Essential DIY Halloween Ideas for Last-Minute Costumes
Do you ever feel that Halloween creeps up on you or that you're never actually ready when the day arrives? Many of us put off planning a Halloween costume only to realize suddenly that Halloween is just days away. If this describes you, you'll be relieved to know that there are plenty of simple, do-it-yourself costumes that are perfect for last-minute prepping. Don’t get spooked by how simple these costumes are; they’re still totally cool, creative and creepy, too.
Wednesday Addams is one of the more beloved characters in the Addams Family, and her classic black frock makes for a popular getup on Halloween. Part of what makes her such an appealing choice is the simplicity of her outfit: a black long-sleeved dress with white collar, black shoes and socks, and two black braids.
Don't be intimidated by Wonder Woman's seemingly complex outfit. At first glance, there's a lot going on, but you can capture the primary-colored essence of Wonder Woman using minimal materials. With a red tank top and blue skirt or shorts, you're already halfway there.
Colored Pencil or Crayon
This costume idea is absolutely adorable on kids. Not only is it fun and straight-forward, but it can help keep them warm on a chilly fall evening. Have them pick their favorite color, and make it an art project the whole family can enjoy.
Just because this costume is especially cute on children doesn't mean you can't rock it as an adult. While ladybugs might not put the "creepy" in "creepy crawly," their charm — and this costume’s simplicity — more than make up for it. All you’ll need are a red-and-black outfit and small black pom-poms to attach to your clothes.
Ah, the classic Halloween costume: a cat. Chances are you've already been this fuzzy pet at some point in the past, but what's the harm in doing it again? Black eyeliner is the main ingredient — it’s necessary for drawing whiskers and a cat nose. Next, try to get your hands on a cat-ear headband.
With texting meeting most of our communication needs these days, dressing up as an emoji is a surefire way to share your feelings on Halloween. You also have a wide selection to choose from: heart-eyes, sunglasses, the emoji blowing a kiss. Whichever face you prefer, the steps to putting it together take just a few minutes.
There are few costumes more classic than the bandit on the run. To be a bandit, you'll need a horizontally striped black and white shirt and black pants. Grab a beanie, or any type of black hat, and paint your eyes raccoon black. Don't want to bother with the makeup? Then simply wear an eye mask.
The lumberjack costume requires totally minimal effort — well, depending on your wardrobe. If you're a fan of cozy, laid-back style or all things grunge, chances are you have these clothes in your closet already. Most important is the bright red plaid shirt, which will get you 80% of the way there.
Darling, it’s better down where it’s wetter — even on Halloween. Like the crayon costume, you’ll start with an all-black outfit (or an actual wetsuit if you have one). Raid the garage or your mudroom to find a pair of snorkeling goggles. For the oxygen tank, it’s time to get a little creative.
With the release of movies like It, clowns have put in the hard yards to earn their reputation for creepiness — but they can be whimsical, too. Although you'll probably need to purchase some items for this costume, it’s not too difficult to slap together. The recognizable rainbow afro is a go-to accessory you can find at any costume shop.
This iconic picture-book character really delivers on the nostalgia factor. If you have a white T-shirt that you don't mind painting, this might be the costume for you. With red marker or fabric paint, create the wide, horizontal stripes Waldo’s never spotted without. Draw a red stripe on a white beanie, and attach a pom-pom.
There may be no simpler costume than dressing as one of these delicious candies. The necessary items are — count them — a blank T-shirt and white tape. Yep, you only need two things to complete this look, and they’re probably already in your house.
You don’t have to sail the seven seas to find the components for this costume. A basic pirate getup consists of a long-sleeved white button-up and baggy black pants. On top of the shirt, you can wear a vest or trench coat. Wrap a brightly colored scarf around your waist as a belt, and slip on some tall boots.
If you're a lover of puns (or sweetened grains in milk), it doesn't get much better than the cereal killer costume. The best part is that you can go in your normal clothes — mostly. All you need are some empty cereal boxes, plastic knives and some red paint.
