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Halloween’s almost here, and many of us are still scrambling to figure out a costume.

If your costume is still a big unknown, don’t worry. Here are some fun, budget-friendly ideas for all ages that you can make at home in a snap.

With a hot glue gun, some felt, fun foam, and accessories like beads, feathers, and sequins, you’re well on your way to a great homespun costume. Scrounge thrift stores for old sweatshirts, vintage clothing, or costume jewelry, and resist the urge to buy a full costume from a store.

For babies and toddlers

Sweatshirts and leggings offer the beginnings of many simple costumes. Don an orange sweatshirt and green leggings. Cut felt to resemble leaves, and hot glue them to the neck of the sweatshirt. Then add a green beanie cap — and watch as your little one becomes an instant pumpkin.

For a honeybee costume, glue black stripes to a yellow sweatshirt, or create a simple wooly lamb by hot-gluing cotton balls to a white or black sweatshirt, and felt ears to a black beanie cap.

For older kids

Older kids have definite opinions about their costumes and can help with the planning. Think about your child’s personality and interests, and make suggestions accordingly.

If you child loves dragons or dinosaurs, add some fun foam spikes or scales to a sweatshirt. Likewise, don an old white shirt and glasses for a mad scientist costume, or make a quick hula skirt from brown bags or newspapers to celebrate Halloween luau-style.


Grownups may not crave piles of candy, but they still want to have fun. For elegant creepiness, don a simple black dress, and make a shawl from cheesecloth, shredding the ends to give it a distressed look. Then hot glue plastic spiders to the shawl.

Want to go as Rosie the Riveter? Wear a jean shirt and red bandana in your hair, and roll up your sleeves. Or weave a few plastic snakes through your hair for an instant Medusa.

Pick up an old plaid shirt from a thrift store (or your own closet), wear an old pair of jeans, and go as a lumberjack. Alternatively, grab a red and white striped shirt, blue pants, and red and white hat, and you’re Waldo from Where’s Waldo?

Costumes don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Look through your closet to see what can be repurposed. With a little ingenuity — and a hot glue gun — you can have a great costume in an hour or so.



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