41 Cheap Halloween Costumes for Kids Basically Anyone Can DIY
Create a costume your child won't ever forget (and stay within your budget!).
Have the best-dressed kid in town
Is there anything cuter than a little kid dressed up on Halloween? Unfortunately (or fortunately, for super-creative parents!) sometimes store-bought costumes can cost a pretty penny. Not to worry—while store-bought costumes can be great, there’s nothing like unique, creative, homemade DIY Halloween costumes for kids to steal the show. Some of these are more crafty and time-consuming (but very doable thanks to handy tutorials!) while others can be cobbled together with items you have at home for great last-minute Halloween costume ideas. We think DIY Halloween costume ideas can be the best Halloween costume ideas! If you want to get in on the Halloween fun, check out these family Halloween costume ideas and brush up on why we celebrate Halloween in the first place.
You don’t have to spend a bundle on Halloween to enjoy all the fun when you can make cheap Halloween costumes for kids like these. There’s no sewing required for this cute fruit costume. All you need is 1 to 1½ yards of felt, a ruler, and scissors. In addition to these DIY Halloween costumes for kids, you can also save some dough with these great DIY Halloween decorations that are easy and inexpensive.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Buy green sweats for your little crime fighter (or white ones and dye them green). Cut out yellow felt for the chest and colored bandanas for elbow and knee pads. For the shell, spray paint a roasting pan brown. Cut slits on the sides and run a ribbon through it for a belt. If your grown-up boy wants to dress up for the holiday too, here are some Halloween costumes for men he’ll love.
Forget getting candy…how about dressing up as candy?! (On second thought, don’t forget getting candy.) But how cute is this DIY swirl candy costume from Hello, Wonderful? It doesn’t even require any sewing! If you actually would rather forego the excessive sweets this year, here are some non-candy Halloween treats kids will still want.
Pippi Longstocking makes a perfect DIY costume for girls with long hair. Start with a striped top, denim skirt, and, of course, tall striped socks. Twist two to four pipe cleaners together (the thicker the hair, the more pipe cleaners you’ll need) and make braids around the pipe cleaners to make them stick out. These are our favorite Halloween makeup ideas.
If you have a unicorn lover (and really, who isn’t?), this cute unicorn princess costume is for you. For even more rainbow magic, paint strands of your little’s hair with colored hair spray or use colorful extensions.
It couldn’t be easier to draw or stick black stripes onto an orange shirt or dress to become this prowling predator! A mask, ears, and/or tiger makeup finishes the look. And don’t forget the tail! Want to dress up while your kids trick-or-treat? Creative couples will love these couples Halloween costume ideas.
Olaf from Frozen
Do you wanna build a snowman? Well, now you can turn your kid into one. Glue felt cut-outs onto a white hooded sweatshirt for the buttons, eyes, and eyebrows. Add a few brown pipe cleaners to the hood for hair. Use orange felt, stuffing, and a wooden skewer to make Olaf’s carrot nose. Here are more of our favorite Disney Halloween costumes.
Say it with us: Awwww! Felt, ribbon, and pipe cleaners dress up an all-orange ensemble to create the cutest baby carrot we ever did see, thanks to this tutorial from Primary. We love these baby Halloween costume ideas as well!
Want to dress your kid up as a superhero—without forking over 40-plus dollars for a branded store costume? Tiffany of Pretty Real has you covered with this DIY costume for boys. Layer an unbuttoned dress shirt and black pants over any shirt with the Superman logo, and finish off the look with big black glasses (Tiffany recommends removing the lenses!). If you want to have the funniest costume this year, don’t miss these punny Halloween costumes for inspiration.
Trace electrical tape on a plain white outfit for the body, use a paper plate for the face, and you have your own living stick figure. In addition to being great DIY Halloween costumes for kids, a stick figure family is also one of our favorite group Halloween costume ideas.
Maybe it’s a little cliché (OK, a lot cliché) to cut holes in a sheet and have your kiddo trick-or-treat as a ghost. But you know what they say, if it ain’t broke…OK, it’s easier said than done to keep the holes where they’re supposed to be and make a functional costume this way! Luckily, Super Mom Hacks has you covered. (Or more like your kid covered…in a sheet!)
