Low Budget Halloween Costume Ideas

By Kelley Boymer
19 Oct 2022
Low Budget Halloween Costume Ideas for kids

Halloween is around the corner, just two weeks away, and you may be beginning to panic about your own costumes or pulling together a costume for your little one. Have no fear! We are here to help. Planning and making costumes is part of the fun when it comes to Halloween celebrations. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on Halloween costumes to have fun and showcase something special. With a dash of creativity there are a lot of Halloween costume ideas that you can put together in under two weeks!

If you’re looking to get into the spirit but don’t want to break the bank here are Halloween costume ideas that are just as cute and scary as the store bought ones.

Low Budget Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween Costume Ideas For Women

Low Budget Halloween Costume Ideas for women
Photo by Jason Yoder on Unsplash

Ray of Sunshine

I love this costume idea from Country Living. We’ve had enough darkness and sadness in our world for a while now and can use any sunshine we can get. Use gold card stock to make a crown and sunshine earrings. Wear sparkley glitter or facepaint and a pretty bright yellow, gold or sparkly dress or outfit.

Ruth Bader ginsberg

Show your support for everything Ruth Bader Ginsberg symbolized and fought for by dressing up as her for Halloween. Wear a judicial robe (black cloak), judges collar, judges gavel, black gloves, and glasses.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams blew us all away in her final match at the US Open. Why not honor her and all she stands for by rocking a similar ensemble to what she wore in her last hurrah. Wear a black leotard, black tutu, tennis shoes, headband and a racquet to seal the deal. The more sparkles the better!

Gum Ball Machine

I was a gum ball machine many years ago and it is still one of my favorite costumes. Get a white t shirt and use a hot glue gun to glue on multi-colored pom-poms all over the front of the shirt. Avoid the shoulders and arms. Wear a red skirt or pants and you are done!

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is known for her red lipstick and she has had lots of fun looks you could use for inspiration. This DIY TAYLOR SWIFT REPUTATION costume is fun and original.


I found the perfect dress years back at a thrift shop for a flapper. Sometimes walking into a thrift store without a specific item in mind and just seeing what you can pull together works best! Dig into your closet and see if you might have a dress to dress up with some jewels and a pair of gloves.

Disco Ball

All you need for a disco ball is a silver sparkly dress! There are usually tons of great options at local thrift stores.

Britney Spears

Bring it back to the early 2000s with a Britney costume that matches her hit classic “Baby One More Time”. Wear a white button up tied up in the front, grey sweater, short pleated skirt, pig tails and tall socks.

Halloween Costume Ideas For Men

Ted Lasso

Ted Lasso is a fun and easy costume for all those sports fans out there. For this costume you’ll need a fake or drawn on mustache, visor, aviators, whistle, and blue sports pull-over. Remember, “If it ain’t warmed up properly, something real bad could happen.”

Top Gun

If your guy is a Top Gun fan this could be the perfect costume to pull together last minute. Get a white t shirt, flight suit, bomber jacket, aviator sunglasses and military boots to create this look. Check out some options from The Best ‘Top Gun’ Halloween Costume Ideas For When you Feel the Need for Speed.


With the new Elvis movie out this year it’s the perfect time to honor one of the greatest musicians of all time. Check out costume options here.

Halloween Costume Ideas For Couples

Heading to a Halloween party with your partner? There are so many great couples costumes to choose from it is hard to pick! We loved so many of the options in this roundup of 75 Last Minute Couples Costume Ideas You Can DIY Together. We’ve shared a few of our favorites below for easy halloween ideas.

Animal Onesies

Animal onesies may make the best all around costume. They are warm, comfortable and only involve purchasing one item. Once you go animal costume you never go back. This could be made into a couples costume by wearing matching animal onesies.

Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing is a classic and would make the perfect inspiration for a couples costume. The best thing about this costume is how simple it is! Your partner can wear all black, t shirt, pants and dress shoes. For Baby, you can wear either jean shorts and a tied up white top or a skater dress in pink and pink heels add a curl to get that 80’s perm look.

The Flintstones

Fred and Wilma Flintstone make a great timeless costume. You can find many options online or DIY your own costume. For Wilma wear a white one shoulder dress and red wig. For Fred use an orange and black spotted animal print shift and blue tie.

Jack and Rose from Titanic

Yet another timeless classic is Jack and Rose from Titanic. For Jack wear a white button up, suspenders and khakis. For Rose wear a red curly long wig, white dress, blazer, blue gemstone necklace and orange life jacket.

Top Gun

Why not make your Top Gun a couples costume. Use the same items listed above– white t shirt, flight suit, bomber jacket, aviator sunglasses and military boots and check out The Best ‘Top Gun’ Halloween Costume Ideas For When you Feel the Need for Speed for more costume ideas and buying options!

Halloween Costume Ideas For Kids

No need to spend a ton of money on Halloween costumes for kids especially when they will likely wear it once and grow out of it for next year. But Halloween is often one of kids’ favorite holidays. They enjoy dressing up, being festive and enjoying the magic of the holiday. Try asking friends and family for hand-me-down costumes to borrow, search thrift shops for something to pull together last minute or pick an easy and affordable option from below.

