Sustainability made simple

13 DIY Halloween Costumes Using Items Your Already Own

diy halloween costume ideas
Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Paige Cody

These DIY Halloween costume ideas are great whether you like to plan ahead or throw things together last minute. You can be a spooky bat, cute strawberry, or one of many others.

Coming up with costume ideas for Halloween can be a challenge. You want your outfit to be unique but not too out there, creative but recognizable, and — ideally — inexpensive and easy to put together. If you are looking to purchase a Halloween costume, browse your local classifieds for secondhand items or see what’s available online first. A thrift store is also a great resource when it comes to finding pieces for a costume.

For those wanting to throw something together out of what they have at home, check out these DIY Halloween costume ideas.

1. DIY Scuba Diver

Paint your soda bottles to look like an oxygen tank.
Paint your soda bottles to look like an oxygen tank. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / James Thornton)

Become a scuba diver for the night with this easy DIY Halloween costume. You can throw it together using items you might already have at home, or can easily borrow from friends or family. You’ll want to wear all-black, tight-fitting clothing to resemble a wetsuit. Then you’ll need the following:


  • A snorkeling mask
  • 2 x 2L empty soda bottles
  • Black or white paint
  • String or rope
  • Duct tape
  • A big piece of cardboard


  1. Cut the top off one of the pop bottles and the bottom off the other.
  2. Attach them together end to end with tape or glue to make your DIY oxygen tank.
  3. Paint the soda bottles black or white to resemble a diver’s tank, and attach them to your back.
  4. Using cardboard, cut out some flippers to attach to your shoes with duct tape to complete the ensemble.

2-4. Your Favorite Fruit

Dressing up as your favorite fruit or vegetable is an easy last-minute DIY Halloween costume idea.

  • Pineapple: Wear a yellow t-shirt and attach green paper leaves to any hat.
  • Pumpkin: Wear an orange t-shirt and glue on string to make the ridges. Wear a brown hat or fashion one from paper, and attach some green ribbon.
  • Strawberry: Wear a red dress or t-shirt, attach cut-out seeds made from paper or cardboard. Make a little “stem” out of paper and attach to a headband.

5. DIY Robot

The more detail you add to this DIY robot costume, the better!
The more detail you add to this DIY robot costume, the better! (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Eric Krull )

This homemade Halloween costume idea is great for anyone who has cardboard boxes that haven’t quite made it to the recycling bin yet. The costume works best if you have multiple boxes of different sizes. You’ll want to gather the following:


  • 1 large box for the body
  • 1 medium box for the head
  • 2 small boxes for the feet
  • Paint and decorations


  1. Carefully measure and cut out three holes from the large box — one for your head, and two for your arms. Leave the bottom open for your legs.
  2. Cut out a hole for your neck from the medium box, and cut off the flaps so that one side is completely open — this is where your face will go.
  3. Cut out a foot hole in each of the small boxes for your feet. Leave the bottom of the boxes open so you can wear your favorite pair of comfy shoes underneath.
  4. Paint the boxes whichever color you think is best, and decorate accordingly.

6. Easy Skeleton

There are several different ways to dress up as a skeleton for Halloween, but this method is the most eco-friendly. Here’s how to do it.


  • Black tank top
  • Old white t-shirt
  • Face paint


  1. Cut small strips out of either side of the white t-shirt to create a ribcage illusion.
  2. Put on the black tank top, and throw the cut-up white shirt overtop.
  3. Paint your face to look like a skeleton.

Afterward, you can use the bits of cut-up t-shirt as rags around the house.

7. Pizza Delivery Guy

For this costume, all you need is a pizza box.
For this costume, all you need is a pizza box. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / RODNAE Productions)

Next time you get a pizza delivered, hang on to the box. This DIY Halloween costume idea is one of the easiest: all you have to do is throw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and carry a pizza box around all night. To make this into a couple’s costume, have your partner dress up as a slice of pizza.

8. Christmas Tree

While it may feel like you’re getting the seasons mixed up, dressing up as a Christmas tree is an easy Halloween costume idea. It involves a bit of foraging and creativity, but it’s sure to be unique.


  • Evergreen branches
  • Fairy lights
  • Cardboard
  • Paint


  1. Head to the forest (or even your backyard) to collect a handful of fallen evergreen branches.
  2. Cut out a large star from cardboard and paint it yellow.
  3. Cover yourself in the evergreen branches and have someone wrap fairy lights around you.
  4. To go the extra mile, decorate two boxes as presents and wear them on your shoes.

9. Queen of Hearts

Put that old deck of cards to good use.
Put that old deck of cards to good use. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Glen Carrie )

The Queen of Hearts is one of the fancier DIY Halloween costume ideas on this list, as it involves dressing up. You’ll need to wear a red dress, a card collar, and a tiara. To make the card collar, you’ll need the following:


  • A large piece of cardboard
  • An old deck of cards
  • Scissors and tape


  1. Cut a large rainbow shape from the cardboard — this should fit around the back of your neck.
  2. Fan the cards out on the cardboard collar and secure them in place.
  3. Put on your dress, attach the collar, and put your tiara on to complete the costume.

10. Homemade Bat Costume

If you happen to have a broken umbrella, you can turn it into a unique bat costume. You’ll need to wear all black and attach bits of the broken umbrella under your arms to resemble bat wings. If you don’t have a broken umbrella, a similar effect can be created using black fabric and some sticks. To take this costume to the next level, fashion some large bat ears out of cardboard and attach them to a headband.

11-13. DIY Halloween Costume Ideas Using a Bedsheet

Looking for DIY Halloween costume ideas? Stick with a classic and be a bedsheet ghost.
Looking for DIY Halloween costume ideas? Stick with a classic and be a bedsheet ghost. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / aiden patrissi)

Some of the most classic DIY Halloween costume ideas involve a simple bed sheet. For some of these ideas, you’ll want to use an old one that you don’t mind cutting up.

  • Ghost: Stick with the most classic costume and dress up as a ghost. Simply cut some holes for eyes, and drape the sheet over your head and body.
  • Mummy: Most people associate the mummy costume with rolls of toilet paper, but that’s incredibly wasteful. Turn an old bedsheet into a mummy costume by cutting long strips and wrapping yourself in them. The bonus is that you can use these strips as rags around the house later.
  • Statue of Liberty: This DIY Halloween costume idea works best if you have a greenish-blue sheet to resemble the iconic landmark. Wrap the bedsheet around your body similar to a toga. Add a cardboard crown and a flashlight and you’re all set.

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