Time is running out to prepare for Halloween. Too late to get an over-priced store-bought costume, since the one you want is sold out. What to do? Get creative and make your own with what you have in the closet, borrow from Grammie, or pick up at a vintage or thrift shop. Then you can use the money you saved for candy you’ll be giving to trick-or-treaters, or to buy a discount ticket to one of the Halloween parties for grown-ups in NYC.
Here is the third and final batch of our idea list of 90+ free and easy DIY Halloween costumes that just take a bit of creativity.
58. Too Busy To Make a Costume Costume
Supplies: Halloween-themed T-shirt from discount store such as Target and Walmart. Wear the shirt. It speaks for itself, although you can also say that you are a sexy person who is too busy to make a costume. Save it for future years. If you feel the need, add a name tag that says “This is my Halloween costume.”
59. Gift box or Christmas gift (suggested for a young girl)
Supplies: A medium-size cardboard box, any brightly colored gift or Christmas wrapping paper, tape and ribbon. Tights and leotard in a coordinating color. Instructions: Cut the top off of a medium-size cardboard box. Cut a head-size hole in the other end, and arm holes on each side. Check the fit and make sure the trick-or-treater can walk comfortably and the box covers her torso. Gift-wrap the box with paper and ribbon, punching through the head and arm holes and securing all paper edges with tape. Wear the leotard and tights and put the box on top. Style hair in pigtails or add hair ribbon and a little blush on her cheeks.
60. Bag of Trash
Supplies: Large lawn-leaf bag, duct tape, crumpled newspaper, a few empty cereal or other food boxes, crumpled candy wrappers. Safety reflectors. Long underwear and a black plastic top hat. Face paint optional. Instructions: Cut arm and leg holes into the bag. Reinforce the holes with duct tape. Put on long underwear (dark is best), put on the bag and fill the empty spaces with crumpled newspaper and an empty box or two for show. Tie the top shut around the neck (not too tight) with either the bag’s drawstrings or more duct tape. Glue or stick candy wrappers onto the hat. Paint face if desired. Stick a couple of reflectors onto the trash bag for visibility.
61. Freudian slip
Supplies: Old slip, pieces of paper, pen. Instructions: Cut paper into strips. On each strip of paper, write a word or phrase associated with Sigmund Freud — for example, Id, Ego, Superego, Oedipus Complex, Oral Fixation, Repression, etc. Take the phrases to your slip, and you’re a Freudian slip. Wear thick glasses and smoke a fake cigar like Sigmund Freud.
Supplies: Glasses, a pad of super-sticky Post-It notes, black marker. Instructions: Write “Eye-Pad” on one of the Post-It notes, and stick it to one lens of your glasses. Wear.
63. Fresh Produce
Supplies: Two fresh produce boxes (or three, depending on how tall you are) from the grocery store (ask the store manager to give them to you); duct tape, green tights, long-sleeve green T-shirt, cabbage leaves, carrot tops, and any other produce you have at home. Instructions: Cut out a hole (big enough for you to fit through) in the middle of the three boxes. Stack them and duct-tape them together. Make duct-tape “suspenders” and attach them to the top box. Wear green tights and shirt; drape cabbage leaves over your head and glue a few carrot tops to the top box lid.
64. No, I Did Not Steal Your Pumpkin (maternity costume)
Supplies: Old T-shirt (either a couple sizes too big or a maternity style); fabric paint, preferably in orange. Instructions: Use fabric paint to write a message on the belly of the T-shirt: “No, I Did NOT Steal Your Pumpkin!” This costume can also be worn by those with large beer bellies.
65. Mad Chef
Supplies: Mixing bowl, flour, apron. Optional: chef’s hat, mixing spoon or whisk. Instructions: Don the apron, Place flour in the bowl and toss it all over yourself, making sure to get a sufficient amount in your hair and eyebrows as well as on the apron. You may leave any remaining flour and other baking utensils in the bowl for visual effect.
Supplies: Your regular clothes. Instructions: Explain to others that Halloween didn’t fall on a full moon.
Supplies: A Christmas sweater and drugstore shopping bags stuffed with gift wrap and bows. Instructions: Wear the Christmas sweater, carry the bags and tell people that you want to get ahead the game and focus on the next big holiday.
Supplies: Set of long underwear, matching paper for hat, stapler, string, iron-on black letters. Instructions: Iron the word “crayon” or “Crayola” sideways on your long underwear top or bottoms. Roll paper into cone shape and attach a chin strap using the string and stapler to wear as a hat. A lone crayon is a sad crayon. Get a few friends to join you wearing different colors.
69. Raining Cats and Dogs
Supplies: Rain jacket, rain boots, umbrella, black paper, scissors. Instructions: Wear raincoat and rain boots. Cut out silhouettes ofand (use linked stencils if you need help); tape to umbrella.
Supplies: Large cardboard box, white paint, black paper, scissors, glue or tape, black clothing. Instructions: Wear black pants and shirt. Paint a cardboard box white. Cut black circles out of construction paper. Attach to sides of box in dice formation. Cut holes for your arms and head. Go with a friend as a pair of dice.
