85 Easy, Frugal Halloween Costume Ideas
I'm not crafty, but I know a good costume idea when I see one. That's why I was overwhelmed with the number of high-quality, affordable DIY costume ideas for adults, kids, and even pets available online and in some of my favorite magazines. Check out these links to some excellent tutorials. Most costumes can be made in a few hours or less — and are done with even the most limited budget! (See also: Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costumes)
All You Magazine's 7 Easy Halloween Costumes for Kids — This roundup includes directions for a robot, butterfly, a bunch of grapes, flower girl, baby bat, and lizard.
Family Fun Magazine's 13 Last-Minute Costume Ideas — These can easily be adapted for adults, and they are perfect for the parent who forgot to plan ahead and couldn't buy or make a costume in time for the big holiday! Ideas include Spa Princess and Miss Universe (as well as some "pun-based" ideas that may or may not be as popular).
Woman's Day 15 Print-and-Color Masks — If the weather is chilly, and your costume will be covered by a parka and gloves, anyway, you may want to consider a mask! These printables are easy to color, cut, and wear (and make a super activity for kids to participate in long after the holiday is over).
Real Simple's 8 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes — I'm not sure I like the outdated Broccoli Spears idea, but the rest on this list are cute and clever. If you have just a few minutes to throw something together, this is the list for you! (Includes highway, bubble bath, the impressive jellyfish!)
Ready Made's 13 Eleventh Hour Halloween Getups — These tongue-in-cheek costumes are probably best for the ambitious adult, but all of them take little time to create. Choose from Bubble Wrap Man, Cereal Killer, Freudian Slip, and more.
Woman's Day 3 Darling DIY Dog Costumes — These work well for anyone who has a dog too large to squeeze into a infant costume (which can be used for some breeds of dogs). Adapt them for cats, too! (We like the little Frenchman the best.)
Lifehacker's 14 Homemade Halloween Reader Gallery Costumes — There aren't instructions for these super-creative, reader-submitted ideas...but I think you get the picture.
Working Mother's 5 Go-to Halloween Getups — These adorable ideas for younger kids, like ladybug and cowboy, use things you probably have lying around the house (like pantyhose and winter gloves). There are even shortcuts for those of us less motivated moms!
Don't forget Wise Bread! We've got our fair share of tips for simple and creative costumes, too! You can check out our homemade costumes, cheap online shopping sources, cheap and easy kids costumes, and why spending more may be better.