Skip to main content

DIY Halloween Costumes for the Young and Not-So-Young

Woman dressed as witch.

I am the queen – the crown wearing, useless knowledge having queen – of DIY-ing B-horror movie characters into Halloween costumes. If you can’t make it yourself, why bother? It’s much more fun to hobble together a costume than to go get that last minute “costume in a bag” of some “naughty” lady cop, or “sexy” snowman. (For real – that snowman one exists.)

So, how can you make your own Halloween costume without losing your mind, wasting precious time and spending oodles of precious cash? It’s not as difficult as you think. We’ve rounded up some (6 to be exact – 2 for the young and 4 for the mature) DIY Halloween costumes that are simple to pull off.

DIY Kids’ Halloween Costumes

If you’ve got a little one who is all about Halloween, try convincing him or her that making their own costume will be a blast. Because seriously – what’s more fun than playing with glue, fabric and glitter?

Strong man, or woman
Oh Happy Day has a kickin’ selection of DIY kids Halloween costume ideas, but my favorite one of this bunch is the strong man.

Red T-shirt
Wrapping paper cardboard roll
Two black balloons
Mustache (Nix the mustache if your little girl wants to give this costume a shot.)
Striped shorts
Black and white paint

For the tank top: Modified a red T-shirt to create a low-cut tank top. (Basic sewing skills required.)
The barbells: Cut the wrapping paper roll to the right size and paint it black. Blow up the balloons and paint numbers on them. Tie elastic to one balloon and thread through the tube. Tie to the other balloon so they are held tight by the elastic.
Stretch out nylons over a piece of cardboard and draw on tattoos. Sew the pieces onto the red tank top.

Werewolf costume

I first saw some really cute werewolf costumes on Pinterest, but they were incredibly complicated. This one isn’t so bad.

Black sweat suit
1/2-yard brown, black, or blended faux animal fur
Hot glue gun, glue sticks
Index card, painted black
Black knit hat
Black or brown shoes
Nontoxic face paint: brown, black, orange
Plastic fangs
Plastic black nails

For the suit: Cut a jagged edge along the bottom of the sleeves and legs of a black sweat suit. Then, cut a 1-inch strip of faux fur to fit around the collar of the sweatshirt -- glue it in place from the inside. Cut jagged holes all over the sweatshirt with scissors and turn it inside out. Glue patches of fur behind each hole so the fur peeks out through the front. Turn the sweatshirt right side out to check the "look," then repeat with the pants.
For the werewolf's ears: Cut two pieces of fur (about 4 inches long) into ear shapes. Glue them -- fur side up -- onto the prepared index card. Cut out the ears to give them a cardboard backing, and glue them to the sides of the knit hat. Cut and glue a 1-inch strip of fur to fit around the bottom of the hat. Glue remaining pieces of fur to the shoes.
Face paint: Paint whatever type of werewolf face you desire. Have your kid put on fangs and plastic nails to complete the transformation.

DIY Adult Halloween Costumes

As an adult, you can really do anything you darn well please for Halloween. There have been plenty years where I have put off creating my costume until the last minute (darn you, grad school). Those years, I pulled off a dead Sylvia Plath (vintage clothing, and very pale makeup), Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream (somewhat tight jeans, heels and white shirt with glued peppermints on my chest), and Spider Baby (white dress, fishnets and a spider cape). If you, too, tend to have no time for creating, the following costume ideas are quite easy to pull off in a pinch.

Scroll to Continue

From the Organic Authority Files

Wickedly smart witch

Most every woman has a black dress, black heels and black tights. Don all these dark clothing items, slap on a black hat (it doesn’t have to be pointy), do your makeup in a more dramatic way (think dark, wine stained lips and bright green eye shadow), grab a broom and you’re done.

Sparkly mythical creature

If you’d rather be something shiny and bright, consider transforming into a unicorn. This XOVain tutorial has all sorts of awesome advice for transforming your face into a sparkly wonderland. You can easily achieve the effects by using pastel hair chalk, sparkly pastel eye color (think pink/purple ombre), and pastel pink colored lipstick. After you’re all dolled up, all you’ve got to do is make a horn.

Now, this year, I’m planning on becoming my favorite B-horror character – Frankenhooker. We’ll see how that goes. If you have a bit more time this year, here are some DIY Halloween costumes you can make.

Tippi Hedren from “The Birds”

You can easily pull this outfit together by raiding your vintage wardrobe. Must haves: A bold coat, “pearl” earrings, a purse, kitten-heeled shoes, and a simple, black dress. The one thing you’ll probably need to buy? The birds that you need to adhere to your head, hair.

Candy corn

Sure, you can buy this cute candy corn dress, or you could DIY this sweet outfit. All you need is a white T-shirt, and orange skirt, pants, or leggings, and yellow shoes. Top it off with a pointy white hat and presto! You are candy corn.

Related on Organic Authority

5 Easy Halloween Costume Ideas for Foodies

Is Your Child’s Halloween Costume Toxic? 3 Scary Chemicals to Avoid

3 Reasons You’re Never Too Old For A Halloween Costume

Image: THOR

Shop Editors' Picks

Related Stories