Sometimes Halloween creeps up and surprises you. When this happens, you may not have loads of time or money to rent a suitable costume for a fun holiday gathering. That doesn’t have to be a scary situation if you use your head. Here are some do-it-yourself Halloween costume ideas for that last-minute party.
1. A Piece of Notebook Paper
For those who like to take the easy approach, this DIY costume idea can be executed in a few minutes. Find a white shirt of any kind. It can be a T-shirt, a work shirt, or a sweatshirt. Take a drinking glass, place it on a piece of black construction paper and trace three large circles around the rim. Cut out these circles and either tape or pin them in a vertical line down the right side of the front of your shirt. Voila, you are a piece of notebook paper!
2. A Lost Waldo
This idea may take some shopping time, but it can be well worth the effort. Waldo is known for his red and white stripes, so go to a thrift store and look for a sweater with a similar print. Also look for a knit cap that is red and white. Once you find the cap, pin a small pom pom on the top of it. Grab some cheap black-rimmed glasses to complete this look, and ask your friends to find you in the crowd.
3. Ghost-busting Scientist
This familiar outfit will take the cake at any Halloween party. A full-body jumpsuit is needed for this, so shop around at thrift stores or ask a friend who is a mechanic or warehouse worker if you can borrow their old work clothes for an evening. Doctor a normal backpack to look like a ghost-busting machine by using a cardboard box. Place the box inside the backpack to give it a cube shape, attach a vacuum hose through one of the zippered pockets, and you will be ready to zap the spirits all night long.
4. Ruler of the Night Vampire
For those who love horror and camp, a vampire costume could be just the ticket. As a lady vampire you will need a long black dress that is form fitting, a wig of long and teased black hair, long nails painted blood-red and some red lipstick. If you are a guy, transform a dark sheet into a cape and wear a dress shirt for a formal look. Don’t forget the plastic fangs that can be found at a toy store or dollar shop nearby. If you really want to get festive, use some face paint to draw drops of blood on your chin.
5. Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol
Take it back to the 1960s with this fabulous duo. Great for two people who want to show up at a party together, these costumes will give some retro flair to any gathering. Pop artist Andy Warhol and “it” girl Edie Sedgwick often dressed alike. To recreate their look, try getting a platinum blonde wig for each, and matching black and white striped shirts. For Edie’s costume, don some black tights and big earrings. Andy’s trousers should be straight-legged and blue or black. Sunglasses work for both costumes for the ultimate cool factor.
6. Peas On Earth
If you have a party partner who wants to dress up with you, try this clever idea. One of you can wear a sweater with small “peas” attached to it with pins. The peas can be small craft spheres painted green, or pieces of green tissue paper crumpled into balls. If you are feeling ambitious, they could also be made of papier-mâché and shaded to look like real peas. The “earth” half of your duo can decorate a sweater with a picture of the globe, or they can wear a large piece of cardboard that features a global map. When others take photos, be sure to stand close together so people can see what “peas on earth” looks like!
7. Floor of a Movie Theater
A simple but striking costume idea, the floor of a movie theater will no doubt be enjoyed by everyone who sees it. Shop the thrift stores for a shirt that has a gaudy print. After that, buy some candy boxes and candy bars. Eat the candy, but keep the wrappers. Tape or pin the boxes and wrappers onto the front of your shirt. The dirtier the trash, the more fun the costume.
8. Cat Woman
Everyone wants to be a superhero, and this costume is always popular. Order a black leotard that stretches from head to toe. Black satin gloves are great for covering the hands, and for the full effect you can glue on sharp fingernails that are painted black. On your head you can wear a headband with cat ears on it, and on your face you may draw some kitty whiskers. You’ll be the cat’s meow of the party.
9. Special Unicorn
Another animal favorite, a unicorn costume can be as silly or as serious as you want. Get some white paper plates and roll one into a cone shape. Attach a rubber band to it and arrange it on your head so your “horn” is jutting out from your forehead. For a sillier costume, keep the rest of your outfit casual. However, if you want to be horsing around with the best of them, you can get opera-length white gloves, paint the hands brown like hooves, and attach a tail to your waistband.
10. Smart Cookie
Another costume pun, this one will get everyone talking. There are a few options for this outfit. If you have a graduation gown handy, wear that and glue real cookies onto the front. You could also draw cookies, cut them out and tape them onto your clothes. If you do not have access to a graduation gown, try putting on your smart-guy glasses and donning a sweater vest with a dress shirt. The message will come through!