Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

One of the most exciting things about Halloween is that it’s a day when you can be anything or anyone you want. From a pilot to an alien, the sky’s the limit. But with all the fanfare that surrounds the holiday — the parties, the decorating, the children’s activities — you can find yourself rushed. Suddenly, there’s not enough time to decide which witch to go as.

Fortunately, not all Halloween costumes require a month of planning. There are several ideas you can put together an hour or two before a party, including the following:  

A Character from Stranger Things

You don’t have to shave your head and go as an early-series Eleven. With so many characters to choose from, it’s easy to find a costume that requires less commitment and less risk of razor burn. You can break out an 80s trucker hat and be Dustin, grab a can of Aqua Net and be Steve, or invert your clothes to go as the Upside Down. Get your old sailor costume out of the basement to go as season three Robin or as Eddie; all you need is a wig and a love of Metallica.   


Once upon a time, a Top Gun costume seemed so 30 years ago. Now, it’s back in fashion. This getup is simple to put together as long as you have a pair of coveralls and the all-important aviator sunglasses. To give your look a little more authenticity, consider muttering “Talk to me, Goose” every few minutes. Or, better yet, “Trick or treat with me, Goose” is more appropriate. 

The Galaxy

A galaxy costume is among the easiest ones to prepare - just put on an all-black outfit and accessorize. Cut out cardboard or paper stars and glue or tape them to your clothes to represent portions of the Milky Way. If you want to add a little more pizzazz, glue on some Styrofoam balls to showcase a planet or two.  

A Zookeeper

A zookeeper is an ultra-fast costume to assemble as long as your closet includes a little khaki. Don a pair of cargo shorts and a collared, short-sleeved shirt, and raid your child’s bedroom for a few stuffed lions, tigers, or bears that you don’t mind keeping track of all night.   

Anything You Can Make Out of a Cardboard Box

You know those boxes you’ve been hoarding in the basement? This is what you’ve been waiting for. There are numerous last-minute costumes you can make with cardboard, tape, and a pack of markers. Some ideas include dice, a Rubik’s cube, a Lego, a TV, and a Minecraft character. You can even go as an Amazon delivery, something most people can relate to. 

While the above costumes don’t take much planning, they do require the right supplies. If you’re truly desperate and only have 20 minutes or so, just wrap yourself in foil and go as leftovers. 

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