DIY 'Stranger Things' Costumes You Can Make With Stuff You Already Have

Stranger Things made a splash this summer and cemented itself as a spooky, thrilling, and wholesome nod to the '80s. The show follows a group of kids trying to find their lost friend, who stumble onto a dark government operation and a girl named Eleven. Set in the small town of Hawkins and riddled with supernatural powers and dark monsters, the series itself feels like a fall classic. And what better to take Halloween costume inspiration from than Stranger Things, a show where it always feels like Halloween? The best part is that there are several costumes from the Netflix smash-hit that you can pull together with stuff you probably already have.

If you want to go all out in your Stranger Things costumes, of course, there are options to do so, but if you want something easy and cheap, you can still capture the spirit of the Upside Down with stuff that you already have on hand. And with just a couple of cheap additions, you'll be ringing in a very affordable, very strange Halloween indeed.

Cue the spine-tingling synth music and get ready to travel back to the '80s for a Stranger Things DIY Halloween costume that won't break the bank. And you can use this as an excuse to re-watch the series, too, for... research purposes — and to brush up on your theories about Season 2.


Eleven has a few different looks in the series, the most recognizable being the pink peter pan collar dress with the somehow perfect blonde wig, and the hospital gown plus head full of electrodes she wears when "Papa" is experimenting on her. The latter is the easiest to make with what you've already got.

Take a plain white bed sheet, fold it in half, cut a hole for the head (kind of like a basic ghost) and safety pin up the sides while leaving room for the arms. You can add small blue dots all over with a sharpie.

Bald Cap, $5, Amazon

A little fake blood and a crushed Coke can complete the look. You can also DIY an electrode cap. You can get a bald cap for just $5 on Amazon and use pipe cleaners for wires. Don't forget to draw an "11" tattoo on your forearm!

Joyce Byers

You can surely dig something out of the closet to get Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers' harried, worried look. Try a striped shirt with an olive work shirt or a dark denim shirt over it, or a turtleneck in a dark color with jeans. Grab a string of Christmas lights from the box in the garage. If you want to take it up a notch, you can buy a fake axe, or carry a phone receiver. This axe from Amazon is $7.

Axe, $7, Amazon


Luckily, it's 2016 and mom jeans have made a comeback. So, if you want to be Barb, chances are you have a pair of mom jeans, or other high-waisted jeans, knocking around. You will also need a shirt with ample ruffles, which you could have on-hand, or you can grab one on Etsy no matter what your budget (or, chances are, at your local Goodwill). Then all you need is a pair of nerdy, oversized glasses (the ones below are $7 on Amazon), and a withering look for your friend Nancy.

Glasses, $7, Amazon

The Wall

If you want to follow in the footsteps of some of the funnier Stranger Things cosplayers out there, dress up like the wall in the Byers' house that Will uses to communicate through the scrawled on alphabet. This should be the easiest one to throw together with things you already have. You just need a beige or light tan shirt, or, even better, a floral patterned one for that '80s wallpaper look. Black paint for the alphabet and a string of Christmas lights, and you're ready to transmit messages from the Upside Down.

Happy Halloween!

Images: Netflix (4); Amazon (3)