So you love dressing up for Halloween, but the run of the mill costumes from Party City and the like just isn’t your style. Plus, buying full costumes can get really expensive. I personally haven’t purchased a costume in ages—it’s way more fun to make your own. So let’s explore some DIY Halloween costume ideas that could really make you stand out this Halloween and keep your wallet happy.
Adult DIY Halloween Costumes
Timeless and Recognizable
If you’re less interested in the niche DIY Halloween costume ideas, then let’s start off with some easily recognizable content. One of the easiest, cheapest and yet nice-looking costumes I’ve come across is the “Barbie in a box” costume. What’s nice about this costume is that all you need is an outfit and a cardboard box. You’ll want to paint and decorate the box in a way to mimic the boxes that Barbie’s come in, cutting out a portion to be viewed through. Then, you’ll dress up and walk around inside the box. You can get pretty creative with this and have fun styling yourself.
Another DIY Halloween costume that is easily constructed is a cupcake! You’ll need a small laundry basket, colored poster paper, ribbon, cotton fluff, little colored craft pom-poms, and an item that resembles a cherry to glue to a headband or hat. This costume can be put it together fairly quickly and last minute if you wait till the day of to put together your Halloween costume. For instructions on how to put this together, you can click on this link here, which is where I got the costume idea from.
Pop Culture DIY Halloween Costume Ideas
If you want to get a little more specific and represent some of your favorite TV shows, movies, or even online memes, then go for it! It’s pretty easy to replicate most of these. Even if you don’t look exactly the same, as long as you get the big indicators down then you’ll be fine. What I’ll do is provide one example of each just get your creative juices flowing.
The Internet, TV, and Movies
You can make a super cheap DIY Halloween costume if you decide to dress up as a meme. A meme is a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users. If you don’t know what a meme is, then you probably shouldn’t dress up as one. The simplest costume you can create from this is just one giant printed image with a spot cut out for your face. You can get a few really good laughs from others if you’re in the right crowd, and it’s a cheap project.
As for TV shows, just simply pick a character that you connect with or enjoy and find clothing that matches theirs. Take for example Dwight from The Office. All you need for Dwight is a yellow or blue button-down shirt, a tie similar to his, slacks, and glasses. The biggest difficulty with imitating any character is styling your hair and making sure your overall look parallels with that of the character. The important thing to remember is to pick simple-looking character designs with at least one unique identifying feature. That way you don’t have to be super gifted at costume-making but you’ll still be recognizable by other people.
The same goes with movie characters. I would suggest picking a Disney character or Marvel character, because most people will know what you’re doing and you can get creative. If you don’t know what Disney-bounding is, it’s essentially wearing normal clothes that reflect Disney character looks. If you do something like this, you could even possibly use clothes you already own and still accomplish a cute costume look. You can do this with just about any character, but making sure you pick someone other people will recognize is important if you actually want to accomplish a “costume”.
Children’s DIY Costume Ideas
If your child really enjoys riding his or her bike, then you can easily do an ET costume. Just buy your child a red hoodie and make sure their bike has a basket. Then, for ET, you can either buy a stuffed animal or make his face out of cardboard and wrap it in a blanket. This DIY Halloween costume idea is super easy and cheap, and just about anyone familiar with classic movies will recognize it.
Say you’re really crafty and an old hand at Joanne’s. If that’s the case, try doing something a little challenging, so long as your child is up for it. They can even help! You can make a really beautiful and fun sushi costume out of a lot of different materials. If you have multiple little ones, you can create a who array of sushi and sashimi—a nice colorful parade! What’s nice about costumes like these is that your kids can participate and make their own costume alongside you.
Toddlers and Younger
You can make a toddler costume into just about anything and it will come out cute. If your toddler still likes constantly sucking on a binkie, then try making a little scuba out fit for him or her. The binkie can be the “mouthpiece” for the scuba regulator, and you can make an air tank from an old two-liter soda bottle and some tin foil or paint. Then all you need is a black onesie and goggles. Again, this costume is very affordable and your child should handle this kind of costume well.
The same can be said if your child is still a little itty-bitty baby with this next costume. I think this idea is particularly cute. You can dress your baby up as Mario going down a green tube. You’ll use a front baby carrier and use green construction paper or felt and create a tube shell to sit over your baby’s body. Then, add a little mustache and a red hat, and voila! You can follow this link here. You can check out other similar ideas, including the one I just mentioned.
Halloween on a Budget
It’s not always easy to celebrate the holidays on a budget, but you can make it easier by educating yourself. You can check out this article on How to Keep Things Spooky This Halloween on a Budget, and refer to two of my previous article I wrote, Fun Halloween Kids’ Games and Crafts and DIY Halloween Decorations for In and Outside the House. There’s no sense in spending tons of money on Halloween supplies, so make sure you go thrift during this year’s spooky season!