20 Halloween Costumes You Can Make With One Item

by Sadie Trombetta

If the carved pumpkins, store aisles filled with candy, and creepy decorations on people's lawns weren't a big enough sign already, let me be the one to tell you: Halloween season is officially here. If you're not the kind of person who starts planning their DIY holiday ensemble months in advance, then these last-minute Halloween costumes you can make with one item might just become your go-to guide for dressing up this Halloween.

When it comes to Halloween, there are two groups of people. There are those (myself included) who start brainstorming costumes in August, decorate in September, and spend all of October watching scary movies and pigging out on candy corn, and then there are those who don't even realize it's a holiday until someone else asks them what they're dressing up as for the office party later that afternoon. If you're a member of the latter group, take it from a professional Halloween lover: it doesn't take much to throw together the perfect costume. In fact, you can go from "I don't have a costume" to costume contest contender using just one item from your closet.

Sound too good to be true? I promise it isn't, and to prove it, here are 20 Halloween costumes you can make with one item. Just remember: a little bit goes a long way.

1. Snapchat Filter

Though there are dozens of Snapchat filters worthy of Halloween costumes, there's only one that requires such little effort as this: the flower crown.

What you need: A Flower Crown, $15, Shop Spring. Add a store-bought flower crown to your regular outfit — or, if you're feeling up to it, try a DIY version — and in no time, you have gone from "I forgot my costume" to something relevant and instantly recognizable. Yes, it really is that easy.

2. Hester Prynne/Olive Penderghast

Feeling naughty this Halloween, but don't want to wear anything too revealing? Literature — and a great Emma Stone movie — has you covered.

What you need: An I ron-On Embroidered Letter "A" , $3, Amazon. Dress in your finest black dress (or really, whatever you want to grab from your closet), and iron, sew, or simply pin the bold letter "A" onto your outfit. Anyone who survived high school English class or saw Easy A will instantly understand your costume.

Click here to watch

3. Ghost-ed

One of the easiest one-item costumes out there is the white sheet-clad ghost, but there's a way to make the classic costume a little more relevant.

What you need: A Ghost Costume, $27, Amazon or a white sheet. Whether you buy a pre-made ghost outfit or cut holes in an old bed sheet, this slang-based costume is pulled off by adding the letters "ED" in black Sharpie to the front of your ghost outfit. Everyone who is anyone (on the internet) will get the reference.

4. Regina George

There are so many different ways to dress up like a character from everyone's favorite movie Mean Girls , but there is only one way to do it with a singular item, and it's going to require some scissors.

Click here to watch

What you need: A White Tank Top, $9, Target. Layer a white tank top, with the appropriate holes cut out, over your favorite brightly colored bra (or, if you're more comfortable, a cami), and put on your biggest b*tch face. Everyone will be jealous of your outfit — you are Regina George, after all.

5. Basically Any Animal

Speaking of Mean Girls , if that movie taught us anything, it's that all you need on Halloween is a pair of animal ears, a sexy outfit, and boom — you're in costume.

What you need: Animal Ears, $8, Amazon. To execute this costume the right way, and with minimal effort, all you need to do is pick out your favorite set of animal ears and pair them with a color-coordinating outfit from your closet. A little costume makeup doesn't hurt, either.

6. Polaroid Picture

A funky twist to the the "Self-Portrait" costume, you can shake it all night in this costume.

What you need: White Poster Board, $2, CVS. Pick out your favorite outfit, one you would wear for a self-portrait, and hang a poster board cut in the shape of a Polaroid picture frame around your neck. It's not as heavy as an actual picture frame, and just as unique of a costume idea.

7. Scream

Sure, there's a whole Scream outfit, but the mask is really what makes the movie villain — and your costume — so recognizable.

Click here to watch

What you need: Ghostface Mask, $9, Amazon. Grab whatever black clothes you have in your closet (and if you're like me, you have plenty to choose from), and pair it with this iconic mask. In one simple step, you went from street clothes to classic costume.

8. Harry Potter

While it's fun to dress up in the formal wizarding robes of Hogwarts, there is an easier way to be a wizard, and all it requires is some makeup, some muggle clothes, and one magical prop.

What you need: A Wand, $8, Amazon. Forget the formal robes (this isn't the Yule Ball, after all) and opt instead for your best Boy-Under-The-Stairs clothes, a lightning scar drawn on with eyeliner, and your wand. No troll will stand in your way of a good time this year.

9. Groucho

A comedy classic, Groucho is one of the silliest and easiest Halloween costumes out there.

