18 Cheap Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas To Save The Day

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 27: Laura Villa tries on a mask as she shops for a Halloween custom in the Miami Twice Modern and Vintage Boutique store on October 27, 2015 in Miami, Florida. According to a report released by the National Retail Federation this year more than 157 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween with the average person spending $74.34, compared with $77.52 last year. Total spending on Halloween is expected to reach $6.9 billion. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

You swore you wouldn't do it this year, but once again, you find yourself in need of cheap last-minute Halloween costume ideas. Halloween is just a few days away, and although you promised yourself that you'd start making your costume in September, you haven't even begun to think of what you want to be this year — or how to be it for that matter. Trust me, I have been there, but there's still a way to own this Halloween.

Even though Halloween is my favorite holiday, there has been more than one year when I have been broke and costume-less in the days leading up to Oct. 31. My Pinterest board notifications practically mocked me, as did the empty shelves at the costume store that I walked by during the final few days before Halloween. The costumes in my online shopping baskets were too expensive for my budget, and it soon became too late to order them anyways. For a girl who loves Halloween, I found myself in desperate need of a last-minute costume that wouldn't cost too much. That's when I decided to get creative. Believe it or not, it's easier than you might think to find a fun, easy costume, even down to the last second.

If you still want to rock a costume as flawlessly as Beyonce but don't want to break the bank to do it, here are cheap last-minute ideas to inspire you. You've got plenty of time — trust me.

1. Bread Winner

Puns always make great Halloween costumes, especially when those costumes are being done last-minute. This entire get-up can likely be made up of things you already have at home, and it doesn't get much cheaper than that.

Gold Metal, $1, Party City  |  Gold Leaf Headband, $10, Amazon

To become the breadwinner in the family, or at least for Halloween, it's easy. Throw on your gym or running clothes, and using safety pins (or glue, if you don't mind ruing your shirt), attach slices of bread or rolls to your outfit. Add a plastic first place medal, like the kind you can buy in the toys or party favor department, and a laurel wreath or similar looking leaf-style headband to your hair, and your look is complete.

Image: Polyvore

2. The Bachelorette

If you've dreamed of having  25 bachelors fight for your affection but haven't yet made it on to ABC's The Bachelorette, then dressing up as one might be the closest you're going to get. But who knows, maybe if you just start handing out roses on Halloween night, you'll find true love — or at least somebody's phone number.

Fake Rose, $1, Michaels

You've seen The Bachelorette a million times, so you know how to get the look. Pick a sexy dress from your closet, and pair it with some killer heels. Next, arm yourself with some real or fake roses and a glass of wine, and be ready to find the love of your life.

Image: Polyvore

3. Mother Nature

For a down-to-Earth kind of costume, Mother Nature couldn't be easier to pull off. Face it — you probably already have more than one flower crown or bird necklace.

Bodycon Dress, $13, Amazon  |  Flower Crown, $2, Amazon  |  Fake Vines, $6, Walmart

There are a lot of different ways to dress like Mother Nature, but the basic step is to start with earth toned clothing. Next, you'll want to add some foliage, whether it's with a flower crown, or by wrapping fake vines around your outfit. For a finishing touch, add some animal and flower-themed jewelry. Come on, I know you've got plenty.

Image: Polyvore

4. Miss Piggy

The new queen of late night talk shows and the leading lady diva on The Muppets, Miss Piggy isn't only sassy, bold, and hilarious, but she also has a killer wardrobe. This costume is a whole new take on being a "sexy animal." 

Pig Costume Set, $8, Amazon  |  Long Pair Of Gloves, $9, Amazon    

Miss Piggy may be a barn animal, but she has some serious style. First, you'll want the basic pig accessories — ears, tail, and nose — which can be bought or made at home. Once you have the animal part down, you'll need to get glamourous. Pull out your favorite party dress, preferably one with sparkles, and some matching heels. To complete the look, you'll need a pair of long gloves, because Miss Piggy doesn't go anywhere without them.

Image: Polyvore

5. Dominoes

If your friends are like you, they probably don't have a costume lined up either, so you might as well make it a group thing. Just be careful, though, because if one falls down, you all fall down.

Plain White T-Shirt, $24, Target  |  Fabric Marker, $5, Amazon

While it will take some DIY skills, making a dominoes costume couldn't be easier. Get a black or white plain t-shirt, and using fabric paint or a fabric marker, draw your preferred domino design. Pair it with black or white pants, and your costume is done. Yes, it really is that easy.

Image: Polyvore

6. Flower Pot

You had wanted to make an elaborate DIY flower pot costume this year, but it's too late to get it all together. Instead, try this equally cute and even more clever pun costume.

Flower Crown, $11, Amazon  |  Transfer Paper, $10, Michaels

There are two main components to this pun-filled costume: flowers, and, of course, pot. Just when you thought it was time to pack away your floral clothing, you're going to want to pull out a floral skirt, pants, or leggings for your bottoms, and add a flower crown in your hair. Use a white t-shirt, and adhere a giant pot leaf to the front using iron-on transfer paper, and an image from your printer. Trust me, your friends will get it.

Image: Polyvore

7. Unicorn

Who says you can't dress like a kid? Animals are always an easy and cheap last-minute costume idea, but this unicorn costume adds a whole new element of childhood magic to Halloween. 

Metallic Party Hats, $6, Party City

For the unicorn base, you will want to dress in all white — white dress with white tights, white shirt and pants, white bodysuit, whatever you have lying around. Next, you'll need to create your horn with a party hat. Look for white or silver, but if you can't find one, you can buy any color and either spray paint it or wrap it in white construction paper. To accessorize, you'll want rainbow everything, because unicorns love rainbows, right?

