50+ Cheap Halloween Costumes for Adults Basically Anyone Can DIY
You don't need a big budget to make a big impact on Halloween.
rd.com via studiodiy.com, via @t4trash/Instagram, via @han.glam/Instagram
Easy costume ideas you’ll love
Halloween is a time to show off your creativity with a costume that suits your style. However, it can be difficult to maintain that creativity year after year, especially as we get older and have less time to dedicate to the spooky season. But fear not—a cool Halloween costume idea is just a few clicks away! Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best DIY adult Halloween costumes that you can make with any level of expertise and on any budget.
Whether you’re in need of a family costume, a best friend costume, or just a last-minute Halloween costume that you can put together in the hours before your party, there’s something on this list for you. So get out your crafting kit, put on your thinking cap, and prepare to ace this whole Halloween thing. Make sure your entire family nails the holiday, too, with these cheap Halloween costumes for kids.
Wednesday Addams Costume
If you have a white collared shirt and a black dress, then you have everything you need to dress as Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family. Put your hair in braided pigtails and swipe on a coat of black lipstick for an outfit that will have everyone humming the iconic theme song all night. Speaking of which, here are more of the best Halloween songs to put on your party playlist.
Got a sweet tooth? Then you need a sweet costume. For this easy costume idea, wear a white outfit and use fabric tape to affix colorful popsicle sticks or bendy straws to it. And there you have it: sprinkles! Of course, we can’t talk about the big day without talking about the sweet treats: This is the best Halloween candy to pass out this year.
Shego from Kim Possible Costume
Nineties babies, rejoice! This Shego costume is super easy to recreate. Just pair a black unitard with a striking neon green makeup look and get ready for people to ask if they can call you or beep you if they want to reach you.
Audrey Hepburn Costume
Every woman owns a little black dress. Put it to good use this Halloween for a DIY Audrey Hepburn costume. Complete the classic look with black gloves, pearls, sunglasses, and a croissant. For a little fascinating trivia, check out the true story behind Audrey Hepburn’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s dress.
This homemade costume may take a bit longer to put together, but it’s worth it if you want a truly original creation. Cut colorful crepe paper streamers into fringe and glue the strips onto a cheap dress. Do the same on a party hat for piñata ears. If crafting’s your thing, try your hand at these DIY outdoor Halloween decorations.
You’ll have the cutest costume on the Seven Seas and beyond if you dress like a sailor this Halloween. Simply pair a nautical striped top with a navy skirt and finish the outfit with a white sailor hat and a red scarf. Ahoy, mateys! If you have a pint-sized shipmate at home, this is also an adorable costume idea for babies.
Sandy and Danny Costume
The best thing about this couple’s costume is that you don’t need to be in a couple to make it work. To dress as Sandy, pair leather leggings with a black T-shirt and red pumps. To dress as Danny, wear an all-black outfit. Of course, to nail either look, you’ll need lots of hairspray to recreate the characters’ iconic 1950s hairstyles.
This DIY adult Halloween costume requires some commitment. However, it’s guaranteed to make you the most festive person at any party. Find a striped blazer or button-down at your local thrift store and wear it with a vibrant yellow wig or temporary hair dye. You can get creative with your makeup, but you’ll definitely need a ghostly white base and hallowed black eyes. If you’re a wizard with a wand, don’t miss these other Halloween face paint ideas.
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Russell from Up Costume
Former Boy Scouts will have everything they need to dress as Russell from the hit Pixar movie Up. Pair some cargo shorts with a yellow T-shirt, a yellow baseball cap, and a sash with lots of pins. Movies provide great fodder for costume inspiration—for more proof, just check out these Disney costume ideas.
There’s no DIY adult Halloween costume more classic than the masked bandit. Why? Because it’s easy! All you need is a mask, which you can craft from construction paper and string in a pinch, a striped shirt, and a bag of cash (aka a tote with a money sign written on it that’s filled with crumpled newspaper). If the guy in your life is looking to step things up this year, take a look at these Halloween costumes for men that are sure to be a hit.
Who would have guessed that dressing up as a plant could be so much fun? Transform into a not-so-prickly cactus by hot-gluing white yarn on a green dress. Add some colorful pom-poms for flowers.
