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Halloween Costume Ideas - Jump Start Your Creativity

Two of my best originals were Medusa and a mummy with its casket. It is more exciting and fun to create an original costume; win a prize. .

Halloween Couple

A couple wearing walking dead formal wear.

A couple wearing walking dead formal wear.

Costume Solutions

People celebrate Halloween once a year. The costume is the feature for this ghoulish event. Extra fun at Halloween is creating an original ensemble hoping to earn recognition and praises from onlookers. Or to receive a prize for the best, the craziest, frightening, artistic, elegant, or imaginative costume.

Do you enjoy costumed events? Design a costume for several occasions. Use the ensemble in a variety of events, such as Mardi gras, Renaissance Festivals, artistic gatherings, and cosplay get-togethers.

Are you experiencing difficulty generating a costume decision?

Three solutions:

  • The simplest solution is to wear last year’s costume or borrow a costume from a friend or family member.
  • Rent or buy a costume from a specialty, party, or theater store.
  • Raid your closet and compliment your attire with a mask, hat, wig, scarf, or veil.
  • Apply facial or Halloween cosmetics.
  • Rummage through your children’s toy chest for accessories, e.g. a plastic gun, sword, magic wand, dolls, etc.
  • Raid the attic, basement, garage or storage closets for hand tools, cleaning supplies, and garden equipment.

A Ghost

A single sheet with eyes cut out for a simple ghost costume.

A single sheet with eyes cut out for a simple ghost costume.

1. Original Costume

Design your costume from personal talents and a vivid imagination.

Steps to Making a Costume:

  1. Gather inspiration from books, magazines, tv and movies, ready-made costumes, your personal imagination
  2. Select a mask or facial makeup
  3. Review the contents of your closet and dresser draws
  4. Available footwear
  5. Wigs, hats, and alternative head coverings
  6. Jewelry and other miscellaneous accessories
  7. Toys
  8. Household items
  9. Tools

Search your belongings and environment for your costume requirements. You may need to purchase a few trivial items. Make simple props with cardboard or paper. Items required for specific warrior characters or trademark props will need to be bought.

Six Steps To Make a Costume

Designing a personal or original costume is not difficult. Here are six steps to kick start the process of making a costume.


1. Start with an idea
2. Select a mask or facial makeup
3. Review the contents of your closet and dresser draws
4. Shoes or boots
5. Wigs and facial hair
6. Accessories

Truthfully, you may need to purchase a few small items to enhance an original costume. Some accessories can be made, but items needed for certain warrior weapons or trademark props associated with particular characters that cannot be made in the home will need to be bought.

The Lady in Red

A lady wearing a red costume accented with flowing tentacles.

A lady wearing a red costume accented with flowing tentacles.

Costume Category Ideas

  1. Animals and creatures, Aliens, Athletes
  2. Baby, Toddler, Bare minimum, Blood bath
  3. Career attire, Celebrities, Cartoon, Comic book, Cultural theme
  4. Dangerous and famous criminals, Death symbols, Dance outfits, Decorator themes
  5. Evil characters
  6. Fashion history, Famous people, Classic commercials, Fantasies, Foods, Fairy tale characters
  7. Giants and other large objects, Gypsies Gods and goddesses
  8. Heavenly symbols, Historical figures, Horror characters
  9. Intelligent nerds, Insects
  10. Jungle critters
  11. Law enforcement
  12. Military and work uniforms, Monsters, Mythological creatures, Movie and television characters, Magic
  13. Nurses and other medical professionals
  14. Old people
  15. Puppets, Plants, Physical objects, Pirates, Security officers
  16. Royalty celebrities, Robots, Religious symbols
  17. Slogans, Sexy, Science fiction, Sports, Super heroes, School attire, Ships, Spiritual beings, Statues, Story book characters
  18. Toys, Time travel
  19. Universal holidays or celebrations
  20. Vices
  21. Werewolves, Witch, Work themes, Western theme
  22. Zombies

Clown Makeup

A young lady wearing a clown's face made with facial makeup and a blue-green wig.

A young lady wearing a clown's face made with facial makeup and a blue-green wig.

2. Alternate Head and Face Coverings

Facial makeup and masks may not always be necessary because of the character that is being designed. Here are some alternate methods for facial coverings.

  1. A cardboard box for a head ornament and face covering. Refine by adding ears, nose or exaggerated hair features with cardboard, paper, or cotton. Dyed twine for hair, holes for eyes and mouth. Add a nose that fits the character and paint accordingly. Are you making a robot? Cover with aluminum foil and use wire clothes hangers for antennas.
  2. A pillowcase is a quick solution for a ghost. Cut eyes and mouth out of fabric. Trim the holes with a border of black paint.
  3. A pair of nylon ladies' stockings pulled over the head squashes hair and distorts facial features.
  4. Cut plain stretch fabric painted with facial markings of your character. Spider-man would be an example.
  5. A paste of flour and water will add gruesome markings such as pimples, blood clots, warts, and scars to a monster's face.
  6. Eye masks, hats, and hair adornments can be made from margarine bowls.

Are you still considering using a mask?

Visit for other ideas or solutions.

