20 Easy Halloween Costume Ideas

By: Keith

Luau Costumes


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.  


army boy1. 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.  


speedracer6. 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.  


fairy9. 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.  


harry potter16. 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.   


charlie brown17. 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.  

Extreme Halloween Costumes for Kids of All Sizes

41 Responses to “20 Easy Halloween Costume Ideas”
  1. J. Cruikshank October 1, 2009 at 9:12 pm #

    Great ideas!

  2. Keith October 1, 2009 at 9:23 pm #

    well thanks! I thought of them out of my own tiny little head :-)

  3. Keith October 2, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    Hi LittleWolfe! That’s hilarious! Delayed gratification is indeed a juicy reward! hAHAHAHA :-)

  4. BigLittleWolf October 2, 2009 at 11:52 am #

    KEITH – a pair of MARSHMELLOWS! (kidddddding… or maybe not)

    You MUST see this video! Just tweeted by Guy Kawasaki and too adorable for anyone who has ever had kids, been a kid, is STILL a kid, or otherwise has been faced with temptation… and eventually succumbed.

    .-= BigLittleWolf´s last blog ..Narcissistic relationship? Use it or lose it. =-.

  5. Steve October 3, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    I used to like to do the football player costume as I had a helmet lying around from the time I was 5 until like 12 or something.
    .-= Steve´s last blog ..Around the NFL for 10/03/09 =-.

    • Keith October 3, 2009 at 5:59 pm #

      Steve, I forgot the football costume! It’s true. There’s always a football uniform to be had someplace. You’re right. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Angie October 18, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    How about the robe & shower cap “I just got out of the shower” costume? :)

    Although kinda lame, girls can do PJ’s, pig tails & draw on freckles and carry a teddy for a “baby”. Also, there are lots of cute $8 ear & tail kits to pair with tights and a leotard ( black cat, or a bunny (think Legally Blonde), etc.)

    You’re right about little girls, though…..most could throw together some sort of princess or fairy look from their toybox. Dresses, wings, tutus, crowns, etc…

    A rocker/punk costume is easy and was my favorite when I was little. Funky clothes, spiky hair, weird make-up & nail polish, and color up the hair if possible.

  7. Stephanie October 22, 2009 at 11:52 am #

    Excellent ideas, Keith! I love that they are all so easy and affordable…and non-branded. I’m not a big fan of all of the “commercial costumes” – Dora, Transformers, Hannah Montana, etc. I definitely prefer costumes with a little more “imagination.” ;)
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..5 Disneyland finalists {you choose the grand prize winner} =-.

  8. Keith October 27, 2009 at 12:22 am #

    Angie, So sorry it took me a while to respond to this. You are absolutely right about the girl costumes. Every little girl must have that stuff lying around! Perfect.

  9. Keith October 27, 2009 at 12:23 am #

    Stephanie, I really try to avoid branded stuff. Too easy to indoctrinate the kids with advertising. Better to do the old traditional stuff. Thanks! :-)

  10. Richard Carmichael May 20, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    Thanks for this post. I love your recommendations for home made solutions. Halloween has always been the biggest holiday of the year for our family next to Christmas. It is the one day of the year we get to be a kid again. Having kids of my own has re-kindled my own interest in getting into it with every ounce of creative energy we have. The kids go nuts and everybody has so much fun. My parents were never big fans of buying the store bought costumes and we always had to make our own. When I was a kid, I always envied the other kids who had the store bought stuff. Now, people commend us for our ability to come up with unique and original ideas every year made from stuff found around the house. There is a lesson in there somewhere. If I had my way, my kids will never know there is any other option.

    • Keith May 20, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

      Richard: Yes, yes, yes and yes. We were the same way as kids — always made our own costumes. I think it’s a shame that the fun of making the costume yourself, no matter how awesome or lame it turns out, seems to have disappeared from our culture. I always give more candy to the kids with home made costume. Discrimination? yeah, I guess so. But, my candy, my rules! :-) LOL

  11. Mr Spock costume suggestion July 29, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    Thanks for some fantastic ideas for costume ideas at Halloween. I thought the Hobo was a neat suggestion. I have found that there are a lot of fans of Star Trek and that the most popular desire is for a Mr Spock costume as he is a human like character in appearance but with some simple ears and wig it is easy for people to look like their favourite Vulcan, Mr Spock. Of course there are a number of other characters from Star Trek that you can easily dress up as also. So why not consider going as a Trekkie next Halloween.
    .-= Mr Spock costume suggestion´s last blog ..Spock Costume =-.

