If you ever get to experience twirling a sign for a Halloween store at 15-years old dressed head to toe in a furry gorilla suit, you’ll understand that store-bought costumes are seriously overrated. After my revelation, I began searching for cheap, yet clever costumes I could do on my own.
Here are 23 of the most unique DIY Halloween costumes I’ve found!
1. YEEZY Model
Somehow Kanye has managed to tear apart perfectly good clothes to excess and sell them for almost a thousand dollars per piece. If you can’t afford his odd sense of style, don’t fret. Take some old ruined clothes, ruin them some more, paste a ridiculous price tag on yourself and BAM! You’re instantly a YEEZY model. Oh, and it won’t cost you a thing.
2. Cardi B in Finesse
With some paint, a hot glue gun, and a little finesse, you can turn yourself into Cardi B! This YouTube video will walk you through the steps so you can dance through Halloween night rapping to Bodak Yellow like it’s truly your song.
3. Red Dress Dancing Emoji
With a fun red dress and a little posing, you can instantly turn yourself into one of your favorite iPhone emojis. My personal favorite is the clown emoji which I sporadically send to all my friends because it’s horrifying, but we’ll get to that costume later.
4. Mrs. Incredible
A great costume that’ll be sure not to stretch your budget! Mrs. Incredible is a curvy powerhouse of a superhero and with a few basic items (red shirt, red pants, black shorts, etc.) you can easily make the costume yourself.
5. Tropical Bird
“I’m a mouse, DUH” … is overdone (although definitely a classic). This tropical bird costume is an instant winner – and all you need is a cute bodysuit with some feathers glued to it! This is also a great excuse to karaoke to Nelly Furtado (although, who needs an excuse).
6. A Banksy Art Piece
Luckily you don’t need to be an elusive world-renowned street artist to turn yourself into a famous piece of art. This is a costume most will recognize and truly appreciate its uniqueness.
7. Kiki’s Delivery Service
Cosplay is a ton of fun and as Kiki, an adorable Japanese anime character, you don’t have to dress like a witch to ride a broom. Also, if you are a mother planning on attending your child’s preschool in full costume, this is a safe alternative witch costume that won’t scare away ALL of your child’s friends. (Check out how my mom did exactly this in the picture below).
8. A Clown
Looking for something a little less cute? Why not just jump all the way in and be utterly terrifying. Halloween is all about being scared, and this is an AWFUL(ly) easy costume to make because you can really get creative with it. Check out this clown makeup tutorial by Danica Theobald for added inspiration!
TLC was a staple part of my childhood musical brush singing performances and they truly blessed our world with some iconic outfits that can easily be duplicated with a little thrift shopping. Pro tip: if you have a willing guy friend, dress him up in some scrubs with a huge red X painted on them and now you’re TLC, No Scrubs. Iconic.
10. The Iron Chef
If you’re somewhat of a pun-loving nerd who also enjoys watching overly intense Food Network reality shows (like myself), this costume is fantastic. If you attend any Halloween parties, be sure to make your exit is extra dramatic, in true Bobby Flay fashion. (Also his cat has an Instagram that you should go and follow right now @nachoflay).
11. The Bachelorette
While we’re on the topic of dramatic TV shows, why not be the bachelorette? This costume is a great excuse to wear a nice dress and heels while carrying a bunch of roses. For a group costume, someone can dress in a suit as Chris Harrison, narrating your most dramatic, shocking Halloween night yet, while handing out date cards to potential suitors.
12. TSA Agent
With a simple blue shirt and TSA badge, you’ll be sure to have the best pickup line at any bar or Halloween party you attend. “Excuse me, that beverage is over our 3.4-ounce limit and will have to be confiscated.” Hilarious. It’s also a great excuse to make references to your favorite hero in Jordan Peele’s recent movie, Get Out.
13. The Leg Lamp
Dressing up as a simple household item has never been so sexy. You can easily buy a lampshade from a thrift store, remove the wiring, and fit the shade on your body as a skirt. Then, add some stockings and high heels! Your Halloween night story will sound more like A Christmas Story.
14. The Wrong Holiday
Speaking of a Christmas story, get a group of friends to throw on their ugly holiday sweaters from last year’s office party and show up to the Halloween Party with your menorah or a fruitcake. You’re the wrong holiday. Bring gifts, sing carols, hide Easter eggs around the house or whatever else and have fun with it!
15. Jurassic World Tourist
Take your costume to a whole new dimension as a Jurassic World tourist. This is a way to get creative with the scary fake wound makeup without being one of the many zombie costumes we’ve all seen a thousand times since The Walking Dead came out. Here’s a simple tutorial on how to achieve this look!
16. The San Junipero Couple
Don’t lie and say you didn’t cry multiple times during this incredibly moving Black Mirror episode. This costume features two fun outfits from an awesome futuristic TV show that spun everyone into an existential crisis. It’s also a unique couples costume for you and your partner to express your eternal love for each other.
17. Mama Imelda
Celebrate the true Day of the Dead, or Dìa de los Muertos, as Mama Imelda from the Disney movie, Coco. A little face makeup won’t kill you, but it’ll make you look dead! (Sorry, bad joke). Check out this makeup tutorial video for a step by step guide!
18. Your Zodiac Sign
Perhaps the most creative way to respond to the doorman who checks your ID and asks you what your sign is. Unless, of course, you’re a Gemini, then no need to dress up because we never know who you are anyways. Check out all twelve DIY Zodiac sign costume ideas here!
Honestly, there’s nothing sexier than dressing up as someone who’s been dead for a couple thousand years, and Chanel Iman rocked the look. In this DIY tutorial, you’ll learn how to make a mummy costume out of strands of your old white t-shirts!
20. Jim Halpert
There’s nothing funnier or easier than dressing up as the guy who hated dressing up. You can feature Jim’s “Facebook” costume, the “Three Hole Punch” or even rock the “Hi My Name is Dave” sticker. All classics.
21. Dwight Schrute, Looking for Dwight Schrute
The Office is truly a show that deserves more than one costume mention. Yet another classic costume is from episode 22 of season 3, “Women’s Appreciation,” when Dwight goes around in search of a man that is in fact himself.
22. Eleven, Stranger Things
The multiple boxes of Eggo Waffles are what makes this costume so complete, and what a better excuse is there to break your diet and consume a bunch of buttery white flour waffles?
23. The Planet Pluto
Last, but absolutely not least (unless you’re the International Astronomical Union), dress up as the Planet Pluto for Halloween. Pay homage to this incredible planet that the IAU so rudely kicked out of our solar system. Besides, there are way too many space alien costumes out there who are missing a planet. Truly a day for the dead, RIP Pluto, 1930-2006. #NeverForget
Whether you’ve chosen to design a costume from this list or been inspired with your own unique idea, here at Nxt Modern we hope your look is one for the books! Oh, and writing “ability to flip sign with gorilla gloves on” under the skills section of your resume always makes for an interesting conversation starter. Happy Halloween!