Halloween Costume Ideas (Using Stuff You Already Own)

Maybe it’s a part of a parenthood initiation program, but at some point in every parent’s career they discover that Halloween superstores are in fact, not so super. Instead, they are home to expensive, poorly made costumes that children must have, as evidenced by wildly embarrassing temper tantrums.

Parents (and their wallets) desperate to avoid the aforementioned situation should try to get a little creative with costumes this Halloween. Instead of relying on the megastore version of a Harry Potter costume, parents can use that time to create Harry’s ensemble with their child.

The team at Socks4Life.com created a new resource to highlight creative uses for socks—including a guide to DIY Costume Ideas. The guide has all sorts of ideas—from traditional costumes for one to funny costume idea for a group! The best part is: no need to take out a loan to put together the getups! Each outfit can be created by recycling and repurposing stuff that’s already lying around the house or that can be purchased from a secondhand store.

DIY Halloween costumes are not only a money-saving tactic, but they’re also a chance for kids to use their imagination. Children will have a blast deciding who or what they’d like to be for Halloween and how they will create the costume! Parents, load everyone into the minivan and head to the local Goodwill. Give each child a spending limit and then let them loose; this will encourage independence and creativity. Plus, each child will feel personally responsible for their costume and so much more satisfied when it’s complete…hello peace and quiet!

Read on for a few of the costume ideas from the guide:

1. Biker:
• Dark jeans
• Leather jacket: Attach a Harley or biker gang logo cut out of construction paper.
• Wear a bandanna around your head.
• Black leather gloves
• Motorcycle sunglasses
• Leather studded belt and studded jewelry
• Draw fake tattoos on your arms and a mustache.
• Walk bow-legged, as if you’ve spent the day on your bike.

2. Movie Star:
• Long sequin dress or old formal gown – think long and slinky. This is a great secondhand store buy!
• High heels
• Accessorize with long gloves, a feather boa, and rhinestone jewelry
• Wear your hair styled and apply lots of makeup.
• Pretend like you’re being photographed and strike poses every so often.

3. Sonny and Cher:
• Sonny: Wear bell bottoms and a psychedelic button-down shirt and a jean vest. Add aviator sunglasses and wear a thick mustache or use face paint to draw one.
• Cher: The taller of the pair, Cher wears a slim-fitting maxi dress, a long, straight black wig and lots of eye makeup.
• This costume is always a hit, but it’s especially funny when the taller of the pair (Cher) is a male.

4. The Four Seasons:
• Spring: Wear a pastel colored shirt and pastel colored pants. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and glue a bird’s nest to the top of it (purchase from a craft store). Wrap flower garlands around your body and stick plastic butterflies in the garland and on your clothing.
• Summer: Wear summery shorts or a skirt (a bathing suit if you’re a guy). Paint a yellow sun on the stomach of a white tank top. Wear sunglasses or better yet, novelty beach sunglasses. Apply white paint or zinc oxide to your nose like sunscreen. Wear a shell necklace and fisherman’s net draped over your shoulders, both from a craft store.
• Fall: Wear a camouflage shirt and pants. If you can’t find that, brown pants and an orange shirt are perfect. Wrap a leaf garland around your body and stick miniature pumpkins, leaf stickers, bats, etc to the garland and outfit.
• Winter: Wear a white long-sleeved shirt and white pants or skirt. Wear a winter hat and gloves. Attach paper snowflakes and lightweight Christmas tree ornaments to outfit, put a large poinsettia leaf behind your ear or scattered around your outfit. Finish off with Christmas socks.

5. Orbit Gum Girl:
• White, tailored dress
• Colorful neck scarf
• Blonde, curly voluminous hair
• Carry around a pack of Orbit gum and act super perky, saying things like, “Fabulous,” “Dirty mouth? Clean it up!” and “For a good clean feeling.”

For more costume ideas, check out the full DIY Costume Ideas guide and where readers can even submit their own costume ideas to the guide! Happy Halloween!

About the Author

Guest author, Maggie Voelker, works as a writer in Indianapolis, IN. She and her three siblings loved creating their own Halloween costumes growing up, so she’s excited to share this information with others!