One year for Halloween, I went out dressed as an ‘animal princess’. I took all my stuffed animals and safety pinned them to my best dress. I think I was about 10 years old and needless to say it was an extremely last minute attempt at a costume. My siblings still tease me about that one! I’m going to hazard a guess that I’m by no means the only kid to ever have had need of some last minute Halloween costume ideas!
There are loads of reasons why costumes need to be procured at the last moment. Maybe the original costume busted a seam the night before, or like younger me no thought was put into choosing a costume until it was time to head out the door!
Store-bought costumes, in my opinion, are cheaply made and very costly. I’m certainly not going to drop $50 on an outfit that will only last one night. Plus I want to help my kids develop their creativity and imagination! My boys want to be a police car and an ambulance this year. So we’re going to have some fun figuring out how to construct vehicle costumes!
But should that fail, I’ve compiled a list of 34 back up ideas.
These costumes are interchangeably for kids or adults, and I’ve tried to stick to ideas that are easy and either cheap or can be made with household items. Some of these costumes could be assembled 30 minutes before trick or treating but many would require at least 24 hours of advanced notice.
Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas
1. Paper Doll
Paper doll costume with full diy instructions by Brassy Apple.
Needs: Cardboard or Foam Core & Fabric
2. Marty McFly
Marty McFly, source unknown.
Needs: Red vest, high(er) waist light wash jeans & aviators. I’m sure you could find most of this costume at Value Village or a second hand store.
3. Jake from State Farm
Jake from State Farm, source unknown. I think this kid was born for this costume! Haha, I just love it!
Needs: Headset, red shirt, name tag.
4. Thing 1 and Thing 2
Thing 1 & Thing 2, source unknown.
Needs: A friend, red sweatshirts, temporary blue hair dye or blue wigs.
5. Salt & Pepper
Salt & Pepper, via Evite. I don’t think it gets simpler than this!
Needs: White & black t-shirts.
6. Crayola Crayons
Group of Crayons via Costume Works.
Needs: Colour coordinated outfit, coloured hair spray.
7. Little Snail
Snail with full diy instructions via Oh Happy Day. This is just the cutest!
Needs: Brown kraft paper, styrofoam balls, simple dress or outfit.
Cute Strawberry with diy instructions via Studio DIY.
9. Slice of Pizza
Slice of Pizza with instructions via U-Createcrafts.
Needs: Fabric or felt
10. Little Bandit
Little Bandit with instructions via Make it Love it.
Jellyfish costume, source unknown.
Needs: Umbrella and lots of ribbons
Painter costume via Southern Living.
Needs: Black clothes & beret, white bristol board
Piñata costume with instructions via Aleenes.
Needs: Coloured tissue paper and a tank dress
14. Guess Who Characters
Guess Who Characters via The Zemans. This is too clever! 😀
15. Paper Bag Princess
Paper Bag Princess via Mama Papa Bubba
Needs: A large leaf collection bag & glitter foam
This particular costume is actually for sale via Create Haven on Etsy, but I think it could be diy’d too.
Who doesn’t love Finding Nemo?! Darla costume, source unknown. I think this look could be pulled off with a search through the back of your closet.
18. Rocket Jet Pack
Rocket Jet Pack DIY from Doodle Craft. I love that this is possible to make with items found around the house!
Needs: Empty pop bottles, felt or fabric
19. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar via Instagram. All you need is construction paper and a paper plate!
20. Rain Clouds
I’ve seen a version of this costume done using an umbrella instead of a hat. I like either version!
Rain cloud DIY by Make it – Love it
Needs: Hat & Stuffing or cotton balls
21. Mario & Luigi
Mario & Luigi costume via Instagram.
Needs: A couple of toilet plungers!
Cutest. Thing. Ever. The perfect costume for your little wild thing. DIY instructions via A Night Owl Blog.
23. Paddington Bear
Sweet Paddington Bear costume via Instagram. This costume might need a little longer than the last minute in order to source all the pieces, but what an adorable result!
24. Mike & Sully
Monster’s University DIY costumes via Desert Chica.
25. Bat Wings
These wings are a great staple of any costume collection. Easy DIY instructions via My Poppet.
26. Starbucks Cup
Starbucks cup costume, source unknown but pretty simple to recreate.
27. Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo costume via Oh Happy Day. You could easily find these elements at a thrift store.
28. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Awesome family costume idea! Diary of a Wimpy Kid costume via Living Locurto.
29. Stick Man
All you need is a white outfit, some electrical tape and a paper plate to construct this last minute costume. Source unknown.
30. Simple Skeleton
This is essentially the opposite of the stick man, using a black outfit and white duct tape instead. I don’t go for scary or creepy costumes for my kids but I think this version of a skeleton is very kid-friendly and could be assembled at the very last minute! Found at And We Play.
31. Wind Up Key
Turn yourself into a doll! Diy instructions found here.
32. Care Bears
Care Bear costumes with instructions from See Vanessa Craft. I think this one would need a few days notice to complete.
33. Scuba Diver
This is a great DIY idea from Delineate your Dwelling!
34. Gumball Machine
Gumball machine DIY costume via Cute Girls Hairstyles.
Needs: Lots and lots of pompoms!
If you need even more ideas, check out this post of 30 cardboard box costume ideas!
Happy Costume Crafting!
Halloween Stories says
Really Helpful thank you.
Laura @ The Mindful Mom Blographer says
Ok, these are some of the best DIY ideas I’ve seen! I love so many of them! I actually need to pull a costume together for TOMORROW, so this post came at a perfect time for me. Thanks for sharing!
I think I was a witch a LOT when I was younger. haha It’s an easy one! I really love that paper doll idea. Too fun.
Haha, my brother was a vampire for about 7 years running!
Kristen Jones says
These are such cute ideas!! I may be using one of these because I still haven’t figured out what my costume is going to be!!
Excellent! Share a picture if you pick one of these options!
These are some awesome ideas! Love the snail one. I have a 10 year old that will be coming to me soon to figure out what he’s dressing up as? I may be able to do the Stick Man him.. lol But I’m sure he’ll want to be a Zombie or something.. lol
The snail is adorable! But I also love the simplicity of the stick man, it’s the ultimate last minute costume!