You don’t have to go out and buy a premade costume or a bunch of supplies to craft a killer Halloween costume. Check out these fun and easy homemade Halloween costume ideas for adults and kids alike that are low effort but high impact.
Easy Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas Direct from Your Closet
You’ve probably got the makings of a great Halloween costume sitting in your closet right now! Try on these easy homemade Halloween costume ideas for size.
This costume is a no-brainer if you have a flannel in your closet. Add jeans, suspenders, boots, and an optional beanie. Cut a simple ax out of cardboard and glue some aluminum foil to the ax head to complete the look. This is a cute look for little ones, too! Scribble on a beard with face paint crayons or eyeliner pencil for a (somewhat) convincing lumberjack beard.
Rosie the Riveter
The iconic Rosie the Riveter makes a great costume for little girls and grown women alike. And the great news is that you probably already have what you need in your closet: blue jeans, a denim or blue collared shirt, and a red polka-dotted head scarf or bandana.
This instantly recognizable outfit is a fun costume idea for kids, singles, couples, or small groups. A black beanie, black gloves, and a simple black eye mask transform an otherwise ordinary outfit (striped top and black pants) into a Halloween costume. Oh, and don’t forget your bag with $ on it to collect the loot!
Take inspiration from the H. G. Wells novel and go invisible this year. The outfit is simple: black pants, trench coat, gloves, and hat, with the addition of an Ace bandage or two wrapped around your “invisible” head. Finish with sunglasses to cover the eyeholes you’ve cut in the bandage.
Consider this a starting point for inspiration. What makes “pageant winner” a great costume is that it’s so versatile. First choose a gorgeous evening gown, sparkly cocktail number, or swimsuit from your closet, pop on some heels, and add a homemade sash. Tiara optional. This is a great costume idea for groups, too, with each sash saying something different. Get creative!
“Help is on the way, dear!” She may not be a pageant winner, but there’s no doubt about it – Mrs. Doubtfire is a beloved and recognizable character. (Especially recently, thanks to a Mrs. Doubtfire renaissance on TikTok.) And although Robin Williams did some gender-bending for the titular role, you don’t have to, this easy homemade Halloween costume idea works just fine whatever your gender. Just raid your grandma’s closet (or a thrift store) and you’re good to go!
Easy Halloween Costume Classics
They’re called “classics” for a reason! These costumes have been Halloween staples for … well, forever. And that’s because they never truly go out of style.
This classic makes a purrfect last-minute Halloween costume! It’s all about the make-up. Just draw on cat eyes, whiskers, and a little nose, dress head-to-toe in black, and you’re a black cat. Add these super simple DIY cat ears made from black pipe and a headband to complete the look. A-meow-zing!
A white sheet and some scissors – what could be simpler? Going as a ghost for Halloween isn’t super original, but it is a reliable, easy last-minute costume idea that comes together super fast. Plus, this costume works well whether you’re going solo or in a group.
Instead of turning that old bed sheet into a ghost, use it for your mummy costume. Cut it into strips, wrap around your body and head, and you’re done. Old t-shirts or lengths of cheesecloth work well, too. Just be sure to keep comfort and … accessibility in mind when you’re wrapping. Unlike a centuries-dead mummy, you’ll probably need to use the bathroom at some point.
Craft an X-ray with white poster board “bones” on black poster board and glue it onto a cardboard box with a hole cut out for the head. Slip on the box and you’ve got yourself a fun twist on the classic skeleton costume. This Halloween costume works well for kids and adults alike!
A Piece of Candy Corn
Duct tape – and lots of it – is all you need for this costume of everyone’s favorite Halloween candy. (Okay, let’s be real, it’s not anyone’s favorite. But it’s still a Halloween staple.) You’ll need about four rolls of tape for a toddler and double or triple for an adult, depending on size.
Are you a good witch or a bad witch? It’s up to you! But all you need to pull off this easy Halloween costume is a black dress, black shoes (heels or heeled boots for a truly classic look), and a classic pointy hat (make it with black poster board or buy it wherever Halloween props are sold.) You can even add a broom if you like!
