Halloween Costume Ideas: 50 Homemade Costume Ideas

Spooky or silly; fantasy or fangs---whatever your Halloween idea, you can probably do it yourself! Read ahead to discover 50 ideas for homemade costumes.

This Halloween, why spend lots of money on a store-bought costume that looks like everyone else's? Instead, check out our list of 50 homemade costumes---we've revamped old favorites and added original new ideas to give you inspiration this spooky season.

1. Ghost

Don't just stick the sheet over your head! Instead, cut a neck hole from an old sheet and wear it over your body. Take a second sheet, and drape and pin it (like a toga) to add a floaty, ghostly flair. Powder your face and your hair white, and drape light chains over your shoulders.

2. Witch

To make a witch's hat from poster board, cut one large circle for the brim, then cut out the space where the head will fit. Cut another large circle, and cut a slit into the center of the circle. Also cut one-inch slits all around the outside of the circle to make tabs. Wrap this circle around to make a cone, then attach the cone to the brim with the tabs (use masking tape to hold the tabs). Spray paint the entire hat black. Wear black flowing clothes and striped leggings.

3. Mummy

Cut strips of off-white fabric, like muslin or cheesecloth, and wrap around the arms, legs, body, and head, but make sure the mummy can see and breathe!

4. Zombie

Take any old clothes and distress them by fraying the edges and dusting with talcum powder. Pick a theme---you could be a zombie groom, cheerleader, or waitress.

5. Skeleton

Using white or glow-in-the-dark fabric paint, paint a skeleton onto black sweats. Use face paints to make your face look like a skull.

6. Vampire

Wrap a large piece of dark velvet around your neck for a cape. Pin in place with an old brooch. Wear dark clothes in romantic fabrics like crushed velvet and satin.

7. Cat

Start with a leotard and tights. Make a tail by stuffing a tube of fabric. Ears are easy to make from a headband and cardboard. You can also use fake fur for the ears and tail or to trim the leotard. Use face paint to make your eyes look cat-like and to add whiskers.

8. Dog

Add felt spots to a white or brown sweatsuit. Make floppy dog ears out of felt, and hot glue them to a headband. Paint a puppy dog face, complete with a big spot around one eye, to complete the costume.

9. Bumblebee or Ladybug

Paint poster board to look like the body and wings of a bumblebee or ladybug. Wear with leotard and tights to match, and attach wires to a headband for antennae.

10. Butterfly

Sew two long pieces of bright, shimmery fabric down the back of a long-sleeved leotard. Sew the other end of each piece to the underside of a sleeve, so that when you lift your arms, your wings flutter out. Add antennae.

11. Spider

Wear black clothes. Make six tubes of black fabric, and sew three on each side of your shirt or leotard. Tie each set of three legs together with strings, and attach the strings to your shirt sleeves so that when you move your arms, all of your legs move, too.

12. Nun

A nun's habit is a basic black tunic (a shapeless dress with long sleeves). If you have a sewing machine, then you can make a tunic! Look online for patterns. Add a white collar to the habit. Then, measure a strip of white poster board to fit around your head, and hot glue black fabric to this strip. Bobby-pin the poster board to your hair.

13. Friar or Monk

Make a brown tunic, and wrap a simple rope around the waist.

14. Lady in Waiting

Make a simple, velvet tunic dress, or look in thrift stores for a long-sleeved, floor-length, dress. Wrap gold cording under the bustline to create an Empire waist, and crisscross the cording in front. Make a cone hat (like for the witch's hat, only leave off the brim), and attach a translucent scarf to the top of the hat.

15. Fairy

Make a short, sleeveless tunic in a light, flowing fabric, or wear a leotard and a tulle skirt (which you can make by stitching gathered tulle to a strip of elastic). You can make wings by bending coat hangers into the desired shape and covering with white pantyhose. Tie the wings to the body by crossing in front and wrapping under the bustline.

16. Angel

Make a short, sleeveless tunic dress, similar to the fairy's, or wear light, flowing clothes. Make a halo from tinsel garland. Follow the fairy directions for wings.

17. Devil

Sculpt horns from papier mache or plaster of paris strips (you can find this in any craft or hobby store). Attach these to a headband with additional papier mache or plaster of paris strips, and paint red. You can also make a pitchfork from the same material, and attach to a wooden dowel or a broomstick handle.

