20 Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costumes

So you've been invited to a mate's Halloweeen party but haven't worked out what to wear. Don't panic! You still have time to create an inspired, no-frills costume from stuff lying around the house. Here are 20 non-sucky ideas that can be whipped together in under an hour.

Love it or loathe it, Halloween has permanently plonked itself on the Aussie calendar and continues to gain mainstream popularity with every passing year. While it's easy to ignore sprogs knocking on your door, dodging Halloween parties is slightly more difficult; especially if you work in a "crazy" office that loves an excuse to dress up. If you've been invited to a Halloween do and have left your costume to the last minute, here are ten impressive looking outfits that don't require much money or effort.

Droog (A Clockwork Orange)

If you can get hold of a bowler hat, belt suspenders and a fake eyelash, you have everything you need for a serviceable droog costume. (For added credibility, perfect your "Nadsat" vernacular and use it to chat up some fetching devotchkas/moodges.)

Death (Sandman)

If you're a petite brunette, you can pull off a pretty convincing Death (from the comic Sandman ) with naught but a black singlet, black lipstick and ankh necklace made out of cardboard. Can't be bothered making an ankh? Buy some plastic fangs and say you're Marceline from Adventure Time instead.

Son of Man (René Magritte)

To add a touch of class to the throng of togas, dress up as a homage to René Magritte's surrealist 1964 painting Son of Man. All you need is a dapper suit and an apple pinned to a bowler hat.

Professional athlete

If you play a sport that requires an outfit, simply whip it out on the night and you're ready to roll. Take your bat/racquet/curling broom to complete the ensemble.

Miley Cyrus (MTV Music Awards)

Miley Cyrus' infamous performance at the 2013 MTV Music Awards is a pretty easy look to pull off: just slap on some short shorts and put your hair in double-buns. To complete the transformation, stick your tongue out and twerk like crazy. (This costume will gain you additional kudos if you're actually a bloke.)

Wilson (Home Improvement)

Before he became Buzz Lightyear, Tim Allen was most famous for his sitcom Home Improvement. Most episodes ended with some home-spun wisdom from Wilson; a next-door neighbour who never revealed his face. All you need to pull this outfit off is an old fishing hat, flannelette shirt and a "fence" made out of Paddle Pop sticks.

Audrey Hepburn (Breakfast At Tiffany's)

Here's an easy one for our upper crust readers: just use the tiara, pearl necklace, cocktail dress and fancy cigarette holder that are already in your possession.

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This one's sure to get a chortle out of the geekier party guests — and all you need is a plain white shirt and felt-tip pen.

MIB/CIA (Men In Black)

Own a black suit and some shades? You have everything you need for an MIB/CIA costume. (If the party goes off, you'll probably wish you had a memory-wiping neuralyzer the next morning.)

"Sexy" cat

When in doubt, stick with a classic. This is basically the "little black dress" of Halloween fashion. To create this look, simply augment your clubbing gear with some drawn-on whiskers and fake cat ears.

The "iPod" dress

Own a colourful tube top of strapless mini dress? Just add a few bits of cardboard and you have a kitschy wearable iPod! For maximum effect, get your friends to follow suit in different colours. (As an added bonus, you won't need to tell the DJ what your jam is — it's already printed on your body.)

Sadako (Ringu)

The spectral schoolgirl from Ringu is a surprisingly easy costume to pull off. If you're blessed with long black hair, all you need is a white dress and a clip to keep your hair pushed forward. If your locks don't match, just grab a novelty wig from a discount shop on your way to the party.

Rosie the Riveter

You don't need to work in a factory to create this feministic World War 2 icon: all you need is a red bandanna, denim shirt and Forties-style makeup.

See also: 10 Lazy, Last-Minute Halloween Costumes That Actually Look Amazing

No-Face (Spirited Away)

The mysterious creature from Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away makes for a pretty spiffy Halloween costume. You can scrounge this ensemble together with a black sheet and a mask made out of cardboard. (Just try not to trip over.)

Revenge Of The Nerds

Just stick a band-aid or wad of tape between the lenses of your glasses: instant nerd! To complete the look, add a dorky tie or suspenders and hike your pants up around your belly.

Shite ghost

There is something endearingly crap about the traditional ghost costume. More importantly, all you need is a white sheet with some holes cut out. Not exactly inspired, but at least you'll score a few sympathy beers.

Red Riding Hood

Basket? Check. Red cloak? Check. Now all you need to do is add Li'l Red Riding Hood to the party playlist and you're sorted.

The Unknown Comic

The Unknown Comic (AKA Murray Langston) is a standup comedian best known for a string of rapid-fire performances on The Gong Show during the 1970s. You can replicate his signature look with a cheap suit and paper bag.


90 per cent of this costume is the floppy straw hat. To finish it off, draw a few stitches on your face and tape a pair of narrow sticks to the inside sleeves of your shirt.

"Zombify" last year's costume

Wearing the same Halloween costume two years in a row is an unforgivably lazy social faux pas. But turning it into a zombie? That's genius. If you still have last year's outfit lying around, simply add some rips, dirt and fake blood.

You can find heaps more DIY costume ideas at our sister site POPSUGAR. If anyone has a cool costume suggestion of their own, let fly in the comments section below!

This story has been updated since its original publication.


    I, .....! oh to hell with it..! :)

    Last edited 31/10/14 9:01 am

    Solidarity, Timmahh!



    The iPod dress has an unfortunate placement of the Play button........

    Last edited 31/10/14 7:58 am

      Yeah, using those touch wheels will probably get you arrested.

    so if i have boobs i'm fine otherwise im boned?

    Okay, Halloween Party 101.

    Never wear a costume which stops you from eating and drinking. The ghost costume would be a pain to wear, for example.

    And the costume that involves having an apple hanging in front of your face all night?

    If you have to take the costume off while you are at the party, you have chosen the wrong costume (or the right party.)

      I got tempted once to put together a Venetian plague doctor costume, then I realised that the bird mask was going to be horrible to drink in, and the huge overcoat was a terrible idea for an Australian November.

        I feel my Halloween costumes are always horrible to drink in, anything with a mask gets abandoned after you're seen in costume, this year I figured I'd get custom vampire fangs to mould on, I could drink mostly fine, but goddamn I couldn't close my jaw/eat.

    I feel it important to point out that a sizable proportion of these costumes appear to rely on you being female and at least somewhat attractive. I'd guess that most people reading these articles (including me) are neither...

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