16 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes for Busy Moms and Kids
Whether your child or you had a change of heart about your initial Halloween attire, or you just haven't thought about costume ideas until now, no worries—it's going to be all right. With limited time and supplies, you just need to get creative with what you've got. And you know what? Sometimes DIY costumes look better than their in-store equivalents (even if they did only take 10 minutes and a few dollars to make). We've gathered 16 adorbs Halloween costume ideas for both your kids and yourself to make last-minute, using clothes and materials you already have at home (well, maybe just a few supplies from your local crafts store).
The Aerobics Instructor
Even your baby can get in on dressing up for Halloween by going as a rad, retro aerobics instructor. So cute! The recipe for this costume is super simple: put your baby's pants on before putting on the bodysuit, and then add DIY legwarmers and a headband. Make sure, of course, to keep the color scheme fun, neon or bright. To get even more festive, create a felt boombox—it'll make your already adorable Halloween pics of your baby even better.
- Neon-colored baby suit or Primary The Baby Suit ($8, or $7 for 3+, primary.com)
- Neon-colored babypants or Primary The Babypants ($10, or $9 each for 3+, primary.com)
- Old socks to be cut into leg warmers
For the headband: Any soft headband will work here. Fun colors and patterns are the best!
For the legwarmers: Cut the feet off of old socks for instant baby leg warmers.
Pro tip: Make sure the baby pants are UNDER the babysuit for the full effect!
To dress up your kid or yourself, wear a tank or t-shirt in a neon color and shorts layered over funky patterned leggings. Complete the look with legwarmers created from old socks, a headband and sneakers.
Scarecrows are supposed to be frightening, but on Halloween, they're totally cute! For this unisex costume that works for adults or kids, pair jeans with a flannel plaid button down, boots and a floppy hat. Tie a bandana around the neck, draw on some scarecrow makeup, and, if you can, have cornhusks stick out from your hat, sleeves and jeans.
- Plaid shirt
- Floppy hat
- Corn husks
- Black eyeliner
Rosie the Riveter
To represent this cultural icon on Halloween, it's all about the blue button down (chambray, preferred, and with sleeves rolled up) paired with black or denim pants and work boots. Then tie a small red bandana or red and white polka dot scarf around your head like a headband. The finishing touch: a swipe of bright red lipstick. And don't forget to flex those muscles for every photo op!
- Chambray or denim button down
- Black pants
- Work boots
- Red scarf
- Red lipstick
Here's another costume idea requiring clothes you can easily use for another purpose outside of Halloween, or clothes your kid already has in his closet. All you have to do is create a hat and anklet.
- Regular long sleeve solid-colored pajama top or Primary The Long Sleeve PJ Top ($12, or $11 each for 3+, primary.com)
- Regular solid-colored pajama bottom or Primary The PJ Pant ($12 or $11 each for 3+, primary.com) - Sturdy paper to match the PJs
- Ribbon in color matching the PJs (about 40 inches)
- Glue Black felt (long enough to wrap around both ankles)
- Double-sided fabric tape
For the hat: Find sturdy paper the same color as your PJs and form a cone. Trim the top of the cone to create a blunt, flat top. Cut out a circle for the brim of the crayon and place it over the cone and trace cone in the center. Cut out the center circle, leaving a ring that will become the brim. In the opening of the cone, make a series of 1-inch cuts around the open edge of the cone and fold them outward to create tabs. Fit the brim ring over the top of the cone and attach the tabs to the brim using glue or tape. Cut a series of 1-inch strips of paper and join them to make one long strip. Wrap the strip around the brim of the hat and use a few pieces of masking tape to fit it snugly. Then glue the seam together and allow to dry completely before removing the tape. Finally, glue two ribbons (about 20 inches on each side of the brim) to tie under the neck.
For the anklets: Cut a zig-zag pattern out of a strip of black felt and attach to ankles using double-sided fabric tape.
Does your kid have an old black shirt your kid he never wears anymore? Flip it inside out, and use it to create this creepy skeleton costume. Be aware though: you're going to have to cut it up!
- Fiskars RazorEdge™ Easy Action™ Fabric Shears for Tabletop Cutting or other scissors
- Black t-shirt
- White t-shirt
- Freezer paper
Trim a piece of freezer paper to approximately the size of the front of the black t-shirt. Use a marker to draw a rib cage design on the freezer paper and iron it to the front of the black t-shirt. Use the shears to carefully cut out the rib cage design. Cut through the fabric of the t-shirt and the freezer paper together. Remove the freezer paper. Wear the cut black t-shirt with a white t-shirt underneath for a quick spooky homemade costume idea. Add any skeleton mask for added eeriness.
For this elegant retro look, now is the time to bust out your favorite little black dress and pearl necklaces so you resemble Audrey Hepburn's character Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's. Put your hair in a bun, wear heels, add some long black gloves, and you're done.
- Little black dress
- Black heels
- Long black gloves
- Pearl necklace
- Optional: Tiara
Dress up PJs in with pom-poms and a paper collar for a fun and cute kid's clown costume.
