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Costumes for Under Five Dollars—Homemade Halloween Costumes on a Budget

Updated on August 23, 2017
Dressing up with as a box of tissues is a cheap and easy costume for Halloween.
Dressing up with as a box of tissues is a cheap and easy costume for Halloween.

Five-Dollar Costumes—Homemade Halloween Costumes on a Budget

Having fun on Halloween shouldn't break the bank. After all, no matter how awesome your costume is, the truth is that you will not wear it that often. Luckily, you can make a memorable costume on a budget.

These homemade Halloween costumes each cost five dollars or less to make. Most of them are just downright silly and funny. You are sure to get a laugh, and who knows, you may just win a Halloween contest or two. I also included five-dollar costumes for your dog, Halloween safety tips, cheap Halloween gift basket ideas. I write regularly on Halloween costume, decoration, and party ideas, so if you are looking for other ways to make the holiday memorable or want to learn how to pimp your pumpkin, check out my profile for more articles.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

A Twister costume is perfect for an individual or a couple.
A Twister costume is perfect for an individual or a couple.

Twister Costume

Twister is a great costume for either an individual or a couple. It is simple, and lends itself to photo opps as well!

Supplies:

  • White shirt
  • Red, blue, green, and yellow felt
  • Poster board
  • Markers
  • Brad
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue or needle and thread

Directions:

  1. Cut out circles from the felt and arrange them on the white shirt in the same pattern as a Twister board.
  2. Trim off the end of the poster board off to make it square.
  3. Draw a circle on the poster board and divide it into sections that correspond with the colors. Color in each section with the markers.
  4. Cut out an arrow from the piece of the poster board that you cut off. Color it black.
  5. Attach the tail end of the arrow to the middle of the circle with a brad, so that it can be spun.

A mummy costume is quick and easy—use gauze, glue, and some old sweats.
A mummy costume is quick and easy—use gauze, glue, and some old sweats.

Mummy Costume

There are endless variations on dressing up as an undead ancient Egyptian. You may be tempted to buy loads of gauze and wrap it around yourself, but you will find that it is hard to get it to stay where you would like. Here's an easy way to fix that problem.

Supplies:

  • An old white sheet or 2-3 yards of fabric (you will find that this is actually cheaper than buying the necessary amount of gauze)
  • Scissors
  • Old sweats or any other long-sleeved shirt and pants
  • Spray glue or a hot glue gun
  • Optional: fake blood

Directions:

  1. Cut the fabric into long strips.
  2. Put on the old sweats or long-sleeved shirt and pants.
  3. If you have spray glue, spray the fabric, then wrap it around your clothing. Repeat until you have fully covered yourself and wrap a few remaining strips around your head.
  4. If you have a hot glue gun, glue the end of the strip to your clothing (be careful, the glue can get hot). Wrap the strip around your arm, leg, or torso until you reach the end. Then glue down the end of the strip to your clothing. Repeat until you have fully covered yourself and wrap a few remaining strips around your head.
  5. Optional: Splatter the fake blood on yourself or dribble some from your lips.

Super Easy Mummy

For a super easy mummy, wear a sheet and wrap just your head in gauze.

Looking for a pet costume? Dress your dog up as a ghost!
Looking for a pet costume? Dress your dog up as a ghost!

Under-Five-Dollar Dog Ghost Costume

Dress your long-leggedy beastie as a ghost that goes woof in the night. An excellent chance to recycle that old sheet!

Supplies:

  • Sheet
  • Scissors
  • Elastic
  • Pins or a marker
  • Hot glue gun or thread
  • Optional: pumpkin basket

Directions:

  1. Drape the sheet over the dog. Using pins or a marker, mark where the sheet hits right above the feet, where the dog's eyes are, where the dog's snout is, and where the front and sides of the collar are.
  2. Cut out large holes for the eyes (the costume will move around a little) and the snout.
  3. Cut off any excess fabric that would fall below the dog's feet.
  4. Sew or glue the elastic onto the points of the sheet that will hit the collar.
  5. Loop the dog's collar through the elastic so that it is attached to the costume. Now he or she can walk around as a haunting ghost!

Suggestions:

  1. Dye or tie-dye the sheets orange and black.
  2. Paint or stencil something fun on the sheets.
  3. Write something funny on the sheet like, "Dead Dog Walking" or "Boo". Use your imagination and be creative and I'm sure you can come up with something fun.