18. Fairy Godmother

Begin with an existing secondhand prom dress or any shiny, sparkly skirt and a leotard. Then gather fabric (tulle, satin, or any shimmery material) around your waist, and stitch or staple it so that it drapes down the skirt. Create a wand and a crown from any stiff paper, and decorate with paint, rhinestones, sequins, and glitter.

19. Statue of Liberty

Use light green fabric to make a toga. Make the crown from cardboard. For her torch, use a toilet paper tube painted to match the fabric, and glue red and orange tissue paper to the top for flames.

20. Roman Athlete

Wear a toga, and make a laurel wreath from fake leaves. Wear plain sandals, or try spray painting sandals gold and crisscrossing gold cord around your legs.

21. Father Time

Cut a sickle out of cardboard and spray paint it silver. Glue it onto a long wooden rod (like a broom handle). Wear a black toga, and carry the sickle and a clock or an hourglass.

22. Mother Nature

Wear a neutral-toned, long-sleeved leotard and tights. Drape shimmering, translucent blue and green fabric like a toga and safety pin to the leotard. Attach fake flowers and leaves to the draped fabric, and tuck a few flowers behind your ear.

23. Caveman or Cavewoman

Make a toga from animal print fabric. Cut the edges into jagged points. Carry a club.

24. Bobby Soxer

A poodle skirt is easy to make from a large piece of felt. Cut a large circle, and then cut out the waist to fit. Sew elastic to the inside of the waist, and hem the bottom. Then make the poodle (or any other shape) out of felt, and glue to the skirt with fabric glue. Use pompoms and rickrack to decorate. Wear with a simple blouse, a scarf around the neck, saddle shoes, and white socks, and pull your hair into a ponytail.

25. Flapper

Begin with a basic shift dress, and use fabric glue to attach fringe in layers, or you can simply wear a pretty slip and a string of fake pearls. To make the flapper headpiece, cut a length of sequined elastic to fit snugly around your head, then stitch the ends together. Use craft glue to add a feather. Finish the costume with fishnet stockings and heels.

26. Tourist

Wear a tacky, Hawaiian print shirt, khaki shorts, sandals with socks, sunglasses, and a camera around your neck.

27. Beauty Pageant Queen

Make a sash from satin, and use glitter paint to write your title on the sash. Wear an old formal or prom dress and a tiara (or make your own crown from cardboard and plastic jewels). Carry a bouquet of fake roses.

28. Jailbird

Paint white stripes on a black sweatshirt and sweatpants. Make a ball and chain by wrapping bunched-up newspaper in papier mache or plaster of paris strips and painting it black when it dries, then use strips of cardboard (painted black) for the chain.

29. Rag Doll

Wear old, baggy clothes and striped tights. Stitch or safety pin squares of rags to your costume for patches. Make two long braids from red yarn and sew to the inside of an old hat.

30. Scarecrow

Wear a flannel shirt and overalls, and stuff the ends of the sleeves and pant legs with straw. Top with an old porkpie hat.

31. Swashbuckler or Pirate

Wear tight black pants tucked into black boots and a white, peasant-style top. Make a cape by wrapping any fabric around your shoulders and pinning with an old brooch. Cut cardboard into a sword and spray paint it or wrap in tin foil.

32. Gypsy

Wear layered, colorful, flowing garments. Tie a scarf around your hair, and wear large hoop earrings, jangly bracelets, and a chunky costume necklace. Carry a deck of cards to tell fortunes.

33. Mermaid

Begin with nude-colored leotard and fishnet tights. Wrap a long piece of shimmery material around your waist---it should trail on the floor behind you---and stitch it together in the front. Cut the fabric that trails on the floor into a fish-tail. If you can find two large plastic shells, use low-temp hot glue to attach these over your leotard. If not, then cut shell shapes out of the same shimmery fabric. Accessorize with plastic seaweed (the kind used in fish tanks) and fishnet.

34. Bellydancer

Add sequined elastic, fringe, and beads to an existing bra or bikini top. Wear a coordinating skirt and sandals.