- Solid-colored long sleeve pajama top or Primary The Long Sleeve PJ Top ($12, or $11 each for 3+, primary.com)
- Solid-colored pajama pant or Primary the PJ Pant ($12, or $11 each for 3+, primary.com)
- Sturdy cardstock
- Double-sided fabric tape
- Optional: clown nose and clown makeup
For the hat: Glue a pom-pom on top of a simple paper party hat. Easy peasy.
For the collar: Use sturdy cardstock to fold into a fan and attach it to a paper collar, measured for the child’s neck. Secure the collar with sturdy tape or a paper clip.
For the clown suit: Use double-sided fabric tape to attach two or three big pom-poms down the torso.
For this kid costume, you can use an actual leotard and tutu, or substitute in a short-sleeve top and flutter skirt. Add in tights and ballet flats, put your kid's hair in a bun, and you're good to go.
- Pastel-colored short sleeve top or The Leotard Boutique Short Sleeve Leotard ($15, theleotardboutique.com)
- Tutu skirt or The Leotard Boutique Flutter Ballet Dance Skirt ($13, theleotardboutique.com) - Tights
- Ballet flats
What child doesn't own a hoodie and pj pants? The key here is choosing a pastel color for these pieces that's reminiscent of the shades you'd find in My Little Pony—and of course, DIYing a horn, ears, mane and tail.
- Plain, pastel-colored hoodie or Primary The New Hoodie ($20, or $18 each for 3+, primary.com)
- Plain, pastel-colored pants or Primary The PJ Pant ($12, or $11 each for 3+, primary.com)
- White felt
- Pink felt
- Gold metallic cord
- Glue gun
For the horn and ears: With white felt, create a tall cone, then wrap it in gold metallic cord and hot glue it to the cone. Cut a small circle of white felt and glue to the bottom of the cone to close the hole. Tape or glue the horn to a headband. Next, cut 2 large tear-drop shapes from the white felt and 2 smaller tear-drop shapes from the pink felt. Glue the pink felt on top of the white felt, then use a drop of hot glue and pinch the bottoms together creating an ear shape. Add the ears to the headband on either side.
For the mane: Cut 1x4 inch strips of white felt and adhere in a straight line down the center, from tip of the hood down to the hem.
For the tail: Cut a handful of 1x10 inch strips of white felt for the tail. Knot them together and adhere to the seat with a safety pin.
Ahh—one of the most classic costumes of all: the witch. For this extremely simple costume, all you have to do is buy a witch hat, wear all black, put on some very dark red lipstick, and call it a day.
- Witch hat
- Head-to-toe black clothing
- Optional: dark lipstick, broom
Your child will get all the fun of a bubble bath, minus the soapy suds with this quick-to-make Halloween costume. Add some toys from your bathtub at home and you're done!
- Plain white long sleeve shirt or Primary The Long Sleeve Pajama Top ($12, primary.com)
- Plain white leggings or Primary The Legging ($14, $13 each for 3+, primary.com)
- Plain white shower cap
- White balloons
- Clear balloons
- Bath toys or a rubber duck
- Tape or safety pins
Blow up enough white and clear balloons to cover the shirt. Tie the balloons closed securely, and use safety pins or tape to attach the balloons to the shirt. Attach the mix of white and clear balloons randomly to the shirt to look like suds.
Meow! No one can resist an adorable cat on Halloween. This look requires stuff you already have at home, allowing you to put this costume together in record time.
An all-black outfit
Black face paint or black eyeliner
Optional: cat-ear headband
Using the face paint or eyeliner, draw a nose and whiskers on your child's face. Add the optional cat-ear headband and you're set!
Halloween is the perfect time to dress up as the living dead—especially if the costume is as easy to make as this one!
A plain white bed sheet or a yard of plain white fabric
An all-white outfit
Optional: Coffee or tea water and large pot or container
Cut the white sheet or fabric into long strips. If you and your child want an older-looking mummy costume, use coffee or tea water. Make the colored water by either brewing coffee and watering it down to the desired shade of brown or by using tea to do the same. Then put the liquid in a large pot or container and soak the strips for about two hours. Rinse the strips and let them air dry. Once the strips are done, simply tie them one-by-one around your child, attaching the end of one strip to the beginning of another.
Hey, who said being smart wasn't cool? This DIY nerd costume will bring out the brainiac in any kid, and the best part is, you probably have all the materials already.
- Glasses with or without lenses
- Sweater Vest
- Dress pants
- Bow tie
- Optional: math or science textbook; pencil
Pro Tip: The 3D glasses you took home from the movies make for awesome nerd glasses! Tuck a pencil behind your child's ear for an added smarty-pants effect.
We all know and love emojis, so why not honor them on Halloween too? Cut out a large circle from poster board, paint it yellow, and paint on some expressions. To make carrying it around easier, glue a paint stirrer to the back to create a handle. You can wear it with yellow clothing to further emphasize your costume.
- Poster board
- Yellow, black, brown or blue paint (depending on the expression)
- Scissors Paint brush Optional: paint stirrer
Pair a black-and-white striped shirt with black pants, and then put white face paint all over your face. Apply black eyeliner to eyelids, and use the eyeliner to draw thin lines for brows. Finish with a coat of bright red lipstick.
- Black-and-white striped shirt
- Black pants
- White face paint Bright red lipstick Optional: striped or red scarf, white gloves
Written by Maricar Santos for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.