Halloween is right around the corner. Still need a costume? Here’s an idea: Skip the overpriced store-bought sets and try your hand at creating DIY Halloween costumes. Whether you want to follow Halloween costume sewing patterns or prefer to craft with simple materials like cardboard and felt, you can create cute, spooky, and funny ensembles. 

Make your own Halloween costumes for yourself, your kids, your dog, or your entire family—whatever your situation, we’ve got you covered. Check out 15 easy Halloween costume ideas below. 

DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

If you’re a whiz with a sewing machine, you may prefer to base your costume off of Halloween costume sewing patterns. There is a wide variety of Halloween costume patterns available online, including these unique options: 

If you’re crafty—but not necessarily skilled with a needle and thread—don’t worry! There are plenty of other ways to make Halloween costumes that involve felt, hot glue, cardboard, paint, and other simple materials.

Need a Sewing Refresher? 

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DIY Halloween Costumes for Families

Need to sew Halloween costumes for your whole crew? Try these options that include enough characters for everyone to join in the fun. 

1. Willy Wonka 

Neil Patrick Harris and his family as the characters of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, via @nph

The story of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory offers a large number of characters, so everyone in your family can play a role. You can include Willy Wonka (with a purple jacket and a top hat), Oompa Loompas (in white overalls and a green wig), Violet Beauregarde (in all blue—including blue face paint!), Veruca Salt (in a red dress with a white sash), and maybe even a Wonka Bar. For more detailed costumes, you can also find Willy Wonka Halloween costume patterns.

2. Wizard of Oz

The whole Wizard of Oz crew, via @brittsfavthings

Filled with unique characters, this classic movie is the perfect inspiration for a family costume—no matter how many people are in your clan. And, you can pull it off with relatively simple outfits. Dress your Dorothy in a blue dress, red shoes, and braids. The Scarecrow can wear overalls and a plaid shirt, with some straw tucked in the ends of the sleeves. And use some tinfoil to create an easy Tin Man costume. Plus, don’t forget the Cowardly Lion, the Wicked Witch of the West, Glinda, Toto, Munchkins, and flying monkeys.  

3. Pac-Man

You can make this easy Pac-Man Halloween costume from felt and cardboard, via @miraclelising

Pac-Man is perfect for a family costume—the characters are made up of simple shapes and colors, and you can include as many characters as you need. You can use large sheets of felt or cardboard to create the basic shapes (a circle or ghost), and then just add eyes. Or, for an even simpler version, use solid color shirts and glue on felt eyes and mouths. 

DIY Halloween Costumes for Adults

Going solo this Halloween? It’s easy to make Halloween costumes that are simple but impressive. 

4. Charcuterie Board 

Turn a charcuterie board into a costume, via @vintagemeetsglamdeco

Who doesn’t love a charcuterie board? To turn this snack into a costume, take a large piece of cardboard and cut it into a cutting board shape. Then, using styrofoam balls, felt, and hot glue, add your food items. Think wedges of cheese, of course—but also consider adding grapes, apples, crackers, and slices of bread. Then, use a ribbon to hang it around your neck. 

5. Cactus

DIY cactus costume, via @missnaturallyashley

If you’re able to sew Halloween costumes, this is a good one for you. Grab a green sweatshirt or sweater, a needle and thread, and a bunch of pipe cleaners. Cut the pipe cleaners into about two-inch lengths, and then form each into a V. Sew each V to the sweatshirt—or, if you’re not handy with a needle and thread, try using hot glue. Add a rose headband for a floral finishing touch. 

6. Piñata

Colorful piñata dresses, via @michellerogers_styling

Could there be a more perfect costume for handing out candy to trick-or-treaters? To create a piñata costume, all you need is strips of crepe paper, fabric glue, and a dress or long t-shirt. First, tuck a piece of cardboard inside a shirt or dress, so the glue doesn’t soak through. Then, cut fringe into your strips of crepe paper. Starting at the bottom of the garment and working toward the top, layer the strips of crepe paper, securing the top edge with glue. When you’re done, the garment will be covered in colorful fringe, reminiscent of a piñata. 

DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

If you can convince your kids to forgo the store-bought costumes, try one of these ideas for an easy Halloween costume to make. 

7. Skeleton 

DIY kids skeleton costume, via @livinglifepretty

To create a skeleton costume, all you need is a black long-sleeve shirt, a pair of black pants, and some white puff paint. With the paint, add some bones to the shirt and pants. (Sure, the human skeleton can be complex, but for this project, stick to simple shapes, like arm bones, leg bones, and a ribcage.) For a less permanent option, try using white duct tape—with some strategic placement, even rectangular shapes can create a skeleton-like effect. 

8. Legos 

Lego brick costumes made from cardboard and plastic cups, via Creating Really Awesome Fun Things

First, choose a square- or rectangle-shaped piece of cardboard. Then, cut a few plastic cups down about one-half in height, and hot glue them to the cardboard to create the studs of the lego brick. Spray paint the entire creation a solid color, like blue, green, yellow, or red. Then, use ribbon or string to hang it over your child’s shoulders. 

9. Jellyfish 

Ribbons or streamers transform a clear umbrella into a jellyfish costume, via @elizabeth_alt_vater

Have an umbrella? Then you can make an easy jellyfish costume! Take your umbrella (any color will do, although a clear umbrella looks most realistic) and tape brightly colored paper streamers, ribbons, or tinsel to the outer edge, so they hang down like jellyfish tentacles. Your child can wear simple clothes underneath (all black or white works well) and hold up the umbrella so the tentacles cascade down around his or her body. 

DIY Halloween Costumes for Infants 

There’s no such thing as being too young to participate in Halloween fun. For even the tiniest babies, you can make Halloween costumes that are cute and practical. 

10. Popcorn Bucket 

popcorn costume
Source: flickr
Popcorn carrier costume via Andrew Dallos / Flickr Creative Commons

Want to tote your little one in a baby carrier on Halloween? Start with a large sheet of red felt, glue on thin strips of white felt, and pin the entire creation to the baby carrier. Then, glue some popcorn kernels on a baby beanie, and tuck your baby into the carrier.  

11. Baby Burrito 

DIY baby burrito via @the_little_la

Infants love to be swaddled, so use that to your advantage with a burrito costume. Start by wrapping your baby in a beige swaddle, and then add felt food shapes—like tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese—near his or her head, where the opening of the burrito would be. You can even hot glue a few extra shapes to a beanie for added effect.  

12. Old Lady or Man

Old lady baby costume, via @sixcleversisters

This one is simple (and adorable): Take a baby beanie and, with hot glue, cover it with cotton balls or pom-poms. Dress your baby in a floral dress and cardigan or pants and a sweater vest, add some glasses, and finish with the beanie. 

DIY Halloween Costumes for Dogs 

Don’t forget your furry family members! These simple DIY Halloween costumes for dogs are simple but festive.  

13. Beanie Baby

Create a DIY beanie baby tag for your furry friend, via @ty_snoop

This is an easy Halloween costume to make for your dog. Use a red poster board (or cardboard painted red) to create a heart, and then paint “ty” in white bubble letters. Attach it to your dog’s collar, and prepare yourself to be transported to the 90s. 

14. Spider 

There’s nothing scarier than a dog-sized spider, via @iggy_juliet

If you’re hoping to spook someone on Halloween, there’s nothing scarier than a dog-sized spider. Fortunately, this costume is easy, too. Start with a black t-shirt—whatever size will fit your dog. Then, attach four large black chenille pipe cleaners across the back, securing with a needle and thread or hot glue. Bend the pipe cleaners on either side to get the effect of large, spindly legs. 

15. Ghost

A simple but classic dog costume, via @simplyseptemberblog

OK, it’s not the most unique costume—but it is easy. All you need is a white sheet with three holes. We won’t guarantee your dog will keep it on for more than a few seconds. But we will guarantee that he or she will look adorable and festive. 

Don’t Be Scared of DIY!

Stand out this October and make your own Halloween costumes with any one of these Halloween costume ideas. Whether you opt for a complex sewing pattern or a simple costume made of felt and hot glue, a DIY Halloween costume will be memorable and fun. 

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Written By

Katie Wolf

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