Halloween Costume Ideas on the Cheap

Looking for Halloween costume ideas you can put together without spending a lot of money? Here are 5 costumes you can put together for $10 or less.

1. Carl from Up

For what has to be the most adorable costume ever, click through here and scroll down in the new window. For you non-clickers, it’s a little boy dressed as Carl from Up. This costume could work for an adult too, minus the cute factor.

What you’ll need: Old man-ish clothes (plain colored pants, white shirt, and a sweater to go over it), a bow tie and clunky glasses with the lenses popped out from Goodwill or your local dollar store, PVC pipe, some tennis balls, and a few colorful balloons.

How to do it: Turn the PVC pipe into a walker. Slit open the tennis balls and stick them on the feet of the walker. Get dressed in your old man clothes & carry your balloons. If this is your little boy, take lots of pictures.

2. Word Game

Popular games like Words with Friends and Scrabble will make this group costume idea recognizable. You’ll probably get suggestions as to the words you’ll be able to make too.

What you’ll need: One piece of cardstock for each letter, yarn and a hole punch or safety pins, a printer, a photo editing program (you can use Pixlr for free online), or stencils & markers.

How to do it:
Create your own letters using stencils & a marker, or you can download this costume idea file if you’d like to print out your letters using a photo editing program. Edit the letter and number to create the desired tiles. Print on colored cardstock, punch holes in the corners & tie it around the wearer’s neck or pin it to their shirt. Each group member should dress in similar clothes.

3. Scarecrow

It’s easy to get the look of a scarecrow.

What you’ll need: a flannel or “country” looking long-sleeved shirt, fake leaves, straw, yarn or string, black makeup, and a thick dowel. You can get the fake leaves and a tiny bale of straw from a local craft store. (Or you could use real ones from a nearby field, if that’s available to you.)

How to do it:
Put on your old shirt & a pair of jeans. Add the fake leaves & straw so that it sticks out of your sleeves, pant legs, neck, and through a few buttons if your shirt has those. Tie the sleeves and pant legs so that they look like you’re being held together. Draw a dotted line on your face with the black makeup. Put your arms over the dowel.

4. Zombie

Becoming a zombie just takes some unkept clothes and a little time putting on makeup.

What you’ll need: An old shirt you don’t mind ruining, fake blood (which you can make yourself, buy online, or get from a Halloween store), white creme makeup + black & green makeup (usually available in a pack). If you’ve got a little bit of Vaseline on hand already, you can use that too.

How to do it: Ideally, leave your hair unwashed and uncombed. Rub some Vaseline in your hair if you like to give it a greasy, stringy look. Rip & tear the shirt in various places. Put it on and add blood to it in strategic places. Apply your makeup and add a little more blood. Stagger as you walk.

5. Giant Lego

Who doesn’t like Legos? Especially kids and kids at heart?

What you’ll need:
A cardboard box big enough to go around your body, plastic cups, glue gun, spray paint, and solid-colored clothes that match.

How to do it:
Basically, you cut out holes for your head and body in the large box, tape the plastic cups to the box, spray paint them, and put everything on once it’s dried. Need more info? Here are detailed instructions.

What’s the best costume you’ve ever seen or worn? If you’ve got other Halloween costume ideas, share them in the comments.