris suggests some resources in advance of Halloween. How many times have you wandered through the aisles at a big box store, picking through uninspired Halloween costumes? Sure you could be a witch or a Jedi AGAIN. Or this year, you could get creative and make your own costume.

I am proud to consider myself a diehard fan of the Do It Yourself costume. Combining thrift, ingenuity, and a little elbow grease into a homemade masterpiece that only needs to last a few days is my crafting specialty. My polar bear, Maude Lebowski, and garden gnome costumes were fun to make, and (more importantly) totally unique at costume parties. Once you are resolved to get serious about costume construction, where do you turn for inspiration?

Pinterest, the red hot image search and pin engine, is the best place to look for the best in costume ideas. Want a ton of great no-sew toddler costume ideas? Done! Looking for the best group costume of Joss Whedon's Firefly crew? No problem. The more specific your search the less results you'll get, but a general board search for 'diy costume' or 'Halloween' will return tons of fantastic results. Pinning as you search will allow you to organize your ideas in a way that will prove easy to come back to.

Craftster is a forum for serious crafters with an indie streak. It’s a great resource for detailed tutorials and interesting submissions from folks all over the world. Whether you want to learn how to make a simple hoodie with dinosaur spikes, or get a step-by-step reproduction of a Dr. Who costume, this is a great place to go.

Or check out these books from the library:

There’s a wonderful range of costume ideas in Halloween: A Grown-up’s Guide to Creative Costumes, Devilish Décor & Fabulous Festivities by Joanne O’Sullivan. Maybe you’ll be a walrus or a Pollock painting?

Pick up Witch Craft: Wicked Accessories, Creepy-Cute Toys, Magical Treats, and More compiled by Margaret McGuire and Alicia Kachmar and get patterns for “Wicked Mary Janes” and ideas for edible party favors.

Be inspired by the elegant sunflower and lily-of-the-valley bonnets in Halloween: The Best of Martha Stewart Living. There’s a section on masks and make up, and of course all the crafts and recipes you would expect from the editors of Martha Stewart Living.

For more inspiration on Halloween crafts, costumes, and treats, check out our collection of books. Plus, get into the Halloween spirit with movies and CDs available at the library.