Did you fail as hard as I did this in prepping for Halloween? It’s ok, we’ve all been there. Life gets in the way and before you know it, it’s Halloween and you’ve got 2 days to come up with something, anything, for a costume. Check out these great ideas for costumes that are cheap and easy to assemble! All you need is access to a thrift store and a closet.
1. Super Mario Brothers
This is a classic duo that’s sure to get positive reactions from your fellow halloweenies this year. Go alone or as a duo. All you need for this costume is a hat (red or green), a long sleeve shirt (red or green), denim overalls (you can find this at your local Goodwill or other thrift store; try Walmart if that fails), brown shoes, and a pair of gloves. Depending on which character you go as, you can print or cut out from white paper the letter of your choice. Even if you mess up the cut, you’ll still get kudos for the attempt. Don’t currently have a mustache on your face? Cut out one from construction paper or felt fabric and attach with tape, use eyeliner, or visit your local Halloween store for the supplies.
2. Classic Burgler
Holidash News did a great DIY post on how to best assemble this exact costume. If you’re not as crafty as most, this post does a great job at breaking it all down for you. All you need are black clothes, a white pillow case, a black mask, some black tape, and a black beanie or black stockings you don’t mind cutting up for the cause. Flashlight isn’t necessary, but might be a good idea to have. If you don’t already have a fancy flashlight like the one here, just hit up your local 99 Cents, Dollar Tree or Walmart for some cheap goods. If the purchase of the black mask isn’t an option, opt for black construction paper or scrapbook paper (about 10 – 25 cents at your local craft store) and some ribbon (about the same) and make your own.
The hobo is a classic costume and dirt cheap. Seriously. Just grab a bunch of random crap from your closet and throw it on. Grab a branch from out side and tie a little handkerchief to it. Don’t have one? Try a pillow case, fabric napkin, loose piece of scrap material, hand towel, the possibilities are endless. If you don’t have any of these available, hit up your local thrift store or visit a local fabric store and check out their remnants section. This section is where you can find pre-cut pieces at a lower price. You can usually find what you need for about a buck or two. Just try to grab something around 1/2 yard. You shouldn’t need much more than that. I’ve seen some examples of the costume where the person even wore two different shoes!
3. Rosie the Riveter
This one is adorable, but could be a little bit more difficult to assemble. All you really need is a pair of jeans, a red bandana, and a navy blue button-up shirt. If you don’t already own the shirt, it might set you back a few more dollars than the previous costumes, but if you purchase the right one you’ll have a great staple piece in your closet for future outfits. The red bandana can be purchased virtually anywhere. If you don’t already own a pair of jeans, we need to reevaluate your closet.
The zombie costume is the most popular of the season. Do it up as big and gruesome, or as small and clean as you like. My buddy, Fred (on the left), went above and beyond with his incorporating makeup that was purchased at the Halloween store. If that’s a little out of your budget, dig into your makeup stash by lightly putting black shadow around your eyes and just under your check bones for a sunken facial look. If you have white or pale nude eyeshadow, you can use that to help make your face look paler. I got lucky and remembered that I had foundation that was a shade too light for me in my collection that I was able to use. Then, just mess up your hair and walk funny all night.
5. A ghost
The holy grail of cheap costumes: the ghost. You take a white sheet, cut out two holes for eyes and throw it over yourself. If you don’t have a white sheet you’re willing to cut up, visit your local thrift store for about a buck or two. It’s one of the CHEAPEST costumes you will ever use in your entire life, as well as the ultimate easiest. It almost doesn’t even matter what you wear underneath, but I do recommend you wearing something.