35. Hula Dancer

A grass skirt is easy to make! At a craft store, purchase green and brown raffia, and staple it in bunches to a long strip of fabric. Wear a brightly colored, flowered bathing suit, and wrap the grass skirt around your waist. String fake flowers to make a lei.

36. Cabaret Dancer

Wear a black leotard, fishnet tights, and heels. Make a showgirl-style headpiece by cutting a half circle from cardboard. Attach this firmly to a headband with masking tape. Paint the entire half circle (front and back) black, and cover with black glitter. Hot glue three long peacock feathers to the back of the half-circle. Don't forget the red lipstick!

37. Superhero

Wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt in your superhero's colors (or make up your own superhero). Make the superhero's logo from felt, and glue it to the sweatshirt. Make an easy cape by wrapping a piece of fabric around your shoulders; hold it together with safety pins.

38. Clown

Wear bright, oversized clothes, like plaid pants, a striped shirt, suspenders, and a large bowtie. Look in thrift stores for a pair of shoes that is way too big, then put one of your own pair of shoes inside the oversized pair so that you can wear them without falling over. Clown costumes can also be made from old band or baton twirler costumes, western wear, and secondhand suits (think hobo!). See the Rag Doll directions on how to make a yarn wig.

39. Jack-in-the-box

Cut armholes and legholes from a large box, and decorate the box to look like a jack-in-the-box. Leave the top of the box completely open, and make "suspenders" for the box by cutting long strips of bright fabric and stapling them firmly. Attach large pompoms to a long-sleeved, brightly colored shirt and wear striped leggings or tights. Add a jester's hat and clown makeup.

40. Robot

Use a large box, and cut arm, leg, and neck holes. Spray paint the box silver, and use pipe cleaners, wire, and tin foil to make dials and other robot parts. Make a tin foil hat, and add wires for antennae.

41. Television

Cut out the front of the box to make a television screen. Cut a neck hole in the bottom of the box, and wear the box on your head. Use pipe cleaners to make antennae. Dress as a newscaster and carry a microphone to be a "talking head".

42. Lego Piece

Take two circular cardboard boxes (you can find these in a craft or hobby store), and attach them with masking tape to the large box. Cut holes for your arms, legs, and neck, and spray paint the entire box a bright color.

43. Gift

Cover a large box in wrapping paper, and add a large bow (or wear the bow on your head). Cut holes for your arms, legs, and neck.

44. Animal in a Pet Store

Start with any animal costume, like a cat or a dog. Using a craft knife, carefully cut strips out of a large refrigerator box to create a cage. Cut leg holes out of the bottom, and spray paint the entire box metallic silver. Attach a sign to the "cage" that says "Kittens 4 Sale" or "Puppies 4 Sale".

45. Bug Caught In Spider's Web

Start with your desired insect costume. Make a large web by tying and knotting white rope or yarn. Attach this web to the back of your costume---make sure to attach it to your arms and legs so that you seem stuck in the web.

46. Person Taking a Bath

Cut leg holes in a large, plastic tub. Glue cotton balls (for bubbles) all around the top of the tub, and attach a small rubber ducky to the side. Wear a nude-colored leotard and tights and a shower cap, and carry a scrub brush.

47. Playing Card

Take two large pieces of poster board. Set the two pieces on top of each other and punch one hole about six inches from both corners. Use heavy yarn, rope, or fabric to tie the two pieces of poster board together. Paint both sides of a sandwich board to look like a playing card, such as the Queen of Hearts (add a crown and wear red underneath) or a Joker (add a jester's hat and wear brightly colored clothes).

48. Clock

Follow the directions for the playing card, only cut the two pieces of poster board into circles and paint to look like a clock's face. You could also add movable hour and minute hands by cutting these shapes out of additional poster board and attaching in the center. Wear brown or black clothes underneath.

49. Fried Egg or Deviled Egg

Begin with a white sheet, and paint a large yellow circle in the center (or glue on a circle from yellow felt). Cut holes for your arms and neck. Add horns and a pitchfork to be a deviled egg.

50. Spaghetti and Meatballs

Take a brown or red sheet, and use fabric glue to stick on large red or brown pompoms (for the meatballs). Cut holes for your arms and neck. The stringy part of a mop (a new one) becomes the spaghetti---using low-temp hot glue, attach it to the inside of a plastic bowl, and wear the bowl on your head.

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