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Stripped Pajama Jailbird Horror

A young woman dressed in stripped pajamas as a jailbird with a white face.

A young woman dressed in stripped pajamas as a jailbird with a white face.

3. Closet and Bureau Draws

Look at all your garments differently by turning them upside down or sideways. Your creative mind will start ideas flowing. Do check the dresser draws. Many characters wear clothing found in the closet. Decorating the head and face and using accessories compliments the body attire.


  1. Wear any clothing choice, adorn the face and headpiece then add a pair of stilts.
  2. Borrow clothing which is larger than your size and stuff with pillows.
  3. Wear the legs of pants on your arms converting it to a shirt or blouse.
  4. Wear clothing of the opposite sex, children’s clothing, or children wearing adult clothing.
  5. Hats add mystery or comedy.
  6. Jewelry can be a fashion statement or a gypsy character.
  7. Wear underwear over leotards as outside clothing.

4. Footwear

It is amazing how a pair of boots and shoes can change or add to a character.


  1. Stuff the toe section or the heels of a large pair of shoes to create a character with over=sized feet.
  2. Cowboy boots and a hat make a drastic change for a pair of jeans and a checkered shirt.
  3. Wear boots or shoes of the opposite sex.
  4. Cut the toe section out of a pair of worn-out shoes for a hobo appearance.
  5. A pair of sandals and a sheet wrap complete a toga.
  6. Boots and strapped guns on a pair of legs create a Lara Croft copy.

Girl Stabbed with a Comb

A girl wearing a comb stabbed through her forehead.

A girl wearing a comb stabbed through her forehead.

5. Wigs and Facial Hair

Wigs or facial hair are other choices for hairy details. The character which you have chosen will determine the hairstyle, beard, eyebrows, or mustache which may be needed. Use a wig that you may have located in one of the bureaus draws or visit a discount store of your choice to buy an inexpensive wig. There are some selections as low as five dollars.

There are a variety of wigs from today’s fashions to wigs of dignitaries of the early 18th century. There are bald caps, toupees, and wigs of celebrities. These hairpieces may be found in costume or theater shops. Wigs can be fashionable, comedic, functional, fantasy, and maybe styled for the chosen personality. Beards, mustaches, chin pieces, may also be purchased or time permitting allow your facial hair to grow for the occasion.

There are Halloween kits that contain wigs and facial hair ready to be used for the costume. Wig choices include fashionable, comedic, clown, Gothic, horror, and celebrity,

A blue-haired girl wearing a daddy logo pullover holding a baseball bat.

A blue-haired girl wearing a daddy logo pullover holding a baseball bat.

6. Accessories

Accessories for costumes are key to identifying or finalizing the character. If the costume lacks the adornment people will notice that something is different. Often times the adornment is the trademark for the individual.

  1. A top or tall hat is a trademark for Abraham Lincoln, Fred Astaire, Marlene Dietrich, Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat, and Alice in Wonderland.
  2. A cane is used by actors portraying Dr. Watson of Sherlock Holmes, Winston Churchill, and Willy Wonka.
  3. Pirates and warriors are always wearing a sword. Famous users of swords were Napoleon, King Arthur, and Joan of Arc.
  4. The bow and arrow have been made famous by cupid, Legolas of Lord of the Rings, Robin Hood, Rambo, Green Arrow, and Lara Croft.
  5. Other props that may be considered are Thor’s hammer, musical instruments, umbrellas, Aladdin’s magic lamp, brooms, snakes, dolls, balloons, and toys.

More costume ideas are at for more suggestions.

Sugar Skull - Mexico, Spain, and Latin American Countries

A sugar skull decorated woman wearing black and yellow floral tube-neckline dress.

A sugar skull decorated woman wearing black and yellow floral tube-neckline dress.

Halloween Worldwide

Halloween is celebrated in many different countries, but not always in the manner as practiced in America. The common thread for acknowledging Halloween is the religious acknowledgment to honor the dead and preserve their memories.


  1. Dia De Los Muertos – “Day of the Dead” – Mexico, Spain, and Latin American countries – November .1-2
  2. China - “Hungry Ghost Festival”- July 14-15
  3. Sweden, Scotland - “All Hollow’s Eve” - October 31
  4. Italy - “All Saints Day”- November 1
  5. Romaine – “Feast of St. Andrew” - November 30

The early costumes consisted of monsters or horror masks designed to scare away evil spirits and mischievous fairies. Some festivals, unfortunately, became brutal and people found it necessary to start new traditions to tame unwanted behaviors.

Trick or treat was one of those techniques. The exchange of sweets or candies helped to remove violence. Likewise, costumes have changed through the passing years. Seemingly, Halloween has become a public party day.

Halloween is celebrated primarily at private parties to avoid unseen hazards of going door to door gathering candies and treats by children. Parents need to escort their children and on arrival in the home, all contents of the children’s bags need to be checked for any harmful items.

This celebration may also take place in public areas such as night clubs, schools, street functions coupled with a parade, city, county, or state-sponsored, and theme parks

Amazing Halloween Creative Costume Ideas

DIY or Commercial Costumes

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