DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

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What costume will you wear for Halloween?

Halloween is fast-approaching, and time is running out to figure out what ghoulish goblin or pretty princess you’ll trek out into the night as on October 31st. At this point, you’ve got 11 days to shop-and-ship, and let’s be honest: are you really going to trust the expedited shipping to get your costume to your home in time? Not to mention–will it fit?

The Remedy: DIY Costume

“DIY” can seem daunting to those who aren’t the craftiest. But rest assured, with a few spare parts from old costumes, a trip to the thrift store for materials, and/or the trusty “practice makes perfect” technique, anyone can whip up a one-of-a-kind costume in no-time. The best part? These are usually the most talked about costumes at a party, and the most treasured Halloween outfit by the wearer.

How Hard is it to Make a Do It Yourself Costume?

The level of difficulty is purely up to you. Looking for something easy? Find a red-and-white striped shirt and red beanie at a thrift store and dress up as Waldo from Where’s Waldo. Want something a little more challenging? Try drawing spots on yourself and dress up as a leopard! The sky’s the limit if you give it a bit of imagination (and a few search scrolls through Pinterest).

A Few DIY Costume Ideas

For those of you needing a little direction, take these DIY Halloween costumes I created in the past as inspiration.

Pebbles from The Flintstones

My boyfriend at the time and I wanted to do a couples outfit, and we decided upon Pebbles and Bam-Bam. I didn’t like any of the costumes I saw online for either character, and so we decided to make our own in the end. It was a hit!


DIY Pebbles from the Flintstones CostumeLevel of Difficulty: Beginner
Materials Used: Over-sized, lime-green shirt; blue flannel-stretch fabric; sharpee; thin elastic; blue thread and needle; fabric scissors
How to Make It: (1) Buy an old, oversized lime green shirt from a Thrift store. You want it to be too big all over on you. (2) Draw jagged edges on the shirt on the front, creating an upside-down V. Keep the jagged edges going all around to create a high-to-low fashion shirt. (3) Cut using fabric scissors. (4) Use a sharpee to draw large triangles randomly over the front and back of the shirt. (5) Measure your waist with the elastic. Use this measure to cut the length of your skirt. Note how long you want it to be, as well. ** Give yourself an extra 1.5 inches from this length (6) Use the same jagged drawing method to create the bottom of the skirt. Cut the fabric. (7) Cut elastic a little under the measure of your hips, in order to keep the skirt snug. (8) Using either hand-stitching or a sewing machine, sew the open ends of the skirt together. Then sew the elastic band together in a circle. (9) Using hand-stich or a machine, fold the extra 1.5 inch over the elastic circle and sew, being careful not to get the elastic in your stitch.
My Cheats: I used a wig for the hair with the bone. I had REALLY short hair at this time, so there was little I could do to put a bone in it. BUT, should you have long enough hair, go to Party City and see if you can’t find a bone in the Halloween Decor section. OR, make your own with cardboard and spray paint white for a more cartoon look!

Black as Night Leopard

This was a last-minute costume, believe it or not! The only thing I had to run out and buy were the fangs (which were actually for a vampire costume, but whatever, I’M NOT A PART OF YOUR SYSTEM! ok, rant done). As you can manage, most of the time spent on this outfit was for the makeup (tutorial coming THIS WEEKEND, stay tuned!), but I threw on the rest, and this outfit, too, was a hit at the few parties it made an appearance in.

Black as Night DIY Leopard CostumeLevel of Difficulty: Intermediate
Materials Used: Fun, leopard shirt (on-hand), ripped leggings (on-hand), cat ears (on-hand), fangs, and leopard face makeup
How to Make It: A lot of these items I had on-hand, but you can recreate it easily! (1) Find a cheap, fun leopard tunic at a thrift store for your top. (2) Get some cheap leggings (go for the stretchy, athletic-kind if you have a choice–it will make cutting easier) and (3) cut symmetrical lines down the sides of your legs, about 1 inch apart. Stop just above your ankle. (4) If you have cat ears from an old costume like me, awesome. If not, get a cheap black headband and use cardboard to create triangles. Glue them onto the headband and spray paint, paint, or color in black. (5) Paint spots on one side of your face, alternating gold, dark brown, and light brown shades inside black semi-circles (tutorial coming this weekend!).
My Cheats: I bought fangs at Party City. I believe they were about $6. I used Denture glue to keep them on my teeth throughout the night, and people got a kick out of it when I would hiss or growl at them. They’re not munchies or booze-friendly, as drinking and eating tend to make them loose, but they make for a create conversation starter. You can definitely live without them in the long-run if you’re whipping something up fast and on a budget.

The Four Seasons: Fall

Ok, so my friends and I had a REALLY good group-costume idea one year (when our bodies were more petite and perfect for said idea). We were honestly so excited to have thought about it and to try to pull it off. Then life happened and one friend got busy and another was going to be out of town, and we were down to TWO people for our four-people theme: the four seasons. But, despite missing Summer and Winter, my friend “Spring” and myself “Fall” got plenty of compliments and wow’s throughout the night. DIY Four Seasons Spring and Fall Eve Costume


Directions for My Costume: Fall

The Four Seasons Fall Eve Costume DIY

Level of Difficulty: Advanced
Materials Used: Stretch leggings; Halter Bikini Top with built-in cup support; fake fall-colored leaves and flowers; glittery bronze leaves (from Christmas section at craft store); fall-colored flat-back jewels (for face design); eyelash glue (to attach jewels); eyeliner; hot glue gun; plenty of hot glue sticks; scissors
How to Make It: (1) Take an old pair of stretch leggings and cut down to shorts size (it will look more like a skirt after adding the leaves to it). (2) Use the hot glue gun to glue leaves on bra top, working from the inside out to create a design. We used a glittery poinsetta in the middle as an accent to the leaves all over the top. (3) Use the glue gun to glue leaves to the shorts (while laying flat on a table) one-by-one. Use your imagination and create clusters with bigger flowers and glittery leaves in certain areas. Be sure to work closely together, as the material will stretch once you put it on. (4) After the glue has dried, try on the bottoms and note any large gaps where you need to add leaves. (5) Fill the gaps. (6) Use eyeliner to draw a design coming from your eye out to your upper cheek. Arrange jewels around design for a fairy-like look. (7) Use a cue-tip or nozzle-tip glue to apply a dab of glue onto the back of the jewels. (8) Blow lightly on the glue until it becomes tacky, then apply with light pressure to desired place on your design. Hold for 15 seconds, then let go.
My Cheats: No cheats really, other than the fact that I had the bikini-top on hand, but had lost the bottoms, so it made a perfect project piece. I also used polka-dot leggings from an old 80’s style dance. If you have a choice, go for a fall-colored legging, such as maroon, burnt red or orange, or dark green. If you have any skinny material from your fake flowers and leaves, go up the sides and ties, like shown in my pic. I used a mossy-like stick, but it was VERY itchy, so I’d advise trying the material against your skin before gluing.


And there you have it! Three do-it-yourself ideas sure to turn heads at your next Boo-tastic event.

What’s the best DIY costume you’ve made in the past?

Stay Dashing, My Dears!

Sarah is a Marketing Project Coordinator at Research Now.
Sarah writes about events, experiences, and happenings around Dallas, Texas and Plano.
Sarah is a blogger, foodie, and brand advocate, dedicating her free time to DIY craft tutorials, creating new recipes, and reviewing products.

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