Painting your belly as a fish bowl is particularly fun if you are expecting.
Painting your belly as a fish bowl is particularly fun if you are expecting.

Fish Bowl Costume

This works on any belly, whether or not you are pregnant—although it is particularly cute on an expecting mother.

What's more, this is one of the cheapest costume options available. All you need is paint! And, of course, someone who can draw.

Supplies:

  • Body paint
  • Paint brushes, sponges, or Q-tips
  • Cold cream and/or facial wipes

Directions:

  1. Paint on the picture with body paint. Paint brushes, sponges (especially the wedge sponges, meant to apply makeup, that are sold at most convenience stores), and Q-tips are all great tools to use to apply paint. Body paint is recommended because acrylic will crack when dried.
  2. To remove at the end of the day, have cold creme and/or facial wipes at hand.

Suggestions:

2. Paint a pumpkin face instead.

3. Paint a Baby on Board sign. Funny for a man to do too.

4. If you are really brave, paint this on your belly and wear a bathing suit and flip flops.

For Halloween, have him dress up as a cheerleader and her dress up in his sports uniform.
For Halloween, have him dress up as a cheerleader and her dress up in his sports uniform.

Athlete Costume

This one is easy. Wear one of your old sports uniforms. Don't have one? Borrow one from someone who does.

Couples can have some fun by reversing the roles. The guy can wear the cheerleading outfit while the girl dresses up in his uniform.

Fans truly dedicated to the craft of beer pong will appreciate this costume.
Fans truly dedicated to the craft of beer pong will appreciate this costume.

Beer Pong Costume

This will draw a lot of laughs. Be forewarned: people may be tempted to utilize your costume to play actual beer pong. Just say no if you want to make it through the night without getting soaked in sticky alcoholic beverages.

Supplies:

  • Large piece of cardboard
  • Red Solo cups
  • Hot glue gun

Directions:

  1. Use the hot glue gun to attach the red Solo cups to the cardboard in beer pong formation.

If you're feeling daringly cheesy, dress up for Halloween as the pizza man.
If you're feeling daringly cheesy, dress up for Halloween as the pizza man.

Pizza Man Costume

This costume takes a certain kind of bravery, but on the bright side, you get to eat a pizza.

Supplies:

  • Pizza box
  • Some sort of adhesive

Directions:

  1. This ventures into the territory of too much information, so I will let you figure it out for yourself!

Suggestions:

1. No pizza box? Well, I guess you could always use a Happy Meal box from McDonald's.

2. You can skip the pizza box and just borrow a uniform from someone who works at a pizza place or McDonalds.

Balloons and some tape make for an easy grape costume.
Balloons and some tape make for an easy grape costume.

Fruit of the Loom Costume

What's sexier than dressing as a brand of underwear sold at Walmart? This makes for a great group costume.

Supplies:

  • Green or purple balloons
  • Green or purple beanie
  • Safety pins
  • A t-shirt, preferably in the same color as the balloons
  • Shorts and tights—because for some reason the Fruit-of-the-Loom guys in commercials are always wearing tights

Directions:

  1. Blow up balloons.
  2. Carefully safety pin them to the shirt.
  3. Wear with beanie, shorts, and tights.

Suggestions:

1. Use a purple (or green) cap and balloons to make a grape costume.

2. Go in a group as the Fruits of the Loom.

Dress up as Waldo for Halloween.
Dress up as Waldo for Halloween.

Where's Waldo? Costume

People will have no problem picking you out of a crowd in this costume!

Supplies:

  • Red-and-white striped long-sleeved shirt
  • Blue jeans
  • Red and white beanie
  • Cane
  • Round glasses

Directions:

  1. Put on all of the clothes and accessories.
  2. Walk around big crowds waving and smiling.

A box of tissues makes a great costume. For a raunchier twist, see the suggestions.
A box of tissues makes a great costume. For a raunchier twist, see the suggestions.

A Box of Tissues Costume

A box of tissues is a very easy costume that you can prepare the day of!

Supplies:

  • Box
  • Paint
  • Wide paint brush or sponge
  • Permanent marker or colored paper
  • Scissors
  • Tissue paper
  • Tape

Directions:

  1. Cut a hole in the top of the box for your head, two holes in the side of the box for your arms, and remove the bottom of the box.
  2. Using a wide paint brush or a sponge, paint the box. You can paint it a solid color, like above, or pattern it.
  3. Use the tape to attach the tissue paper around the back of the head hole.
  4. Either draw the words on with the permanent marker (wait until the paint is completely dried, because moisture ruins permanent markers) or cut the letters out of colored paper and tape them on.

