Most Viewed Stories
Need a last-minute costume?
Try on these easy Halloween ideas, many crafted from common household items
If you're the type to plan for Halloween months in advance, good for you. This article is for the rest of us: the ones who get overwhelmed in costume shops, can't sew a button on a shirt and just want to have something — anything — we can wear when we take our kids trick-or-treating or get invited to a "Don't bother coming unless you're wearing a costume" party.
The following costume ideas are easy to pull off and won't bust your budget.
What it is: Your local friendly coffee server.
You already own: A black or white polo shirt and khakis or black pants.
You need to buy: A green apron, Starbucks Classic Logo Hat ($9.99 at StarbucksStore.com) and a Starbucks coffee cup (ask for an extra one the next time you go in for your iced green tea latte!).
Bonus: You can fill your cup with coffee to keep you warm if you're out with your kids trick-or-treating (or booze if you're at a party and aren't the designated driver). Then get ready to ask, "Tall, grande or venti?"
Bag of jelly beans
What it is: You inside a clear plastic bag filled with colorful balloons.
You already own: Balloons (probably — but if not, they're easy to find).
You need to buy: Ultrasac Clear Recycling Bags 45-Gallon ($26.84 for 100) at Home Depot.
How to: Just cut two holes for your legs, get inside, fill with inflated balloons and cinch at the neck.
What it is: "Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn, and caldron bubble," otherwise known as an old-school, spooky witch.
You already own: A black dress, black tights and black boots or shoes (the pointier, the better).
You need to buy: Witch hat and a straw broom.
What it is: Um, you know, a mummy — with a twist.
You already own: Toilet paper and clothes hangers.
You need to buy: Nada. Just put on white clothing (so any gaps won't be so obvious), then wrap yourself head to toe in toilet paper and hold the hangers. Use some white tape to secure the pieces. That's it.
One caveat: This is not the right costume for a rainy Halloween.
What it is: A card-carrying member of the walking dead.
You already own: An old white or light gray T-shirt and dingy, faded jeans that you can rub a bit of dirt into to make it look as if you've been crawling around in the mud for the last few months.
You need to buy: Gory Zombie Makeup Kit ($5.99 at HalloweenCostumes.com).
Specifics: The Internet abounds with awesome zombie makeup tutorials. Note: If you're going to be around young children, you might want to tone it down; zombies can be scary.
What it is: A wacky nerd.
You already own: Glasses (maybe), black pants and product to muss up your hair.
You need to buy: Lab coat, nerd glasses and plastic beaker, which you can fill with water and a few drops of food coloring.
What it is: A wandering exotic free spirit.
You already own: A long, flowy skirt, knee-high boots or strappy sandals, big hoop earrings, colorful scarves and multiple gold necklaces.
You need to buy: Peasant top.
Tip: What makes this costume so darn easy is that as long as you layer colorful, flouncy clothing and tie a scarf around your head, you'll look great. There's really no way to go wrong.
What it is: Your best Sid Vicious or Nancy Spungen.
You already own: A black leather jacket, black jeans, black motorcycle boots or black Converse sneakers, hairspray and a T-shirt promoting a band like the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Black Flag or the Ramones (just don't wear the shirt you picked up when you took your kids to the Fresh Beat Band show last summer). In lieu of a band tee, a solid black shirt is fine. Dress it up with as many safety pins as you can find.
You need to buy: Mohawk wig.
Cheap cheat: Skip the wig and spray the heck out of your hair to make your own spiky, punky 'do.
What it is: It's a pun wrapped up in a costume.
You already own: A slip, paper and a black magic marker.
You need to buy: Nothing.
How to: Write the word "Freudian" in big bold letters and pin it to the shoulder of your slip. Voila! You're a Freudian slip.
What it is: One of the most popular costume ideas for any age.
You already own: Loose pants that can tuck into boots or a flowy black skirt and knee-high boots.
You need to buy: Pirate hat, bandana and telescope.
What it is: You're all about peace, love and understanding.
You already own: Faded bell-bottoms (OK, fine, boot-cut if you're desperate), clogs, platform shoes or Birkenstock sandals and a peasant blouse or tie-dyed top.
You need to buy: An awesome daisy chain headband.
Tip: Before you put on the headband, straighten your hair and part it in the middle.