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7 DIY Costume Ideas You Already Have the Materials For

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“Shop” your house for the props needed for these upcycled costumes.

Halloween is only 2 days away. If you’re still undecided about your costume, take heart: A quick search around your house might yield enough props to make a fun and creative costume. We trolled Pinterest and other sources for some fun, easy costume ideas that will save you money and help out the environment, too — after all, one of those “three Rs” is Reuse!

1. Johnny Appleseed: My daughter’s class was asked to dress up like this American folk hero in honor of his birthday in September, and it was a super-easy costume. We used her Brownie vest, turned inside out to hide the patches (you can also make a vest from a paper bag), some raggedy jeans, a pouch for the apple seeds, and, the piece de resistance, of course: One of my pots as a hat. Use the costume idea from Peapod Creations as your guide.

2. Rosie the Riveter: Show your feminist side by dressing like the literal poster girl for working women during World War II. It’s a simple outfit to put together: Just a blue button-down shirt, a red kerchief in your hair, and some bright-red lipstick. The Saving Money Living Life and Pinterest member Heather nailed the look.

3. “Raining Cats and Dogs”: Opt for a play on words with this cute costume. Hot-glue some small cat and dog stuffed animals to an umbrella (If you have young children, you’ve probably been racking your brain for ways to whittle down their plush toy collection anyway), and dress in a raincoat and galoshes. Real Simple shows you how.

4. Jet Pack: For a costume that your kids will play with for months after trick or treating, use liter bottles and some colored paper to assemble a jet pack, then dress your kid in a solid-colored hoodie and matching pants so that the jet pack is the focal point.

5. Dry Cleaning: I love this costume simply because when I used to do a lot of dry cleaning, those big bags and wire hangers were such an affront to my eco-minded self. Finally, here’s a cute way to use them: Turn yourself into a dry cleaning pickup with a wire-hanger headband and the big plastic bag covering a pressed shirt and trousers. Watch this video from Better Homes & Gardens for the how-tos.

6. Bat: Just about everyone I know has a wonky cheap black umbrella lying around, you know, the one with the broken spokes that causes rain to drip down the black of your neck? Put that umbrella to better use — turn it into gorgeously creepy bat wings that you can affix to a black shirt.

7. Fortune Teller: Simple and a little glamorous, one of the easiest costumes to put together is a fortune teller or gypsy outfit. A loose blouse, a flowy skirt, lots of dangly, jangly jewelry, and of course, a head scarf, and you’ll be set. If you happen to have a glass light fixture that you don’t need, you can even make yourself a crystal ball.

What’s your favorite DIY Halloween Costume that you can make entirely from things in your own home? Share your ideas in the comments below!

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About the Author
Jessica Harlan
Jessica Harlan

I love finding new ways to green my family's life as painlessly as possible, and sharing those ideas with folks who want to do the same.

  • lisa m. 1 year ago
    I dont persay have a favorite halloween costume to make, but i do know its more fun to make your own rather than spending the ridiculuos amount stores want you to pay for a couple hours. The old school way is the best way to go!!! And we even got more candy back then than kids do today. Halloween is a fun night, but if you ask me, its definately not the same anymore.
  • Meg P. 1 year ago
    Cardboard boxes make space ships, Titanic models, airplanes, tanks....boy costumes! I have grandsons. :-)
  • Nijuana J. 2 years ago
    "Blooming Idiot" costume made from fresh flowers and reused silk flowers.
  • Diane S. 2 years ago
  • Brenda E. 2 years ago
    Bubble gum machine... Put a red hat on your head and fill a clear large trash bag with multicolored small balloons.
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