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16 Halloween costumes you can make at the last minute

If you need some ideas on how to make a costume at the last second, we have you covered

ST. LOUIS — If you’re waiting until the last minute to put together your Halloween costume, or you have a kid who decided they don’t want to wear the one they have, time is running out to figure out how to dress up for the spooky holiday.

Luckily, there are several easy ways to pull together an 11th-hour costume using items in your house or with a quick trip to the nearby dollar, craft or thrift store.

Pop culture

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to pull off the Hollywood look.

Three-hole punch Jim

Jim Halpert won Halloween on “The Office” in true Jim fashion. A lack of effort and just the right amount of cleverness and originality made this costume an instant fan favorite. Recreating the look is simple. Wear a typical business-casual outfit with a white button-down shirt, dark dress pants and a black tie. Cut out three black dots and stick them to your shirt. Carry around a coffee mug and complete the costume by giving that classic “Jim look” and you’re set. Watch a video on how to put together this costume here.

Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

A Halloween costume that’ll never go out of style. This one is simple and can be a great go-to for kids and adults. A black dress, necklaces, sunglasses and an updo will transform you into Holly Golightly. Bonus points if you can add on a tiara and gloves. See how it looks here, along with ideas on other child costumes.

Cookie Monster

Put on either a blue shirt and pants or a blue dress and attach some big googly eyes from a craft store. Print out some pictures of cookies and place them on yourself. Not only is this a simple costume to make, it’s also a great excuse to eat more cookies! See the look here.

Rosie the Riveter

A classic go-to Halloween costume and a tribute to some pioneering American women. This one should be fairly simple for a lot of people to pull off, especially given jean button-down shirts are a fall staple these days. Grab the jean shirt from your closet and roll up the sleeves. A red scarf or bandana with white polka dots completes the look. Here's how to put together this costume.

Credit: Francis Abbey, TEGNA

Very punny

Some of the cleverest costumes don’t cost much, and they’re easy to make yourself at home.

Pig in a blanket

Grab that wearable blanket and stay cozy while going out trick-or-treating or hanging out with friends. Add on a headband that has pig ears and a pig nose and voila, you’re a pig in a blanket. Watch a video of how to put together this costume.

Raining men

All you need is an umbrella, string and some cut-outs of your favorite fellas. Attach the photos to the umbrella and it’ll be raining men. Watch instructions here.

Smarty pants

Easy, fast and a tasty option if you have some leftovers. All you need to do is attach some Smarties candies to a pair of pants. Throw on a button-down shirt, a bowtie and glasses to finish off the look. See the look here.


Another simple costume with a pun, all you need is a pair of cat ears and a tail (maybe from a previous Halloween costume?) and print out the keyboard buttons ‘Ctrl’ and ‘C’. Tape the keyboard letters on your shirt and you’re a copycat. Watch this look here.

Bread winner

Put on a few medals from any races you’ve completed or carry around a trophy along with a bag of bread and you’re a bread winner. See the costume here.

Hawaiian punch

Another costume that can be (mostly) comfy to wear. All you need is a Hawaiian shirt and a boxing glove. Get a look at the costume here.



Digging through a child’s toy chest or closet could turn up more Halloween costume ideas than you think.

Veterinarian or doctor

If your kid has a play doctor set of toys, this one is really easy to pull off. First, go to your closet and grab an adult-sized button-down white shirt. The shirt will be big on a kid but can be the perfect lab coat size on a child. Pair that with a toy stethoscope and the doctor look is complete. Add in a play pet carrier from an animal play set and your child can be a veterinarian – and have a really cool way to collect their Halloween candy. Watch how to put together this costume here.


This one takes a little more effort but the payoff could be worth it. Buy four pairs of cheap kids’ tights and fill them with pillow stuffing. Attach the octopus legs and arms to a ribbon with safety pins. Cut out a couple pairs of eyes and glue them onto a stocking cap. Wear a matching sweater or jacket and you’ll be ready to grab all kinds of candy as an octopus. Watch a video on how to make this costume here.


A white shirt and pants and some black dots and black belt or sash are all it takes to pull off this simple look. See the costume here.


Who doesn’t want to include our furry friends in the Halloween fun? OK, our pets probably don’t want to participate, but some of them put up with our shenanigans so well!

Beanie Baby

This is probably the easiest pet Halloween costume that you can put together. You can keep it simple and use an old cardboard box or run to the craft store and grab a couple inexpensive pieces of red and white felt. Trace the Ty logo, cut it out and attach it to your pet’s collar using a binder ring or string. Now, you have the most adorable Beanie Baby there is! Watch a how-to video here.

Martini glass

For the sophisticated pup who has been forced to wear the clunky cone. The “cone of shame” can be transformed into a martini glass with the addition of some “olives.” The olives can be made using green Styrofoam or floral foam balls with pieces of red felt or paper glued on. Place them on a wooden dowel and safely secure the “toothpick” to the inside of your pup’s cone. See the look here.

Paint palette

Another way to put the cone to use is to turn it into a painter’s palette. Dab a rainbow of colors around the cone so it looks like an artist’s palette for their next masterpiece. Get some inspiration here.

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