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Dress to impress: 7 last minute DIY halloween costume ideas

Oct. 31, 2017
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Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around Halloween, and more specifically, picking out Halloween costumes. Growing up, my parents and I would take a trip to the local Halloween shop (I’m talking pre-Spirit chain store) and spend hours trying on costumes until I found the right one (or sometimes, two).    

Though the days of costume hunting with my parents are long behind me, I’m still a firm believer in dressing up for Halloween. However, sometimes it comes at a price – a very hefty price.

Rather than drop $50-100 on a big-box store costume, and let’s face it, I’m a big-boxy lady so the fit is always an issue, I prefer to make my own costumes, usually with items I already have. So if you’re looking to dress to impress this Halloween, but need something quick that won’t make too much of a dent in your wallet, here’s a few ideas:


  1. Zombie – It doesn’t get more classic than this! All you need is a little make-up and for the truly die-hard Walking Dead fans, a little fake blood. Plus, have an old costume lying around from last year? Zombie-flapper. Zombie-baseball player. Zombie-Bride. Time to reduce, recycle, and reuse those old costumes and turn them into something deadly!

Cost: $10 will buy you a basic horror make-up kit. Slice up some paint-stained/old clothes you’re ready to let go of and boom! 


  1. Pun Costumes – I’m a huge fan of punny costumes, mainly because they make people laugh and you probably already have 90% of the supplies. One of my go-to party favorites is a Basic Witch – all you need are some Uggs, a Starbucks cup, and a witch hat. Bonus – you can keep it comfy and wear yoga pants! Other Punny Costume ideas: Ceiling Fan, Facebook, Raining Cats and Dogs, Sir Mix A Lot, and Fifty Shades of Grey (another crowd pleaser). 

Cost: Minimal. Like I said, you probably have most of the supplies already!

  1. Emojis – You’d be surprised how many Dancing Girl Emojis I ran into last Halloween… Technology has run amuck in the last few years – new apps, social media sites, and TONS more emojis. From Pink Shirt Emoji Girl to everyone’s favorite pile of Poop, I’ve seen ‘em all. So the next time you’re scrolling through your phone, take a second look for some costume inspiration. 

Cost: Minimal. Do you have a pink shirt? You’re set.


  1. Dating Profile – Speaking of technology! All you need are some markers, a cutting instrument, and a large piece of white poster board to make your Tinder profile come to life. This costume makes for a great conversation topic, especially for my single friends out there. Be prepared for people to approach and try to “swipe”!

Bonus – if you’re not feeling the “dating profile” theme, switch up Tinder frame for Instagram. People will want to borrow your costume all night for their own Insta-moments!

Cost: <$10 for poster board and a couple of Sharpie markers.

  1. Rosie the Riveter – Even in 2017, it’s amazes (and inspires) me how many Rosie’s I spot on the streets, young and old.  Talk about a quick and simple costume to put together. The beauty of this one is you can put as much or as little work into as you want! For those looking for a more authentic look, hit up Goodwill for a denim work shirt. If you’re trying to save some cash, simply use a t-shirt. Throw in a red bandana (which you can grab at any Halloween or party store), and you’re all set to rivet the night away.

Cost: $10-20 for denim shirt and bandana


  1. Baby/Toddler/Lost Boy – This one’s for anyone that prefers a comfy look. If you’re looking for any excuse to wear your pajamas, this is it! Have a cute pair of footie pajamas? Grab some friends and go as Peter Pan’s Lost Boys. Visit the Dollar Store for a tiara and pacifier and go as a Toddler in a Tiara. 

If you want to act your age, dress up your jammies with some jewelry to go as a TV/film icon – Holly Golightly or Carrie Bradshaw, to name a few – or a Hollywood socialite. 

Cost: Minimal. Depending on how much you want to accessorize! 

  1. Pop Art – You might have scene this one trending the last couple of years. The beauty of this one is it focuses primarily on your upper body. Wear what you like, because all you need is some colorful make-up and perhaps a few hair accessories. 

Cost: Minimal – this one’s all about the make-up!