20 Genius Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

There are two types of people in this world: those who plan their costumes out meticulously weeks in advance, and those who throw open their closet on Oct. 31 and throw on whatever they can find. If you're someone in the latter group, these creative last-minute Halloween costumes are for you. They require minimal expenses and little effort, but still make you look like you actually tried this year.

No one wants to be that person at the Halloween party — the only one who shows up without a costume or a good excuse for wearing "regular" clothes. But, plenty of people don't have the time, budget, or creativity to come up with an original idea year after year, either. And while dressing up is supposed to be an entertaining, stress-free activity that lets you feel like a kid again, it all too often gets exasperating, expensive, and all together overwhelming. This is the year all that changes.

Halloween is supposed to be a fun, silly time of year for all, one last break before the hustle and bustle of the official holiday season begins. So instead of pulling your hair out trying to sew your perfect outfit by hand or spending an entire week's paycheck on the trendiest get-up at the Halloween store, try one of these 20 creative last-minute Halloween costumes instead. They're easy to put together, fun to wear, and can be pulled off in no time.

1. Pot Head

Who says being punny can't be easy? With a little bit of time and creative effort, you can have a hilarious, NSFW pun-based costume in no time.

To pull off this simple, last-minute look, use a glue gun to adhere a small gardening pot ($6.47, to a large black headband ($5.99, Pair your new accessory with basic jeans and a simple green t-shirt ($11.99,, and in minutes, you have an LOL-worthy costume for Halloween.

2. Error Page

There are dozens of ways to "dress up" for Halloween without actually dressing up too much — all you need is the right t-shirt.

To create this look, use fabric paint ($8.28, to design your own 404 error message on a basic t-shirt ($5.95, If you're not the DIY type, you can order a printed t-shirt ($19.90, and wear it with whatever bottoms you feel most comfortable in. Even the laziest among us can have a clever Halloween costume, thanks to the internet.

3. Smarty Pants

Dressing up like a nerd was so last year. This year, ditch the glasses and suspenders for something a little more unique.

Take a pair of plain black jeans ($22.39, and decorate them with packages of Smarties using either a hot glue gun or safety pins. Wear a comfortable shirt of your choosing — the nerdier, the better — and finish off the look with some studious looking glasses ($6.99, In a matter of minutes, you've gone from street clothes to clever costume.

4. Bulletin Board

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The best costumes are the ones that can be interactive, like this simple one anyone who works in an office can appreciate.

For the base of this costume, all you need is a basic brown crew-neck ($12.98, Add sticky notes ($3.59, scribbled with notes and reminders of your own, or show up at the party with a black set of sticky notes and a Sharpie so friends can add their own messages to your costume.

5. Scarecrow

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It is fall, after all, so why not go for a seasonal costume this Halloween? It's simple, easy, and can be created with items you probably already have in your closet.

After making your cheeks pink and rosy and your eyelashes long and thick with some costume makeup ($8.99,, put a pair of denim overalls ($49.99, on over a comfortable flannel button-down shirt ($49, and top the whole thing off with a big floppy hat ($14.90,

6. Caught "Red Handed"

There are plenty of sayings that you can turn into Halloween costumes, but none are as easy as this one to pull off last-minute.

As far as your outfit goes, you can wear whatever you want — dress and heels, jeans and a top, pajamas — as long as you have two important props: a pair of red gloves ($6.99, and a pair of prop handcuffs ($4.49, With a costume this quick and clever, you have no excuse not to dress up this year.

7. Flower Child

Embrace your inner hippie this Halloween — without all the bell bottoms and peace signs.

With this costume, you're taking the figurative and making it literal. Start with a flower crown ($9.99, and flower garland or lei ($2.99,, then add a teddy bear ($12.75, and childish pjs, like footed pajamas ($59.50, Put it all together, and you're in a comfortable and crafty costume you can wear all night long.

8. Dr. Pepper

While everyone is dressing as a naughty nurse, you can be a punnier medical professional this Halloween.

Take a regular lab coat ($16.38, and add a "P" embellishment to it. Accessorize with a stethoscope ($9.99,, and be prepared to watch people's "ah ha" moments all night long as, one by one, people figure out your costume.

9. Cold Turkey

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so why not get into the spirit now with a pun-tastic, seasonal costume?

If you're going all-out, you're going to want to order a turkey costume ($28.75,, but if you're throwing it together last minute, all you'll need is some feathers ($5.99, to clip in your hair and pin on your brown colored clothes. Layer on a scarf ($19.99, and ear muffs ($12.99,, and you're a cold turkey.

10. Spring Chicken

Speaking of birds, if turkey isn't your kind of feathered being, there's plenty of ways to dress up like a chicken, even at the last minute.

