With Halloween just around the corner (YIKES!) I thought I'd share this HUGE list of homemade Halloween costumes with you that I found. Some of them are pretty darn clever!

Remember, you should try to 
Yes, even Halloween costumes, no matter how cute they are.

Here's how to get a fun, cheap, or free Halloween costume:
  • Borrow one. People RARELY repeat costumes, but people commonly pay a small fortune for them. Post something on Facebook “Help! I'm looking for a costume…anyone have one I can borrow?” Trust me, you'll get tons of responses. (On the flip-side, be sure to be willing to loan out yours! What goes around comes around…)
  • Buy used. Thrift stores, Ebay, classified ads (Craigslist, KSL [for Utah, Idaho, Wyoming]…), Amazon. Give them a good washing, and there you go – new to you!
  • Find a discount. If you just can't resist that oh-so-cute store-bought costume, no fear. Try to buy online when you can (tends to be cheaper), and remember to ALWAYS search for a coupon code online before buying ANYTHING! Yes, this works for non-online stores too. Google “coupon for Halloween City” or “coupon code for amazon.com” and more often than not you will find something!
  • Mix it up. Don't feel like you have to buy – or make – everything. Integrate purchased pieces with homemade ones.
    • For example…Last year I saw a cute costume for my son that I couldn't resist, so I Googled a coupon code, got it for a deal, and bought it. My husband and I made our costumes of things we had lying around, thus it was still an affordable “theme”!
Ok seriously, how cute is this?

He's our million dollar baby! 
Get it? 
Bag of money? 
Ok, I thought it was clever…

Even our dog go involved. Meet Sheriff Ollie.
Yes, he hated it. Poor guy.
  • Buy off-season. Go right after Halloween and stock up for next year! You will be able to save up to 90% and have brand new costumes for thrift store prices. Be sure to check online!
  • Rent. Yes, it's true. Contact High School drama departments, local theater production companies, or even TV stations if you have one near you. Ask if you can rent their costumes. Guess what? They will probably let you! You can also check daily deal sites for deals like this one that I found last year:
$25 for $55 toward costume rentals from Hale Centre Theatre
$55 54% $30
Time remaining to buy
0d 20h 0m 56s

And lastly,

  • Get creative. Make one yourself! Use things you have lying around! Think outside the box! For example: 
    • Salad bowl on your head + a few leaves of lettuce sticking out + bottle of dressing tied around your neck + croutons taped to you + sheet made into a toga = Ceasar salad.
Here are some examples from a HUGE list of homemade halloween costume ideas:
  • Be an animal — ANIMALS of ALL KINDS 
    • For toddlers – you can make just about any animal there is using a sweat suit in the appropriate color. If it has a hood, you can attach ears to it, otherwise, you can use a headband to attach the ears.  Glue some fake fur from a fabric store to appropriate places (like brown fur on the belly for a bear, or pink fur on the belly for a rabbit, or white fur as stripes on a black sweatsuit for a skunk, brown fur on the hood for a lion, etc.). You can do a zebra with a white sweatsuit and a roll of black tape easily too. 
  • Mount Rushmore 
    • Get three friends. Take one white sheet, and cut four holes in it.  Whiten your faces and hair with make-up, powder or flour. Then line up and stick your heads through the sheet, and enjoy your monumental costume — as Mount Rushmore!
  • Lost TV Remote 
    • Simply remove two large seat cushions from your sofa, and affix one in front of you and one behind you. You’re an item familiar to all — the lost TV remote control!
  • A simple pillow can provide any number of last-minute costumes. Tuck it into the upper back of your shirt — you're Quasimodo! Or move it around to the front — you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger! Don’t discard that pillow case — put it over the top part of your body and you’re a Chicklet!   
  • Universal Bar Code 
    • Get a child’s growth chart with the lines and numbers on it, then affix it to your body from head to toe.  Every shopper will recognize you as a price in Universal Bar Code! This costume will also protect your anonymity: No one call tell what the real price is, just like at the grocery store!
  • The Universal Bar Code thing can also be done as a “Generic Halloween Costume“.  Dress all in white and draw a big UBC symbol about the size a of a sheet of paper. Attach one to your front and one to your back.  You are now wearing a “generic halloween costume”
    • Put a colander on your head stuffed with lettuce (preferably Romaine for authenticity). Put croutons wherever you want. Tie a bottle of dressing around your neck. Make a simple toga from an old white sheet or towel. Find some sandals. 
    • Find an old white T-shirt or sweatshirt. Use black spray paint or cut black circles from felt or construction paper. Add black face paint on nose and a piece of rope for a tail. Make some floppy ears and attach them to a headband. Pant. 
    • Find some brown tights, socks or sweatpants. Take a brown garbage bag and cut holes for legs and arms. Stuff with newspaper or packing peanuts. Attach around neck without strangling self. Use yellow construction paper for a pat of butter on the tummy or head. Consider a hat made from an empty sour cream container, unless you're concerned about fat grams.   and sticking with the potato theme, if you have a baby who wants to get in on the tater-tot costume, then wrap the kid in aluminum foil and he's a “baked potato”! 

