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13 Last Minute Costumes Ideas

Updated on June 7, 2015

Trade an Old Costume with a Friend

If rushing out and buying a costume at high "last minute" prices doesn't fit in your budget and you don't want to wear the same thing you did last year, see if you can swap with a friend and wear each others old costumes.

If there is no friend to trade with, read on for fast and easy costume ideas you can put together in just a few minutes using materials already in your house. There is no reason to miss out on a great party because you don't have a costume ready.

I guarantee you will find something to wear here!

Cat costumes are cute, but over done.
Cat costumes are cute, but over done. | Source

Quick and UNIQUE Costume Ideas

My number one goal when heading to a costume party is to not be dressed like anyone else there. It's boring and I'm not a boring person.

And what's the number one costume seen each Halloween? It's The Cat, or The Sexy Cat.

Every Halloween costume party I've ever attended had at least one lady, if not more, who showed up dressed as a cat. And we all know exactly what happened: they didn't have a costume so they threw together the cat idea at the very last minute.

Let's avoid you looking like every other woman in a very boring cat costume by utilizing one of these fast and cost efficient dress up ideas. Even if you have a tight budget, all these ideas are suitable for you so no worries.

Witch or Warlock

All you need for this costume is black clothing and your broom, it's nice and simple. For added effect you can carry a wand created from a branch in your yard. Bonus points if you use makeup or markers to create a wart on your nose and have the ability to cackle.


Be a Big Baby

The Big Baby is a great idea as it works easily for both men and women, whether or not you have kids.

If you don't have kids, do this:

  • Style your hair messy if it's short and in pig tails if it's long.
  • Use a paper towel or a dish towel as a bib.
  • Use makeup or markers to draw freckles and cheeks on your face.

If you do have kids, do this:

  • Style your hair as described above.
  • Use an actual bib instead of fabricating one.
  • Carry a baby bottle filled with real milk or formula or glue as a substitute.
  • Wear a pacifier around your neck.

Crown Yourself

A crown can easily be created with cardboard and aluminum foil. Shape yourself a crown. A simple foil crown will do just fine, but if you have beads, rhinestones, costume jewelry, or colored paper to add, go right ahead. The more outlandish your crown, the better.

You can call yourself many things while wearing a crown:

  • King or Queen
  • Prince or Princess
  • Prom King or Queen
  • Beauty Queen

Whatever you're going to call yourself, make sure you have clothes in your closet to match your crown and description of yourself. This costume can go many ways, it is a very versatile choice. If you are pairing off with your partner or a friend, this will work for both of you while still allowing for your own unique designs.

Make in One Minute


The Conspiracy Theorist

Or if you prefer, The Paranoid Conspiracy Theorist.

Grab the roll of aluminum foil from your kitchen and shape some into a hat to place on your head.

Some people will get it right off the bat while others will need an explanation. Funny explanations include:

  • It's so the aliens can't find me anymore.
  • I'm blocking the government from reading my mind.
  • My spouse can't track me while I'm wearing this.

If anyone thinks your fast and free costume is cheesy and makes a rude comment, start muttering incoherently. If you aren't the creative type and doubt your ability to shape a proper tin foil hat, grab an old ball cap or any other hat and cover that.

The Spouse

With your spouse's permission, grab a frequently worn outfit from their closet which is likely to easily recognized by other party goers.

Adopt an expression, attitude, or stance your spouse is known for and put it on display all night. Be sure and keep it on the comical side, not the mean side! You do have to live with your spouse after all.


Wear a Toga

Wear a comfortable form fitting outfit, or pajamas. Use a bed sheet to make a toga around it. This will most likely require some safety pins, but very creative types will be able to do it by just tying knots in the sheet.

A toga costume can be topped off with a crown of leaves, if you have some suitable leaves growing in your yard.

Barefoot and Pregnant

This costume works best for ladies. Stuff a pillow underneath an overlarge shirt or dress and wear shoes you can easily slip in and out of.

If you actually are pregnant, just take your shoes off.

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How to Shine at a Halloween Party No Matter What You are Wearing

  • Be nicely groomed: do your hair and makeup to the best of your ability, no matter what your costume is.
  • Greet everyone you know, and even those you don't know, with a smile on your face.
  • Be a good conversationalist: ask more about the other person than you tell about yourself.

Be Ghostly

You’ll want to have a sheet you can sacrifice for this one and white would be the best choice.

Once again wear whatever you feel comfortable in, throw the sheet over your head and cut out some holes for your eyes and arms.

The Invisible Man

If you don't have a white sheet you want to cut up for a ghost costume, use any color sheet and cut it the same way, call yourself invisible. Bonus points if you can name the movie where a character wore a shower curtain and called himself The Invisible Man.


A zombie costume is easy to put together because you can wear your regular clothes and zombie them up. How to do it:

  • Choose clothes that are already damaged if you have any, and if not, choose clothes that you don't often wear.
  • Selectively damage them using a sharp pair of scissors.
  • Use ketchup, red food coloring, or red jello to make blood splatters and splotches.

Sheriff or Ranger

Make a cardboard star and cover it in aluminum foil or in gold paper if you have some on hand. Attach it to your shirt and call yourself the town sheriff or Texas Ranger.

Bonus points if you happen to have starched blue jeans, a pressed flannel shirt, and a cowboy hat to accompany your sheriff costume.

Pyrite | Source

Be a Gold Digger

This will be especially funny if you are single.

Dress nicely and normally and carry a pail or bucket and a shovel which you have cleaned up.

Bonus points if you can cover the inside of the pail with gold glitter or if you have some Pyrite, also known as Fool's Gold. Adding either of these or even both to your bucket will give this simple costume the golden touch it needs to be a huge success at the last minute.

Have fun!

No matter what you wear have a good time. Some conversation tips:

  • Ask open ended questions.
  • Pay attention to the person speaking.
  • Ask them how they got the idea for their costume.

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Submit a Comment

  • Emma Vine profile imageAUTHOR

    Emma Vine 

    4 years ago from Texas, USA

    I love the available for donation!

  • profile image


    4 years ago from Harrisburg Pa

    I got a few sayings for the signs. Available for donation or adoption. My name is bonehead.

  • Emma Vine profile imageAUTHOR

    Emma Vine 

    4 years ago from Texas, USA

    @MikeyPete, I too find it's always more fun to make my own costume and especially if I can pull pieces from my existing clothes. No one will look like you and you save the money that would've went for a generic costume, a win-win. I bet you could easily find a good piece of cardboard and a black marker to make a funny sign as an accessory to your hobo costume.

  • profile image


    4 years ago from Harrisburg Pa

    I also have a few pieces of clothing that are a little baggy or were given to me. Being mid August and Halloween is Oct 31 I have a little time to put together a couple of costumes. I already have a beanie cap, faded/frayed jeans and a bandana. I see a hobo coming out of this and a few dollars at craft stores I'll have the icing on the cake instead of the $50 plus for a cheap and generic costume. Another I'll do is a hippie and I have a tie dye shirt, frayed jeans and a wig a lady friend gave to me.Another few dollars at a craft store. throft shop and maybe a halloween store. This I done as a hippie chick last year and everybody at work turned it into a laughing gas chamber.


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