Diabetes can be scary and isolating, and many people with diabetes don’t like to talk about it because they don’t want people to pity them or their families. However, accepting yourself as a person with diabetes is an important step towards greater self-confidence and improved self-care. Proudly wearing your pump or cgm for everyone to see can be very empowering.
Halloween is just 2 weeks away, so in the spirit of self-love (and fun), we’ve got some awesome diabetes Halloween costumes for you to make! Sure, there may be people who won’t “get” your costume. But on the positive side, it’s a great opportunity to educate people about diabetes. Also, anyone who does have diabetes will “get” your costume, and they’ll be sure to give you a high five. Finally, you’re sure to be the most original costume wherever you go, so make sure you join every Halloween costume contest out there! Here are our top five diabetes Halloween costumes, along with instructions for making them:
Cut head and armholes out of an extra-large cardboard box (or make a wearable sandwich board — see instructions below). Decorate to look like your favorite insulin pump. If you want to add a cannula and insertion set, cut a circle out of plastic and attach to some clear plastic tubing.
A test strip costume is easy to make because it’s just a simple rectangle with a few bars and lines. You’ve probably got test strips lying all over your house, so you won’t have a problem finding one to copy. Use paint or markers to decorate 2 large piece of cardboard to look like a test strip. Then attach them together as a wearable sandwich board (see instructions below).
What’s a test strip without some blood to go with it? Grab your dia-bestie and slay Halloween with this awesome twosome costume! To make a Drop of Blood costume, blow up some red balloons and string them together, then wear them around your body. Or, make a wearable sandwich board (see instructions below) and tape the red balloons to the board. Wear a red top and bottom, and you’re good to go.
Diabetes Blue Circle
The blue circle is the universal symbol for diabetes. The color blue symbolizes hope, and the circle symbolizes unity within the diabetes community. It’s a beautiful symbol, and it just so happens to make the quickest, easiest Halloween costume ever! Just cut two giant circles out of cardboard, then paint the edge blue and the center white. Finally, attach them together as a wearable sandwich board (see instructions below).
If you’re feeling especially artistic, why not dress up as a pancreas? Even funnier, dress up as a sleeping pancreas or a zombie pancreas! After all, your pancreas is either sleeping on the job or good as dead, right?
The only problem is, a full-body pancreas costume can be expensive to buy, or complicated to sew. Fortunately, thanks to the magic known as the wearable sandwich board, creating a pancreas costume is as easy as drawing one. In fact, you can make all of our top 5 diabetes Halloween costumes this way. You can purchase a blank wearable sign and draw your design onto the material. Or, you can make your own. Here’s how to do it:
How to make a wearable sandwich board
1) Front and back boards
You’ll need two identical pieces, one for the front and one for the back. Science fair style display boards are great because they are light, yet sturdy. If you need to cut your sandwich board into a shape, you might be better off using cardboard or poster board, which are easier to cut.
2) Heavy duty scissors and blade.
You’ll need something to cut out holes in your boards to thread your shoulder straps through.
3) Duct tape.
You’ll need duct tape to make the shoulder straps that connect the front and pack pieces of your costume. Duct tape is great because it’s strong, lightweight, and flexible.
4) Decorating materials
Depending on your design, you’ll need some combination of the following: paint, brushes, markers, stickers, colored duct tape, stickers, colored paper, design printouts from the internet, etc…
- Cut the front and back boards into desired shapes (a circle, a syringe, a pancreas, etc..).
- Decorate your front and back boards. Use the photos below to inspire you, or use your own diabetes supplies!
- Cut two narrow slits at the top of your boards. The slits should be about the width of your duct tape. They should be spaced far enough apart to let your head pass through, but not so far apart that the whole thing falls off your shoulders.
- Fashion shoulder straps out of duct tape. Cut off 2 strips of duct tape about 20-24 inches long (depending on your height) and lay them on top of each other, sticky side together. You can strengthen the strap by adding another strip or two. Repeat the process so you end up with two shoulder straps.
- Connect the front and back boards by threading the duct tape shoulder straps through the slits. Secure with more duct tape.
- Wear your costume with pride on Halloween night!