10/30/2013 05:47 EDT | Updated 12/30/2013 05:12 EST

Halloween costumes: 5 tips to make yours unique

Ben Krakowsky begins planning for Halloween on Nov. 1 — or the 2nd if he's partied too hard on Halloween.

"It's a year-round thing for me," he told On The Coast's Stephen Quinn. "I have Halloween stuff up in my house all the time."

Each year he spends weeks, even months, working on a great costume.

But if you don't have that much time and energy, here are Ben Krakowsky's tips to create a unique costume:

- Take two costume ideas and combine them. Be "Hipster Gandhi," he suggests.

- Go scary on a budget. You can do a lot with black fabric. Use a serrated knife and pull it across the fabric to make tears. Use it as a cape or to decorate a wall.

- eBay can be a great place to pick up specific things you need, but can't create for cheap.

- If you must go the route of store-bought, make it your own by improving the lousiest part of the costume.

- If your costume is a pop culture reference, do it better than anyone else who has the same idea. For example, be the best "Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball" at the party, he suggests. " I would design it so my real legs go through the wrecking ball structure and a pair of fake legs ride on top. I'd have a rigid chain that extends upwards, and practice the swinging motion." More simply, for some at least, if you're Mario from the Mario Brothers, grow a real moustache.

Ben Krakowsky stresses anyone can do anything they dream with their costume if they take the time. It's a process of trial and error.