You have one week until Halloween. Tiny budget? No inspiration? Don’t panic! Here are several cheap and easy last minute Halloween costumes. Thanks to my friends for sharing their pictures!

1. Use Makeup

Easy Halloween costume
Do you kiss her or run?


Scary-sexy clown smile

This is a very effective look achieved with dollar store Halloween make-up. Or, use a heavy layer of zinc baby bum cream, lipstick and eyeliner pencil. Even if you wear normal clothes, you’ll freak people out.


Ghoulish Dude

scary face Halloween
Ghoulish face easy Halloween makeup

Want a scarier look? Paint your entire face white, blacking out circles around your eyes and over exaggerated mouth. This man added a black wig for a creepier effect. When he looks at the camera (or other people) he tilts his head downwards and smiles whilst keeping his teeth together. That adds to the effect of the make-up.

Looking for something cuter? Paint bright red circles of lipstick on your cheeks, and lines suggestive of eyelashes around your eyes. Put your hair in pigtails and you have an instant baby-doll appearance.


2. Make it Steampunk

Quick easy steampunk costume
Steampunk is quick, easy and creative!

Mix old world romance with new world science and you have the genre of Steampunk. Steampunk costumes are easy for beginners even if you don’t know Steampunk. I created this costume with a mix of items from my house and clothing from used clothes shops. It’s been one of my favourite last minute Halloween costumes!







3. Throw Back Costumes

last minute Halloween costume Twister
Fast and easy Twister costume made from construction paper and tape.

Twister Costume

Make this Twister throwback last minute Halloween costume in 5 minutes! Cut out circles of red, yellow, blue and green construction paper. Use strong tape to apply them in matching rows to a white shirt. Wear white pants if you have them. To create the spinner, apply the excess paper to a stiff square of cardboard and create a spinner in the middle with anything straight and firm (like a chopstick painted red). Secure with a rubber band through a hold in the center of the board. Be careful where you put your circles, as some players might get frisky!

Classic Pirate
Who doesn’t love a dashing hero? Men, borrow a billowy shirt from your wife or lady-friend. Wear the blouse, open at the neck. Wrap a long scarf around your waist, or handkerchief on your head. Top off your pirate look with tight pants (leather preferred) and long boots. Pencil in a scar and wear lots of rings. Don’t forget, your favourite word is “ARRRRRR!”

Romantic Scottish Hero
If you’re lucky enough to own a kilt, claim yourself Jamie Fraser of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander (the novel, now a t.v. series). Paint blue on your face and you’re Mel Gibson’s William Wallace in Braveheart. If you don’t own a kilt, wrap a tartan blanket around yourself. It’s the way men wore tartan years ago. Going commando is optional (although my husband would say it’s required!).

4. Shark Bait

great white shark costume
Turn bed foam into a shark costume
    If you have a small budget and an industrial stapler and a glue gun, make this award-winning last minute Halloween costume. This is a photo of me from years ago, and the quality isn’t that great. But, this costume, who I nicknamed “Junior” will get you lots of applause. Purchase the mattress top foam from any housewares store. Use the kind with ridges to prevent bed sores. Measure a tube around yourself, with enough room for walking or stationary dancing. Keep the ridges of the foam towards the inside. They look great as the inside of the throat! Seam together with an industrial stapler or glue. Add a two large triangles to the side for fins and a smaller one on the shark’s back for the dorsal fin. To create the mouth, cut out two isosceles triangles from the top of the cylinder, the longest tip pointing down. Curl the opening inwards and glue in place to create a thick looking gumline. I added several small triangles in the mouth for teeth. Spray paint using grey and white in a well ventilated area. Give it a day to air out before you wear it. I used fabric black pain for gills and eyes (make sure they’re on the side of the shark, not the top. He’s not an amoeba!). Wear a bathing suit or other water gear (I’m in a diving suit) and you’re now shark bait.

Too complicated?

Don’t build the shark. Wear a shredded shirt over top of your bathing suit. Add red paint to the edges for simulated trauma. You’re still shark bait. If you’re into “realism” make your appearance pale with a light dusting of talcum power or a thin layer of blue-white Halloween makeup to create the look of shock. Be sure to make your lips paler than your skin.

 5. Get Boxed In

Cardboard boxes provide an endless source of cheap and easy last minute Halloween costumes.

cheap easy criminal Halloween costume
Simulate these stocks with cardboard. Who didn’t do the dishes?

Criminal in Stocks
Simulate this look by putting holes into cardboard. Glue two pieces together if your cardboard is thin and needs strength. Paint brown with thin curved lines like wood. No chains needed!

One Night Stand
Take a box large enough to go over your shoulders and put a hole in the middle. Cover it with a cloth that has a matching hole. Put your head through the middle. On the top of the cloth, add an old lamp secured with wire or glue (be sure that it won’t shatter if it falls!). Now you’re aOne Night Stand. Punny, get it? Add small details like a clock or other nightstand choices (you choice of naughty level) and secure well with wires or glue.

A Gift to Mankind or Womankind
Wear a box wrapped up in giftwrap. Add a large tag made from cardboard or Bristol board “To: Men. Love: God.” or “To: Women. Love: God.”

LEGO character
Paint several boxes in bright colours and wear them as clothes. Add one to your head OR make a cylinder from yellow Bristol board. Sing Everything is Awesome ALL THE TIME.

 6. The Anti-Costume

last minute Halloween costumes
Add an axe to this jacket for instant scary movie character.

This is the easiest and cheapest last minute Halloween costume. But, it’s very dark humour. Dress normally. Call yourself a serial killer – they look like everyone else. Not sure about the humour? Wear a long sleeved tight brown shirt and black leather gloves and you’re Dexter, the serial killer we love to love and hate. Or, grab an item of clothing characteristic of a horror film. For example, adding an axe (or simulated prop) to this yellow jacket screams I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Have more cheap and easy last minute Halloween ideas?

Feel free to share them in the comments section!
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