Halloween Costume Tutorials For Everyone Who Waits Until The Night Of To Figure Out Their Outfit

by Kaitlyn Wylde

We've all been there: it's the night of your Halloween party and you weren't planning on dressing up... but last-minute you decided you didn't want to feel left out. You have no costume, not a lot of time, and no idea how to participate in a holiday that people have been planning for weeks. You're in a frantic state-of-mind, tearing through your closet trying to find things that look costume-ish, and searching the depths of your brain for ideas. Then it hits you: you have nothing, you're going to have to DIY it. Don't worry: Sometimes, all the answers are just waiting for you on YouTube, which is why I've put together a list of last-minute Halloween costume idea tutorials for you.

If you've ever fallen in to a YouTube webhole, it's probably because you clicked one tutorial for a natural summer glow look, and then somehow ended up watching a vlogger turn herself into a mermaid with a 600-step make up process. You're watching because you're half in awe, and half convinced that you could recreate the look yourself. And while there are certainly enough DIY fail blogs to show how wrong a tutorial can go, there are a lot of people who find success following video tutorials. So take it slow, make sure you have all of the supplies, and go create the last minute costume of your Halloween dreams!

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Splash-Inspired Mermaid

I mean any excuse to watch a video with Molly Sims — but this is also a super cute, super easy make-up and hair look that totally channels Daryl Hannah. Also, it's the perfect excuse to pull out that blue eye shadow and go ham on the highlighter.

Corpse Bride

If you're a Tim Burton fan, you'll want try this look. With a mix of make up and face paint, you can achieve this spooky/cute look. Bring the look home with a ripped wedding dress — you might have good luck finding one worth distressing at a thrift store.

Third Eye

This make up look brings the concept of over-lining your lips to a totally different level. If you don't feel like dressing up, but want to do something interesting and spooky, try this lip look. You can likely achieve it with make up you already have at home.

Vintage Doll

I love looks that give you an opportunity to use what you have. First you'll need to find a doll-like dress in your closet — the older, the better. By adding a ribbon bow around the neck, you'll really amp up the creepy quality to it. Put your hair in braids, follow this make up look, and you're ready to go.

Pop Art

If you've always loved the pop art look but worried it involved too much artistry and time to accomplish, let this tutorial change your mind. Take as many creative liberties as you want, or copy this exactly!

Tiger Make-Up Mask

OK, warning: this is not easy. That said, this is a great tutorial if you already fancy yourself pretty artistic. You'll need to be confident with brush strokes, as this look requires hundreds of them!

Mummy Nail Art

If you're just looking for a little something something, but don't feel up to a whole costume or make-up look, nail art is a great compromise. This mummy nail look is accomplished by water marbling with multiple nail polish colors, which is explained thoroughly in this video. Add a some googly eyes and you're ready!

Sugar Skull

If you're up for a face full of paint, this gorgeous look is the perfect mix of on-theme and fun. Follow the video step-by-step, or feel free to add your own improvisations and color choices. You can wear this face paint with any outfit.

Pretty Dear

If you love the deer Snapchat filter, you'll love this make-up look. By using a mix of brown eyeliners, foundations, shadows. and contour tools, you can easily accomplish this look.

Inside Out — Sadness

Everyone's favorite Inside Out character is Sadness, amirite? She's just so #relatable. This adorable look is pretty simple: It requires only a blue wig, blue face paint, some dark-rimmed glasses, and your favorite white turtleneck. Oh, and a lot of facial expressions.

Dead Cheerleader

There's something really classic '80s slasher film about dressing up as a dead cheerleader. It's nostalgic and ever-relevant. If you've got a cheer uniform from high school, or a friend who you can borrow one from, you should definitely try out this dead make up look.

Guy Fieri

Yes, this really is a nightmare come true. If you've ever wanted to look like the famous Diners, Drive-Thrus & Dives host, now is your chance. You will need some fake hair, fake facial hair, and one horrible shirt.

Wednesday Addams

This costume is always a hit. All you need is a black dress, a white collar, some braids, and a pale make up look that this video easily explains. I like this look so much, I wear it just on average fall days!


You probably didn't think of it this way when you saw the movie, because Michael Keaton was definitely pretty gory — but Beetlejuice is basically dressed as a chic French woman. The stripes, the messy hair, the dark eye make up — it can be pretty chic! Think about it!


If you're all about that Pumpkin Spice Latté life and DIY projects, this costume is a no-brainer. Warning, it will take you a few hours to complete, but it'll be totally worth it.

Sims Character

This is a last minute dream. This costume not only lets you wear your own ever day clothes, but it only involves about two minutes of crafting.

Edward Scissorhands

If you've got a black wig and an all-black outfit, this is a great last-minute look to play with. It only takes about 30 minutes to complete, and everyone will know you who are. So if you want to stay in character and go mum, you won't need to do any explaining.