Easy and Fun Halloween Costume DIY's

“Do you know what you’re being for Halloween?”

This is a question that does not discriminate based on age. No matter if you’re going to be stoop side knocking on the door or the one answering it from within, the feeling of impending doom can hit you in the gut if you’re ill-equipped to answer that query.

Don’t sweat it, Halloween isn’t something to lose sleep over! If you’re in a pinch, or simply don’t want to cough up the extra cash for an insanely expensive costume, rest assured that you’ve got options aplenty to get you in costume, looking great, on time!

Get ready to put the Y in DIY, because these easy costume ideas have YOU written all over them.


Vintage Wind-Up Doll

There always seems to be something eerie about dolls, especially those of the old wind-up variety. This DIY costume will add that element to your look, making for a dainty, slightly spooky costume!

What you need:

  • 9x9" scrap cardboard

  • Metallic acrylic paint

  • Masking tape

  • Spool of thread

  • Pencil

  • Foam brush

  • Scrap paper

  • Sharp scissors

  • 1/2 " wide sewing elastic

  • Paper towel or toilet paper tube


  • Create the outer shape of the bow of the key using a roll of masking tape and a pencil. Draw the first circle on the left side of the cardboard. To ensure an even shape, trace the roll of masking tape with a pencil.
  • Move the masking tape to the right of the first circle and trace a second circle. The second circle should overlap the first circle by about 1/2 inch.
    The overlapped circles should look like a Venn diagram.
  • Create the inner shape of the bow by tracing a spool of thread in the center of the one of the larger circles you created with the masking tape.
  • Repeat in the second circle, making sure the small circles line up. Erase and re-trace if necessary.
  • Cut two vertical slits directly underneath the two circles. This step creates "stem" that will be inserted into the tube.

Tip: In order to fit into the cardboard tube, the width of the "stem" should be about 1 5/8 inches wide. To estimate where you should cut, hold the tube against the cardboard and use it as a guide. You can also use a ruler and measure the width accordingly.

  • Cut around the circles.
  • Carefully pierce one small circle. Cut along the outline to remove the circle.

Warning: Use caution when piercing cardboard with sharp scissors. Point the scissors away from you and do not place your hands close to the pointed ends.

  • Paint the cardboard key. Let dry. Once dry, turn over and paint the other side. Let dry.

Tip: Protect your work surface with scrap paper.

  • Apply an even layer of paint to the tube.

Tip: To prevent the cardboard tube from rolling around with wet paint, leave it to dry in a vertical position.

  • Once dry, insert the flat cardboard shape into the tube.
  • If you are using a paper towel cardboard tube, cut away the bottom half.

If you are using a toilet paper cardboard tube, skip to Step 12.

Tip: Use tape to keep the flat cardboard from moving around in the tube.

  • At the open end of the tube, cut a horizontal slit on each side so that you can thread through elastic to create a makeshift belt. Each slit should be the same width as the sewing elastic.

To easily cut the tube, gently fold it. The fold should not line up with the flat cardboard inside it. Instead, the fold should run perpendicular to it. Make sure the second slit lines up with the first slit.

  • Cut a strand of sewing elastic. It should be long enough to wrap around the upper portion of your waist. Wrap the sewing elastic around your waist to measure.
  • Insert the sewing elastic through the the slits and pull the elastic until there is an even amount on each side.
  • Tie the elastic around your waist with a tight double knot. Trim if necessary. Make sure the elastic is tightly wrapped around your waist. This will keep the key in a horizontal position. Use safety pins to attach the elastic to your dress, if necessary.

See website for images/more details. Costume by Kirsten Nunez for eHow.com, How To Create a Wind Up Key for a Costume


Rubik’s Cube

You won’t need to scrimp too much money together to get this costume done. With only a few simple supplies, the added painting makes it fun to make, too!


What you need:

  • Large box 22 x 22″ (found at the UPS store or other shipping store)
  • Acrylic craft paint (2 bottles of each color)
  • Roll of black electrical tape



  • Paint the box in 6 different colors.
  • Use a blow dryer between coats of paint.
  • Keep your brushes wet between paint coats.
  • Cut a hole at the top for the head.
  • Cut a larger hole at the bottom for the legs.
  • Glue or Tape the top and bottom in place.
  • Use black electrical tape to make a grid on the box.


See website for more details. Costume by Dana of Made Everyday with Dana, Rubik's Cube Costume


Little Red Riding Hood

Want to get the Red Riding Hood cloak, but also don’t want to pick up a needle of thread to get it? No problem! This no-sew design is simple and easy, and its classic look and signature color will make for an unmistakable Red Riding Hood.


What you need:

  • One large piece of red material (1m x 1m for a child or 1.5m x 1.5m for an adult)
  • Scissors


  • The first step of making your no-sew Little Red Riding Hood cape is to cut your material to size. For an adult costume you’ll need a 1.5m x 1.5m piece but for a child it’ll only need to be 1m x 1m. We’d recommend using a red sheet that you can pick up relatively cheaply from a market (usually only a couple of pounds).