We love these easy Halloween costumes for kids from Primary for an individual tot or for a whole group! They’re a great chance to let your little one express their own style. You can use a dress or pants and a shirt, and choose from a whole array of emojis! This design just uses felt for the faces and attaches them with fabric tape. If you love Halloween, don’t miss these Halloween memes that are hilariously relatable.
This Star Wars droid is made out of a Chinese paper lantern, a colander for the hat, and LOTS of white duct tape. Add BB-8’s designs with a black permanent marker and orange duct tape.
Boo from Monsters, Inc.
Since Boo is, well, a kid, you know this transformation isn’t going to be too tricky! All she needs is a big pink t-shirt, purple pants or leggings, and pink ties for those iconic pigtails, and she’ll be a shoo-in for the tot who makes the monsters run scared. To make her even more recognizable, have her hold a Sulley (or should we say Kitty?) plush.
Recycle empty soda bottles and turn them into an aquatic costume. Spray-paint two 2-liter soda bottles and duct tape them to look like oxygen tanks. Glue them to a foam board and strap on with elastic bands. Add flippers and goggles, and you have an adventurous DIY scuba diver. Before you head out, try one of these fun Halloween crafts for kids.
Rip a white bed sheet into strips (ripping makes it look more authentic than cutting) and wrap, wrap, wrap. To give them a dingy color, soak them in coffee water for an hour. Make sure your mummy is wearing white under his or her wrappings. Mummy costumes are classic DIY Halloween costumes for kids, just like the most popular Halloween costumes from the year you were born.
Instantly brighten everyone’s day this Halloween with this charming rainbow costume from Spoonflower. It’s a bit more labor-intensive, but we think the results are worth it! Use simple pom-poms to make the clouds, and just dress up a headband your kid already has for the sun headpiece!
We love this silly, spooky getup! Find a skeletal shirt or sweatshirt and snag some eyeglasses with bouncy googly eyes and you’re ready to go. (Maybe just keep the eyeglasses on for the pictures, though, so that your kid has maximum visibility for trick-or-treating.) What time does trick-or-treating start, anyway?
Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’
Even if your child hasn’t seen the Hitchcock classic, this Melanie Daniels costume is too good to pass up. All you need are some fake crows, white gloves, and sunglasses, and your little star is fighting off bird attacks in Bodega Bay. And don’t miss the best Halloween party games to get you in the spooky spirit.
Even though you probably won’t find a Prince Charming in these fun, spooky Halloween books for kids, it still makes a great Halloween costume! Start with a white button-down and red pants. Glue on gold buttons and trimming to make your little prince as dashing as can be.
Heihei from Moana
There’ll be plenty of kids dressed as princesses out there—why not have your kid stand out as Moana’s goofy rooster sidekick instead? This tutorial from Primary just requires some colorful kids’ clothes, lots of felt, and a styrofoam ball for those big ol’ eyeballs. (Reader’s Digest is not responsible for any unfettered screaming produced by your child in this costume.)
Carefully pin white and pink balloons to a white shirt and pants to turn your kid into a walking bubble bath. Don’t forget to include a rubber duck for extra bath time fun.
Does your kid love playing with toy construction tools? Turn their hobby into a Halloween costume with ease! An orange shirt, jeans, and a hard hat are all you need for this cute Halloween costume idea for kids. Check out these Halloween costumes for teens they’ll love, too.
How adorable would it be if you dressed your roly-poly baby up as a Poké Ball like Say Yes did? This costume uses a red onesie, white pants, and a white hat, and just cobbles together a Poké Ball symbol out of felt! (If you have older kids, they can dress as their favorite Pokémon for an unbeatable family costume!)
Let your child embrace their inner artiste with this creative outfit. To make the paintbrush hat, poke strong broom bristles into a styrofoam disc (use glue for added stability) and attach the disc to a crown of poster board. Color a giant paint palette, and let the paint master go to work.
Cut leg holes into the bottom of a giant plastic tub, and glue fake flowers to the inside of your “pot.” Use duct tape suspenders to hold the tub on your flower child. Going out with a pal? Check out these best friend Halloween costume ideas.
