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16 Cheap Halloween Costumes for Adults Basically Anyone Can DIY

You don't need a big budget to make these fun and original Halloween costumes.

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Courtesy Studio DIY


Who would have guessed dressing up as a plant could be so fun? Transform into a cute cactus costume by hot gluing white yarn on a green dress. Add some colorful pom poms for flowers. Check out Studio DIY for more detailed instructions.

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Rosie the Riveter

You probably have everything you need to become Rosie the Riveter in your closet right now. Throw on some jeans, a denim top, and a red bandana, and voila! You’re a World War II-era cultural icon. These couples’ costume ideas will make your Halloween.

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Many will try—and fail—to pull off a Beyonce costume this Halloween, but you can take it to the next level and become the Queen Bee. Literally. Find a black and yellow striped top or dress, then add wings and antennae. Top it off with fun gold letters to show everyone “who run the world.” Show off your creative costume at these theme parks with the spookiest Halloween celebrations! 

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Courtesy The Joy of Fashion

Audrey Hepburn

Every woman owns a little black dress. Put it to use this Halloween for a DYI Audrey Hepburn costume. Complete the classic look with black gloves, pearls, sunglasses, and a long cigarette holder. (It’s worth stealing Audrey Hepburn’s style tips the other 364 days of the year too.)

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Courtesy SimplyWhisked


This homemade costume may take a bit longer to put together, but it’s worth it if you want a truly original creation. Cut fringe into colorful crepe paper streamers and glue them onto a cheap dress. Do the same on party hats for pinata ears. Get more detailed instructions from Simply Whisked.

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Thing 1 and Thing 2

Grab a friend for this Seussian couples costume. You’ll need a red dress, red tights, and LOTS of blue fur. Get all the details from

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Sara with No ‘H’

Tonight Show fans need no explanation for Sara with no “H,” a recurring sketch starring Jimmy Fallon as a teenage girl. Sara always wears a purple dress with purple tights, a heart-shaped necklace, and a pink bow in her hair. She also constantly reminds people that her name is spelled S-A-R-A with no H, because H’s are ew!

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Courtesy The Joy of Fashion

Gumball machine

For this sweet gumball machine costume, glue pom poms to the top half of a red dress and a black headband. Use a rectangle of gray felt to draw the gum dispenser. Don’t forget to chew your own bubble gum!

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Courtesy Victoria Viola


Halloween may be the only holiday on which you can celebrate multiple holidays. The English teachers of West Morris Mendham High School in New Jersey dressed up in different holiday gear to make this festive group costume. The history of these Halloween traditions will give you the chills. 

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Kristen Lawler/Love Lipstick and Pearls


Flaunt your feathers as a fabulous flamingo. Pin pink boas together and wrap them around a leotard or tank top. Add pink tights or leggings and a beak (this one is a toucan beak painted black) and strut your stuff! Find out the most popular Halloween costume the year you were born. 

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Instagram/@tiffings @christianelame

Emoji dancers

If you’re seriously stumped about what to be for Halloween, dress up as your favorite emoji. The dancing twins emoji is easy to do—all you need is a black leotard and a black bow—and is sure to get laughs from your friends.

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Courtesy Heather Mohr

Cat in the Hat

Another creative idea from the world of Dr. Seuss: Start with a black top and leggings. Glue on white felt for the stomach. Add a red scarf, striped hat and socks, and face paint to become the mischievous Cat in the Hat. Wanna really mess with your friends? Talk only in rhymes. (Related: Did you know these weird and wonderful facts about Dr. Seuss?)

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’50 Shades of Grey’

A totally G-rated take on the popular R-rated novel by E. L. James. Pick up some grey paint swatches, stick them on a grey shirt, and see who can guess your outfit on the first try.

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Snapchat filter

If you feel like getting creative with face paint, draw on your favorite Snapchat filter. The rainbow vomit is a favorite, but you can check out more ideas from DIY Youtuber Rclbeauty101. (Related: Check out these other Halloween makeup ideas that can pretty much be your whole costume. This fake blood recipe is useful for more creepy costumes.)

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Courtesy Nicole Fornabaio

Olaf from Frozen

Do you wanna build a snowman? How about dressing up as a snowman? This RD staffer decorated a white baseball hat with felt to make a DIY Olaf costume. Complete the look with a white top and black felt circles for buttons.

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Courtesy Aww, Sam

Cotton candy

This cotton candy costume looks good enough to eat! (But don’t. It’s all polyester fiberfill stuffing.) Spray paint the stuffing pink and hot glue it to a shift dress. For the headpiece, roll a large sheet of paper for a cone hat, glue it to a separate pouf of fiberfill, and glue that to a headband.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest