Halloween costumes that you can easily make yourself
Here’s your yearly reminder that whatever you wear on Halloween doesn’t have to be super expensive, especially if you really put your Halloween makeup skills to good use and opt for a super modern costume. (Insert a word of caution: If you’re one of those people who’s been planning your costume since last October and spent a ton of money to get the *perfect* scary day look, just know that I appreciate you. Also, I’ I’m not that kind of person at all — I coordinate most of my costumes daily.) If you’re still trying to come up with your own costume before Halloween rolls around, there are so many clever, fun, and just plain brilliant ideas out there. out there that don’t require a ton of work…or, more importantly, money. You can create clothes with your own hands, be a savvy shopper for great deals or just get creative with the clothes you already have in your closet.
We’ve got some stylish costumes if you’re looking for some fresh energy (dare someone dress up like a modern day Carrie Bradshaw in a nightgown), but we’ve also got classic fairy and skeleton costumes. As long as you have cosmetics, basic crafting supplies, and a little extra time (okay, maybe ~a lot~ of time in some cases), you can totally pull off these Halloween costumes. If you’re looking to commit but still save some serious cash, these ideas are proof that it’s easy to pull off an impressive look on your own or even with a group of friends as a group outfit. Ahead are inexpensive Halloween costume ideas to get you in the spirit.
There are some early shots of the season, but if you want to wear a swimsuit that’s recognizable and just that, pick something from the season. You could still rock a tulle skirt to replicate Carrie’s OG Sex and The City look, but the sequel’s funniest moment can come together in an instant: blue cardigan, long plaid dress, rubber gloves, and a handkerchief around her face. You probably already have big sunglasses, tbh.
If you want a floral print dress and point collar shirt to look exactly like Jenna Ortega here, go for it, but TBH, you’ll look just as good in a black wig you can braid, an all black dress, patent leather shoes, and a big ol frown.
Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes
You can always paint your lips with the red black lipstick that Holmes was famous for. But if you want to go for a more subtle reference, pick one of the first varsity dresses Amanda sports in The Dropout idea (hello, rusty sweater and striped oxfords!).
The classic, played by Winona Ryder, provides plenty of fashion inspiration in the form of blazers and plaid jackets. You can easily recreate a high school clique movie with items you already own or cheap thrift store finds. She pairs the jacket and skirt with stockings and knee high heels and you too can be a heather for the night. (Or—scroll through this gallery—you can play Veronica in her final, well, less refined form.)
It’s more about shimmery makeup than OTT, but a statement outfit helps bring it all together. You’ll look like you’re straight from the hit HBO show—bonus points if you pick the edgiest season inspiration (I mean, any Cassie outfit is instantly iconic).
Pokémon’s Ash Ketchum
If you’re the crafty type, you can create your own version of Ash’s signature outfit in no time. Grab a pair of denim shorts, a red trucker hat, a green backpack, and of course a stuffed Pokémon. If you have a pair of green socks, cut off the toes to turn them into gloves and dye/sew the front panels of a plain white short sleeve shirt to make a shirt.
You know those old prom costumes you’ve been hiding in your closet, or maybe that little prom dress? Wear one and call yourself a fairy. Add wings and faux pointy ears or a headpiece to complete the look.
Ariel from The Little Mermaid
For the perfect mermaid look, she pairs a sequined green skirt with a bandeau top and a long red wig. If you want to go all nine yards, you can also purchase a purple bra and glue seashells on it for the full Ariel effect. Check out the Disney live action trailer for all the info you need.
This costume may only consist of a pair of boxers and a cape, but anyone who has been a Captain Underpants fan would have figured it out right away. Don’t have a red cape? Use a red blanket or towel instead.
If you don’t have a knee-length dress, all tweed will look perfect for an Anna Wintour costume. Oversized sunglasses and a statement necklace are perfect accessories, but a short bob wig really completes the look.
Sandy from Grease
An all-black cut with red pumps and lipstick makes this suit feel so casual (and a perfect homage to the late Olivia Newton-John). But she curls her hair and does not forget, of course, a leather jacket.
She wears all black (even put on lipstick) to show off this costume. Fashion jewelry, fishnet tights and thick eyeliner are essential.
Cottagecore has been trending for a few years now, so all you need is a tufted or prairie dress that you already have in your closet. Add a straw hat and lace-up shoes and you’ll look like you could write a novel. Also works as a fun group costume!
red Riding Hood
Instead, he dons all red leather and dons a cape to look like he’s straight out of that classic fairy tale. Grandma’s picnic basket helps close the deal.
Pamela Anderson in the movie Barbed Wire
Kendall Jenner wore this leather corset like Pamela Anderson in the movie Barbed Wire, and you can also recreate the costume from the movie with the corset, fishnet tights and gloves. (And a temporary barbed wire tattoo.)
Beyoncé in the “Single Ladies” video.
Yes, this music video is a throwback, but it’s so related! Grab a black leotard, ankle strap shoes and of course show off your dance moves.
Edna Mode in The Incredibles
Edna has so many iconic lines in the Incredibles films and her image is very easy to copy. The short black wig and big round glasses really sell it.
Bride of Chucky
A leather jacket, white dress and white wig are all you need to create this spooky costume. Dark makeup is probably a good idea too.
She wears red and white polka dots, mouse ears and yellow shoes to be a Disney character for Halloween. So simple!
Do you have denim overalls and a baseball cap? Large. You and your sister (or friend) can play Mary-Kate and Ashley from their youth. How cute!
She puts blue makeup on your face and wears a blue jacket to be that Willa Wonka and the chocolate factory character. Oh, and don’t forget the gum!
