Easy Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

AAA Print

It's Halloween, you don't have a costume, and you were invited at the last minute to a costume party. No need to panic and no need to dash to the rental shop. You can come up with a quick Halloween costume with a few items easily purchased at the crafts store, the thrift shop or found around your home.


It's quick and easy to dress as if you are still living in the late 60's or early 70's. You might need to make a trip to the local Goodwill for:

  • Bell-bottom jeans
  • Tie-dye or paisley shirt
  • Leather/Suede vest
  • Strings of beads or a necklace with a peace sign
  • Bandana or leather strap you can wear as a headband
  • Sandals or platform shoes

Be sure to use slang of the day, including:

  • "I can dig it"
  • "Far out"
  • "What a drag"
  • And be sure to compliment your host's "groovy pad"
Ready for Planting Finished Product

Instant Message Chat

You probably won't even need a trip to the store to costume yourself as an Instant Message conversation. Just wear simple clothing such as tights or plain pants with a plain tee shirt, and stick post-it notes all over yourself with common IM abbreviations such as:

  • LOL
  • TTYL
  • BRB
  • LMAO


Bedbugs are getting a lot of press these days, and are high on most peoples list of disgusting, scary things. You can easily disguise yourself as a blood-sucking insect by dressing in:

  • Brown, tight pants
  • Brown long sleeve shirt
  • Inexpensive set of antennas from the costume shop or supermarket
  • A pillow and blanket tied to your back

If you feel that's too subtle, try tying a sign reading, "Got a bed?" to your chest.


Zombies seem to walk so slowly in old movies, you might wonder why their victims didn't just easily run away and escape. Perhaps they were paralyzed with fear at the sight of the walking dead. Strike fear into the hearts of your fellow partiers by:

  • Wearing old, torn clothes
  • Walking slowly with your hands outstretched
  • Groaning a lot
  • Painting your face with gray makeup, green highlights over your cheekbones, and black around your eyes and mouth
  • Messing up your hair


If you have a clear plastic umbrella, you have the base for a jellyfish costume. These interesting creatures spend their days drifting in the seas looking for an opportunity to sting fish, but you can just enjoy the party.

  • Tape a length of bubble wrap, glittery streamers or strips of gauze to each spine of the umbrella frame.
  • Fill in between these thick, long tentacles with thinner, shorter lengths of shimmery tentacles.
  • Use glow-stick necklaces as some of the tentacles for a mysterious, deep water look.
  • Complete the look by wearing white tights and tee shirt.

Magic 8 Ball

Answer questions without saying a word. Your friends will all think you are a fount of wisdom when you dress as a Magic 8 Ball. Start by dressing in solid black. Cut a large circle of white paper with an "8" drawn in black pen in the center.

Carry a small bag or box filled with slips of paper bearing the answers given by a Magic 8 Ball. Don't forget:

  • It is certain
  • Most likely
  • Ask again later
  • My sources say no
  • Outlook not so good
  • Signs point to yes

Have your fellow partygoers draw a slip of paper to answer their questions.

Garden Gnome

  • Blue pants tucked into boots, a blue long sleeve shirt and a fake white beard create the base for a garden gnome costume.
  • Top with a red pointy hat, which you can make yourself by rolling a large square of red felt into a cone, then stapling along the side.

Quick and easy, and cute enough to garner lots of compliments.

Beautiful Bluebird

  • Your daughter can bring happiness to all her friends dressed as the bluebird of happiness.
  • Start with blue tights and a blue tee shirt.
  • Paint her face blue with face paint, and use orange face paint to create a beak over her nose.
  • Glue blue feathers to cover a blue ski cap, and glue as many feathers as you can over her tights and shirt.

It doesn't take a lot of money to create a great last minute Halloween costume. You can do the job easily and inexpensively with supplies you have around the house or can easily purchase nearby. With a bit of imagination, you can be the star of the Halloween bash.

Last Updated: October 7, 2011
AAA Print

About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

Note: The information provided on this site may be provided by third parties. The owners and operators of this site do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, and compliance of the content on this site. Such content is not and shall not be deemed tax, legal, financial, or other advice, and we encourage you to confirm the accuracy of the content. Use is at your own risk, and use of this site shall be deemed acceptance of the above.