Suggestions:

  1. Write "Tissues" on both the front and the back.
  2. Use pre-made stickers or stencil letters for the words.
  3. For a raunchier twist, write "Blow me" on the front.

Dress up as a man from the Blue Man Group for Halloween.
Dress up as a man from the Blue Man Group for Halloween.

A Member of the Blue Man Group Costume

This is an extremely cheap and easy costume. Take a trip down memory lane with a Blue Man Group costume.

Supplies:

  • Blue rubber cap
  • Blue face or body paint.
  • Black long-sleeved shirt.
  • Black pants

Directions:

  1. Put on shirt and pants (you do not want to bother with these after applying the paint).
  2. Paint all exposed skin with blue paint.
  3. Put on the blue rubber cap.

Halloween Safety

Safety Tips:

1. Have children wear bright colors while trick-or-treating.

2. Use a flashlight at night.

3. Pin child's phone number and name in the costume.

4. Leave the pumpkin carving to adults.

A pumpkin costume can result in extremely memorable baby photographs and is great for twins!
A pumpkin costume can result in extremely memorable baby photographs and is great for twins!

Baby Pumpkin Costume

Great for twins! Buy a pair of two-dollar pumpkins, and you have yourself two costumes for under five dollars! This costume is perfect for a picture, but not to wear all night long. However, it can be worth it just for that baby photo that will follow the child into adulthood.

Supplies:

  • Pumpkin (choose the size so that it will fit the baby comfortably)
  • Carving tools

Directions:

  1. Cut the pumpkin in half and thoroughly clean out the insides.
  2. Optional: Cut a circle around the stem on the top of the pumpkin to place on the side for decorative effect.

Suggestions:

1. If you don't have kids, you could always use your small dogs.

3. Do this costume only for picture taking and dress the kids in something warmer for Halloween.

Make a cheap homemade gift basket for Halloween.
Make a cheap homemade gift basket for Halloween.

Cheap Homemade Halloween Gift Baskets

A basket is the perfect gift for friends who no longer trick-or-treat. There's no hard-and-fast way to make a gift basket; you fill it and decorate it in a variety of ways. This is a chance to show your creativity and to customize the basket to the recipient. Here are some ideas to get you jumpstarted:

1. Use orange and black tissue paper.

2. Attach Halloween balloons.

3. Use a plastic pumpkin for a basket.

4. Use black or orange wicker baskets and fill or line with straw.

5. Fill the basket with popcorn and a scary Halloween movie instead of candy.

If you want more ideas for Halloween gifts, check out my profile for links to more Halloween crafts, such as a s'more gift basket.

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    • cbjones profile image

      cbjones 4 years ago

      I'll wear the twister costume, but I'd need my girlfriend to wear a gymnast outfit.

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 4 years ago from South Africa

      The Pizza costume is a little daring lol.. thanks for sharing, liked and Blessed by an angel x

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I love your ideas here, thanks for sharing.

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 5 years ago

      Once I saw the Pizza Guy costume I just couldn't stop laughing. I'm still laughing. It sort of screwed up seeing the rest of your writing. HAHAHAHAHAHAH. I must go back. Had to share my laughter with you. Just one question: What size pizza is that? (you don't have to answer that question - just being silly) :)

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Great concept for an inexpensive Halloween costume. :)

    • BlackSunflowerB profile image

      BlackSunflowerB 5 years ago

      Love the pizza guy costume!

    • profile image

      sans300 5 years ago

      Wonderful ideas here. Never knew you could get something done for $5.

    • profile image

      Tenzho 5 years ago

      WOw, The pizza box costume!!

    • diaperbagdiva lm profile image

      diaperbagdiva lm 5 years ago

      Great lens! I'm going to try a few of these great ideas (maybe not so much the pizza box one). Thanks!

    • profile image

      jwharwell 5 years ago

      Very cute. Love the preggo belly costumes and the beer pong table. I was gum under the bottom of a shoe one year. All pink with pink wig. Then i glue a shoe to the top of my head. It was cute!

    • profile image

      dellgirl 5 years ago

      Ummmmmm...a box of tissue?! How cute!

