50 Cheap & Easy Halloween Costume Ideas

halloween party costumesIt’s that time AGAIN?! Don't let planning your child's next Halloween costume become a burden. This year, go cheap and easy!

Costumes from the Closet
1. Crayons. Find colored long underwear (or dye it). Add a paper colored cone hat to match. Iron on the word “crayon” sideways on the front. Join with a few friends to have several colors.
2. Ghost with flair. Use the usual white sheet, with eyes and nose and mouth cut out, but add eye lashes, eye shadow, blush on the cheeks, some lipstick, earrings, necklace. If it’s a male ghost, add a beard or a mustache.
3. Scarecrow. Wear an over-sized flannel shirt, faded blue jeans with patches, rope for belt and to tie at the cuffs of jeans and sleeves, stuff clothes with plastic grocery bags or newspaper, and add a bit of straw hanging out of jeans and shirt.
4. Candyland. Wear a cute dress in the Candyland game theme colors (pastel pink and green). Attach lollipops, candy canes, gum drops, licorice to your clothes and shoes. Wear bright colorful make-up, hair and accessories.
5. Unicorn. Purple sweatpants and hoodie top (or any other pastel color). Make a horn out of colored paper to match and attach it to the hoodie. Wear colored gloves to match the costume.
6. Dwarf. Wear dark pants, long sleeved top, boots, long white beard, and make a cone hat out of paper or felt.

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7. Boxer. Basketball shorts, dad’s bathrobe, boxing gloves (or winter mittens stuffed with paper), a towel over the shoulder, sneakers, and makeup for a black eye.
8. 80’s rocker. T-shirt, jeans, toy guitar, long wig.
9. Raining cats & dogs. Wear a raincoat and rain boots. Take a clear or plain colored umbrella and cut out silhouettes of cats and dogs and glue to umbrella.
10. Hero. Ask your child who her hero is--athlete, actress, singer--and use clothing already on hand to come up with a costume.

Box Costumes
11. Christmas present. Take a big box, make holes for arms, legs and head. wrap it in Christmas paper, add bows.
12. Dice. Take a big box, paint it white, add black circles. Do it with a friend and go as a pair of dice.
13. Rubics cube. Take a big box, paint colored squares.
14. Jack-in-the-box. Paint the box in bright colors, than wear a matching top and hat. Clown make-up will add that little extra.
15. Robot. Cover box in foil, then use have fun decorating.
16. Toy chest. Wear a box at the waist and have some other dolls and toys attached so it looks like there are toys coming out of the chest.
17. Sponge Bob. Paint box yellow and decorate to look like a sponge. Cut out holes for arms, legs and head.
18. Lego. Use glossy spray paint and round boxes glued onto the big box, holes for hands, legs and head. Wear clothes that match the color of the lego block.
19. iPod. Paint box any color, cut out or draw the MAC apple and the ipod control button.
20. Favorite Book. Cut opening for arms, legs, head. Tape rest of box shut. Decorate as your favorite book.

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Balloon Costumes
21. Bag of jellybeans. Wear a clear plastic garbage bad stuffed with colored balloons.
22. Bubble bath. Wear white balloons around your waist, with a bathing suit underneath, a towel over your shoulder, a scrubbing brush, slippers, etc.
23. Bunch of grapes. Dress in purple balloons.
24. Gumball machine. Paint a box red for the lower part; fill a clear plastic bag with colored small balloons and wear it on top.

Costumes with Prom Dresses
25. Miss Piggy. Blond wig, make a big nose, lots of bling.
26. Prom Queen. Make a crown out of tin foil.
27. Cinderella or any other Disney princess.
28. Bride.
29. Angel. Make wings from cardboard or netted material stretched over wire-shaped wings.

Odds ‘n Ends Costumes
30. Tornado. Wear an over-sized black shirt over pillows, wrap your child in black material, felt for a hat, black gloves.
31. Tree. Make a trunk out of brown material or paper bags. Cut off branches from trees in your yard and stick them out of a headband or hat. 
32. Fruit. Pick one. Apple, orange, tomato, pumpkin. Wear that color in clothing and stuff clothes with paper or material.
33. Sandwich. Take cardboard, paint it white and attach it to front and back of your child. Have him dress in whatever color food he wants in his sandwich.
34. Spider. Wear all black, adding spider legs out of extra thick chenille pipe cleaners attached to the costume.

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35. Ceiling Fan. I love this one. All you need is a shirt that says “Go Ceiling” with matching pom-poms.
36. Octopus. Choose any colorful large shirt and stuff it when it is on your child. Get 8 large colorful socks, stuff them and attach under the shirt, hanging down.
37. Artist. Big white t-shirt over a longer-sleeved shirt. Splash paint over the t-shirt, wear a black felt artist hat, carry a paintbrush and home-made pallet. The Evolution of Volunteer Organizing. Click to view Infographic
38. Jellyfish. Hang tentacles made of shimmering material from a clear plastic umbrella. Have your child dress in a silver ballerina costume or bathing suit.
39. Pot of flowers. Cut out the bottom of a large plastic bucket so your child can fit in it and pull it up to cover her torso. Stick a bunch of fake flowers in the pot around her and on her head.
40. UPS man or women. Wear all brown with a brown baseball cap, carry a box that says UPS on the side.
41. Biker. Combine a do-rag or bandana, temporary tattoos, black leather jacket or vest, t-shirt, sunglasses, black leather gloves, black boots or shoes, studded belt, chokers to get a great biker costume.
42. Christmas tree. Wear a green robe or nightgown, put wire around the bottom so it spreads out. Glue ornaments, tinsel to costume.
43. Frosty the Snowman. White clothes, small black top-hat, winter scarf, big black buttons down front of white clothes.
44. Old lady. Lumpy pillows in appropriate places, silver temporary hair dye, old glasses, cane.
45. Laundry basket. Cut out bottom of large laundry basket, use clothesline rope as suspenders, fill basket with laundry.
46. Oreo cookie. White clothes, 2 pieces of cardboard painted and decorated like the outer part of the oreo cookie. Wear like a sandwich sign.
47. Dr. Pepper. Use safety pins to pin fake peppers all over a white lab coat.
48. Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head. Cut holes in large brown garbage or burlap bags, make eyes, nose and mouth out of felt or construction paper. Wear bag stuffed with pillows.
49. Skunk. Black hooded sweatsuit, white fake fur glued to a black felt tail.
50. Mom or Dad going to work. Girl wear adult-looking clothes, hair in a bun, boys wear a tie, dress clothes. Both carry a brief case and hold a “cell phone”.

When preparing for Halloween this year, make it your goal to spend less money, recycle clothes and materials, and have fun with your kids by being creative together!


Janis Meredith writes Jbmthinks, a blog on sports parenting and youth sports. After being a coach's wife for 27 years and a sports parent for 17, she sees issues from both sides of the bench.