71. Bag of Jellybeans
Supplies: Large, clear plastic bag; scissors, duct tape, curling ribbon, colored balloons. Instructions: Blow up lots of colored balloons. Cut holes in plastic bag for arms and legs and reinforce them with duct tape so they don’t split. Fill bag with balloons. Loosely tie the top of the bag at your neck using curling ribbon. Try not to sit down all night.
72. Pot of Flowers
Supplies: Large bucket (big enough to go around you), fake flowers, thin rope, scissors, tape. Optional: Store-bought fake butterflies or paper ones made at home. Instructions: Cut off bottom of bucket so you can wear it. Poke holes in the top of the bucket and attach rope to create makeshift straps to hold the bucket up on your shoulders. Pull the bucket up around your torso and attach straps. Add fake flowers to your hair and tape them to the inside of the bucket to create a garden. Fake butterflies make a great bonus accessory.
73. Floor Lamp
Supplies: Black clothing, electric cord, lampshade. Instructions: Dress in black. Put the lampshade on your head. Tie the electrical cord around your waist and let it hang down.
74. Cereal Killer
Supplies: Mini or regular-size cereal boxes, black clothing, red paint, fake knives (store-bought or made at home with cardboard and silver paint), tape or string to attach boxes to clothing. Instructions: Wear black clothing. Splash red paint on cereal boxes, and stab fake knives into boxes. Tape boxes to you or string them around your neck and scare people away from breakfast. As Tony the Tiger would say, this costume is Grrreat!
75. Playing Card
Supplies: Large pieces of poster board, red or black ribbons, red or black construction paper. Instructions: Cut construction paper into hearts, diamonds, clubs or spades and numbers to replicate a card. Glue them onto to the “card” in the proper places. Make two cards that are alike. Cut holes in top upper corners of cards, lace ribbon through to allow “card” to be worn like a sandwich board sign.
76. Grocery Bag
Supplies: Brown craft paper or actual grocery bags, cardboard or a box large enough to go around body, brown ribbon, glue, empty food packages. Instructions: Cut top and bottom off of box, and cut armholes on the sides. Wrap paper around cardboard or box and cut top with pinking shears to simulate top of grocery bag. Cut holes in top corners of front and back of “bag,” loop ribbon through it to go over your shoulders (think sandwich board sign) to allow it to be worn. Glue empty food packages such as pasta bags, cereal boxes and tin cans around the top of “bag.” 77. Wind-Blown Guy Supplies: Armature wire, tape/hot glue gun, hairspray or hair sculpting product, undershirt, dress shirt, tie and umbrella (optional). Instructions: Look like you are standing in a wind tunnel … all night long. To give yourself the wind-blown look, attach wire inside the seam of your shirt and tie so it looks like the wind is blowing against you in one direction. Style your hair so it flows in that same direction. An inside-out umbrella completes the look. 78. #Hashtag Supplies: White shirt and thick marker. Instructions: Draw a huge # (hashtag) on the front and the back of your shirt. Speak in hashtags throughout the night: Hold up your hands, make two peace signs and then hit them together to make a the hashtag sign #. For inspiration, watch Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’son YouTube.
Supplies: Old cheerleader uniform or pleated skirt and team logo sweater or shirt; white socks, athletic shoes, glitter for your face, team ribbons, pompoms. Instructions: Wear your hair in a ponytail and don your uniform. Paint your school logo on your cheeks using glitter. To show extra school spirit, pin team ribbons to your sweater. Shake your pompoms as you yell, “Trick or treat!”
80. 12th Man / Super Fan
Supplies: All the clothing you own from your favorite college or pro sports team — hat, jersey, scarf, face paint, socks, shoe laces, etc. Optional: air horn, foam finger. Instructions: Wear insignia items from your favorite sports team. Carry a foam finger and sing your school song if you’re really a super fan. Blow the air horn at random intervals, and shout everything (true fans have no inside voices!).
81. Outdoor Enthusiast
Supplies: Equipment and clothing from your favorite sport or pastime, whether it be hiking, rock climbing or anything else. Instructions: Sport your gear and pair it with easy-to-carry accessories for a shop-free costume. Consider carrying along binoculars and a canteen.
82. Croquet Player
Supplies: White pants, shorts or skirt; sweater vest, socks, shoes, croquet mallet, iron, spray starch. Optional: straw hat, croquet ball. Instructions: Iron and starch clothes for maximum crispness. Put on outfit and carry croquet mallet (and ball, if you have one).
83. Baby Football (baby costume)
Supplies: Brown onesie, self-adhesive white felt. Instructions: This creative costume by Love Bug Living can also sub as a game day outfit for baby. Cut a one-inch wide strip of felt and attach it vertically down middle of the onesie. Cut five thinner short strips to lay across the vertical strip. Carry the baby like a football — but avoid actually using baby as a football.
84. Football Player
Supplies: Football jersey, pants, cleats (shoes), padding and helmet (with mouth guard attached), football. Optional: black grease paint, sports drink. Instructions: Wear the gear and carry the ball. Paint horizontal lines of grease paint below your eyes. Randomly raise your arms and shout, “I’m open!”