There’s nothing better than a nostalgic Halloween costume, and this is one that vintage video game lovers will adore. To make it, cut out all your pieces from felt and affix them to a dress or all-black outfit using glue or fabric tape. Make sure to have some fun with the ghosts’ eyes!
Rosie the Riveter Costume
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 voilà! You’re a World War II-era cultural icon. Talk about a cheap Halloween costume that packs a big punch!
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Marilyn Monroe Costume
Prefer a more glam DIY adult Halloween costume? Dress as Marilyn Monroe. A white A-line dress, platinum blonde wig, and bold red lip should do the trick. Don’t forget to look out for any windy subway grates.
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Cruella de Vil Costume
The key to this costume is the hair. Find a Cruella de Vil wig, or use temporary hair dye to spray your own into a black and white bouffant. From there, all you need is a black and white outfit. Animal prints are totally encouraged. Can you guess the famous last words of these Disney villains, including Cruella?
Winnie the Pooh Costume
Oh, brother, is this a cute outfit! Pair a yellow midi skirt with a red T-shirt to create a Winnie the Pooh ensemble. You should be able to find a knit bear hat in any children’s section. If not, create ears using a headband and construction paper.
Little black dress? Check. White gloves? Check. A string of pearls? Check. Looks like you’ve got everything you need to transform yourself into the it girl of the 1920s. Add fishnet tights and a headband if you want to go all in. Make sure to bookmark this list of Halloween Instagram captions for the big day. After all, you’ll definitely want to post a picture of yourself in this classic costume!
Miss Universe Costume
If you’re ready to do some serious DIYing, then craft this Miss Universe costume. The basics are simple. You’ll need a black dress, a crown, and a Miss Universe sash. From there, cut different planet shapes from felt or construction paper, then glue them onto your dress. If the stars align, you’ll win “Best Dressed.” If crafting runs in the family, check out these easy Halloween crafts kids will love to make.
Sara with No ‘H’ Costume
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 ewww!
Gumball Machine Costume
For this sweet gumball machine costume, glue colorful pom-poms to a shirt. Then use a rectangle of gray felt to draw the gum dispenser. Don’t forget to chew your own bubble gum!
When Life Gives You Lemons Costume
There’s nothing better than an idiom costume, especially one that’s cheap and easy to make. For this outfit, head to your local CVS to pick up name tags. Then, buy a bundle of lemons. Write “LIFE” on the name tag and you’ll have a work-appropriate costume that will make everyone chuckle.
Elle Woods Costume
Legally Blonde audios are having a moment on TikTok, which makes this costume especially timely. Put on your best pink outfit and tote around a cute toy chihuahua and a law book for good measure. While you’re putting together your own costume, check out these cheap Halloween decorations you can also DIY.
Mary Poppins Costume
You can put together this costume faster than you can say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” All you need is a blue midi skirt, a ruffled white shirt, a bowler hat, and an umbrella. And a Mary Poppins–inspired infinity bag will be great for collecting all the candy you can find! By the way, did you know that your choice of candy has been ordained by the stars? This is each zodiac sign’s favorite Halloween candy.
This is another classic Halloween costume you can create on the cheap. First, head to your local thrift store and pick up a pair of overalls, a flannel, and a floppy hat. From there, it’s all about the hair and makeup. Oh, and the more straw you stick in your cuffs, the better.
Deviled Egg Costume
This ensemble is sure to win “Most Clever Costume.” Plus, it’s super easy to create. All you need are devil ears and a DIY egg shirt. Here are more punny Halloween costumes sure to be a hit.
Big Mouth fans everywhere know that Missy is a truly iconic character. She’s unabashedly clever, funny, and living her best life. Check out Beautiful-Summer Spears‘ version on Instagram. To create the look yourself, grab your overalls, a yellow shirt and headband, and a backpack, and you’re back on your puberty journey!
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Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum Costume
You’re going to need to grab your bestie for this Halloween costume. Coordinate with wear red shorts, yellow T-shirts, and white suspenders. You can DIY those oversized bows using craft store ribbon. In the mood for some movie magic? These are the best Halloween movies of all time.
Queen of Hearts Costume
Show off your regal side with this Queen of Hearts costume. To make it, buy a deck of cards and glue them together to create a collar. Then, put on a red dress and a crown and you’re ready to yell, “Off with their heads!”