Animal Onesies

Animal onesies for the win for all ages! Seriously it doesn’t get any cheaper, easier or more comfortable and warm than an animal onesie. Let’s face it, Halloween in New England can be CHILLY! Animal onesies keep your kid warm and comfortable. Onesies are great because you only need one item and done! For infants, try these animal infant rompers from Camlinbo and for toddlers and kids try these cat or deer onesies from Old Navy or this flannel brown bear costume. You child can carry along a matching stuffed animal as a fun extra prop to add to their costume. We do a lot of costume sharing and swapping in our friend group so if you end up buying one you can share it with another family the next year.

Face Paint

Want to keep things simple? Your child can wear plain pants and a shirt or hoodie in the color of the animal or costume of choice. Then use face paint to bring the costume to life. You can use tutorials on YouTube or just go classic nose, whiskers or spots. Try this 3 Easy Halloween Face Paint Ideas for Kids or this 4 DIY Last Minute Halloween Face Paint For Kids. If your kid has a specific animal or costume you can search for specific looks!


Keep things simple for halloween this year by investing in or making a few props instead of buying a whole costume. Help your child pick out an animal or other costume idea that could be pulled together with some ears, nose, hat, wand, broom etc. Your child can wear neutral clothing in the color of the animal or costume idea and then add a witches hat, pig nose or bunny ears to bring it to life.

DIY Costumes

Don’t overcomplicate things. Help your child choose a costume idea that is easy to put together with things around the house. This will make your life easier and save you so much time and money! You can make the costume just as fun with things easily accessible.

Cowboy, Cowgirl, Lumberjack, Farmer or Scarecrow

Turns out there isn’t much a flannel shirt can’t do for a Halloween costume. Whether it’s a cowboy, cowgirl, lumberjack, farmer or scarecrow you can make do with things around the house. Round up a flannel, jeans or overalls, bandana, boots and straw or cowboy hat and you are good to go!


For a mummy your child can wear all light colored clothing. To finish the costume wrap your child in toilet paper. Have a different rain costume option handy incase the forecast looks wet. Unfortunately toilet paper does not do well in the rain!

Halloween Costume Ideas For Families

There are so many fun ways to dress up together as a family. Consider choosing a theme like the farm, or favorite TV show or movie. Ask your kid(s) (if they are old enough) what they want to be and see if you can be creative. If they want to be a lion, maybe you go with a Wizard of Oz theme. Or if they want to be a cow maybe you are a farmer or scarecrow. Kids love when adults get dressed up and festive with them. Try to bring back that Halloween spirit by joining them in the costume fun.

Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz is a classic Halloween family costume. Take your pick of characters depending on your family size– lion, witch, Dorothy, tin man and scarecrow. Check online for homemade DIY and buying options!


You can keep a family Grease costume fairly simple. All you need are black leather jackets, sunglasses and jeans for the boys, pink jackets and leather leggings/pants and high ponytails for the girls. Voila!


A farm theme is another easy way to get the whole family on the same page. Try purchasing onesies in different animals for each member of the family. You could do cow, pig, chicken and horse or even have a farmer or scarecrow in the mix. Have fun with it!

Harry Potter

Harry Potter fans? Try outfitting your family as our favorite witches and wizards– Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore and Hagrid. Choose your favorite. Wear black cloaks, witches hats, make homemade wands or carry along a broom. Add facial hair or a scar for authenticity!


The Flintstones are another fun and classic Halloween family costume idea. Bring out your animal print patterns and fabric or keep it simple and grab one on amazon. There are so many to choose from!


Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters! This is another costume with DIY possibility but could be tricky to pull off without some time and skills. Wear brown, use an old backpack and vacuum hose or check online for buying options.

Popcorn Venders

I think this Popcorn Venders costume is an adorable idea for a new family of 3. Keep it fairly simple for the adults with white button up shirts, red bow ties and a red apron. All baby needs it a white outfit and white hat. Use hot glue to put popcorn all over the hat and white and red felt to make a traditional popcorn box that can be attached to your baby Bjorn or carrier.

Halloween Costume Ideas For Teens

Although some teens feel too old for Halloween, I never stopped dressing up. Teens love dressing up to honor their favorite TV show, movie or book. There are so many trends on tiktok now it’s hard to keep up with it all.

Stranger Things

Stranger Things is a favorite amongst teens and adults and would make for a fun and simple costume for a family or group of friends. Check out Pinterest for inspiration.

Animal Onesies

Teens love onesies too! Old Navy has some great affordable options!

DIY Emoji Costume

Check out Jenny Cookies’ Emoji costume idea. All you need is an all black ensemble, cardboard box and some paint. Choose your favorite emoji to paint and you are done!

Scary Costume

Let’s face it, some teens like to dress scary and try to spook the little kids. As long as it’s all in good fun, no harm no foul. Try adding some scary face paint and wear with black t shirt, pants and a hoodie for an easy costume.

What are your favorite Halloween costume ideas? What are you being for Halloween this year? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Anne wrote:

    Love these ideas, however, I have a comment. Under the disco ball costume idea, this post recommends shopping at Shein. This seems off base for the ethical shopping aspect if this overall blog and Jess’s strong commitment to sustainable fashion. Maybe reconsider giving any business or recommending Shein based on their poor labor practices?

    10.20.22 | Reply
    • Jess wrote:

      Thanks for calling that out Anne. Total miss on my part in the editing process. I definitely do not recommend Shein at all. I’ve removed it from the post.

      10.22.22 | Reply

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