Like the pirate, a cowboy or cowgirl costume is easy and popular. If you've got some country running through your veins, you'll love this opportunity to dress up as a Wild West hero. With a cowboy hat, button-down shirt, vest, blue jeans and some cowboy boots, this outfit comes together fast.
Rosie the Riveter
For years women (and men) have been drawn to Rosie the Riveter's iconic look during Halloween. Sure, the message behind Rosie is a positive one, but the costume is pretty easy, too. And you have our permission to replace "Trick or treat" with "We can do it!" while you’re out on the town.
Shrek and Princess Fiona
Children and adults alike can't seem to get enough of Shrek and Princess Fiona. This is an especially good costume if you're looking for something to do with your spouse. Warning: you might want some green body paint for this one — lots of green body paint.
If you have a technology whiz for a son or daughter, consider dressing them up as a robot — or dressing yourself up. This costume is especially fitting for people who like a bit of an art project. With cardboard, glue and markers, you've got just about all you need to become a robot.
‘80s Workout Fiend
If you wanna get colorful (or physical a la Olivia Newton-John) for Halloween, go for the ‘80s look. It helps if you know your way around a hairdryer and makeup brush when you really want to accomplish this look, but with a leotard and calf warmers from a sporting goods store, you’re already halfway there.
Ah, the great bat debate: are they totally adorable, or totally creepy? Whatever your feelings are about these winged wonders, they make for an easy last-minute costume option — and one that’s not as hard to create as you might think. All you need are an all-black outfit and a black umbrella.
Glow-in-the-dark masks have capitalized on the popularity of The Purge, sure, but they’re appealing for a variety of other reasons. Perhaps it's due to the costume's simplicity or the fun of seeing yourself glowing at night. Although there are many ways to accomplish this look, the easiest is using a Halloween staple supply: store-bought glow-sticks.
This costume is easiest if you or your child has practiced ballet before; you might already have the frilly tutu and dainty ballet shoes. These aren’t items most people have lying around in their closets, though. If you do happen to have them or don't mind buying some, you’ll set yourself up with a pretty simple costume.
Skeletons are everywhere on Halloween — as decorations, on cookies and sometimes even propped in the yard to scare trick-or-treaters. This Halloween, why not become one yourself? All you need are black clothes and white fabric paint. It’s a breeze to outline the design and color it in.
Elliot and E.T.
There's nothing better than dressing up as characters from your favorite childhood movie. Elliot and E.T. make for a popular costume choice for people with small dogs — just wrap Fido in a blanket and call him an extraterrestrial. You can easily pull this one off even if you don’t have a furry friend, though.
There are many ways to make a jellyfish costume, but the simplest is by using an umbrella. Ideally, this umbrella is transparent, much like a jellyfish. You can stick lights and tissue paper up top to create its muscles, gut and eyes. Hang tentacle-esque lights and streamers off the edges of the umbrella, and you’re ready to go.
Let's be honest. Poison ivy by itself is terrifying. If you've ever gotten a rash, you know just how important it is to stay away from this plant. Coincidentally, Poison Ivy is also the name of a superhero, making it a fitting Halloween costume.
Makeup is what really makes this costume come together, so don’t worry too much about finding extra supplies. For clothes, you really only need brown pants and a brown shirt. For some extra flair, wear a headband and fashion antlers out of pipe cleaners. Top it with some ears or faux flowers to channel Mother Nature while you’re at it.
Child or adult, girl or boy — a unicorn costume is one that makes its wearer feel special. The most notable aspect of this costume is the single (and sparkly) unicorn horn; you can make this out of paper and attach it to a headband or hat.
Although it’s not the most diet-friendly choice, Cookie Monster is a great costume because it's easy, and it means you get to eat cookies. All you have to do is dress in blue from head to toe. Be sure you add a blue hood or hat that you can stick some googly eyes onto.