Good grief! This Charlie Brown outfit takes no time at all to make—simply put black duct tape on a yellow T-shirt. This is a great DIY costume for kids you can probably make with things you have at home.
Subtle, parents. But if your kiddo wants to take a walk on the devilish side this Halloween, it can be an easy Halloween costume for kids. Have them wear black or red and complete the look with a pitchfork and horns! Want to get crafty for your own costume this year? Here are the best DIY Halloween costumes for adults.
Here’s another classic that couldn’t be easier! A striped shirt, a hat, and a toy eye patch and hook, and you’re done. Time to sail the seven seas for a bounty of candy!
Box of tissues
Turn a cardboard box into a decorative tissue box, like Reader’s Digest’s features editor Andy Simmons’ daughter has done here. Just add wrapping paper and sheets of white tissue paper for an easy (and funny!) DIY Halloween costume for kids.
Fill a clear trash bag with small colored balloons for your jelly beans. Make sure not to fill the bag too much so your kid still has room to move around. Tape on a Jelly Belly logo and your costume is good enough to eat! If you’ve got a little one on the way, check out these great pregnancy Halloween costume ideas.
Outfit your trick-or-treater in black pants, black shoes, and a black-and-white striped shirt. Add a black hat and a black eye mask, and craft a “money bag” out of a burlap sack. The sack doubles as a place for your child to stash her loot—of candy, that is.
Let your little one take to the skies this Halloween! (Plus, they’ll be warm and cozy in this Halloween costume idea for kids!) Get a thick button-down jacket and matching pants, goggles, a long, flowing scarf, and a helmet and your kiddo will be ready for takeoff.
If dressing up as an ordinary lion or tiger seems too easy, take it up a notch with this adorable Beanie Baby costume. Simply print out (or make!) the Beanie Baby logo (a red heart with white “ty” letters), attach it to a necklace, and wear it with your favorite animal costume. Bonus points if the costume is warm and cozy. You can also turn your pet into a Beanie Baby—it’s one of our favorite Halloween costumes for dogs!
Toy army guy
This creative spin on the soldier costume requires a bit of thrift shopping and a lot of green spray paint. Pick up a can or two along with a plastic helmet, binoculars, a vest, boots, camo pants, and a jacket. Spray paint the ensemble with green spray paint (you’ll need to use a layer of primer first) and make sure to get your little ranger to strike his best freeze frame army pose.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Talk about an iconic costume for the ages! Your little style icon can collect candy in style with a black dress, (child-safe) pearls, and oversize sunglasses. Want to get in on the Halloween fun with your kiddos? Check out our favorite DIY Halloween costumes for grown-ups.
This one might look complicated, but it’s actually fairly simple thanks to this Primary tutorial! You just need an all-white outfit, boots, and a safari hat with tulle attached. Make the “honey jar” out of an old oatmeal container and the “bees” from pom-poms and pipe cleaners. Your little beekeeper will be the buzz of the neighborhood!
You get major nostalgia points for throwing back to this old Hanna-Barbera classic. Your little one may not get the reference, but it’s definitely one of our favorite DIY costumes for boys! (And it’s an opportunity to show him some cartoons from way back when!) You can attach black felt or paper squares to orange shorts and a cap, or just go with animal-print patterns. You’ll also need a fluffy white wig and a toy bone to tie into a sash. You can also purchase a great Bamm-Bamm costume here!
Here’s another oldie but goodie, one of the most tried-and-true DIY costumes for girls. It may require a little shopping (if you don’t have a witch hat lying around), but it’s inexpensive, easy, and recognizable! A dark-colored or sparkly dress, a broom, and perhaps some spooky face paint complete the look. Maybe Kitty can get in on this costume—or try one of these cat Halloween costumes.
This is a good one for a whole crayon crew! Check out Primary for simple instructions on how to turn monochromatic ensembles, party hats, and black felt letters into easy Halloween costumes for kids.
Courtesy Alice Neves Damaceno
Your kid can celebrate their favorite fandom and be nice and warm as a cute and cuddly Ewok from the Star Wars universe. Just get long, dark-colored clothes, boots, a thick shawl or scarf, and bear ears—yub nub! Ready for a night of spooktacular fun? Try out these Halloween trivia questions!