8 DIY Halloween Costumes You Can Pull Together in Less Than an Hour

Skip the Halloween store this year and try your DIY skills with these easy homemade costumes.

Pictures of DIY vampire, mime and cat costumes side-by-sideTaste of Home

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. From spooky movies and decorations to themed foods and invite-the-whole-neighborhood parties, I’m always having fun. Something that isn’t so fun: paying $50-plus for a costume I’ll wear only once. To avoid the major mark-up of store-bought costumes, I’ve been making my own for the past few years—always at a fraction of the price. Here are eight DIY costumes you can make with your family this year.

Spooky vampire with their signature cape spread around themTaste of Home

1. Bloodthirsty Vampire: It’s a classic, not a cliche

What you need:
84-in. round red tablecloth
84-in. round black tablecloth
Hot glue gun
Nontoothed headband
Stiff black felt
How to make it: For a cape, fold the tablecloths in half and glue them together at the edges. Glue a headband along the flat edge of the tablecloths, pleating as needed. Cut out stand-up collar from the felt; glue it to the headband. Wear the cape, red side in, with an all-black outfit and fangs, and stay away from garlic (just to be safe).

Bat with a mask and wings spread wide against a red forest background

2. Bat Wings: If a vampire doesn’t do it for you, try being a bat

What you need:
Long-sleeved black T-shirt
Black felt
Sticky-back Velcro
How to make it: Measure the arm of the shirt from the top seam to the wrist. Cut the felt, making two rectangles 12 inches wide by the arm measurement. Draw a wing pattern on each of the rectangles, keeping the top edge of the felt straight (it will join up with the person’s arm). Cut out the wings and two pieces of Velcro the length of the wings. Attach one side of the Velcro to each wing and the other to the shirt. Join the Velcro halves, securing the wings to the T-shirt. Pair with an all-black outfit.

3. Dobby the Elf: If your family loves Harry Potter, here’s your super simple go-to

What you need:
Oversized tan T-shirt
Twine or yarn
Stiff tan felt
Brown marker
Hot glue gun
Tan headband
How to make it: Cut off the shirt sleeves (or cut arm holes in a tan pillowcase, for an infant) and tie the shoulders with twine. Trace and cut out two large ears from the felt, drawing ear details with the marker. Glue the ears to either side of the headband (or tan hat, for an infant). Wear while waving around a sock and yelling, “Dobby is a free elf!”

Baby in a white outfit complete with a fuzzy halo and wings against a purple background with streamersTaste of Home

4. Baby Angel: Show the world how sweet your young one is

What you need:
Sheet of white foam
White feather boa, cut in half
Hot glue gun
Two shoestrings
Two iridescent pipe cleaners
White cap
How to make it: Draw angel wings on the foam; cut them out. Make holes near the top and bottom of the straight wing edges. Cover each wing with feather boa; glue it in place. When the glue has dried completely, thread a shoestring through the holes of each wing to create a loop that will slip onto your child’s arm. For the halo, form a pipe cleaner into a circle. Attach another pipe cleaner to the circle and glue it to the back of the cap. To complete the angelic look, dress your little one in an all-white sleeper or Onesie.

5. Emoji Face: Express yourself

What you need:
Paint: yellow and other colors as desired
Hole punch
How to make it: On the cardboard, trace and cut out a large circle that will cover the person from collarbone to mid-thigh. Paint it yellow and let it dry, then paint on an emoji face. When it’s completely dry, punch a hole on each side near the top; thread a string through to create a loop. Hang the emoji around the person’s neck. Pair with an all-black outfit and a smartphone.

6. Minions: Get despicable with a Despicable Me-inspired costume—especially cute for kids

What you need:
Yellow knit hat
Black pipe cleaners
Toilet paper tube, cut into one or two 1-in. sections (depending on how many goggles you want)
Silver paint
Black elastic or ribbon
How to make it: For hair, thread a few pipe cleaners through the top of the hat; bend them inside the hat so they stay put. For goggles, paint the tube sections silver. When the tubes are dry, cut a piece of black elastic the circumference of the person’s head, minus the width of the tubes. Staple the elastic to the tubes and pull the goggles onto the outside of the hat. Complete the outfit with a yellow shirt and overalls.

Mother and daughter duo both wearing white shirts with ghost faces on themTaste of Home

7. Super Spooky Ghost: Kick the sheet to the curb; this costume is just as spooky without covering your face

What you need:
8-in. square of iron-on black felt
White T-shirt
How to make it: Trace ghostly eyes and a mouth on the paper backing of the felt; cut out the shapes. Following the felt manufacturer’s instructions, adhere the eyes and mouth to the shirt. Allow the shirt to cool completely. Finish the costume with optional white face paint.

White and brown dog in a red cape with a bone on itTaste of Home

8. Super Dog: Don’t forget your pooch!

What you need:
Measuring tape
Red felt
1-in. square of sticky-back Velcro
Sticky-back felt shapes
How to make it: For a superhero look, measure your doggy’s back from the base of its neck to its tail, and add 8 to 10 inches for a head hole. Cut the felt into a square, using the final measurement. Trace a head hole for your dog near one corner; cut it out. Add Velcro to close the neck hole. Decorate with sticky-back felt shapes, and watch your dog’s cape blow in the wind!

Once everybody’s all dressed up, throw on some Halloween jams, grab a spooky treat or drink, and enjoy Halloween!

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Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.