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10+ Halloween Costume Ideas on a Low Budget

Updated on October 20, 2018
Bills Place profile image

Billy Haynes is a content writer & CEO of HD Writing Co. He has an interest in many things and experience writing about even more.

Halloween is just around the corner, that means costume hunting or planning. With this list of fun and creative costume ideas, you’re sure to enjoy gathering candy (or handing it out). The best part, all these ideas can be done on a low budget!

If you’re comfortable with a little DIY handy work, there are many things you can do with just a little Halloween make-up, liquid latex and cardboard boxes – which you can often get used boxes free! Let’s begin.

1. Lora Craft – Tomb Raider

Not only is this an iconic character in both games and movies, it is also budget friendly, and makes for a sexy adult costume.

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What you’ll need:

  • Pair of grey shorts – what a sexier look, go with short shorts.
  • Grey tank top
  • Two toy pistols with holsters.
  • Pair of boots

You may have some of these in your closet, if not you’re treating yourself to a bigger wardrobe too!

Tip: If you sew, the holsters can be created using old straps and buckles, such as off a back-pack.

1. BB-8 Star Wars Costume

Is someone a Star Wars fan? The BB-8 costume is great for kids or adults!

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What you’ll need:

  • Cardboard
  • Acrylic paint (or your preferred paint)
  • Fabric (optional)

Although there are ready made costumes available, it is simple enough to make at home using cardboard and acrylic paint. For a higher quality look, fabric can be used as well.

Measure the person who will wear it for proper sizing, then cut out cardboard pieces to form the oval shape. Begin connecting them (hot glue works great). Then begin painting the entire surface white, allowing it to completely dry to determine if another coat is needed. Once the white layer is finished, begin painting the orange and grey elements (free hand or cut a stencil for accuracy).

If using fabric, you may be able to find a print-ready BB-8 fabric at a local fabric shop, otherwise you will need white, orange, and dark grey. The black lines can be made using a marker.

3. Prince Costume

Are you a Prince fan, or just love purple like the late performer? If you love purple, you may have a color fitting wardrobe already, otherwise you may be able to find a purple suit at a local Goodwill.

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What you’ll need:

  • Purple suit – coat and pants, bell bottoms for a closer look
  • White top
  • Round sunglasses
  • Cabochon necklace of the Prince symbol (optional)

Although these items may be a bit tougher to locate, if you’re able to locate them at a thrift store, it could cost less than $20 total, so it had to be mentioned.

4. Favorite Board Game Costume

This is more of a broad range idea, because we all have our favorite board game. From a Tetris costume or Guess Who costume, to Monopoly, there are many budget friendly options.

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What you’ll need:

  • Cardboard – Ask stores for boxes they are throwing away.
  • Acrylic paint and/or markers
  • Hot glue or tape

If you can get free boxes, this costume can be made for less than $10, possibly under $5! Start with your preferred board game, cut your cardboard and connect it, then simply paint the correct design.

Notice in the example image above, you can make it a group activity and be the different board pieces (or shapes).

5. Brand Hero Cosplay Costume (?)

Okay, so I wasn’t sure what type of name to give this idea, but I thought it was creative and budget friendly enough to add. Basically, you’ll make a super hero costume and have your favorite brand on it, instead of the usual call sign.

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What you’ll need:

  • Blank top – shirt, corset, etc.
  • Blank bottoms – shorts, pants, etc.
  • Paint, markers or dye

First, choose which brand you want to represent, like Wonder Bread Woman in the above photo. Then, begin making the required designs.

Tip: Consider your colors before starting. This way you can choose the appropriate canvas. For instance, Wonder Bread would be a white canvas, where Monster Energy would be better with a black canvas.

6. Monster Energy Emo Make-Up Costume

Are you a fan of Monster? If you have a good hand or know someone who does, a little make-up and temporary hair dye (or a wig) can help you pull off an amazing look this Halloween.

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What you’ll need:

  • Make-up
  • Hair dye or wig

This one is fairly self-explanatory, but something to keep in mind is the color scheme. If you have a favorite flavor, try to use similar colors.