What you need: Groucho Glasses, $10, Amazon. The best part of this costume is you can wear it with literally anything. As long as you have the glasses, consider yourself dressed up.

10. Jessica Jones

Want to dress up as a kick-ass superhero without wearing spandex and a cape? Then Jessica Jones is the one for you.

What you need: A Leather Jacket, $40, Forever 21. A typical New Yorker, Jessica Jones wears all black everything most of the time, but it's the leather jacket that makes her so recognizable, and makes you "in costume."

11. Fairy

Along the same lines of the animal costume, you can create a fairy look with one simple item: wings.

What you need: Fairy Wings, $10, Amazon. A girly dress, flowy skirt, floral printed pants — whatever your outfit is, the fairy wings are all you need to make it a costume. That, and tons of glitter.

12. Ballot Box

Looking for a costume that's relevant, makes a statement, and is easy to make? Look no further than the one-item ballot box.

What you need: Large Cardboard Box, $6, Staples. Using whatever you have in your arts and crafts drawer — markers, paint, paper, crayons — decorate a standard cardboard box to resemble a ballot box. Cut out the top and bottom flaps so you can fit in it, poke holes in the side to run string through so you can wear it, and be prepared to talk politics all night long.

13. Minecraft Creeper

Another box-based costume that requires little else, this Minecraft Creeper outfit is too easy.

What you need: Minecraft Creeper Head, $15, Amazon or a Large Cardboard Box, $6, Staples. If you're truly lazy, you can have a costume in a click of a button by ordering a pre-made Creeper head. Otherwise, you're going to need to get crafty and make your own with a cardboard box and some paint in various shades of green, or more simply, Green Sticky Notes (5 PK), $8, Amazon.

14. Little Red Riding Hood

Want to dress up and stay warm? This costume has you covered.

What you need: A Red Hoodie Sweatshirt, $16, Target. Yes, that's it — a red hoodie, and you have become the literal interpretation of a childhood classic. Don't you love how simple Halloween can be?

15. Emoji Face

While there are a hundred different ways to dress yourself up like an emoji, there are only a few ways to do it using one item, but it can be done.

What you need: An Emoji T-shirt, $9, Amazon or a Basic Yellow T-Shirt, $9, Amazon. First choose which look you're going for — the winking face, the kissing face, heart eyes — and then simply throw on your pre-printed shirt, or use Sharpies or Fabric Markers, $15, Amazon to recreate your favorite emoji.

Sharpie (12 CT), $7, Amazon

16. Wanted Poster

As simple as the self-portrait polaroid, and as inexpensive too, the WANTED poster is a fun way of dressing up like the bad guy for Halloween — you know, without really dressing up.

What you need: A Black Poster Board, $1, Target and Metallic Sharpies, $7, Amazon. Decorate a simple black poster board to look like a WANTED poster — you know, like the ones for outlaws and bandits of the old West — and cut a frame out to fit around your face. Hang it around your neck through the opening, and you've got yourself a one-item costume.

17. Shot in the Dark

Everyone loves a good pun, especially one you can turn into a costume for Halloween.

What you need: A Shot Glass Necklace, $5, Amazon. Dress in all black and hang a shot glass around your neck. Yes, it's that simple, but you can have fun with it by picking out a funky outfit or adding a smokey eye to it.

18. A 'Bachelorette' Contestant

You may never make it on the show IRL, but on Halloween, you can feel as special as every contestant on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette .

Click here to watch

What you need: A Fake Red Rose, $5, Amazon. Pick the fanciest dress (or suit) you have in your closet and pair it with a red rose. Who knows, maybe you'll find the love of your life if you're dressed to look the part.

19. Bottleneck

If you want to wear your regular clothes, but still be in costume, all you need is one good prop.

What you need: A Decorative Glass Bottle, $10, Amazon or recycled bottle tied onto Crafting String, $5, Amazon. Wear the bottle around your neck, and in one simple step, your accessory becomes your whole costume.

20. Crop Top

A Crop Top, $16, Forever21

Just because summer is over doesn't mean you can't still rock your favorite wardrobe item.

What you need: A Crop Top, $16, Forever21 or basic t-shirt with Decorative Corn, $15, Amazon fastened to it. Use safety pins to attach decorative corn to the top of your choosing, and with the one seasonal item, you have a perfectly punny costume.

Images: Pixabay; Chrissy Teigen/Instagram; Meme Generator; Pexels; Amazon (12); Forever21 (2); Urban Outfitters; Target (2); CVS; Giphy (15)