  12. jan July 30, 2010 at 3:46 am #

    nice!, those are all very good costume ideas. can;t wait for Halloween to start seeing cute babies in costumes. thanks for the tips
    .-= jan´s last blog ..Infant Newborn Baby Costumes &amp Costume Ideas =-.

  13. J Davis August 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    When I was a kid, I used to love to play Cowboy’s and Indians. One year for Halloween I dressed up as an Indian and the next year I was the Cowboy. I still don’t know even today which was my favorite costume.
    .-= J Davis´s last blog ..Super Hero Costumes =-.

  14. Cassy August 6, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    This is great. I love these ideas for kids costumes. Thank you for pulling it all together.
    .-= Cassy´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  15. Jessica August 23, 2010 at 6:46 am #

    Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year and I like dressing up my young daughter. She likes to go out trick or treating and has a ball. I especially like the annual Halloween party my husband and I go to. I think this year I may go as a Cave Woman…a really sexy costume.

  16. Large Family Blog August 24, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    I am sad to say that I have 5 children, and have NEVER come up with Halloween costumes as good & simple as these ones…I’m a failure as a Mom! LOL I love the Dice idea…I think I’m going to suggest that to one of my kids!

  17. Fred September 2, 2010 at 8:55 pm #


    I read with interest you have actually put up 20 easy halloween ideas. I am sure
    these ideas are timely as the halloween season is soon.

    Those ideas mention are so simple until we almost forgot about it. Maybe because we ourselves make things complicated in our mind.

    Thanks for sharing

  18. Bob S.@Halloween Tombstone September 5, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    Thanks so much for all your great Halloween Costume ideas. I’m sure they will come in handy to many families who have had to make budget cuts this year. I like the soda can one, maybe a should go as a can of red bull since i drink so much of it :)

  19. Tom @ Halloween princess costume September 14, 2010 at 4:30 pm #


    Lots of good ideas. I also went as a hobo on Halloween when I was a kid. Instead of using charcoal I used a little Vaseline and coffee grounds to simulate my “beard” :)

  20. Harry Potter Costume September 18, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    The Harry Potter idea is going to be hot this year due to the release of the final two movies coming out… There should be lots of little Potters running around with their magic wands fighting the evil Voldemort.

  21. Dennis P September 23, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    Personally, I’m going as Agent P. It’s from Phineas and Ferb on Disney channel. All I need is a brown top hat. Simple, and awesome.

  22. David October 2, 2010 at 5:26 am #

    All very nice ideas except for the “business man”. Don’t dress your kid like that, he won’t get any candies :)

  23. TriNi October 2, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    Awwww.. some of those are REALLY adorable! Great ideas!!

  24. couponboa October 18, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    Varieties are the spices of life. It reads from your entry that only limit is the way you can think and explore various costume possibilities.

  25. TrooperThorn October 19, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    Little girls just need a tiara to turn nay outfit into some fairie/princess/actress costume

  26. yairaliz October 21, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    yo voy para una fiesta de halloween pero es un reto y hay q crear uno mismo su difras pero no tengo ni idea d q hacer y van a dar $20 a el mas original y gufia difras

  27. Joseph Condron November 17, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    Great list. Speed Racer brings back some good childhood memories!

  28. cheap costumes January 1, 2011 at 5:41 am #

    Thanks so much for all your great Halloween Costume ideas. I’m sure they will come in handy to many families who have had to make budget cuts this year. I like the soda can one, maybe a should go as a can of red bull since i drink so much of it

  29. fitness girl January 29, 2011 at 12:59 am #

    I can get a lot of ideas here, absolutey nice and wonderful costumes very interesting.Love the Army Man..

  30. John June 1, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    Jaja, voy a intentar disfrazar a mis sobrinitos. A mi sobrina le encanta el de Tinkerbell y a mi sobrino antes le gustaba los dinosaurios, ahora se ha vuelto medio karateka, el de ninja definitivamente le vendría bien.

  31. mariel June 29, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    this costumes are very funny for the children, i love halloween day!!! I find share a great site i wanna share it http://www.oyacostumes.ca/eg/Children-Costume

  32. adriana October 15, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    super jaaja estan chidos

  33. Jenn October 28, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    I never remember to get my own costume together for halloween with everything else going on. So I’m still trying to figure out what I have. But I saw a blog post I thought I’d share that had some quick and easy costumes.


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