25 Fast, Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

Need a costume quickly, easily and inexpensively? No time to shop or design? Here are some fast, simple improvisations for great costumes. You can make them from household items so they will cost next to nothing. No trips to the store. No hassle. And costumes will look great! These costumes are also warm and roomy for extra under clothes for those chilly October trick-or-treating or outdoor parties.

Animal Costume:

Old sweat shirt and sweat pants (in color of animal).
Blanket sleeper with feet cut out (grey for a donkey or elephant, brown for bear, dog, horse, yellow sleeper for duck, bird, Pooh Bear, red for ladybug, centipede or caterpillar, purple for dinosaur, butterfly, black for a bat, cat, dog).
For stripes, spots or other markings, draw with permanent marker or paint with fabric paint.

Paws, claws, hooves, webbed feet or flippers

For hooves, webbed feet or flippers:
Use old mittens; stuff them if you wish.
For paws,
Draw or paint black pads on the palms of knit gloves.
For lion, leopard, tiger or cat claws:
Cut bits of felt or other stiff fabric.
Cut small holes in gloves.
Insert part of felt piece and tie off or sew inside the glove. The part poking out will look like claws.
or glue on a set of artificial nails from a dollar store

Hair or Mane:

Using a skein of yarn, cut in pieces 2x the desired length of hair. With on piece of yarn, tie the pieces together in the middle (this will be the ‘part’ of the hair). Attach to top of head with bobby pins. Arrange hair around head. Cut bangs or braid if desired.

Head piece for an animal costume:

Use a knit hat. Cut holes for ears.

Animal ears:

Stuff old pair of socks.
Poke through holes in old knit hat. Tie knots in socks to hold in place.

Stand up antennae or ears:
Insert loops of wire or coat hangers into stuffed socks and bend to shape for rabbit, donkey, elephant, mouse or other stand up ears.

Stuff a long sock.
Cut hole in sweat pants.
Insert coat hanger bent to desired shape of tail
Insert tail and tie end off.

Occupation costume:

police, military

blue sweat shirt and sweat pants
Plain color suit coat
Draw uniform details with markers or paint
Use tape for stripes on leg
Cut badge from cardboard and cover with aluminum wrap. Tape safety pin on the back.

doctor, nurse, dentist, mad scientist

white mens’ dress shirt with tails cut off
white sweat pants and shirt


brown sweat pants
flannel shirt
red vest (cut from old red shirt)
bandanna, hat and holster with gun

princess, fairy, movie star, queen, bride

nightgown, slip or dress (womens’ or girls’)
crown (cut from cardboard, cover with foil)
wand (stick a bow on the end of any stick covered with foil)
veil (lace curtain)

Superhero costume

pajamas – Buy pajamas; you can use them for a costume and PJs
sweat suit outfit – draw on costume details with permanent marker or fabric paint


knit hat or ski mask. Cut into shape of mask needed: Batman, Superman,


towel or blanket

Here’s hoping that you and all your trick-or-treaters have a safe, happy Halloween!

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