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Cheap and last-minute Halloween costumes

Some are a bit naughty, some are nice.

By Karen Datko Oct 30, 2009 2:14PM

This guest post comes from J. Money at Budgets are Sexy.


For all you slackers out there (myself included): Last year for Halloween I went as a rock star, but I'm thinking of going as a blogger this time around. According to a friend, though, that means I have to put on a pair of nerd glasses and hike up my pants like Urkel! I think my friend is confused. We're more like this guy. I mean, come on.

Actually, I have no idea how to dress as a blogger. I'm just being lazy. More than likely I'll paint the black nail polish back on and sharpen me up some rocker tattoos again. I already wear ripped jeans and T-shirts anyway, so it'll cost me a big fat $0. And I don't have to worry about any props getting stolen by drunkards!


Haven't picked a costume yourself? Check out some of these clever ideas from me and friends around the net (thanks, everyone):

  1. Christmas tree: I once saw this guy dressed in all green with nothing else but Christmas lights wrapped around him. It looked kind of stupid at first, but when he plugged himself into the wall he had the whole party's attention.
  2. Random hook-up: My brother won a contest with this: Just drape a lot of colored extension cords around you. You're a "random hook-up." -- MoneyMateKate
  3. Tanning bed: Tape glow sticks up and down your arms and then trap people in them as a tanning bed. -- hollyjunesmith
  4. Wolverine/Freddy Krueger: Just put silverware on your fingers. -- The Digerati Life (pics)
  5. Kissing booth: I took a picture of this dude a few years back and it still cracks me up to this day. All he did was put some cardboard together with some red velvety stuff, and labeled it "Kissing Booth." From what I remember, it really worked.
  6. Smarty pants: Tape Smarties candies to your pants -- smarty pants. (I did this last year.) -- Jennifer Bruyette
  7. Gold digger: Gold-colored dress + shovel. -- beskeie
  8. Martini glass: Saran Wrap around me as the stem, and a big dog medical collar as the glass, my head in green tights for the olive.
  9. Road/highway: Black T-shirt with yellow tape down the middle, then glue/tape dollar store toy car/trucks to the shirt. Super easy and inexpensive. -- Kim
  10. Drunken college students: Just wear a college shirt (with buffalo wing stains) and drink lots of natty light! Cheap, easy and fun! -- Matt_SF
  11. A "cool" guy: You know, trucker hat, popped collar, fancy facial hair, and boxers hanging out. Like this. -- Nicole at Breaking Even Inc.
  12. Sasha Fierce: A leotard will run you about $15. Throw on some heels and fake eyelashes and put on a fake bling ring. You can get the fake bling rings for about $2.99 in the wedding section of costume/party shops. -- The Frugalista
  13. D.C. tourist: You know the kind: fanny pack, I heart DC T-shirt, metro maps, high-waisted long shorts, camera. -- myprettypennies
  14. A nudist: Price free. Adam and Eve for couples. --pffirewall
  15. Skunk: Black tights with a while stripe down the back. -- pffirewall
  16. Bunch Of grapes: Purple tights with purple balloons glued on. pffirewall
  17. Cheap zombie costume: Just need tissue paper, glue, makeup and some old clothes. --  creditgoddess
  18. Job seeker: Wear an old suit from your closet. Tape a pink slip of paper to a "Hello, My Name Is" sticker that you can buy from an office warehouse store for about $4.97. -- The Frugalista
  19. 1970s disco queen: You can either buy a ready-made outfit from a place like Party City or you can hit up thrift or vintage stores for discount bell bottoms. Wear your hair in a flip or buy an afro from a beauty supply store for about $25. -- The Frugalista
  20. A domino: I used black clothing and white paper circles to make myself a domino. Kind of lame, but I was in Japan and had 10 minutes’ notice. -- MoneyMateKate
  21. Penguin: I am going to be a penguin. Black hoodie with orange felt beak and giant Styrofoam ball eyes. Adorable, yet frugal. -- calquist
  22. Spider: Hefty bags stuffed with newspaper, legs made of foam pipe insulation, and a vintage black pillbox hat with veil. -- MoneyMate Kate
  23. Charlie Brown: Got a T-shirt off some Web site and bought a pair of long(ish) black shorts.
  24. Ghost: sheet. -- centsiblelife
  25. Baby: pajamas. -- centsiblelife
  26. Spy: Walkie-talkie, dark glasses, sly glances. -- @centsiblelife
  27. Cat: All black, paint-on whiskers. -- centsiblelife
  28. Waiter: White shirt and black pants. Add an apron and a notepad for taking orders. To really jazz this one up, print a menu of the night's specials to carry around. To take it to the next level, make a waiter’s tray and glue a couple of drinking glasses to the tray. Fill the glasses with Jell-O to give the illusion that drinks are being served. -- Converting A Spendthrift
  29. Special agent/FBI/Secret Service: Build on the waiter costume by adding a black jacket, black leather-like wallet for the badge, and a pair of super cool shades. Jazzing this one up is easy as well by adding the ear piece and a wrist communicator. -- Converting A Spendthrift
  30. Old-school wrestler: Colored pantyhose or tights, briefs and bare chest. A cape, mask or prop personalizes this costume. -- Converting A Spendthrift

For couples

  1. Jim and Pam from “The Office”: You couldn't ask for an easier and cheaper costume. -- My Life ROI (click for more info and a picture)
  2. Bonny and Clyde: You should both dress nice in an early 20th century way, carry fake guns, and get a cloth sack with a dollar sign on it to represent the money you just stole. -- My Life ROI (click for more info and a picture)
  3. Clark Kent and Lois Lane: The costume is much like Jim and Pam's, except with more professional clothes and a superman T-shirt underneath. -- My Life ROI (pictures & info)
  4. Cleopatra and Marc Antony: To dress as Mark Antony, try and dress as a Roman would. For Cleopatra, you can wear a white dress with gold embroidery. Get some fake gold jewelry to make yourself flashy. -- My Life ROI (pictures & info)
  5. Tarzan and Jane: Just go to any store that sells fabric and you can make a skirt and shoulder strap for Tarzan. For Jane, you can go in two different directions: Dress as an English person who is on a safari in the jungle, or dress like Tarzan in a skirt and bra. -- My Life ROI (pictures & info)

For kids

  1. Kid robots: All you need is boxes and Sharpies. -- The Digerati Life (click for pics)
  2. Mario Brothers: Get some caps and paste some letters on them (which you can have your children do themselves), paint the moustaches on your kids, pick up oversized gloves, have your kids wear overalls. -- The Digerati Life (click for pics)
  3. Stuffed animal: You know those huge stuffed animals you win at a carnival or fair. Tired of them lying around the house? Cannibalize them. Take out the stuffing, poke holes and let kids wear the outer shell. -- Converting A Spendthrift
  4. Lilo from "Lilo & Stitch": My daughter was Lilo from “Lilo & Stitch,” one of her favorite movies, TV shows, etc. -- Hit up Converting A Spendthrift for details and directions
  5. Athlete: Have a kid who plays a sport? Football, basketball, soccer, cheer leading, taekwondo, etc. Let them wear that uniform that you paid a lot of money to own or rent/lease for the season. -- Converting A Spendthrift

Happy Halloween, all! May your weekend be full of beverages and candy.


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