34 Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

Need an amazing last minute Halloween costume? I've got you covered. Here are 34 ideas for either children or adults that you can pull off in a matter of hours. Plus, snag a bonus pdf of 30 more costume ideas made with cardboard boxes!


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!

Need an amazing last minute Halloween costume? I've got you covered. Here are 34 ideas for either children or adults that you can pull off in a matter of hours. Plus, snag a bonus pdf of 30 more costume ideas made with cardboard boxes!

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 by Brassy Apple

Paper doll costume with full diy instructions by Brassy Apple.
Needs: Cardboard or Foam Core & Fabric

2. Marty McFly

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 Costume

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 and Thing 2 Costumes

Thing 1 & Thing 2, source unknown.
Needs: A friend, red sweatshirts, temporary blue hair dye or blue wigs.

5. Salt & Pepper

Salt & Pepper Costume

Salt & Pepper, via Evite.  I don’t think it gets simpler than this!
Needs: White & black t-shirts.

6. Crayola Crayons

Crayola Crayons Costumes

Group of Crayons via Costume Works.
Needs: Colour coordinated outfit, coloured hair spray.

7. Little Snail

Snail Costume

Snail with full diy instructions via Oh Happy Day.  This is just the cutest!
Needs: Brown kraft paper, styrofoam balls, simple dress or outfit.

8. Strawberry

Strawberry Costumes

Cute Strawberry with diy instructions via Studio DIY.

9. Slice of Pizza

Slice of Pizza Costume

Slice of Pizza with instructions via U-Createcrafts.
Needs: Fabric or felt

10. Little Bandit

Little Bandit Costume

Little Bandit with instructions via Make it Love it.

11. Jellyfish

Jellyfish costume

Jellyfish costume, source unknown.
Needs: Umbrella and lots of ribbons

12. Painter

Painter Costume

Painter costume via Southern Living.
Needs: Black clothes & beret, white bristol board

13. Pinata

Pinata Costume

Pinata costume with instructions via The Joy of Fashion Blog.
Needs: Coloured tissue paper and a dress

14. Guess Who Characters

Guess Who Costumes

Guess Who Characters via The Zemans.  This is too clever! 😀

15. Paper Bag Princess

Paper Bag Princess Costume

Paper Bag Princess via I Speak Canadian.
Needs: A large leaf collection bag

16. Olaf

Olaf Baby Costume

This particular costume is actually for sale via Create Haven on Etsy, but I think it could be diy’d too.

17. Darla

Darla Costume

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

Jet Pack DIY

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 Costume - Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

The Very Hungry Caterpillar via Instagram.  All you need is construction paper and a paper plate!

20. Rain Clouds

Rain Clouds Costume

This kid’s grin is the best!  Rain cloud DIY by Fairfield World.
Needs: Umbrella & Polyfill

21. Mario & Luigi

Mario & Luigi Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

Mario & Luigi costume via Instagram.
Needs: A couple of toilet plungers!

22. Max

Max - Where the Wild Things Are Costume

Cutest. Thing. Ever.  The perfect costume for your little wild thing.  DIY instructions via A Night Owl Blog.

23. Paddington Bear

Paddington Bear Costume

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

Monster’s University DIY costumes via Desert Chica.

25. Bat Wings

Easy Bat Wings - Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

These wings are a great staple of any costume collection.  Easy DIY instructions via My Poppet.

26. Starbucks Cup

Starbucks Cup Costume

Starbucks cup costume, source unknown but pretty simple to recreate.


27. Frida Kahlo

Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas - Frida Kahlo Costume

Frida Kahlo costume via Oh Happy Day.  You could easily find these elements at a thrift store.

28. Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Family Costume

Awesome family costume idea!  Diary of a Wimpy Kid costume via Living Locurto.

29. Stick Man

Stick Man DIY Costume

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

Simple Skeleton DIY Costume - Last Minute Costume Ideas

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

Wind Up Doll Costume DIY

Turn yourself into a doll!  Diy instructions found here.

32. Care Bears

Care Bear Costumes

Care Bear costumes with instructions from See Vanessa Craft.  I think this one would need a few days notice to complete.

33. Scuba Diver

Scuba Diver DIY Costumes

This is a great DIY idea from Delineate your Dwelling!

34. Gumball Machine

Gumball Machine DIY Costume

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!



  1. 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

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