She paints freckles with eyeliner, wears a yellow raincoat and a blue wig (or uses temporary paint) to turn you into Coraline.
It’s mostly about makeup, but a sparkly (and revealing) ’90s-inspired dress also brings out the point. In the past, Cher’s signature style was long, straight hair with a center parting and Halsey’s over-the-top colorful eye makeup.
You don’t have to actually get married to dress like you’re going to your own wedding! Any white dress will do, and you can buy an inexpensive veil or tulle hot glued onto the headband to make your own. A small bouquet of flowers and something shiny on your ring finger will help you achieve what you want.
For an Elle Woods-inspired costume, you have a variety of iconic outfits to choose from: an all-pink ensemble, a sequined bathing suit, or a pink bunny suit. Pick one, or if you’re having more than one Halloween party, wear them all.
Despite what you might think, making a pair of wings is pretty easy. Cut out the desired shape from the cardboard box, then cover it with feathers and tie them with ribbon. After that, all you need is an all red outfit, red heart stickers, and a bow and arrow with a heart glued to the tip.
Bride of Frankenstein
If you already have long, dark hair, use temporary hair dye to paint a small streak of silver, or add some white hair extensions. She’s wearing a long white dress and boom. Bride of Frankenstein.
The most important part of Maleficent’s costume are the horns (okay, maybe even the cheekbones). If you have everything you need, you can pull together whatever black dress and accessories you have. Easiest way to make horns? Use wire to create the shape, wrap them in foam for thickness, then secure with shiny black tape. Then all you have to do is glue them to your headband.
With so many different versions of Barbie, you can transform yourself into a famous doll every year and never repeat an outfit. If you like classic pink Barbie, wear a pink bathing suit, shimmery nude tights, sheer heels, pink sunglasses and a rhinestone belt. Optional pink Lamborghini.
If you’ve got crazy makeup skills (and lots of black eyeliner) this is really all you need for a killer costume like this skeleton.
You will definitely feel comfortable in this set! Pajamas and a wrapped towel give the impression that you’re just getting ready for day, er, night.
The Wizard of Oz
As long as you’ve got a faux fur coat, silver dress, denim look, and red slippers, you can put together a pretty convincing Oz-inspired group outfit.
Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Pair your favorite sleeveless LBD with black heels and wrap a long string of pearls around a brooch. Complete the outfit with small purchases from the costume shop: a hat or tiara, a cigarette holder, and long black gloves.
Ashley Spinelli of Withdrawal
Support this energetic TV heroine in her signature yellow beanie, pigtails and leather jacket. Most likely, you already have these things, so she considers the costume problem solved.
Why go as one person when you can go for an entire decade? Taraji P. Henson looked like a beauty in flared jeans, oversized glasses, and a studded denim jacket.
She wears a mini (and super pink) mini, over-the-knee boots, and lifts that ponytail way high to turn you into a “thank you neighbor” singer.
A dramatic smoky eye, red lips and a long sleeve black dress with a slit make you a Mortic for the night. And if your S.O. wants in, all they need is a pinstripe suit and a pencil mustache done with eyeliner.
Flo by Progressives
One of the most iconic advertising characters of our time. He puts on an apron, pins, does a cat eye and red lips, and you’ll be the epitome of Flo.
She brings out your best black striped shirt, matching pants and silver chain. She then she purchases a black wig to complete your rock and roll look.
Put on ALL the sequins (hair, face, body), put on your energy crystals and put a unicorn horn on your head to be the most magical creature on Halloween.
Pebble and Bamm-Bamm
All you need are plain orange and bright green tees with zigzag cut-out hems. Then cut out triangles of different sizes from black felt and attach them with a glue gun. If you’re a Pebbles, add a white bow and matching leggings, or if you’re a Bamm-Bamm, cut one shoulder off the shirt and wear a black shirt and leggings underneath.
Buy cheap oversized tees in green, pink, and blue, and wrap or glue black fabric in between to channel sugar, spice, and whatever makes you feel good. Wear black leggings with simple black shoes and you will look your absolute best.
Plus-size tees are awesome again, but this time you can turn them into your favorite mini chocolates by painting a giant “M” on them. Put your hair in fun space buns using matching ribbons, put on some white Converse and you’ll be the cutest M&M you’ve ever seen.
The ghosts of Pac-Man
Buy cheap blue and white felt, draw pixelated eyes and cut them out. Hot glue them to a colorful shirt, put on some black leggings and you’ll be ready to face Pac-Man himself.
Aliens from Toy Story
Accessories required for this roomy costume include a purple long-sleeve swimsuit, matching tutu, neon green ankle socks, matching wig, puffy paint, and a headband. Put them all together and you have a great group costume.
Head to your local fabric store to stock up on tulle and sewing supplies. Fold the fabric and sew tightly to make the perfect bathroom ottoman. Wear a sheath dress or tank top with shorts underneath. And after showering before the party, don’t forget to bring your shampoo (and rubber duck) with you!
Rosie the Riveter
Even Queen Bey wore this classic (and cheap!) number. All you need to dress like a feminist icon is a red bandana, chambray shirt and s-style makeup. Oh, and toned biceps when you pose for your Instagram.
Lauren Conrad and team make this costume expensive (note the sparkle), but you can make it for free! She wears a dress, long or short, with a pair of animal ears like Conrad, or dressed up as an animal and wears a party hat over it. She goes both ways!
This costume requires a quick trip to the local fabric store to buy stuffing, pink or blue spray paint, and a hot glue gun. Grab some thick paper and tape, then follow this free guide.
Where is Waldo?
Either paint red stripes on an old t-shirt or buy an inexpensive red and white t-shirt from a local store. For a little more money, you can buy fake glasses and binoculars in a costume store, but why not paint them?