If you are looking for cheap and easy Halloween costume ideas, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got the lowdown on Halloween costumes you can pull together from stuff you have around the house.
Our super easy costume ideas use every day clothes and include accessories and makeup to complete the look. You’ll find favorites like a pirate costume, zombie, mummy, and ghost.
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13 super easy Halloween costume ideas
Quickly and easily transform yourself into a variety of characters for Halloween wearing everyday clothes.
If you need some old clothes, head to your nearest Goodwill or thrift store and they will hook you up!
- Construction worker: Blue work shirt, blue jeans, work boots. Accessories: Safety goggles, tool belt, hammer or tape measure, pencil behind your ear.
- Rosie the Riveter: Denim jeans, blue work shirt or plaid shirt with rolled up sleeves, bright red lipstick, bandana knotted on top of your head.
- House cleaner: Any outfit with shoes, plus a bandana knotted on top of your head. Complete the look with rubber gloves and a bucket full of cleaning products, or a broom or feather duster.
- Fisherman/woman: If you have the gear, wear it!Pants or jeans, outdoor shirt, tall rubber boots. Accessories: fishing hat, tack vest, fishing pole, tackle box, hooks, lures or fake worms.
- Cowboy or cowgirl: blue jeans, plaid shirt, belt with large buckle. Accessories: cowboy boots, cowboy hat, coil of rope over your shoulder, stalk of wheat between your teeth.
- 50s style: Slim fitting jeans, rolled up if needed to expose top of shoes, white socks, black shoes, white t-shirt, black leather jacket. Accessories: pack of Marlboro or Camel cigarettes rolled up in your t-shirt sleeve (or one tucked behind your ear) and/or dark sunglasses on your head. Use phrases such as “Righto!” or “No sweat, man!” or “He’s got it made in the shade” or “Those are cool threads!”.
- 70s style: Bell-bottom pants or jeans, preferably hemmed very long, shirt with small flower print, platform shoes. Accessories: very large sunglasses (rose or yellow lens if possible), boom box on your shoulder, leather or macramé head band, afro hairdo or wig, roach clip hanging from your pants pocket. Answer questions with phrases such as “I can dig it” or “Groovy” or “Solid”.
- Pirate: shirt with billowy sleeves, black pants or blue jeans, high boots or “boat” shoes (thick soled tennis shoes), bandana. Tuck the pants into the boots or shred the bottom of the jeans and wear boat shoes. Accessories: eye patch, rope for a belt, rum bottle (preferably empty!), parrot on your shoulder. Answer every questions with “Aaargh!”
- Zombie: shirt, jacket, pants, and shoes. Use old clothes you can tear and rub with dirt and fake blood (if you prefer, use this non-staining fake blood). Makeup: white face paint, black eye shadow, fake blood.
- Trash: Dress in all black clothes. Cut a hole in a black trash bag and pull it over your head. Use duct tape to afix pieces of trash to the bag (empty wrappers, fallen leaves, pages from newspapers or magazines, etc.)
- Vampire: Dress in all black clothes, including a cape or long coat. Complete the look with white face paint, black eyeliner, red lips, and/or fake blood around the mouth. Optional: purchase a pair of “Dracula teeth” (see our “where to buy” list below).
- Mummy: Dress in all white clothes. Wrap your head, face, and hands loosely with an Ace bandage.
- Ghost: Dress in all white. Complete the look with all-over white face and hair paint, smear shadow around the eyes, and wrap a piece of chain around your waste and shoulders.
100+ Halloween costume ideas
Want more? We’ve got more Halloween costume ideas on our national site.
You’ll find many more DIY Halloween costumes for real-life people, pop culture and history characters, sports-themed costumes, animals, and many more.
There are also ideas for couples, families, and groups: salt and pepper, Blue Man group, or Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Each of the costume ideas in list comes with instructions for creating Halloween costumes from items you have around the house or can purchase inexpensively.
For completing the look, we also provide Halloween makeup ideas and instructions for scary Halloween characters, clown makeup, rock musician Gene Simmons, and many more.
Why do we dress up in costumes for Halloween?
There’s seems to be no singular tradition tied to today’s custom of dressing up in costume on Halloween. Some of the folklore is murky at best.
Ancient cultures celebrated autumn with harvest festivals, crop burning, animal slaughter (to preserve meat for winter), and bon fires to provide light and comfort in the darkening days after summer.
One pre-Christian Celtic festival (samhain or samain, meaning “summer’s end”) involved end-of-summer rituals to ward off tricks played by evil spirits.
Still other Christian and non-Christian customs used the time to honor ancestors and visit the graves of loved ones who have passed away. Food and decorations are part of many of these traditions.
Much later in Medieval Europe, people would go door-to-door begging for food, especially in fall or winter, sometimes dressed in disguise.
Around the 1940s, American children are said to have practiced the Medieval custom around Thanksgiving time.
Today, the practice of dressing up in costume is a tradition embraced by young and old alike.
Costumes provide a fun way to role play and break out of one’s normal routine. For one night, you can become a celebrity, super hero, or hideous ghoul.
Modern Halloween celebrations include buying candy for “trick or treaters”, decorating pumpkins, visiting haunted houses, and navigating corn mazes.
Where to buy Halloween costumes in the Seattle-Tacoma metro area
(Listed alphabetically by store name)
Party City (multiple Puget Sound locations) has everything you need for parties and special occasions, including birthdays, graduation, Halloween, luau parties, and more. Find disposable utensils for entertaining, costumes and accessories, specialty party ware and more. They also offer online shopping.
Seattle Goodwill costume ideas. Goodwill and other thrift stores are the ultimate source for creating a Halloween costume that is uniquely yours. Find new or gently used costumes and clothing, as well as pet costumes at reasonable prices. They also carry face make-up, wigs, hats, accessories and party décor.
Spirit Halloween stores: The seasonal Spirit stores are open late August through early November. Spirit Halloween stores are stocked with everything you can imagine for creating a festive Halloween celebration. Besides costumes, masks, makeup, and wigs, they’ve got indoor and outdoor decorations, robotic characters (animatronics), props, and accessories. Just visiting a store is a fun, interactive experience! Find a store near you; there are Spirit Halloween locations throughout Washington State.
More places to find Halloween costumes, accessories, and holiday party décor:
- Best used clothing stores in Seattle and Puget Sound
- Outlet malls in Seattle and around Puget Sound
- Best retailers for gift ideas, party supplies, holiday décor
Do you have another idea for cheap DIY Halloween costumes that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below and maybe we can add it to the list. (Email us a photo, too.)
But wait, there’s more!
- Our big list of Halloween haunted houses, corn mazes, spooky tours
- Free and cheap Halloween events around Puget Sound
- Scary (and not-so-scary) movies for a Halloween night at home
- Guidelines for safe Halloween celebrations in 2020
- And here’s a list of 101+ always free things to do for fun.
- More free and cheap things to do every day: Greater Seattle on the Cheap event calendar.
- Still more ideas for frugal fun: Greater Seattle on the Cheap home page.
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Halloween events around Puget Sound
Free and cheap Halloween events and things to do around the Puget Sound region. We continue to add events through the month of October as details become available.