One minute you’re on a pool float, and the next, you’re jamming to Halloween tunes, because the spookiest holiday of the year is just around the corner.
As you gear up for the big day, chances are you’ll start to brainstorm outfit ideas. You may already have that costume planned out with your BFF or have the ultimate couples costume decided on, but more likely, you’ve put off planning to the very last minute. And you know how that goes: There’s almost always that one theme party that creeps up on you.
So what do you do when you need an easy, last-minute Halloween costume, but don’t want to spend all night fashioning one? There’s a place to turn for ideas: Your closet. That’s right—in many cases, you don’t have to spend a single dollar to come up with a creative, homemade costume. Simply pull together your look by putting your normal clothes to work and combining a few things around the house, whether you’re making something for yourself, your kid, or your teen. And, if you really need to, you can buy a few cheap baubles at your local craft or dollar store to complete those finishing touches. The best part about these (very) last-minute Halloween costume ideas? No one will ever know you procrastinated.
Little Red Riding Hood
The timeless character’s signature outfit is too easy to duplicate. Just throw on a red hoodie over a white dress (or spring for the cloak), and you’re good to go.
Velma From Scooby Doo
Shop your closet for a cozy sweater and a flowy skirt. Add striped knee socks and your canine companion for maximum effect.
Sandy from Grease
If you can’t resist a little “Grease Lightening,” this Sandy costume is classic—and will put a little sass in your step.
Go literal with this one. Cover a blue skirt with a replica of the galaxy, then add the usual beauty queen accessories—a tiara, a sash, and a bouquet of flowers.
Daenerys and Her Dragon, Game of Thrones
Channel the The Mother of Dragons while waiting for Game of Thrones to make its long awaited return. Get your dog in on the action with this adorable DIY dragon costume that’s made of felt, a wire coat hanger, and velcro.
Get in the spirit for this year’s Disney remake by dressing up like the beloved British nanny.
Slip on a black and white striped T-shirt, then go heavy on the makeup and the temporary hair dye. For a great couples costume, have your partner go as Lydia.
Violet Beauregarde From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Looking for a warm costume for a chilly autumn evening? Dress as the bubble gum-loving golden ticket winner. You’ll be comfortable as can be in her signature blue track suit.
Dwight from The Office
If you’re a The Office fan this easy, quirky costume channeling the eccentric Dunder Mifflin salesman will make your Halloween.
Want to wear your normal clothes? Pull out a striped shirt and black bottoms, then add a beret, white gloves, and a touch of makeup.
Pair your favorite athleisure with boxing gloves and a homemade cookie headband. All you need for the simple craft is a little cardstock and glue.
Pantone Color Card
It doesn’t get much easier than this: Simply don your favorite solid color, then pin on some white felt and a printed “Pantone” label for an easy look that’s work appropriate.
Hungry Hungry Hippos
For a fun family costume or mommy and me option, nod to a beloved classic game. Simply pin pom-poms onto a solid outfit and add a few felt accessories to a matching baseball cap.
A lobster makes for a surprisingly chic costume. It’s easy, too: Pin a bit of tulle to the bottom of a sleek red dress, then fashion a red oven mitt into a claw with a bit of paint and some tiny matching red pom-poms.
For a more inspired take on the bunny, follow this detailed makeup tutorial, then simply top the look with a pair of ears.
If you have a blue dress, you already own the majority of this costume. For the finishing touch, just craft a headband with a blue boa, white foam balls, and a black marker. If you can’t find a spotted brown clutch, fashion a cookie out of cardboard.
As long as you have a simple dress on hand, a baby doll is a simple costume to pull off. Make the look more suitable for Halloween by adding black makeup that gives the doll a neglected look.
You’re sure to rack up the likes for this creative last-minute costume. Simply slip on your normal clothes and add some wings. Then, print some of your favorite social media icons and pin them onto your outfit.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how easy it is to be a star. As long as you have a pair of light denim jeans and a white tank, you’re all set.
For a great group costume, go as Pac-Man (or Mrs. Pac-Man!) and the friendly ghosts he chases. If your group is large, you could also add in some of the fruit.
Ruby Roundhouse From Jumanji
You won’t have to fight hard to put this killer look together. Just a few wardrobe staples, plus a duct tape weapon holder bring it all together.
A magenta outfit, a pair of cat ears, and some creative makeup makes for a costume everyone will go mad over.
Anne of Green Gables
Bring your favorite novel to life. Many literary character costumes, like Anne from Anne of Green Gables, are easy to pull off with clothing you already own.
Looking for a cheap and easy costume—stat? Throw on a pair of overalls, a plaid shirt, and a pair of boots. Bonus points for stuffing your pockets with straw.
Get creative with disposable bowls, a box, and red paint. The result? An ingenious last-minute costume.
Robber With Money Bag
For babywearing parents, a clever way to take the bank robber costume up a notch. Affix faux money to an infant hat, then place your little one inside a carrier covered with white fabric painted with a dollar sign.
Josie and The Pussycats Costume
If you’re ready to rock out, do as Grasie Mercedes did—slip on head-to-toe leopard and some cat ears.
You don’t need magical powers to pull this look off—just a red dress and a few choice accessories.
Spinelli From Recess
Channel everyone’s favorite playground queen. Don an orange dress, a leather jacket, some black boots, and a knit hat. Just don’t forget to bring the sass.
