Do you guys love Halloween? I do. I don’t go all out every year, but cherish some really fond memories: corn maze and haunted barn with my high school boyfriend; being in college and dressing up and going out in NYC with my sister (back when we were both single–so cray to think about); to my first Halloween after moving into the city, with my boyfriend, my sister and now-brother-in-law, and my best friend, who was visiting.
What makes these Halloweens so special is just how much fun we all had. And dressing up and getting into the spirit definitely played a big part. Sometimes it’s not even what I wore so much as what other people wore–just remembering the year my sister dressed up as Marie Antoinette, complete with a curly white beehive wig, makes me smile. 🙂 Yes, that was a side I hadn’t seen before, and it was funny and cute and we’ll all talk about it when we’re old.
Still, I don’t like to spend a lot of money on costumes that I’ll wear just once, at most twice. More than that, I dislike the idea that these flimsy props and costumes will all end up in landfill. The best is when a costume is cute, creative, and can be put together from what you have in your closet, right? Without further ado, here are DIY Halloween costume ideas that will save you money, time, and waste.
Cute Halloween Costume Ideas you already have in your closet
1. Greek god– This one is so easy and slightly sexy while covering you up as much as you like (important if you live in cold places). Take a bed sheet or a piece of fabric, and wrap it around yourself to make a toga. I like tying one end over a shoulder but anything goes! Put on some bangles high on your arm and if you have gladiator sandals, do wear them! If you have a favorite god, play up his or her attribute. Carry a cardboard thunderbolt for Zeus, etc. I drew grape leaves on my cheeks for Dionysus.
2. French girl– All you need to be a cute French girl is a Breton sailor stripe tee or a turtleneck sweater, a mini skirt, tights and boots, a scarf tied around your neck, and a beret. To really play up the costume, carry a baguette (you can eat it at the end of the night, he he) and a French-English dictionary. 🙂
3. Frida Kahlo– You could try any of your other favorite artists, but if ever there was an artist who is visually striking in person as in her art, it’s Frida! Wear a maxi skirt or a maxi dress with any sort of lacy white peasant top or crochet sweater (you know you have one somewhere!). If you have a colorful wide shawl or scarf, throw that over your shoulders. But the biggie here is hair and makeup: Make two braids on either side and wrap them around your head, and pin big red flowers to hide the ends. I would draw big, bold, black eyebrows (up to you if you want to create a unibrow!) and put on red lipstick. Speak with passion the entire night. (“Diego was the worst accident of my life.”) Tout le monde will recognize you, no explanation needed.
4. Gypsy lady– Again, this is so easy to do if you have anything that could even remotely register as boho–which most of us do! In addition to aforementioned peasant blouse outfit, try jersey knit, drape-y sweaters and skirts. Think paisley or floral prints, and more the better. Stack lots of bangles on each arm and throw on as many necklaces as you can stand. Wear hoops or chandelier earrings. Curl your hair and use a scarf as a headband. You could also carry around a deck of cards.
5. Beyonce (or another pop diva of choice)- I confess I’m not familiar with Beyonce’s music, but this costume is almost too easy and dramatic to pass up. If you’re a dancer you probably have an old black leotard lying around somewhere. Wear that with a pair of sheer black tights. Leave your hair down, and wear a super dramatic smokey eye and glossy lips–this is *the* costume that gives you full permission to go all out with glamorous makeup (always a plus in my book). If you have old nylons or tights, cut the legs off and make holes at the foot to make fingerless gloves / gauntlet. Wear your sexiest black heels and bling-y, flashy jewelry to your heart’s content.
6. Audrey Hepburn– I’m not the genius who came up with this idea. (My sister, again!) Wear your prettiest, most Givenchy-like little black dress with a pearl necklace, pearl stud earrings, and a teased high bun. This costume will be more effective if you have bangs–if not, try a side part so you can swoop the front section across your forehead.
Do you like my Halloween ideas? What are you planning on wearing? (I keep changing my mind…) Let me know your ideas!! 🙂
See more Halloween ideas: Halloween Glam Makeup Tutorial
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This article was first published on October 21, 2015 and most recently updated on October 15, 2019.
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling; Jerick Parrone via Flickr