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5 Incredible DIY Halloween Costume Ideas for Anyone on a Budget

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Can you smell the pumpkin spice? Colorful leaves, cooler weather, and Halloween is right around the corner.

But before you head to the nearest brick-and-mortar or online store to splurge on premade costumes, check out these DIY costume ideas that are much more budget-friendly.

1. Thrift store zombie 

Zombies are the perfect post-apocalyptic monster, and a DIY costume allows for a wide range of interpretations. Head to a thrift store, or the back of your closet, for some clothes you don’t mind tearing up or getting dirty. 

Don’t feel like you have to resort to an unattractive outfit. You can upcycle used prom dresses, last year’s Halloween costume, or even some comfy PJs. Just add some dark makeup, a little fake blood, or ketchup, and head out as a zombie version of anything you like.

2. Gadget Ghostbuster 

If you have some brown or gray clothes and a black backpack a Ghostbuster is the DIY Halloween costume for you. 

Assemble the outfit and tape or paper clip a printed Ghostbuster logo to your backpack. Then collect some gadgets from around the house, like a manual egg beater or light-up parade toy, to use as your ghost-hunting tools.

You’ll certainly get bonus points for blasting the theme song and getting others singing along.

3. Stuffed animal veterinarian 

This costume is a wonderful DIY Halloween costume idea for kids. All you need is a stethoscope, a real or toy, and some stuffed animals. Using safety pins or a needle and thread, attach your kid’s choice of stuffed animals to a shirt and pants. Done!

For a playful twist or more adult adaptation, use a similar method but add an umbrella to be “Raining Cats and Dogs,” or wear a robe and hair curlers to turn into a “Crazy Cat Lady.”

4. Work-from-home employee 

For a timely and humorous costume, dress up as a work-from-home employee. The keys to this DIY Halloween Costume are a contradictory top and bottom half, the more absurd the better. 

Do your hair or makeup, put on a fancy top, and add jewelry or a tie. Complement it all with some slippers and plaid PJ bottoms or boxer shorts on your bottom half. A mug of coffee and laptop are optional accessories.

5. Barbie or Ken doll 

This final DIY Halloween costume idea works great with a family or large group. Cut out the bottom off of a large cardboard box, and cut a window into one of its sides. To turn into a doll, you’ll wear a costume of your choice and travel inside the box.

The incredible part of this costume is you can be as glamorous, funny, sporty, political, or ironic as you want, as you dress up as the Barbie or Ken doll featured inside your box.

Hopefully, these DIY, budget-friendly ideas help you make the most of Trick-or-Treat or a Halloween party. Enjoy being someone else for a night and having a little fun.

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