Craft a the iconic red and white tag out of poster board, then dress as your favorite character from the beloved line of plush toys. (This is also a great costume for pets!)
This tropical costume was made entirely of dollar store items—a yellow tee, a plain headband, and some green cardstock.
For just $20, YouTuber Mizfashionablylate crafted this gorgeous mermaid costume out of fabric, shells, tulle, and pearls from Hobby Lobby.
If sewing isn’t your forte, you can create a similarly effective sea princess look with a long green skirt, a sequin top, and some insanely clever makeup.
Can’t resist all things pumpkin spice? Solidify your love for the fall season by dressing as it. How? Just wear your normal clothes—be sure to pick rich, autumn hues—then add a headband studded with changing leaves.
Go as the plastic’s leading lady in one of her more vulnerable moments. You can shop your own closet for all the goods—just don’t forget to make a burn book (sans insults, of course).
Thing 1 and Thing 2
Another great couple or BFF costume that requires just a few items, including a red track suit, a matching tee, and temporary hair color.
Don’t want to spend a ton on a costume you’ll only wear once? Instead of the pre-made version, opt for a blue dress and your favorite pair of red shoes.
Assuming you already own green clothes, you only need to buy one supply for this villainous costume—faux ivy. (For a less permanent effect, affix it with safety pins instead of hot glue!)
Comic Book Character
You don’t need to be a makeup maven to pull off this cool look. Just go heavy on the black liner on your eyes and brows, then add a few extra lines on the rest of your face. Top with a bright blue wig.
With a little sewing know-ho you can turn a blue dress into a rainbow spectacular, but you could pull off a similar look with colored duct tape.
Dora the Explorer and Diego
Another couples costume that comes together with closet staples—workout clothes for her; khakis and a tee for him.
Do you basically live in your favorite fall sweater? There’s no need to ditch it for Halloween. Simply add this printable sloth mask, and you’re good to go.
Get in touch with your prickly side. All you need is a green tee and some white yarn.
For a “costume” that makes it easy to go about your daily life, slip on a matching leopard jogger set. Hey, it’s a great excuse to wear loungewear to work.
The look is easy to pull together with pieces you already own. Complete the simple costume with bushy brows, a floral headband, and chunky jewelry.
Ice Cream Cone
A fun costume for a group—have everyone go as different flavors—or for flying solo. Fashion a cone out of a party hat, then add the right “toppings” to a solid colored T-shirt.
Boba Tea Costume
Here’s a sweet idea: Add black felt circles to your go-to white dress, then craft a straw out of pink cardstock and attach it to a headband. Et viola—boba tea!
Chip and Joanna Gaines
As seen on “Extra Petite” You can literally grab whatever’s in your closet to re-create this Fixer Upper duo’s all-American look.
You’ll look heavenly in this quick look that just requires wings, a bit of sparkly makeup, a halo, and whatever white frock you already have at home.
Betty and Jughead from Riverdale
Transform into these landmark comic book characters made famous by CW’s soapy teen drama.
Dazzle as this mythical creature with some rainbow makeup, a colorful skirt, and a unicorn horn. And if you’re interested in DIYing each piece yourself, the tutorial above will be a life-saver.
Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory
Take @kanstelar’s lead with this nostalgic costume that is sure to earn you plenty of praise at the next Halloween party.
It wouldn’t be Halloween if there wasn’t a witch to join in on the fun. Dress in all black, throw on a hat, and you’re done.
The Addams Family
Our favorite spooky family’s iconic look is instantly recognizable and oh-so-easy to re-create. Just take your pick of which character you’d like to transform into for the night. (Or make it a group costume).
Arthur and Buster Baxter
Everyone’s favorite cartoon aardvark and his best rabbit friend have incredibly recognizable, but effortless looks that only require pieces you may already have at home. But if you want to start from scratch, the above tutorial explains how you can DIY each statement piece.
Dionne from Clueless
Just grab your Cher and hike up your knee-highs, and you’ll become a classic ’90s throwback faster than you can say “as if.”
To create this nearly effortless, no-sew DIY, all you’ll need is a colorful dress, some felt, and tape.
Even if you think you have zero crafting skills, we bet you can hot glue brown pom poms (a.k.a. beans) onto lettuce-colored felt. This costume may even be easier than wrapping a real burrito.
Hold court at your next Halloween party when you show up as badass Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Some styling tips: pull your hair back in a scrunchy to mimic the judge’s signature do, and find the best pair of statement studs you have.
This clever costume can be made in minutes with cute—and cheap—supplies. Create the most epic party hat by hot gluing mini-balloons and tissue paper honeycombs on a headband, then print out some pics of the 💩 emoji for the finishing touch.
Grab your pals, plain white t-shirts, and some felt to try out this creative group costume.
Georgie from It
You’ll be subtly scary in this look inspired by Stephen King’s 1980s novel, made into a hit film last year. And if you need help with that infamous paper boat? Don’t worry, there’s a tutorial for that.
Rosie the Riveter
Roll up your sleeves, show off your biceps and flex on ’em as this 1940s icon.
All you need for this fall-tastic costume are a couple wardrobe staples, and a little makeup.
Beyonce at Beychella
Put on a yellow sweatshirt, some jean shorts, and your fiercest sparkly boots, and you’ll be instantly iconic—like Queen B at this year’s Coachella. If you really want to go all in, check out this tutorial on how to recreate Bey’s Balmain hoodie.