Halloween on a budget: Border crossers highway sign

Border Crossing costume

Since stores have been selling Halloween candy, decorations and costumes for a few weeks now, I figured it was time to bring back the Halloween on a budget series. I usually start this in October, but more time to get things together and make your costume can’t hurt, right?

First up: highway border crossers sign.

If you’ve driven on any of the freeways north of the California/Mexico border, you’ve noticed the sign. I was a kid when I first saw it on a trip to Tijuana to visit the grandparents. Not long after I saw the sign, I saw a small group of immigrants running across the freeway. Later, I remember my aunt talking about an accident. In suggesting this as a costume, I don’t mean to make light of the struggle of those who cross the border on foot or those who have lost their lives in the process.

For this costume, you can go with the original sign, a silhouette of a man, woman and little girl rushing across the freeway or make a sociopolitical statement about manifest destiny with the image re-imagined by a Chicano artist of a pilgrim family running across the freeway.

How to do it:

  1. Buy bright yellow poster board and black butcher paper or poster board
  2. Buy letter stickers or make your own spelling CAUTION
  3. If needed, cut poster board in rectangular shape
  4. Draw your silhouette on the black paper or poster board and cut out with an x-acto knife or scissors. Glue/tape with your choice of adhesive.
  5. Make a border for the sign with leftover black paper or black tape.
  6. Cut out holes over the faces of the father, mother and child
  7. Wear all-black and go trick-or-treating and be ready to defend yourself if someone starts talking smack about immigrants

If you have a group of three people, you can do this with just a yellow poster board with CAUTION and a black border around the sign. Your group, dressed all in black, can pose in front of it and make it somewhat of a performance art piece/costume.


5 thoughts on “Halloween on a budget: Border crossers highway sign

  1. Hey there -- just my two cents. says:

    Eh… Not sure how I feel about this costume or your promotion of it honestly. I guess I get the “joke” but it’s not really funny for me. 😐

  2. Sara,
    I LOVE Halloween and have fun doing this every year, well at least the years when I don’t get lazy.

    Yeah, some homemade costumes aren’t too cheap when it comes down to it. I’ll post a costume I wore in ’09 that my mom helped a lot with. She complained that she thought she was done with that stuff when we stopped being kids.

    Two cents,
    I know what you mean and I debated posting this. I know it’s definitely on the fence (no pun intended), between amusing and offensive. I think the intentions of the wearer and the wearer him/herself definitely come in to play.

  3. Pingback: Mexican pop culture costumes | Lotería Chicana

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