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DIY and Budget-Friendly Halloween Costumes

Updated on October 17, 2014

Halloween is generally a fun holiday for all - it gives you a chance to dress up without questions! However, it is easy to spend up to $100 (or more!) on a costume that you may only ever wear once. So, why not put together a Halloween costume yourself to save a few dollars, and to show others your creative side. I'll be showcasing a few different Halloween costumes I have put together myself in the past!

Little Miss Riding Hood

Little Miss Riding Hood is easy to put together as a last minute costume if required! What you will need:

  • White shirt (can be a t-shirt or blouse) - I've used a button up shirt I already owned - $0
  • Red or plaid skirt - Again, something I already had at home, however if you dont have one, you can easily find one at a thrift shop, or at a clothing store (this is a skirt you could wear as your regular wardrobe - why buy one just for halloween?) -$0
  • Apron - I didnt have one at home, so I bought a tablecloth cotton material from the $1 store and cut one up myself - $1
  • Red Hood - I purchased some red fabric on sale, cut it into a semi circle, and draped it around myself using some red ribbon to secure it - $3
  • Basket - you may have small baskets lying around, but if not, they can easily be picked up again from a $1 store or craft store - $1
  • Plaid Kitchen Cloth - I grabbed this from my kitchen pantry! - $0
  • As an added bonus to halloween guests, I stashed a bunch of candy and chocolate bars in my basket to give away to folks at the party I was attending

Total Price of Costume: $5

Time required to put it together: 20 mins (to cut the apron and the hood)

Strawberry Short Cake

You may recall Strawberry Short Cake as a a show originally from the 1980s! Her costume is also quite easy to put together (and you will notice some re-use from the previous costume when I put this together :)

  • Pink Wig - If you are lucky with your local dollar store, they may carry wigs of various colours, including pink ones! - $2
  • Pink Headband - I placed a headbank over the wig to girly it up, which I already had at home but can easily be found at any accessory store - $0
  • Pink Dress - Again, I already had this at home but you can easily find a pink dress that you can purchase in your regular wardrobe for use not just on Halloween! - $0
  • Apron - As you may recall, this is actually the same apron from the Red Riding Hood Costume above, however I just drew on the Strawberry Short Cake logo - $0
  • Jewellery - I found some bangles at home, but really any green jewellery will do! Its all plastic as well, so easy to find on a budget - $0
  • Bag - I actually had this bag lying around at home, and it had strawberries all over it. Bag is optional though. I just carried it around as my purse/as an added touch with the strawberries - $0
  • Knee high green striped socks - I picked these up at my local accessory store - $5

Total Costume Price: $7

Total time to put it together: 10 minutes (to draw the apron out)

Hippie Chick

The Hippie Chick can be put together so easily with any of your existing clothes or clothes found at your local thrift shop!

  • Top - I'd recommend a loose fitting, off the shoulder top. I found this one at home - $0
  • Skirt - Any fun skirt will do that you can find at home - $0
  • Tights - I picked a bright neon colour that I was able to find at a local accessory store, since bright colours are what make this era! - $2
  • Shoes - Again, I was going with the bright theme and found these pink shoes at home - $0
  • Bag - I had this bag lying at home with the flower on it. Not needed for the costume, but thought it would go - $0
  • Jewellery - Bangles, Necklace, Big hoop or large earrings - Find jewellery that is bright and especially large earrings! These were all items I already had at home - $0
  • Hair - I braided my hair the night before right after I took a shower. The next day, when it was time for Halloween, I removed the braids and ended up with great big poofy crimped hair :) Tie it to the side, and you are set! - $0
  • Makeup - Big eyeshadow and lipstick and again, colour! - $0

Total price of costume: $0 - SO easy to put this one together with items you have at home

Total time to put together - 0 minutes

Poison Ivy

Sorry in advance for the low quality photo. I, unfortunately, did not take a photo of my full costume of Poison Ivy.

  • Green Dress - I had this one lying around at home, but if you can find a green dress you would wear in your regular wardrobe, why not buy that one! - $0
  • Red Wig - Again, if your local dollar store has some wigs available, I would recommend purchasing there! - $2
  • Tights - I purchased some fishnet tights at an accessory store so that I could make use of them with ivy leaves below - $2
  • Ivy leaves - I paid a visit to my local craft store and purchased an ivy vine. I cut the leaves off and used safety pins to pin the leaves to: My wig, a diagonal section of leaves across my dress, scattered along my tights - $2
  • Shoes - I had a pair of red shoes on hand so I wore those - $0
  • Make-up - Must have some red lipstick! - $0

Total cost of costume: $6

Total time to put together: 20 minutes (as I decided where to place all the ivy leaves)

Velma - Scooby Doo

Again, I apologise for the side shot of this Velma costume from Scooby Doo - I sometimes forget to take proper photos!

  • Large Orange Turtleneck - This is key in the Velma costume! This is her style! Luckily enough, I actually had this turtleneck at home but you could look at your local thrift store - $0
  • Red Skirt - Velma typically has a pleated skirt, but I found this red corduroy skirt at home and figured it would do just as well. Again, if you dont have one, you can easily find one at a thrift shop or any other red skirt you may choose to wear again - $0
  • Knee High socks - She typically wore orange knee highs, but I say - If you can get a colour close enough that you would wear again, go for those! - $0
  • Dark Rim Glasses - Finally, the costume would not be complete without these glasses. You can find them at your local dollar store - $1

Total price of costume - $1

Total time to put together - 0 minutes

"Serial" Killer

Now for the men out there, I've got one easy to put together costume idea for you! Do you enjoy eating cereal? Do you have boxes laying around? You can be a "Serial" Killer aka "Cereal Killer" (get it?)

  • White shirt - if you have an old white undershirt or tshirt laying around, use that but otherwise you can easily pick up a cheap shirt - $0
  • Red liquid paint - This will be used to splash around your white shirt. You should be able to find this at your local dollar store during halloween - $2
  • Cereal Box - assuming you eat cereal, grab your box and away you go! - $0
  • Knife - Find a plastic knife at your local dollar store - $1
  • String - You'll need string to tie the box around your neck so you can wear it like a necklace - $0
  • Pants - any regular pants will do! - $0

Total cost of costume: $3

Total time to put it together: 20 minutes (to throw the red liquid all over the shirt, to place holes and tie string throw the cereal box, and to place the knife through the front of the box)

Which DIY costume was your favorite?

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As you can see, it is SO easy to put together a do-it-yourself (DIY) costume using items you may have at home! Take a look through your closet to see what you have available and try to base your costume around that. I hope the above has provided you some inspiration and thoughts on potential costumes for you!

Happy Halloween!!

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