With piles of candy, themed nights out and the opportunity to dress up, we’re tempted to say Halloween might just be one of the best times of the year.
But we get that for students (or anybody on a tight budget), it can be tricky to find a costume that doesn’t cost the earth…or take days of elaborate planning.
Whether you’re feeling lazy, running low on cash or totally forgot about Halloween and need a costume FAST…here are 25 cheap, easy Halloween costumes that will still make an impact.
1. Facebook profile
Why not go as the social platform everyone loves to hate? All you’ll need for this costume will be some A2 card, some pens (or printouts of the Facebook logos) and maybe some cheap Polaroids of your friends to stick on.
2. Silent film star
Most people own something black in their wardrobe. Buddy up with a friend and wear a black dress or formal trousers and jacket; paint your skin white and give your face a monochrome make-up look.
Add a black wig and carry some black and white placards with witty sentences like “Where’s the vodka?”
3. 404 error
When you’re all out of ideas, whack on a white t-shirt with the error message: ‘404: Costume not found.’ Probably the laziest costume ever, but somehow it always gets a laugh.
4. Dead celebrity
If you have any old fancy dress wear of a celebrity hiding in your closet, why not use it again, but go as the dead version?
Simply choose any classic icon and add face paint, latex, smudged eyeliner and fake blood to create a zombie-fied look.
5. Spooky Doll
Also known as a ‘Day of the Dead’ doll, dressing as any old, neglected toy is always a spooky costume.
Just throw on an old ripped dress (or one you don’t mind tarnishing a little). Add stockings or tights, and backcomb your hair for the bedraggled effect.
Mostly though, it’s all about the make-up. Create a pale, washed-out foundation and use lipstick to create big pouty lips; face paints and eyeliner for large exaggerated eyes, and draw fake cracks on various places on your face and body.
Another super easy option is the skeleton.
Simply wear a black top and leggings, or a black catsuit if you can find one. Use white fabric paint to draw on your skeleton design (we like this one) and paint your face white with dark, accentuated eyes.
Just like the Facebook idea, going as your favourite social platform is always likely to raise a few smiles.
Just grab some large A2 card and cut out a square to make a frame. Be sure to leave room at the bottom for a humorous caption, likes and comments, and add the Instagram logos and icons to make it legit. You’ll be posing for selfies all night!
8. Barbie and/or Theresa
If you can find large enough cardboard boxes, paint them to look like Barbie or Theresa boxes and cut out a large space at the front to make a window. Then simply don your best Barbie outfit and off you go!
You could also replicate this for any of Barbie’s friends, including Skipper, Stacie and Ken.
9. Starbucks Coffee
Ah, Starbucks. A key staple within the student diet…and actually a pretty good Halloween costume.
All you’ll need is some large bendable poster paper or card, some pens and maybe a printout of the Starbucks logo to paste on. Don’t forget to add your name (spelt wrong of course), and feel free to add a kitchen roll tube to make a straw, if you fancy.
10. A sim
If you can construct a green ‘plumbob’ using either origami or paper mache, you’ve got yourself a fail-safe costume. Just attach it to a headband and voila – you’re a sim!
For an even funnier effect, wear a nude all-in-one suit and hang two large cards around your neck, one at the front and one at the back, each painted with numerous squares of different nude shades for pixels. Now you’re a censored sim!
11. Audrey Hepburn
Do we need say more? Audrey Hep is one of film’s most historic icons and easy to pull off as a costume.
Root out your little black dress (or borrow one from a friend); twist your hair up into an up-do and add long black gloves and some fake pearls. If you can find one, a fake cigarette holder will also add to the look and can be purchased pretty cheaply on eBay or in fancy dress shops.
12. Comic art
Nothing beats a comic character, done pop-art style.
Just find a bright wig, wear some brash colourful clothes and decorate your face like this for an impressive looking costume.
Could there be an easier costume?? This costume simply involves raiding your own closet (or your housemate’s), for some jeans and a flannel shirt or denim dungarees.
Then simply add a floppy straw hat, peach or orange coloured blush make-up and use some eyeliner to create fake stitches.
14. Bubble bath
Get ready to relax and sink into this easy bubble bath costume. Wear white clothing and tie a number of white balloons to yourself. Hang a white towel around your neck and add a shower cap.
Don’t forget your body brush and rubber duck!
15. Where’s Wally/Wenda?
Where’s Wally (or Wenda) is an easy and instantly recognisable costume to take on this Halloween.
Pair a red and white striped sweater with some blue pants, jeans or a skirt, and add a pointed blue hat and a pair of thick-rimmed glasses. The only difference is that you’ll be easy to find at the party.
If you enjoy being a little mysterious, this is the costume for you.
All you have to do it dress in all black, wear lightweight black shoes and cover the lower half of your face. Don’t forget to add dark gloves and wear fake swords on your back. Spend the night hiding in shadows for maximum effect.
17. Jessica Rabbit
The famous cartoon bombshell is fairly easy to pull off with a long red evening dress with a slit up the side. Wear a red wig or, if you have red hair already, tame it into a smooth blow-dry with plenty of body and a side parting.
18. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
It’s easy to become everyone’s favourite female hero with just a few basic items.
Wear a pair of khaki shorts with a vest top, and style your hair in a centre braid. Add fingerless gloves, some dock boots, a backpack and a couple of saddlebags for your fake weapons.
19. Netflix & Chill
This outfit is so clever, we couldn’t help but include it here.
Grab your own Netflix tee and pair it with a black skirt, shorts or jeans and carry a bucket of ice with ‘Chill’ written on it. It may be tough to keep the ice cold all night, but you’ll definitely be popular.
20. Regina George
It really doesn’t take much to become the infamous Queen Bee. Just wear a black skirt and plain vest top with two holes cut out to show a glimpse of your contrasting bra.
Pair with heels, and maybe carry your own copy of the Burn Book for good measure.
21. Wednesday Adams
Wednesday Adams is another easy option that fits nicely into the black & white theme.
Just dig out a white blouse or shirt, black jumper and plait your hair into pigtails. Some white or pale face make-up will go a long way, too.
22. Old person
Go all Heidi Klum on this and dress as an elderly version of yourself.
The beauty of this idea is that you can find all the clothes you need from the charity shop, and with a wig and some dedicated face make-up, you can make yourself look old and wrinkled.
Consider adding some padding for extra body fat, and a walking stick or zimmer frame.
23. Crazy cat lady
This costume is super easy and always gets a smile, especially if you’re in love with your feline friends.
Don an oversized sweater, dressing gown or cardigan and a pair of slippers, and pin a number of stuffed cats all over yourself. A messy up-do or rollers, and a mug of tea will help add to the look.
24. Wayne & Garth
Rock out as Wayne and Garth by pairing up with a buddy. All you need are some ripped jeans, band tshirts, a cap for Wayne and an 80s mullet-style wig, thick-rimmed glasses and baggy plaid shirt for Garth.
Don’t forget the fake guitar and some drum sticks too. Excellent!
25. Death Eater
This costume is so easy, we can’t believe we didn’t think of it before.
Seeing as Death Eaters mostly blend in with the rest of the witches and wizards, the only thing you really need to do is wear the Dark Mark symbol on your inner wrist. Feel free to draw it with some liquid eyeliner, or use a temp tattoo.