7. Soda Can Wound

Grab you some liquid latex, a soda can, and some fake blood and you’ve got the ingredients for a killer, and painful looking costume.

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What you’ll need:

  • Liquid latex
  • Fake blood
  • Soda can

The first step is to prepare the can by cutting it in half, or enough you feel comfortable with hanging off your face. Then, you want to use pliers to bend the edge inside the can. This will help reduce the sharp edge. You will need to make a small slit, creating enough slack to bend the entire edge.

Once the can is prepared, you can begin working with the liquid latex and fake blood to create your realistic looking wound around the desire area. The final step is adding the can by adding some liquid latex to the smooth edge and placing it on the wound. This creates a bond, like glue.

Note: For safety reasons the can should be done shortly before going out. Additionally, a plastic bottle can be used, but it’s harder to smooth the edge as it has to be heated up.

Forum Novelties Liquid Latex, Clear, 16 Ounce
Forum Novelties Liquid Latex, Clear, 16 Ounce

Used for making realistic, gory scabs, cuts, and drastic wounds. Great for Halloween, or any other costume party or event where you want 3D FX,

 

8. Wacky Wavy Inflatable Tube Person Costume

You know them things by the road at businesses people like to mimic? Take it a step further and actually be one! It’s fairly simple to make yourself.

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What you’ll need:

  • Two pop-up, round cloths hampers (Dollar Tree has them for $1)
  • White felt
  • Black felt
  • Glue & Hot Glue
  • Bright color fabric (sheets work great)
  • Zip ties

You will be using zip ties to connect the two hampers together, this will make your tube. Place the sheet over and cut your face holes, glue the sheet to the tube. For the arms, use leftover fabric.

Check out this step by step tutorial.

9. Gory Costumes w/ Liquid Latex Base

If it is more of a gory look you are after and have a small budget to work with, you’re in luck. Liquid latex ranges between $3 (1oz) and $10 (1 pint).

Depending on your desired outcome, you will need fake blood, and for a higher quality look scar and nose wax.

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What you’ll need:

  • Liquid latex
  • Scar wax
  • Scab blood
  • Stage blood

Things can get messy, make sure you are not wearing good clothing and make sure surfaces are covered to avoid staining. Then, begin applying your face as desired. You could go for a facial peel look like above, or to keep things affordable, more of a slice across the face?

Tip: It is easier to have someone apply your gory face.

10. Creepy Clown w/ Make-up Kits

When you’re on a budget, make use of those cheap make-up kits! Just because it shows one picture, does not mean you have to be that, there are endless possibilities.

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What you’ll need:

  • Make-up kit (Halloween or preferred kit)
  • Mehron Makeup Setting Powder (optional)

The above image was created using the Mehron Makeup Setting Powder to give it a higher quality appearance and shine. However, it could be done with just a make-up kit with similar colors.

Remember, Halloween costumes do not have to be expensive and bankrupt you every year for a few hours of dress-up. With a little time, creativity and Do It Yourself initiative, you can have a cool, cute, scary or straight up gory costume too!

Hopefully this list has given you some ideas for a low budget Halloween costume and remember to make use of all those cardboard boxes stores throw out, they’re free after all!

#HubChallange

Write a hub talking about your Halloween costume and share the link in the comments below.

Ideas:

  • Did you make the costume yourself? Share the adventure as a tutorial or story.

  • If you bought a ready-made costume, what was it? You could write a review hub telling us about your shopping experience, how the costume turned out, etc.

  • Simply turn your entire night into a short story!

Comments

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    • Bills Place profile imageAUTHOR

      Billy Haynes 

      2 weeks ago from Paragould, AR

      Glad the article was able to offer some ideas. I thought the Tetris one would be interesting for a group of people to do, then walk through a store, ha!

      What did you dress up as this year?

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 

      2 weeks ago from Western New York

      I absolutely love the board game group costume idea. I am definitely going to try that one next year with my colleagues! What fantastic ideas!

    • Bills Place profile imageAUTHOR

      Billy Haynes 

      2 weeks ago from Paragould, AR

      Thanks, which one did you like the best?

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      2 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very entertaining and wonderful ideas of costumes to suit the Halloween season.

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