10 cheap (and creative) halloween costumes

 Photo Credit: Scott Webb

Photo Credit: Scott Webb

I don’t know why, but Halloween tends to creep up on me every year (you know you want to laugh at that pun). It seems that I get so distracted by everything else fall-related – the bonfires, soccer games, boots, scarves, pumpkin patches, football tailgates, etc. – that I forget how quickly October 31st approaches. What’s even worse is that I’ve spent so much money buying pumpkin-scented candles and cider ales that I’m usually left with little to nothing in my Halloween budget. How am I supposed to put together a kickass costume AND still have money to transport me to and from the bars, with a decent amount of drinks in-between, when I’m running on “E” in my monthly “fun” budget?

Well, most accountants aren’t known for their creativity, but for some odd known reason, mine tends to spike during this time of year (and let’s be honest, Pinterest also helps). I’ve been fairly crafty the past few Halloweens, coming up with costumes that both a) I loved to wear and b) didn’t break the bank. Perfect combination, don’t you think?

So to help you in your quest to put together an outfit that will help you do the same, I’ve included some of my favorite ideas for Halloween costumes that won’t break the bank. Now you have no excuse not show up in full form at that costume party ;) You’re welcome!

1) Where’s Waldo?

Seriously, my all-time favorite cheap costume of all time. Why? Because you get to photobomb the crap out of people. I mean, really, who wouldn’t want to see that striped fella (or gal) in the background of a pic?

Better yet, all it takes to pull this off is a striped shirt and hat (which you can make with a little red duct tape or spray paint), some glasses (buy cheap sunglasses and knock the lenses out) and whichever Waldo accessory you prefer – camera, walking stick, backpack. The options are endless and can be tailored to what you actually have on hand.

2) Twinning Emoji

Can you look at this picture and not laugh? Yep, me neither. You have to love a man in a leotard.

This will work for two women as well, but the funniness factor will definitely decrease. Either way, grab some leotards & bows, and you’re set!

3) Bandits

Cute for an individual. Cute for a couple. Cute for a family. Really, you can’t get much cheaper than this, as long as you already have black clothing. And if not, there’s never a Goodwill too far from home…

4) Guess Who Characters

I have yet to do this one, but it’s definitely on my list for an upcoming Halloween. Best part? You can tailor it to whatever character you want to be. Grab some cardboard & paint for the frame, dress yourself up in a mustache/glasses/hat, and voila! You’ve got yourself a costume.

5) Bearded Lady

For all of you burly men out there, this is one of the easiest costumes you can muster up. Circuses in the 1920s were full of freak show side acts, and the bearded lady was almost always one of them. Make it a group costume by adding in a strong man, ring master, popcorn vendor, or any assortment of animals. Just make sure to give it that Roaring 20s vibe as much as possible.

6) Anything with Killer Make-Up

You can’t disagree with me here – anyone who comes to a party with make-up as sick as these will automatically get my vote in the costume contest.

Not great at applying it? You’d be amazed at how many of your friends are actually amateur make-up artists in disguise. Just ask around, and I’m sure you can find someone willing to do it for you!

7) Shamed Dog

If you tell me you haven’t seen pics like these below plastered all over social media this last year, then I’m going to call you a liar. To your face. Cash in on the trend, and dress up as one of them this year. Extra points to those with the funniest caption.

8) Paul Bunyan (and Blue the Ox)

I love anything nostalgic, and this is definitely one of them – who doesn’t remember the story of this lumberjack from their grade school days?

This one is easier for a guy with a beard, but definitely doable for the ladies who are willing to paint their faces a bit. After that, all you need is a flannel shirt (and if you don’t have one of these, get one in your closet ASAP), a hat, and an ax, which can easily be made from supplies found at Michaels (search online for their 40% off coupons!). Plus, you can make it a couples costume – just add Blue!

9) Bob Ross & His Painting

I think this literally was the cheapest costume I’ve ever done (which is probably why I have no pictures of it). All we bought was the wig for him and the painting ($3 Goodwill buy) for me. Everything else we already had. You can get creative with it, too – I saw a couple out last year with this costume, but she was dressed as a “Happy Tree.” Again, nostalgia works, people!

10) “Caught in a Storm”

I will admit it: I wish I was creative enough to come up with these, but I found both on Pinterest. Le sigh. Either way, they make for a good individual or couples storm-related costume that you can create for next to nothing. One cheap umbrella and you’re basically there!

Do you have any great costume ideas that you’ve pulled off in the past that didn’t send your bank account into the red? If so, please share in the comments below. The more ideas, the better!

cheap halloween costumes