More quick, easy and cheap Halloween costumes

For the month of October Listing Toward Forty is Listing Toward Halloween. Last year I made a list of quick and easy Halloween costumes for adults. They are costume ideas that are truly quick, easy and cheap. They don’t assume you happen to have a very specific item or are able to go to multiple stores looking for that item. They don’t assume that you have hours to construct an elaborate DIY Halloween costume. They don’t assume you can sew or paint. The idea was to provide solutions for last minute Halloween costume needs whether due to a late notice party invite or plain procrastination.

This year I’m offering up a few more ideas for easy Halloween costumes that you can pull together quickly with easy to find items. As with the previous list, you probably won’t win a costume contest with any of these, but at least you won’t be the person who doesn’t wear a costume to a costume party.

See the original list of 40 quick, cheap and easy Halloween costumes here.

If you don’t like any of those, here are more suggestions for quick and easy Halloween costumes for women and men:

  • Pinterest Fail

    Pinterest Fail. Choose a Pinterest beauty tip or wearable craft and execute it extremely poorly. Scrawl “Nailed it!” on a t-shirt. Voila! If you have more time and are a bit creative you could turn this idea into an elaborate DIY costume worthy of a prize, but there are plenty of simple manifestations of a Pinterest fail costume that you can do quickly and cheaply such as sloppily sticking sprinkles to your lips.

  • Coffee filter snow storm. If you use basket coffee filters (not the cones) fold them in half then in thirds to make a little triangle. Cut out holes and unfold to reveal a snowflake. Make as many of these that you have time for then attach to an all white outfit.
  • Spam folder. Go into your email’s junk or spam folder and print out a bunch of the more amusing entries. (Be sure to disable images, HTML and autoloading of attachments before opening anything.) Attach them to your body and prepare to be read all night. If you happen to have a can (or more) of Spam or a Spam t-shirt all the better.
  • Always a bridesmaid. If you are a woman with a lot of bridesmaid dresses in your closet wear them all! Put on the worst one that still fits then attach the others with safety pins.
  • Blank page/graffiti. Where all white or other light colored clothing that you don’t really care about. Grab some markers (ideally washable ones in case you skin becomes a canvas as well). Invite people to draw and write on you. This one does involve a little trust and/or a lot of daring.
  • easy Halloween costume: flour
    Photo credit: Malakhi Helel / Foter / CC BY-ND

    Rolling in the dough/Overwhelmed baker. Don an apron and oven mitts. Cover yourself with flour. (Mix some with water for a nice caked on look.) If you are into carrying props choose cookie sheets, spatulas, etc. Make a quick necklace of cookie cutters if you have some.

  • Target employee/Shopper mistaken for a Target employee. Although I try not to list costumes with specific clothing requirements I know enough people who have accidentally worn this costume to Target to realize that many people have the required components in their closets: a red shirt and khaki pants. If you want to add some extra effort make a name tag (white oval with the Target logo) or carry Target shopping bags.
  • Block head. If you have a box that will fit over your head cut in eye holes (at minimum) consider a mouth hole as well. Decorating the box is optional and probably depends on how much of a last minute costume you are making.
  • Modern-day Scarlett O’Hara a’la Carol Burnett. Scarlett O’Hara famously wore a dress made from curtains in Gone with the Wind. Carol Burnett famously parodied the scene but left the curtain rod protruding from the shoulders of her dress. You can pull down your own curtains, thread the rod through the shoulders of a t-shirt you are wearing, hang the curtains on the end, and perhaps add a belt for a little style. Just try not to jab people or things with the ends of your curtain rod.
  • The Color Purple. Wear all purple. Of course wearing purple is a joking reference to the movie/book The Color Purple (which itself isn’t very funny), but you could easily go as the color green or the color blue or whatever instead. Either way it’s a lame costume, but at least you did something.
  • Conspiracy theorist. Make an aluminum foil hat. An Edward Snowden or X-Files t-shirt would be a nice touch if you happen to have one hanging around.
  • Miss (or Mister) Lame Costume USA. T-shirts proclaiming “This is my costume” are overused. Take a different spin with your self-aware lame costume by creating a pageant sash out of paper or fabric proclaiming you “Miss (or Mister) Lame Costume USA.” If you aren’t comfortable claiming the national title your can replace the USA with your state or home town. If you have materials and motivation add a crown and bouquet of flowers for added realism and slightly less lameness.


This month I’ve invited a lot of guest authors to write about Halloween. You can find all their posts here.

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