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No-Fuss Halloween Costumes

Creative Halloween costumes that are cheap and easy to make

Oct 03, 2018

Whether you're lazy, putting together a last-minute costume, don't have a lot of money to spend, or want to go for a creative, minimalist look, we have put together a list of Halloween costumes you're going to love!

The mistake everyone makes when putting together a last-minute costume is to shop your closet. Yeah, any guy can pull out a dark suit and sunglasses and go as an FBI agent, and any girl can wear a pair of oversized glasses and a pair of suspenders and call herself a nerd. But we're going for creativity here. Even better? Shop your brain. Here are some categories to get you started, or scroll to the end for some lazy blueprints for clever costumes that take less than 10 minutes and to make for free.

Just desserts

When in doubt, go as food. Especially dessert. Those sprinkle-topped, brightly-colored confections are just begging to be turned into adorably tasty costumes. But don't go off half-baked - you'll need to go all-in or risk looking as though you just like wearing bright colors and polka dots.

Popcorn and jelly belly costumesSweet or salty? You decide which tasty treat you'd like to dress up as this HalloweenCourtesy of Studio DIY

TV Tropes

Your favorite TV characters aren't only really easy to pull together as a costume, they're also easily recognizable. They are caricatures after all. Disney characters, Superheroes, characters from books, movies, and video games as well as popular celebrities all have a signature look that is easy to re-create.

simple disney costumesDisney characters are just people in recognizable costumes.Courtesy of Merrick's Art

Get Punny

Everyone appreciates a good pun, especially when it’s well done with a simple costume. Punny costumes basically combine two things to form something different. A cut-out of an egg on your shirt with devil ears becomes a "deviled egg". Dress as a seal and carry a stamp that says "Approved" and you're a "seal of approval". Think up your own costume based on common expressions like: head in the clouds, chip on your shoulder, candy wrapper (rapper), smarty pants, fancy pants… can you think of any others?

  • Party animal: Any animal costume will do, whether you’re wearing bunny ears or cat ears and a tail, or you've got a full fuzzy uni suit. Just add a party blower and hat or any leftover birthday party supplies.
  • Formal apology: Dress your best, then add a name tag that simply says "I'm sorry".
  • Ceiling fan: Carry a sign that says "Hooray for ceilings!". Extra points if you also carry a foam finger that says #1 on it.

punny costume ceiling fan and chip on your shoulderPunny costumes may be easy to make, but it's pretty challenging to come up with a good one that hasn't been done before.Courtesy of Duel Design Shop and Sameel Vasta via Flickr

Just one thing

Some costumes are so simply elegant that they only need one thing to make a statement.

  • Attach a gigantic spider to your back by your shoulder and people will be so surprised, they will forget you're actually not even wearing a costume.
  • Put an angel on your right shoulder and a devil on your left shoulder. Every time you’re about to make a decision, consult one or the other.
  • Wear a name tag with someone else’s name on it. When someone asks you about your costume, tell them you’re going as that person. Hey, if it’s good enough for Jim from the office, it’s good enough for you!
  • Or wear lots of name tags with different names on them and go as an identity thief.
  • Attach a sock or two to your shirt using safety pins. Go as static cling from the dryer.
  • Wear beige pants and a beige shirt and attach a stuffed animal like a parrot or sloth to your shoulder and go as someone who works in animal conservation.
  • Wearing all black comes naturally to many people. But add some light face makeup and a dribble of fake blood by the mouth and you turn into a batty creature of the night.

Shop your closet if you must

  • Be a tourist with a loud print shirt, big hat, and camera around your neck.
  • Find a stained shirt from the back of your closet (hopefully not the front!) and give it a new life as a painter's smock. Splash some acrylic paint across it and let it dry, then carry a paintbrush. Voila, you're a painter.
  • Anyone can be a golfer if you have khaki pants and a collared shirt. Extra points if you have a visor and one fingerless glove.
  • Mario and Luigi wear a red and green shirt under denim overalls and wear a cap to match their shirts. Add a fake mustache using eyeliner for a no-fuss costume that won’t feel like you're wearing a costume.
  • Jeans and a denim shirt, topped with a red and white polka-dot headband can turn a modern girl into Rosie the Riveter in the "We Can Do It" poster from WWII.
  • A yellow dress or a long yellow shirt with brown pants makes a great base for a minimalist pineapple. All you need is some green felt cut to look like a spiky pineapple top. Attach it to a headband or baseball cap and poof, you’re a pineapple!

Pineapple, Mario, and LuigiA plain shirt is a blank canvas for a great, simple costume. The possibilities are limited only by your own imaginationCourtesy of Prudent Penny Pincher

Lazy 10-minute Costumes

As promised, here are ideas for the laziest costumes you can make and still have them count as actually wearing a costume.

  • Write on the back of a cardboard pizza box: "This is my costume", punch holes in the top two corners, put a cord through it, and wear it around your neck.
  • With the same amount of effort, you can invite some friends who also don't have a costume to join you as Scrabble letters. Using that same pizza box, cut out squares, write one letter on each and pin them to your shirt or hang them around your neck. If you’re really clever, you can continually rearrange yourselves throughout the night as anagrams. (STOP, POTS, POST, TOPS, OPTS--the possibilities are out there.)
  • A green, brown, or black catsuit or pants and a shirt of the same colors form a perfect backdrop for a bunch of grapes. Pick up a pack of green, red, or purple balloons, blow them up, and attach the tabs at the end to your clothes using safety pins. Then beware of partygoers with sharp objects as part of their costumes.

Have your say

What are you going as this Halloween? Share your costume ideas in the comments section below.