NOTICE: In order to keep our site FREE to readers, we may receive a commission qualifying purchases through the Amazon Associates program. Thanks!
Psst. No time to pull together the quick fixes below? Grab the orange links below to find great deals!
You thought you were going to hang out on your couch tonight eating Ben & Jerry’s and watching old Hammer horror movies.
Then the phone call came.
“You won’t believe this – I just got invited to THE Halloween party of the year but I just can’t go alone! Please please please will you come with me?”
Or perhaps your three-year-old is staring up from her adorable clown costume with her lip trembling, asking, “But WHY won’t you dress up too, Daddy? You promised.”
What to do? You have 30 minutes and zero ideas. Never fear: you can pull together a unique costume…and you can use items you already have around the house! Get ready, get set…get into the spirit in a flash with these last-minute costumes.
- Put an old lampshade on your head and hang a sign around your neck that says “Life of the Party.”
- Wrap yourself in foil and be a burrito.
- Get fully clothed and hang a sign around your neck that reads “Nudist On Strike.”
- Have a headband lying around? Cut animal ears out of paper, color them, and glue them to the headband, then wear the headband ears on your head, along with an outfit in coordinating colors.
- Go through your (or your wife’s, or your roommate’s, or your sister’s) makeup bag. Make yourself up as a slasher film victim or zombie by painting “blood” spatters with lipstick, be undead with dark eyeshadow under your eyes or be Frankenstein with green eyeshadow blended into some foundation (base) and black liquid eyeliner “stitches” on your forehead. Draw lines down from your mouth with eyeliner and draw “larger” eyes by making circles down below your own and be a haunted doll.
- Draw an up-and-down pattern in black magic marker around a yellow shirt and be Charlie Brown.
- Be a slasher film prom girl or undead groom, or a retro zombie or ghoul by repurposing an old outfit you were planning on tossing. A suit you’ve always hated, a plaid shirt that’s well past its grunge stage or a bridesmaid’s dress you already looked like a horror in anyway are all great choices.
- Work with what you naturally have. For instance, if you’re a woman with long, dark hair and you have a black dress or black skirt and shirt stashed somewhere in your closet, do up your hair in braids and be Wednesday Addams. Work out a lot? Shred an old shirt, paint open areas green with green eyeshadow mixed into makeup base and be The Incredible Hulk.
- Raid the garage or attic. If you have kids, great! You probably have accessories that will fit you even though they were originally purposed for children. For instance, cat or mouse ears will probably fit on your head; match these with a same-color simple outfit (black for black cat ears, gray for a mouse, pink for a pink bunny, etc.). Even if you don’t have children, you may uncover some fantastic finds – old clothes that are past their prime and now have their own naturally spooky look; pieces of old costumes from that last Halloween party you went to in 2003.
- Have autumn/Halloween leaf decorations up (or stored in your garage)? Tape them all over autumn-colored clothes such as yellow, orange, red or brown and be a tree.
- Find torn up old duds and a hat you were about to toss and be a scarecrow. Add circle cheeks and other scarecrow face decor with makeup if you’d like. If you have hay or straw decor around your house, stuff a little into your wrist and pants cuffs.
- Grab an old black suit jacket and an empty Dos Equis container, paint on a beard and mustache if you don’t already have one and be The Most Interesting Man in the World.
- Put some lemons in a bowl and write “LIFE” in marker on an old t-shirt. You are now life, handing out lemons.
- Put a kerchief on your head. Wear a plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of jeans with the cuffs rolled. Put on lots of red lipstick. Voila – you’re Rosie the Riveter.
- Know someone who wears a uniform to his or her job and is willing to “loan” it? There you go: instant “costume”!
- Put black tape in a stick-figure formation on a white shirt and pants, tie a smiley circle around your head and be a stick figure.
- Have a lot of black in your closet? Put on a black shirt and black jeans and safety-pin a full black skirt to the back of the neck of the shirt and to each cuff of the shirt. Spread your wings, and you have an instant bat costume.
- Take dozens of Post-It Notes and write “Hello, my name is…” with a different name on each. Post them all over your shirt. Your costume? Identity thief.
- Roll up the sleeves of a black or silk screen t-shirt, draw “bad boy” or “bad girl”-style tattoos all over your arms and upper chest and be a biker.