Last Minute Halloween Costumes

Holidays can be really confusing.  It’s hard to keep your eyes on the prize for getting Halloween done when the stores have already switched over to Christmas.  If you woke up this morning and thought “Wait, it’s October 31st???” don’t worry, because together, we are going to pull this Halloween together.

Once you know where you’re going (if your neighborhood isn’t great for candy, check out our Fall Fun list for Trunk or Treat ideas!), the next must-have is a costume.  Rather than spending $75 on whatever is left over in the store, save your lunch hour and use what you’ve already got with just a few clever additions.

Option 1: Hit the Kid’s Dress-Up Clothes

In all likelihood, your children already have something in their dress up boxes or some kit you’ve ordered that’s going to make a perfect costume.  Whether your daughter’s had-to-have that Elsa Costume can get thrown on over some tights, or you can pair your favorite apron and a wooden spoon with the chef’s hat you got in a cooking subscription box, you should be able to pull something together that totally works.


This Hufflepuff costume has saved us on more than one “Literary Character” day, and it works for trips to Universal Studio, Halloween, and Geeking out, too.  Alton Brown would approve of a multi-tasker like this!




My daughter used this Alice in Wonderland Costume in Colorado two years ago and it’s been in her dress up box ever since.  Most purchased costumes fit a pretty broad range- this one was size 8-12, so it still works!


Option 2: Raid Your Makeup

Let’s be honeImage-1st- that green eyeshadow wasn’t doing you any favors anyway.  Grab a shirt you don’t mind getting losing- I recommend an old sports team’s, tear it up, and voila, you’ve got a zombie.  Bonus points if you add a little red here and there (we used tomato paste for that “extra brains” texture) to make your zombie football player/hockey player/soccer player extra bloody.  That face is literally all eyeshadow.  Use primer to make it stick better, and opt for colors that don’t have shimmer or your zombie will end up looking like he came from Twilight.

Got Posterboard? You can have a playing card in about 5 minutes.  Bonus points for white face paint and the red or black suit that you print on the card on their face.  Those suspenders are duct tape.


Option 3: Get Funny

c5e6ce4121783c06b4d0c6bfffeaaffc--name-tags-farmsIf it’s the 11th hour and your teenager, who yesterday was “too cool to go trick or treating” now has a party to attend, try going funny. A pack of name labels turns them into an “identity thief.” Pull out their suit and imagestie from Easter and give them a red baseball cap for an instant President Trump.  Throw on a robe, a charcoal face mask, and be a “Beauty Vlogger.”  Get creative!

Option 4: Select Based On What You’ve Got

My husband and daIMG_0054ughter went to a father-daughter dance yesterday as Gru and Edith.  Why? Because Gru wears a grey turtleneck (had it!), black pants (had it) and a black jacket (also had it).  Edith wears a pink striped shirt and a winter hat (yup, had those, too).  After a stop at the grocery store to pick up a few minion balloons on their way to the dance, they were all set.  Want bonus points for accuracy? Print off the “G” symbol and use a safety pin to attach it as neeIMG_0058ded.  Minions are just as easy.  Yellow shirt, overalls, and a pair of safety goggles from science that you glue mason jar lids onto will do the trick.  If you have face paint in the house, go yellow to really commit.  Does everyone in your house have grey sweats? Glue ears onto a headband, pop on sunglasses, and you’re the three blind mice in under 2 minutes. Got sports apparel and some medals? Suddenly, you’re an olympic (fill in the blank here).  And yes, my Olympic Gymnast is wearing my medals from the Prince William 1/2 Marathon and a 5K.  If someone is checking out the legitimacy of your child’s costume that hard, you’re not moving fast enough to optimize your candy gathering.

Option 5: I Have Some Extra Time

glowpersonIf you’ve got time for things to dry, or time to go a little light-headed, you have even more options.  Purple balloons safety pinned onto a sweat suit make a great bunch of grapes– or go pink on pink for bubble gum.  Got a clear trash bag and multi-colored balloons? How about being a bag of jellybeans?  A black sweat suit and black ski mask painted with glow in the dark paint make a cool skeleton.  You can even attach glow sticks to black clothing with a glue gun (note: you’re not going to want to use them again) to make a glow-in-the-dark stick figure.


Remember that at the end of the day, nobody is going to be handing out awards because you had the most expensive, most accurate costume out there.  As long as your kids have fun, get candy, and stay safe, the night is a win, no matter what you wear.