You’ll also need to use a tiny portion of your red sheet to cut a long, thin piece of material that will be used to tie your cape.

  • The next stage of making this easy DIY costume is to measure the size of your hood. If you’re making this costume for yourself, you’ll need someone to help you but if you’re making it for your child, just use whoever’s going to be wearing it as the model.

Put the hood over their head and loosely pinch it together at the bottom – this is where you’ll insert the hood tie. Before you let go, make a mark where you’re holding the material so you don’t forget where to cut.

  • Next, take your scissors and cut two small slots either side of the hood (where you made a mark in step 2). Once you’ve done that, your DIY World Book Day costume is almost finished!
  • Finally, thread your long thin piece of material through the slots at the bottom of the hood, put the cape back on your model and tie the strip of material to make a bow. And voilà, your DIY Little Red Riding Hood cape is finished – with absolutely no sewing at all!!!

See website for more details. Costume by Laura Maclean, No-Sew DIY Little Red Riding Hood Cape

Glow in the Dark Stick Figure

This costume is comfortable and sure to get laughs. Get your dance moves ready for when the lights go off!

What you need:

  • Black shirt, pants, shoes & hat
  • Long, flexible glow sticks with connectors
  • Clear packing tape


  • Tape Glow Sticks to Shirt. Connect glow sticks together until you have a strand that stretches the length of your wingspan (from wrist, across the chest, to other wrist). Starting in the middle of the upper chest, use clear packing tape to secure glow stick to black shirt (Image 2). Secure glow sticks down the front of the arms, taping at the upper arm and wrist. Wrap tape completely around the arm for extra security (Image 3).
  • Attach Torso, Legs & Head. Use tape to secure a straight glow stick line (the stick figure's torso) from the sternum to right below the belly button (Image 1). This line will connect the wingspan arch to the leg arch. To create the stick figure legs, create another arch of glow sticks similar to that of the wingspan, encircling the hips, upper thighs and ankles with tape to keep glow sticks in place (Image 1). Create a stick figure head by connecting both ends of one glow stick to create a large circle. Tape the circle at the sternum (Image 2) and on the top of the head (Image 3). Wear a black hat to prevent tape from sticking to hair.
  • Get Glowing. Cut the lights and bask in the glow.

See website for images/more details. Costume by HGTV, DIY Glow-in-the-Dark Stick Figure Costume

Umbrella Hat Hoodie

What you need:

  • An umbrella
  • Hooded zippered sweatshirt
  • Needle and thread
  • Pins
  • Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Tin snips/bolt cutters/cutting pliers


  • Unscrew the top of the umbrella. Pop off the short wires that hold the ribs to the part that slides up and down the stem of the umbrella – they are like staples, and you can use your pliers as a staple remover. Then use the pliers to untwist the two wires holding the ribs to the plastic parts on the stem of the umbrella. Unthread the wires from the ribs, reserving wires for later use.
  • The cloth part of the umbrella with the ribs attached should be separate from the stem now. Clip off two ribs opposite each other, and save them for ear frames. Split the umbrella in half down the seam previously occupied by those ribs. Using tin snips (or other cutters), cut off extraneous rib parts so that the ribs will be slightly longer than the fabric when they are joined together. If you have pointy bits sticking out, you can tape them down.
  • Pin the umbrella halves to the sleeves and sides of the sweatshirt, starting at the armpits. Pinning is a good idea since the umbrella nylon is slippery and the sweatshirt stretches. Sew the umbrella on, leaving a gap in the armpit for the rib ends to poke through.
  • Trim off the extra flaps of material straight across from the bottom of the sweatshirt to just before the point where the bottom rib is attached. You’ll need these triangles of material for the ears.
  • Here’s the gap where the ribs stick through. This will give you some flexibility of movement when you’re wearing it.
  • Use the wires that were holding the ribs together (or any other convenient wires, string or thread) to tie the three rib ends together.
  • Take the two extra ribs and trim extra points off so that you can make a (very uneven) tripod out of them. Stitch the point of the tripod to the point of the triangle. Stitch the long and short ends down as well. Bisect the angle with the middle piece and stitch that end down, too.
  • You’ll need someone (or a wig frame or mannequin head) to help you with this part. Getting the tripods into just the right triangle for ears may require repeated tries. My personal voodoo doll yelped several times as I adjusted them. The key is that the middle one needs to be set quite far back. The outer two need to be approximately in line.
  • After getting them nicely lined up, stitch them on and then trim off the excess fabric.

See website for images/more details. Costume by Lenore Edman for Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, How to Build a Better Bat Costume

Good luck making those costumes! Have a happy, healthy, and spooky Halloween!

Leave a comment

Sign up for our newsletter

get 10% off your purchase today!