I found these costume ideas from the Goodwill web site.    http://www.goodwill.org/
Stop in at your local Goodwill Store for your costume needs.

  • Sherlock Holmes: Get a brown cape, a vest, white slacks and a magnifying glass, the sleuth  hat.
  • Tacky Man/Woman: Just butt UGLY, mismatched clothes (polyester and patterns are a plus).
  • Cowboy/Cowgirl: Jeans, western shirt, boots, western hat, neckerchief  and bandanna.
  • Scare Crow: Add patches to jeans and flannel shirts, add straw to cuffs of pants and shirt (duct tape will allow you to attach straw to under side of pants and shirt).
  • Gypsy: Get a scarf for your hair, a shawl and a puffy blouse with a flowing long flower print skirt.
  • Betty Rubble: Wear a black wig done “Betty”  style, take a blue halter dress and cut the length  with a pair of scissors so that the ends are  jagged. Wear a bow in your hair. Glue a small  rock to the top of the halter dress. 
  • Bam-Bam: Using leopard skin material, cut out a diaper size piece of cloth for the waist. Cut a  ragged edge and then use the same material to make a sash for the shoulder. Use a dog's rubber  bone for the back. Use hot glue to attach at the rear. Cut a card board circle and glue on a circle  of material. Use bobbi-pins to attach to the hair.  
  • Ghosts: Sheets – make sure to cut big holes for eyes.
  • Mr. Potato Head: Fill a burlap bag with old shirts or rags. Using felt, cut out the eyes, nose  and mouth. Attach Velcro to the backs of these  items. Use fiber- fill to stuff the parts. Then  attach the Velcro backs to the suit. Use black  sweat pants or leotard for legs. 
  • Magician: Where a black tux jacket, black  pants, white dress shirt, Top hat and stuffed  bunny for your tricks.
  • 1950's Look: Untucked, solid-color button down shirts; jeans rolled up to mid-calf;  socks and penny loafers. Girls wear pony tail and boys slick-back ducktail with grease.
  • Old Man/Woman: Old looking clothes,  glasses, old shoes, and cane. Use a bulky  purse and for that added touch, use baby powder for grey hair.
  • Mummy: Take white sheets, tear up into long strips and wrap them around the body.
  • Rapper: Large jeans, large shirt. Baseball cap worn sideways or backwards.
  • Zombies:  ALL of these Zombie costumes were practically free. Well, we did pay a few bucks for some of the suits at the Goodwill, but you could also just use something out of your closet. The makeup and fake blood are what really makes these awesome. 
  • Animaniacs: Black cotton cap for hair, use pipe cleaners and felt for forming ears which can be glued to hat. Use a small slinky  (stretched and wrapped in black felt for the tail. Black pants & shirt, white gloves for hands. Use lip stick for nose, white face paint for face, black face paint for neck.  (For Dot, add a red polka-dot skirt and  yellow silk flower on hat)(For Wacko, Use a baseball cap turned around (ears will be glued to it) with Blue sweat shirt with the sleeves cut 1/4 length) and (for Yacko,  Wear white pants). 
  • Pat (From Saturday Night Live): Get a Western shirt 2 sizes too big. Stuff yourself with rolled up newspaper. Use polyester   pants that are brown and 2 sizes too big. For the stuffing on the pants, use multiple  layers of foam. Use military style glasses.   Black curly wig. 
  • Zorro: Black clothing,   black hat, mask (for the   cape – dye an old sheet  black) and a red scarf  wrapped around the waist.
  • I Dream of Jeannie:  Use a tube top for the  top, and cut off a red vest for the jacket. Use baggie  pants that can be dyed  pink and an old pair of  ballet shoes.
  • Nerd: High-water pants (FLOODS), white shirt, bow tie, white socks, black shoes and dark-frame glasses with masking tape around the nose piece. For that extra touch, use a pocket protector.
  • Hippie: Bell-bottom jeans, long jeans, or peasant dress, love beads (long necklace, bead band, peace button and pink-tinted glasses. Tie-dyed shirt optional.)
  • Grape Vine: Use a  brown body suit and  shoes. Cover your body with double sided sticky tape. Then fill up purple balloons and attach the balloons to the double sided tape. You may use a garbage bag tie to attach the balloon to the  double sided tape. This is  preferred if you are going outside in the wind. 
  • A Mummy-Just use toilet paper or gauze.
  • Denorex Model-Remember that commercial we always laugh at? Well it can be a funny costume, too! Part your hair down the middle and put shaving cream on both sides, wear a towel, and feel the tingle!
  • Energizer Bunny-(We didn’t have an “annoying” category!) Wear pink clothes, attach a cotton tail, and don’t forget the black sunglasses. Find and old hat box for the drum and attach it to your shoulders with rope. Then bang on it all night and drive everyone crazy!
