20 Easy Halloween Costume Ideas
I‘ve always been a perfectionist. When it comes to Halloween I used to get upset whenever I didn’t look like the thing I was supposed to be dressing up as. One year I wanted to be a Ghost Buster, and that should have been pretty easy. But I got so wrapped up in the details of the backpack and hose and stuff that I gave up (I wanted knobs and levers and blinking lights). That was the year I went as a race car driver; it worked out well, and I was happy. In the spirit of making things easy and achieving some degree of realism I have thought up 20 costume ideas that are easy, cheap (if you want them to be) and can still come out looking pretty real.
1. Fireman: Macintosh, some rain boots, and a store bought fireman helmet. Add a little duct tape or even real reflective tape and you’ve got yourself a cool costume.
2. Army Man: Everybody can go to an army surplus store and grab some old fatigues. One toy gun and a helmet later and you’ve got an army man. Don’t forget to tie twigs to the outfit for that extra flair of camouflage.
3. Ninja: I’ve never actually known any of my friends to dress up as a ninja, but how hard could it be? Wear all black sweat pants and shirt, get a hood and make a mask. Go to a martial arts store and pick up some booties. Give the boy a stick and send him on his way.
4. Jedi: I have plenty of experience with this one. It can be as cheap or as expensive as you like. If you can sew then it’ll be easy. If you can’t then there are about a million good costumes online. The hardest part is getting the boots right. After that it’s pretty easy.
5. Hobo: I was a Hobo one year. My dad gave me an old suit jacket which we cut a bunch of holes into and put patches on. We rubbed charcoal on my face and tied a stuffed bandana to a stick. My grandpa donated a beat up old bowler cap for the finishing touches.
6. Race Car Driver: This was one of my favorite costumes because I got to wear a motorcycle helmet all night. The suit was just an old painters jumpsuit that we modified with patches.
7. Business Man: Yes, there was a year I didn’t prepare. I wore one of my dads suit coats and took his name tag. The only downside to this is that we don’t live in the UK where business people still try to dress well to go to work. Business people these days don’t have much self respect. Too bad. That was the easiest costume ever.
8. Karate Master: Prepare a few weeks in advance and you can order a black belt with your kids name on it. Go to Centurymartialarts.com or type Karate supplies into Google seach. A uniform is cheap too. Get a thick uniform because Halloween is in October and it’s cold.
9. Fairy: I admit it. This is the only girl specific costume that I thought of. My brain just doesn’t go that direction. Well, it couldn’t be very difficult. A too too, some tights, a crown, and a wand. Poof! Fairy.
10. Mummy: White bandages and some dirt ought to do it. Rip it all up a little and that’s a mummy costume.
11. Construction Worker: Get a hard hat, tool belt, flannel shirt and jeans. Boots complete the costume. Easy Peasy.
12. Guitar Hero: I’ve got several cheap guitars lying around. You could go all 80′s with the tights and big hair wig, but that would just be silly. It’s better to copy Jimmy Hendrix with all the headbands.
13. Farmer: A straw hat, overalls, and a corn stalk should about do it.
14. Cowboy: Cavenders or Western Warehouse sell kids cowboy hats and boots. Buy a western shirt and a toy gun belt. Bang.
15. Doctor: Lab coats are fairly easy to come by, and most people know someone who can provide a stethoscope. The face masks are sold in bulk. There is nothing more to this costume than slacks, lab coat, perhaps a name badge, stethoscope and a mask. Don’t forget to put a tounge depressor in the lab coat pocket.
16. Harry Potter: The only thing that separates Harry Potter from a normal person is the robe, the glasses and the tie. Robes can be bought online for 20 bucks. If you want to get fancy then you can buy good frames for the glasses. Or, they sell Harry Potter Glasses online too. A majic marker (no pun intended) is all the makeup required (for the scar). Harry Potter requires almost no imagination.
17. Charlie Brown: I always wanted to be Charlie Brown for Halloween, but I never did it because I’m not round (I’m really skinny and angular). For short round kids it’s an awesome idea. A yellow sweatshirt with a black zig zag pattern and black shorts or pants is about all it takes. This costume idea is perfect for babies. Babies are sometimes bald and almost always round.
18. Dice: How much easier do you want it? A cardboard box painted white with some black dots.
19. Soda Can: Just like the dice except with a trash can painted up like a coke can.
20. Robot: You know that tubing they use for dryer vents? Those are arms and legs. The cardboard box is the body. Fancy versions will include knobs and dials. Otherwise most kids don’t mind a painted on design.
I’m a big fan of doing Halloween right. It’s my favorite Holiday other than Thanksgiving, and, in America, it’s taken on a unique flavor that has become culture. Unfortunately, money doesn’t grow on trees. We sometimes need to cut corners to make it all work. When times are tight, consider a simple costume that can still be done right without breaking the bank. There are many more good ideas than what I’ve listed. I’d be curious to know what I’ve missed — especially in the girl costume department.