Inexpensive Halloween Costume Ideas

Let’s face it – no one wants to buy an expensive Halloween costume they’ll only wear once. Sure, it might be easier to quickly put one together on the day of – but all those costume pieces can really add up. Plus, store-bought costumes can sometimes be of lesser quality and expensive at the same time. If you’re looking for cheap Halloween costume ideas for you and your family, we’re here to help. Here are some budget-friendly tips to get you inspired.

Consider a DIY costume

Put those artistic skills to good use by making your own costume this year! There are many ideas out there that you can work off of, no matter your skill level. While making a costume from scratch is a bigger time commitment, you’ll be extra proud of your finished product. Here are some themes to get you started.

  • Bag of ice costume: Use plastic bags to create the look of a bag of ice and make it into a family-friendly “ice ice baby” costume.
  • Butterfly costume: Whether you choose to create wings with fabric or by painting cardboard cutouts, you can certainly generate something unique.
  • Operation board game costume: Use felt fabric to create shapes inspired by the board game and then glue them to the costume.
  • Bat costume: Cut a black umbrella in half and use it as wings. Make sure to wear all black and add in ears as well.
  • Spooky ghost: Use white sheets and cut out eyeholes, or use white makeup and gauze to make yourself look extra eerie.
  • Mummy costume: Wrap yourself from head to toe in toilet paper and bandages to achieve this look.
  • Bob Ross and Happy Little Tree: You might have to buy some art supplies for this one, but the rest of this couple’s costume is pretty simple to put together.

Work with what you have

Sometimes the inspiration comes directly from your closet. Chances are, with a little creativity, you can put together a costume based on what you already have. Use some of these ideas for encouragement or take an inventory of your closet and see what you can come up with.

  • Lumberjack costume: If your closet is stocked with flannels, this look will be easy for you to achieve.
  • Hippie costume: Got some 70’s inspired clothes in your wardrobe? Create a hippie-inspired costume and add in some temporary butterfly or flower tattoos.
  • Nerd or gamer: Go the traditional route with glasses and suspenders, or dress up like a gamer with headphones and a game controller.
  • ‘Men in Black’ costume: You’ll need a black suit and sunglasses to look like you’re walking out of the popular Will Smith movie.
  • Bread winner costume: Got a few loaves of bread around and some old trophies or medals? Together they can make a truly ‘punny’ costume.
  • Brawny man costume: All you’ll need is a fresh roll of paper towels, a red flannel, and jeans!

Rely on costume makeup

Not all costumes need accessories to make a statement. Sometimes it’s the makeup that brings a costume to life. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a professional makeup artist to achieve some of these looks. You can make it as simple or as detailed as you’d like!

These looks can be easily achieved with a bit of makeup:

  • Any animal costume (cat, dog, mouse, deer, etc.)
  • A skeleton costume
  • Pop art character
  • Zombie costume
  • Alien costume
  • A (haunted) doll

No matter what you decide to wear or how you’re celebrating, we hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween! Want more budget-friendly tips? Subscribe to First Financial’s monthly newsletter for all the latest financial resources and advice.

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