Movie & TV Character Costumes
Be on trend in 2023 with these pop culture costumes.
The “Barbenheimer” juggernaut will surely influence a lot of costumes this Halloween. Men can dress like the titular character from Oppenheimer by donning 1940s style from head to toe. It’s all in the details: you need a classic suit with the pants pulled up high; a necktie tied short; shiny shoes; and, of course, a fedora to top it off. (Use this photo of Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer during filming for inspiration.)
The highest-grossing movie of the year and the other half of the Barbenheimer phenomenon, Barbie will also undoubtedly inspire many Halloween costumes in 2023. Go as your favorite version of Barbie – full retro or more contemporary, as you wish – or go as Weird Barbie (played by Kate McKinnon in the film). This easy and fun costume requires just a pink dress, some face paint crayons or colored eyeliner pencils, and a short blond wig that looks like it’s been ravaged by a 5-year-old with blunt scissors.
Not a Barbie person? Then maybe the daughter of the creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky Addams family is more your speed. A black dress with a pointy white collar, black tights and shoes, and two long braids – black, of course – are all you need.
Mario & Luigi
Second only to Barbie, The Super Mario Bros. Movie was another huge 2023 hit. Go as Mario alone or get a buddy to join as Luigi. (Little Yoshi is optional!) Grab a red or green shirt, blue overalls or pants + suspenders, white gloves, and a colorful hat. No fancy hat necessary; simply take a regular red or green baseball cap, cover the logo with a white circle of paper with “M” or “L” on it, and voila!
Unusual and Fun Homemade Halloween Costumes
Want something out of the ordinary? These take just a little more time and a little more DIY to produce something unique.
A little different and not too difficult to make, this rain cloud costume is a great choice for a fun, easy Halloween costume. Start with a brimmed hat, glue on a bunch of stuffing (cotton balls would do, too), and spray paint gray for an extra touch of rain. Sew or safety pin on some large raindrops cut out of fabric or construction paper.
Bunch of Grapes
So cute and so easy! Start with pants and a long-sleeved shirt in a base color (green or purple) and attach matching colored balloons all over by stitching or safety pinning the tied end to the clothes underneath. A green beanie on top is the final touch. Go alone, or get friends to come along as grapes in different colors.
For a darkly humorous twist on an animal costume, go as a taxidermy deer this Halloween. A simple piece of cardboard cut to shape is easy to make. Add some twigs to a headband to serve as deer antlers, or grab a headband with reindeer antlers from the Christmas supplies. No one will know the difference, promise!
Kids, couples, and solo Halloween revelers will get a kick out of this creative costume. Large, empty soda bottles painted in a bright color are the essential component of this fun but easy Halloween costume. Strap them on your back like oxygen tanks and add goggles. Layer over a tight-fitting skin layer (or a wetsuit, if you’ve already got one.)
Start with a clear umbrella, then add mesh and ribbon tentacles and construction paper eyes, and you’ve got yourself a jellyfish costume! Use an adult-sized umbrella to turn this child-sized costume into an adult jellyfish costume.
Go as a brightly colored crayon for Halloween! Dress in a solid color from head to toe and add a matching, pointy hat on top made from colored cardstock and a ribbon for tying on. This costume works best for small groups, with each person in a different color, but can work on its own, too.
BONUS: 22 More Fun and Easy Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas
- Garden gnome
- Tea bag
- Zombie bridesmaid
- The late Queen Elizabeth II
- Angel with paper doily wings
- Monarch butterfly with felt wings
- Bumblebee and beekeeper
- Gumball machine
- Snow White
- Ariel (The Little Mermaid)
- Tin Man
- Original Star Trek officers
- Mary Poppins
If all else fails and your homemade Halloween costume ends up looking like a kindergartener’s art project, we’ve got you! You can find a premade costume here and earn some sweet cash back in the process.
Erin Danly is a freelance writer whose work focuses on marketing content and verbal branding for B2B and B2C clients. Before turning to writing, she was a pastry chef and a psychology lab manager at Columbia University. Erin lives with her family in Mt. Pleasant, SC.