If you don't want to DIY a chicken suit of your own with crafting feathers ($5.99, and a yellow basic t-shirt ($5.95,, you can buy a chicken sweatshirt ($44.99, To take it from regular old poultry to a classic saying turned costume, add a floral lei ($5.79, floral leggings ($11.99,, and some rain boots ($53.99,

11. Pokemon Trainer

Since you'll totally be playing "Pokemon Go" while you're out trick-or-treating, you might as well make it a part of your costume.

Over any regular old outfit, wear a team sweatshirt ($19.95, and carry with you your favorite stuffed Pokemon ($18.98, and any other themed accessories you want, like a Pokeball backpack ($35,, that you want to give you the official trainer look.

12. "Low-Key" Loki

It's a costume within a costume within a costume. This simple DIY get-up is a super villain, a popular saying, and a pun all in one. Plus, it finally gives purpose to all of those mystery keys in your junk drawer.

With the help of a glue gun or a needle and thread and some fabric paint, decorate a basic t-shirt or t-shirt dress ($12.90, by adding decorative keys ($5.59, or any spare keys you have lying around without a purpose to the bottom. Draw a large arrow pointing down, and wear the completed top over whatever bottoms you chose. Just like that, you have a one-item costume easy to pull off at the last minute.

13. Barden Bella

Are you looking for an aca-mazing Halloween costume you can pull together last minute? Look no further than the Barden Bellas.

Whether you are dressing up by yourself or with a group, all you need to do to create this costume is throw on a dress ($14.99, H&M) that Aubrey would approve of and pair it with the signature Barden Bella scarf ($25, Put on your happy face, and get ready to sing "Monster Mash" acapella style all night long.

14. Carmen Sandiego

Costume shopping at the last minute means that everything in the Halloween section is usually pretty picked over, which is what makes this costume so great for procrastinators.

Instead of fighting over the last sexy occupation costume, head over to the outerwear section instead, where you can find a red trench coat ($29.90, and a red hat ($8.99, Alone, the two items may seem like regular fall seasonal wear, but together, they create the signature Carmen Sandiego look.

15. Pineapple

Move over, cactus, there's a new plant motif sweeping the nation (and your Halloween costume) — the pineapple.

To transform into your favorite fruit and your favorite interior design theme, you're going to need a few key items. First, start with a basic t-shirt ($5.95, embellished with Sharpie or fabric paint, or a ruffled yellow dress ($12.99, for your pineapple body. To your hair, add some decorative palm leaves or a green tasseled noisemaker ($17.99, In just a few simple steps, you've got yourself a seriously juicy costume.

16. Elle Woods

What, like it's hard to come up with a good Halloween costume?

If you're going as Elle Woods, you're going to want to think pink — pink dress, pink hat, pink shoes, pink everything. Add in a matching notebook ($2.50,, a large pink feather pen ($6.39,, and a stuffed Bruiser chihuahua of your own ($8.33,, and you'll be unmistakably Elle-like. Next stop after trick-or-treating: the White House.

17. Birthday Present

Give yourself the gift of an easy last-minute costume by dressing up as a present, a simple idea that can be created with things you probably have lying around the house already.

You're going to need your scissors and glue for this costume. Start with a basic large cardboard box, and cut out the bottom and the top flaps. Wrap it in decorative wrapping paper ($6.46,, cut a few holes in the sides, and run string through to make straps. Add a bow ($2.37, to your hair, and start to practice walking now, because door frames are going to be a struggle with this unique costume.

18. Stick Figure

Since everyone else will be dressed as skeletons, go a different and more creative route to recreating the human body.

To transform from a three-dimensional human to a stick figure, you're going to need to dress in a white long-sleeved shirt ($9.60, and white pants or white leggings ($12.95, Use black tape to create a stick figure person on your clothes, and draw a circle around your face with black eyeliner, and your costume is complete in no time.

19. Holy Guacamole

If you're looking for a crowd-pleasing costume, look no further than this foody pun.

If your wardrobe is anything like mine, you won't have to buy much for this costume. But if you're lacking in food-themed clothing, you're going to want to get yourself avocado everything — avocado t-shirt ($13.97,, avocado purse ($39,, avocado earrings ($8,, you name it. Toss a halo ($4.99, on top, and your delicious costume is complete, and completely hilarious.

20. Snapchat Face Finder

Need a costume in a snap? While there are plenty of costume-worthy Snapchat filters, there's one app feature that is too often overlooked, and far too easy to not be considered last-minute costume material: the face finder.

To recreate it yourself, use a white stick makeup ($10.99, or white eyeliner to draw lines on your face n the style of the Snapchat face finder. That's it — the whole costume in one step.

And you thought you'd have a lame last-minute Halloween costume.

Images: Getty Images (2), Sadie Trombetta; Amazon (2); Meme Generator; Giphy; Polyvore (18)