85. Basketball Player
Supplies: Basketball, long shorts, socks, your biggest and brightest athletic shoes, ball Optional: mouth guard. Instructions: Wear the gear. Don’t forget to dribble the ball as you walk.
86. Tennis Player
Supplies: Shorts or tennis skirt, polo-style shirt, socks, tennis shoes, tennis racket, tennis ball. Instructions: Wear outfit; carry racket and ball, and periodically bounce ball on top of racket.
87. Yoga Instructor
Supplies: Yoga pants, shirt, head band, ballet flats (if outdoors), yoga mat, yoga mat bag, towel. Instructions: Wear outfit and sling the towel around your shoulders. Pull your hair into a high ponytail. Put the yoga mat into the bag and carry it over one shoulder. If you’re going to remain inside, you can go barefoot or wear yoga socks.
Supplies: Bathrobe, knee-length athletic shorts, boxing gloves, towel, sneakers, black or red makeup. Instructions: Wear shorts, sneakers and bathrobe. Put a towel over your shoulder and use black makeup to give yourself a black eye. Put on your boxing gloves and hum the Rocky theme song.
89. Golf Pro
Supplies: Plaid pants, polo-style shirt, golf shoes (or saddle shoes), golf club. Optional: golf tees, score card, short pencil, golf cap or sun visor. Instructions: Dress in the golfer outfit. Stash golf tees or your score card and pencil in your shirt pocket. Adding a golf cap will add authenticity, as will carrying a golf club. If you’re borrowing one, we recommend you ask first and choose an iron, as some golfers tend to get prickly if you scratch one of their woods.
90. Bicycle Racer
Supplies: Bicycling pants or shorts, shirt, shoes and helmet. Optional: bike chain, map, tire pump, water bottle and energy bars. Instructions: Dress in cycling outfit and carry the bike chain, water bottle, map and tire pump. Hand out energy bars.
91. Baseball Player
Supplies: Baseball jersey, pants, socks, stirrups, cleats, mitt or glove, bat. Optional: green paint. Instructions: Wear uniform and carry mitt hanging off bat. Use green paint to mimic grass stains.
92. Soccer Player
Supplies: Soccer jersey, shorts, knee socks, and soccer ball. Optional: red paper or cardboard square. Instructions: wear the soccer uniform and carry the ball. Occasionally bounce the ball on your toe or kick it around. Hold up the red card and yell out penalties like “bad candy score!” “no throwing candy!” “no illegal stealing of candy!”
93. Band Member
Supplies: Band uniform, musical instrument (any type of horn, cymbals, or a marching drum), and hat. Any military uniform or bulky pants suit could substitute, with a military style hat – add a team logo, cords, or feather for effect. Instructions: wear the uniform and carry the instrument. Walk with a marching step in a straight line and occasionally do an about face and walk in the reverse direction before turning around again. At corners, turn sharply. Talk about John Philip Sousa, sing Stars and Stripes Forever, clang the cymbals or bang the drum and yell “Go Team”!”.
Supplies (girl): Old cheerleader uniform or pleated skirt and team logo sweater or shirt; panty hose (with or without short socks), athletic shoes, regular makeup, and a baton. Instructions: Wear the uniform, put your hair in a ponytail, do fairly strong makeup with rouge and bright red lipstick and put a big, big smile on your face. Hold up your boaton (or toss it high in the sky if you can pull it off) and yell, “Fight, fight, fight for your right to trick or treat.” Walk with a prance, glance from side to side, to show off your bright smile and team spirit.
Supplies: Black leotard or dress, black tights, black shoes, black eyeliner, pink lipstick, head band with black ears (store-bought or easily make your own using a plain head band and black ribbon using these instructions. Optional: Cat tail, either store-bought or made using one leg of a black stocking filled with crushed black paper) and attached with a safety pin. Instructions: Buy or make your cat-ear head band (and tail, if you want one). Paint your nose pink with lipstick. Draw whiskers on your face coming from your nose. Wear the black leotard or dress and black tights, and if you’re wearing a tail, have someone help you pin it in the right location. Randomly “Meow” and paw at things during the evening.
Supplies: Black tights, leggings, or sweatpants; black long-sleeve top or leotard, two pairs of black tights, pillow stuffing or two pool noodles cut into two pieces each, black thread, black stocking cap. Instructions: Cut top of tights so you have four tubes that are closed on one end and open on the other. Stuff with stuffing or noodles. Hand-stitch them closed and sew two onto either side of shirt under the sleeves. Use long pieces of thread to stitch fake legs to each other to give them extra support and help them to move when you move your arms.
Supplies: Black clothes, black felt, hot glue, black stocking cap. Instructions: Cut felt in the shape of bat wings (try out). Using hot glue gun, glue wings to bottom of sleeves and side of top. Cut 2 triangles out of remaining felt and hot glue to top of hat.
Thanks to sister site Living on the Cheap for creating this list of DYI Halloween costumes.