    • HalloweenEnthus profile image

      HalloweenEnthus 5 years ago

      Just love the pizza man costume.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      Fun and informative lens!

    • miacarter profile image

      Mia Carter 6 years ago from SW Florida

      Great lens! I especially love the tissue box!

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      I had a big laugh looking at some of fun costumes, especially the ghost costumes for dogs. What a hoot. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love this lens. This is one of my favorites. Kudos! Very helpful...

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      lol, you have some seriously hilarious costumes on this page! I actually don't dress up myself but I do dress up my little dog in a homemade chihuahua clothes costume I make for her each year for around $5! I like using different fabrics to design a costume, usually making her look like vampire or a ghost or something else. I'm not the best sewer or anything, but it's still a lot fun and I love it!

    • EMangl profile image

      EMangl 6 years ago

      very cute suggestions :-)

    • profile image

      WeirdStuff 6 years ago

      Nice, where are the good ol' times when costumes were made with fantasy and imagination? Now we just buy pieces of plastic...

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great and affordable costume ideas , I liked the twins in the pumpkins - hope they did not mind.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

      Love home made Halloween costumes, the less money invested the better!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I like the box of tissues, so easy and yet so useful too!

    • profile image

      AngelShrout 6 years ago

      Cute ideas I love the box of tissues

    • spritequeen lm profile image

      spritequeen lm 6 years ago

      These are great ideas! Much cheaper to make your own than buy them!! Thanks for sharing!

    • WendyArts profile image

      WendyArts 6 years ago

      There's nothing like making your own costume. It is creative and fun and you certainly won't look like anyone else. Great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This is hysterical! I love the pumpkins on the stairs and the "Costume" t-shirts. This lens is just as funny as it is helpful! =)

    • profile image

      Marijoyce 6 years ago

      What a great lens. I'll have to try some of these and the iWitch t-shirt logo made me laugh out loud.

    • RichLeighHD profile image

      RichLeighHD 6 years ago

      Very fun lens! I enjoyed it.

    • KOrazem profile image

      Seeking Pearls 6 years ago from Pueblo West

      Fun ideas you have shared here. I like the tissue box. This year I am going as a cat which is a pretty easy design to put together. I am a penny pincher and have the makeup so it will be under 5.00. NIce Lens!

    • KOrazem profile image

      Seeking Pearls 6 years ago from Pueblo West

      Fun ideas you have shared here. I like the tissue box. This year I am going as a cat which is a pretty easy design to put together. I am a penny pincher and have the makeup so it will be under 5.00. NIce Lens!

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 6 years ago

      Lots of great cheap ideas here. The pizza box is just plain freaky and the grapes just make me want to carry a pin for popping :) P.S. Thanks for the sprinkling of angel dust on my Halloween Decorating Ideaslens!

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 6 years ago from USA

      LOL...I think a lot of this needs to go on my Stupidest Halloween Costumes lens - especially the pizza box guy (YIKES!). great job!!

    • profile image

      Squidoo_Queen 6 years ago

      Excellent lens that I really enjoyed reading - cool ideas that I would never have thought of!

    • CofCJenny LM profile image

      CofCJenny LM 6 years ago

      I think the box of tissue was my favorite, never seen that before. awesome lens

    • Sami4u LM profile image

      Sami4u LM 6 years ago

      Hi,Another great lens :) Five dollar Halloween ideas costumes. Most of the time I spend way over $60 for my costumes. Who would of thought you could make a costume for under $5.

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 7 years ago

      Awesome lens, this has a lot of good ideas!! Thanks for sharing :)

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 7 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      You sure have all kinds of good ideas here. I especially will remember the pizza man! My sister was one of a pair of dice once made out of painted boxes too. Neat lens!

    • callinsky lm profile image

      callinsky lm 7 years ago

      I'm with Willow. The Pizza Man is tooooo funny.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 7 years ago from Croatia

      That pizza man always brings out the smile! ;)

    • Othercatt profile image

      Othercatt 7 years ago

      Just one question, How did you get all those dogs to hold still (in costume!) long enough to take a picture? This is a great lens. I'm definitely going to use some of these ideas.

    • profile image

      erikusik 7 years ago

      Nice costumes!

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image
      Author

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Thank you for the Squid Blessing kiwisoutback!! Much appreciated

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great work on this lens, I think you've done a great job with it. Squid Angel blessed!