Michael Myers Costume
A jack-o’-lantern just might be the most popular Halloween costume of all time. To make this one, find a basic orange dress. (Try looking at your local thrift shop.) Purchase black felt, and cut it into the shape of a jack-o-lantern face. Use fabric tape to affix the felt onto the dress. The rest of your spooky ensemble is up to you!
Glinda the Good Witch Costume
An opportunity to wear a poofy princess dress? Count us in! To dress as Glinda from The Wizard of Oz, pair your flounciest ensemble with a DIY crown. We recommend using card stock and getting as creative as you’d like with rhinestones and glitter.
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The Little Mermaid Costume
Our Halloween motto: When in doubt, wear a mermaid costume. All you need to create this Disney-inspired one is a form-fitting green skirt, a purple bikini top, and a red wig. A Flounder stuffed animal is totally optional (but highly recommended). Got a pet you can dress up? You’ll definitely want to take a look at these Halloween costume ideas for dogs and cats.
Drew Barrymore in Scream Costume
Halloween is the perfect time for a scary movie marathon—and to dress like your favorite scary movie characters. Luckily, dressing as Drew Barrymore’s character, Casey Becker, from Scream is easy as can be. Wear a sweater and jeans set and don’t forget your clunky phone. If you want to add some well-placed stab wounds, here’s how to make fake blood.
Cassette Tape Costume
Calling all music lovers! Dress as your favorite recording device with this nostalgic costume. (OK, maybe it’s not your favorite, but it might have been once upon a time!) It allows you to get crafty and also show off your musical tastes by customizing the name on the label.
Operation Game Costume
Pay homage to this classic game by dressing like it for Halloween. If you’re in a couple, you can have a surgeon and a game board. Or, if you’re by yourself, simply dress as the board. All you need is a solid-colored outfit and some internal organs made of felt. If you have a teenager at home, they may think this is clever, or they may want to check out this list of cool teen Halloween costume ideas.
It’s Raining Men Costume
We love that this costume allows you to personalize it with all of your number one guys. Plus, you can wear a cute rain outfit (complete with rubber boots) that you already own.
Citrus Slice Costume
Now this is one refreshing costume! It works for a trio of friends or on its own. Studio DIY offers step-by-step instructions for recreating this fresh-squeezed outfit at home. Hosting your own monster mash this year? These Halloween party ideas will help!
White Rabbit Costume
Classic tales like Alice in Wonderland can sometimes make the best last-minute, yet still easily recognizable, adult costume ideas. For this upscale version, wear a white button-down with a black vest and red necktie, as well as bunny wears and a hat. Better hop toward your trick-or-treating, because you’re ready to go!
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 great thing about this one is that anyone can get in on the action. But if you’re expecting and want to show off your bump, you may want to break away from the pack and go with one of these pregnant Halloween costume ideas.
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!
Cat in the Hat Costume
Take a page from the world of Dr. Seuss: Start with a black top and leggings. Glue on white felt for the stomach. Add a red scarf, a striped hat, and face paint to become the mischievous Cat in the Hat. Want to really mess with your friends? Talk only in rhymes. Bonus points if you get a cat Halloween costume for your feline friend that matches!
50 Shades of Gray Costume
No need to cover the kids’ eyes: This is a totally G-rated take on the popular R-rated novel by E. L. James. Pick up some gray paint swatches, stick them on a gray shirt, and see who can guess your outfit on the first try. Keep the guessing games going with these Halloween trivia questions.
Snapchat Filter Costume
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.
Do you wanna build a snowman? How about dress up as a snowman? This Reader’s Digest 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.
Cotton Candy Costume
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.
Fake News Costume
Thing 1 and Thing 2 Costume
Grab a friend for this Seussian adult costume idea that’s perfect for couples. You’ll need a red dress, red tights, and LOTS of blue fur. These Halloween books for kids also provide a little holiday flair without the scare.
Cat Emoji Costume
If there’s one thing the Internet loves, it’s cats. Pay tribute to that by dressing as the adorable cat emoji with this DIY adult Halloween costume. Not only will it make everyone giggle, but it’s also a cinch to make. Next, check out these Halloween memes that will have you howling with laughter.