Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas for Procrastinators
October 23, 2019

Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas for Procrastinators

It’s hard to believe, but Halloween is just over a week away. For those who’ve been working on your cosplay-level masterpieces since July, no need to read further. For everyone else, there’s still plenty of time to throw together a costume that’s quick, easy and affordable, so you won’t have to settle for whatever cookie-cutter costumes are left on the shelves at the big-box stores. Following are some creative last-minute Halloween costume ideas for kids, adults and couples.


Pencil & School Supplies

Photos courtesy Studio DIY

How cute is this pencil costume from Studio DIY? A yellow dress and some cardstock will transform you into a good old #2. Turn it into a couples costume by drawing lines on a plain white T, or if you happen to have a baby, make an eraser costume out of a pink onesie.


The classic ghost is an oldie but a goodie. Toss an old white sheet over your head, draw on some eyes or cut out holes (the safer option!) and voila! Instant costume.

Vintage Clown

Photo courtesy the Merrythought

This quirky clown costume via the Merrythought has maximum impact with minimal effort. A linen dress embellished with pom-poms, striped tights, face paint and a hat made from a foam cone are all you need — oh, and a glue gun, of course.


A black-and-white striped shirt, black pants and black eye mask makes one of the easiest (and timeless) DIY costumes out there. A burlap money bag with a big dollar sign painted on the front is optional.

Gold Miner

Wear a pair of old Levi’s, a red bandana around your neck, a floppy hat and carry around a gold pan (available on Amazon and at gift shops around Sacramento).


Photo courtesy Shwin and Shwin

A pair of sweats and some face paint will transform you (or your kids) into a trash bandit. The tutorial from Shwin and Shwin has you sewing the clothes yourself, but you can also just buy black-and-white marled joggers and a matching top.


A plaid shirt with pocket protector, bow tie and eyeglasses with tape in the center turns you into a classic Poindexter.

Peter Pan & His Shadow

Photo courtesy The House That Lars Built

Step into Neverland this Halloween with this easy costume from The House That Lars Built. An all-green outfit with a matching paper hat makes an easy Peter Pan, plus solid black and facepaint for his shadow.


Don a Hawaiian print shirt, a fanny pack, and wear a camera around your neck to become a typical tourist. Bonus: wear pulled-up socks with sandals.

Hungry Hippos

Photo courtesy Sugar and Cloth

This family costume from Sugar and Cloth is so adorable — and so easy. Colorful clothes, matching caps, white plastic balls and a glue gun are all you need to turn your family into the iconic children’s game.

Bag of Groceries

Cut arm holes out of a paper grocery bag and affix shoulder straps. Glue empty food boxes, containers and cans to the front. You can even have a receipt flowing from the top.

Cookies & Milk

Photo courtesy Studio DIY

Like its namesake after-school treat, this easy peasy costume from Studio DIY can be enjoyed with or without milk. A tan dress embellished with felt chocolate chips only takes minutes to put together, as does the milkman sidekick with a white shirt and pants, bowtie and cap.

Brawny Man

Wear a red plaid shirt tucked into blue jeans and carry around a roll of paper towels for added emphasis. Better yet, pair up with a partner and have him or her dress up as a roll of paper towels made from a poster board.

Crazy Cat Lady

Photo courtesy Oh Happy Day

This costume from Oh Happy Day is perfect for anyone, kids or adults. Glue or sew stuffed animals onto an old robe, throw on a gray wig and you’re good to go. Plus you get to wear cozy jammies all day!

Bumble Bee

Wear a yellow shirt and use black electrical tape to make stripes. Pick up a pair of wings and glue a paper cone to your bee-hind as a stinger.

Garden Gnome

Photo courtesy Please Note Paper

A blue dress, belt and a red cardboard hat will transform you into a friendly garden gnome, á la Please Note Paper. For the fellas, a pair of pants and blue shirt will do the trick too. Add a white beard (fake or otherwise) and you’re set.


Wear an artists smock (strategically splattered with paint), a black beret and carry a palette and paintbrush.

Construction Worker

Wear a pair of blue jeans, a hardhat, a safety vest and carry around a big black lunchbox.

Paper Doll

Photo courtesy the Merrythought

This paper doll costume from the Merrythought takes a page (literally) out of childhood, and it couldn’t be easier to make. All it takes is some foam core or poster board and a little creativity.

Category Home Inspiration

Elizabeth Penney

Elizabeth Penney is a content writer for Lyon Real Estate and the Lyon Local blog. A Sacramento native with a marketing background, she shares her insider knowledge on restaurants, attractions and outdoor activities throughout the greater Sacramento area and beyond.