Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costumes That Don’t Suck

Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costumes That Don’t Suck
Credit: Disney

So you’ve been invited to a mate’s Halloween 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 is a list of non-sucky Halloween costume ideas that can be whipped together for your 2021 party 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.

You can resist all you like, but the fact of it is that dressing up is pretty damn fun and you can actually whip up a half-decent outfit with little to no effort or cost.

So to help you, here are some fun DIY Halloween costume ideas to use for your 2021 event.

DIY costume ideas for Halloween 2021

Squid Game

squid game halloween costume ideas 2021
Halloween costume ideas 2021 Image: Netflix

As we wrote about earlier this month, Squid Game is likely to be one of the more popular costume ideas for Halloween in 2021. The best part? The outfit is ridiculously easy to pull together.

Basically, all you’ll need to dress up as a contestant is a teal or green tracksuit, a white shirt and those elusive white Vans.

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 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.

Wanda (WandaVision)

2021 Halloween costume ideas
2021 Halloween costume ideas. Credit: Disney

Got a red swimsuit? Or even just a fitted red dress (we can be flexible)? Grab some cardboard and make a red headpiece, pair it with a red cape – literally, any fabric will do – and you’ve become Wanda for the evening.

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.

Regina George (Mean Girls)

Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costumes That Don’t Suck
2021 Halloween costumes. Credit: Paramount Pictures

Got a white tank top you’re not too fond of? Cut two holes into the chest and pop on a purple singlet underneath to instantly transform into the ultimate Mean Girl.

Failing that, you can always throw on a pink polo if you have one to become Cady Heron.

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)

2021 Halloween costume ideas.
2021 Halloween costume ideas. Credit: Paramount Pictures

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.

HTTP 404 error message

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. Literally, write HTTP 404 error costume not found, and you’re sorted.

MIB/CIA (Men In Black)

Own a black suit and some shades? You have everything you need for a MIB/CIA costume.

‘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 or 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)

2021 halloween costume ideas
2021 Halloween costume ideas. Toho Co

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.

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

Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costumes That Don’t Suck
2021 Halloween costume ideas. Getty

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.

This story has been updated since its original publication.


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