Image: Polyvore

8. Cat's Out Of The Bag

What isn't there to like about a costume that combines cats and puns, am I right? This one is cheap to make, really comfortable, and only takes a few minutes to put together.

Cat Ears, $5, Amazon

This is a clever costume you can do in minutes. First, start with all-black clothes, head to toe. Cut leg holes in the bottom of a large black trash bag, and either add arm holes or simply use the bag's drawstring to tighten and secure the bag to the top half of your body. Next, use face paint or eyeliner to draw whiskers on your nose. Once you have your cat face on, add some ears, and since most of your body will be in a trash bag, you won't have to worry about a tail.

Image: Polyvore

9. Shot In The Dark

If you waited so long to get your costume because you actually don't like getting dressed up, then this costume has your name all over it. It's like wearing the clothes you wear on a normal day, but allowing yourself to have a shot glass available at all times, too.


Dark Lipstick, $1, CVS  |  Plastic Shot Glasses, $1, Dollar Tree

For this, you will need all-black everything: black top, bottoms, tights, and even black (or at least dark) makeup and lipstick. For the shot element, you will want to use a hot glue gun to adhere a plastic shot glass to some black ribbon. Wear it around your neck, and your costume is done.

Image: Polyvore

10. Ghost Writer

Dressing up as a ghost has to be one of the easiest, cheapest, and most common last-minute Halloween costumes out there, but ghost writer? It's just as simple, but way more fun.

You've probably done it before: get an old white sheet, and cut out eye and mouth holes in it. Grab a notebook and a pencil as your accessories, and boom — you're a ghost writer.

Image: Polyvore

11. Olivia Pope

Because you know you want to be like Olivia Pope IRL, show your love for her on Halloween. The best part? This costume comes with a bottle of wine — just be careful not to spill.

Go old-school Olivia Pope in white hat style. Your clothing options, all white of course, include dresses, pantsuits, wrap-around sweaters, and hats. Don't forget your red wine! Olivia has had a long day.

Images: Polyvore

12. Cactus

They're on your desk at work, on your windowsill in the kitchen, and probably a motif in your closet, and now you can actually be your favorite house plant for Halloween. Just try not to prick anyone while you're at it.

Green Sweatshirt, $11, Amazon  |  Pink Flower, $6, Amazon

This is another costume that you'll have to put some effort into, but it can still be done last minute and on the cheap side. Get a green shirt or sweatshirt, and use a hot glue gun to adhere cut-up pieces of bright green and yellow straws to it in groups of two or three. Wear green or tan pants for bottoms, but don't feel obligated to make them prickly. Add a bright pink flower to your hair for the finishing touch.

Image: Polyvore

13. Cat Emoji

There are a number of ways you can dress like a cat emoji, and not all of them are elaborate or expensive. You can become your favorite cat emoji in almost as little time as you can text it... almost.

Cat Accesories, $9, Party City  |  Heart Sunglasses, $16, Urban Outfitters

The easiest route to dressing like a cat emoji is by dressing in a basic yellow outfit, whether it's a dress or pants and a top, and adding the basic cat accessories to the outfit. Depending on what cat emoji you want to dress as, you can use face paint to draw whiskers and/or tears, wear heart sunglasses, or just look really angry, like the shouting cat. 

Image: Polyvore

14. Self-Portrait

Another costume ideal for lazy people, the self-portrait only requires two things: yourself and a frame. Yes, it is that easy and that cheap, so even you can get dressed this Halloween.

Large Poster Frame, $10, Micheals   

Since this costume is about being yourself, wear whatever you would wear on a normal day as your base outfit. To make the outfit into a costume, you'll need a large poster frame with the glass and backing removed. Simply hot glue gun a ribbon or rope to the frame, and wear it around your neck. Too lazy to craft? Just position the frame around your neck or off of one shoulder, and skip the gluing all together.

Image: Polyvore

15. Party Animal

You, yes YOU, can look as adorable as Lauren Conrad this Halloween — only for much cheaper, I swear.

Party Hat, $6, Party City  |  Mouse Ears, $7, Party City

The party half of this costume will require your favorite party dress and a party hat. Next, pick your favorite animal and accessorize accordingly, like with these mouse ears, and some face paint. Just like that, you're as cool as Lauren Conrad. If only you were as rich... 

Image: Polyvore

16. Risky Business

A classic, comfortable, and most likely completely free last-minute Halloween costume, the pants-less Tom Cruise-inspired costume always comes through in the clutch.

The best part about this costume — other than the fact you don't need pants — is that you probably own everything needed to make it, so it should be free to make. Grab an oversized button-up from your boyfriend, roommate, or your own closet, and pair it with white tube socks and some sunglasses. In no time, you're dressed (and kind of undressed) for Halloween.

Image: Polyvore

17. Head In The Clouds

If you're a little crafty, you could have your head in the clouds and a costume for Halloween in no time with this clever one-piece-only get up. Makeup optional.

To get your head in the clouds, you will need a bag of cotton balls and a thick headband, or a few thick bobby pins. Use a hot glue gun to adhere the cotton balls to your hair accessory, and once dry, pull at the cotton balls a little to give them a wispier look. If you want to go all out, you can paint your face blue and white like the sky as well. 

Image: Polyvore

18. Grapes

Though this costume comes with the threat of being played with all night, this DIY grapes get-up is easy and cheap to make, and will ensure you stand out from the crowd. You won't be able to help it, your costume will just be that big. Awesome, yet big.

Purple T-Shirt, $5, Amazon

This costume may take a delicate hand and a lot of oxygen, but it's worth it. Blow up purple balloons and using the tied off end, carefully attach them to a plain purple t-shirt. Avoid the area under your arms and near where you would sit. Add purple pants and a green ski hat, and you're everyone's favorite fruit... or at least my favorite fruit.

Image: Polyvore

For more Halloween ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.

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