  • Carrie-Wear a white dress from a thrift store, lots of fake blood and carry a bucket of cherry jello. Beavis & Butthead-Wear shorts, dirty hair, tacky t-shirts, red marks on your face and a bad attitude.
  • Statue of Liberty-(Great if you have long hair) Use gel to mold your hair into points, wear a sheet and carry a book and a flashlight.
  • Man on a windy day-Wire your tie to the left (this is a last resort!).
  • Oreo Cookie-Cut two large circles of cardboard, spray paint them black, and glue on white cotton balls to spell Oreo. Tie the two pieces together and slip over your head, and wear all white underneath for the cream filling. Carry a plastic pumpkin full of Oreos to give to your friends and you’ll be the hit of the party!
  • Information Highway-Dress in Black with Yellow stripes down the front.
  • John Wayne Bobbitt-You’ll figure it out.
  • The Absent-Minded Professor-Dig out that old graduation cap and gown, find some glasses and maybe a calculus book. Under the gown wear a shirt and bow tie and outrageous boxer shorts (you forgot your pants!). Extra touches can be a pocket protector loaded with pens and men’s sock garters.
  • The Bet-Find a barrel and attach rope so it hangs from your shoulders (and wear shorts underneath, of course!) and carry a sign that says “I LOST!” Have a friend carry a pile of clothes and a sign that says “I WON!”
  • Roadkill-Wear all black, cut lines out of yellow construction paper, and attach them down the front of your outfit. Then pick your least favorite stuffed animal and pin it to your outfit. Gross but easy!
  • ‘Automatic Dog Feeder’ -Get a 50lb dry dog food bag. (Donate the food to the Humane Society if you don't have dogs.) Cut the bottom edge across the bottom so that it is ‘open.’ Pull it over your head and staple shut across each shoulder. Then mark and cut ‘arm holes’ on each side. This is fairly easy to wear throughout a party. You can wear almost anything under it and be sure to carry a few pieces of ‘dog food’; in your pants’ pockets. When someone asks (as they will!), “What are you?” You can pull out a few pieces of food and place each piece, one at a time, into their hand, while replying, “I’m an automatic dog feeder!”
  • Piece of gum on the bottom of a shoe…Tie a sneaker on top of your head, paint your face pink, wear pink clothes, viola! Gum on the bottom of a shoe.
  • Dining room table – Take a box, at least as wide as your shoulders. Cut the top off, cut a hole in the bottom. Take an old tablecloth, cutting a hole in the middle, and place it on the box. Glue or tape it down. Then tape plastic dishes, silverwear and glasses to the top. Add a napkin, some condiments and a centerpiece and you are a walking dining room table.
  • A mourning person: Carry a black hanky..to dab my constant flow of tears..and a book called…the Black Widow’s Handbook. Chapters outlines on cover: Basic Mechanics Undetectable poisons Probate Law & You Marked the pages with the Last Will 7 Testaments from my last 2 unfortunate husbands..Mr. JR Ewing, Skeik Moneybags.
  • Spaghetti & meatballs: Drape yourself in red and pasta-colored yarn. Attach “meatballs” also made of yarn!
  • Skeleton: I dressed my children in black clothes, black jeans, black shirt (long sleeved). Got while reflective tape at Walmart, taped it in skeleton formations as best I could to front of clothes, down arms, made pelvis, ribs, leg bones, etc. Painted faces white with dark shading around eyes, nose, mouth. As they walked down the street, when cars would approach, the lights would make the tape glow and all you could see was bones. Too cool, and safe. Looked better than any store bought costume.
  • Floppy disk: Black sheet folded in half with appropriate glue ons to look like a disk… (5 and 1/4 of course!)
  • Woman in a bubble bath: Nude colored leotard with clumps of batting on it like bubbles… carried bubbles around all night blowing them in everyones face…
  • A tube of toothpaste-and it is very easy. First, get a white lampshade for the cap to wear on your head. Then dress in sweats that emulate your favorite toothpaste-for Crest I wore white. Then I cut out of construction paper the “Crest” with the logo, and saftey pinned it to the sweats. For the toothbrush, get a large sweep broom and turn the handle and tie it on to the stick—-*** it made a brush
  • Black and white TV: (For two people) One dresses in black, complete with blackened faces, limbs and hair for the truly dedicated. The other dresses completely in white, taking the same measures. The one in white attaches a cardboard black T on their shirt, the one in black a white V.
Click HERE to see the rest of the list.
Have fun, don't spend too much, and take lots of pictures!
Happy Haunting 🙂
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