22 Last-Minute Costumes You Can Totally Pull Off

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Feeling frightened that it’s almost trick-or-treating time and you don’t have your kid’s costume ready yet? Check out these easy last-minute Halloween costumes for kids. Many of them can be made with things you have stashed in your closets and dress-up bin, and take less time to make than it takes to eat a supersized candy apple. Scroll through these DIY costumes for kids to find your favorite.
photo: Primary Jane Fonda

Legwarmers, a pair of leggings, and a onesie are all you need to get your heart rate pumping with this DIY aerobics instructor costume. Bigger kids can swap a swimsuit for the onesie. We love that the key ingredients for this costume can be worn again. If you're itching to do a little crafting, check out Primary's DIY felt boombox to take this costume from low-impact fun to step aerobics queen.


photo: Studio DIY Sprinkled Donut

It'll be hard to resist taking a bite out of this delicious-looking donut costume. With an inner tube and spray paint, you can whip up your own easy DIY Halloween treat. This creative costume is a great choice for kids that want to make an impression while trick-or-treating and be comfy, too! Find out how to create your own extra-tasty costume at Studio DIY.

photo: Hellow Wonderful Baby Shark

Cardboard, gray and white paint and sharp scissors are all you need to make this easy DIY Halloween costume. Bonus: a fierce shark costume comes with a soundtrack that all the trick-or-treaters will be singing. Baby shark....Find out how you can make one of your own over at Hello Wonderful. Check out more of our favorite cardboard box costumes here.

photo: Kim Woodbridge via flickr Ballet Dancer

Dig into your kiddo's dance bag and you'll find the key ingredients for a ballerina costume. Add a fancy updo and voila: you have a future New York City Ballet dancer costume. If you don't have a tutu, check out this easy, no-sew DIY tutu tutorial.

photo: Jeff Mindell via Studio DIY Bubble Gum

Chew on this cute DIY costume! Gather up balloons, felt, and silver ribbon: that's about all you need to create your own bubblegum costume. While this version features a pink dress, we think a pink t-shirt would work just as well for a kids Halloween costume. Find the step-by-step instructions at Studio DIY.

photo: Amber Gutebier Basic Monster

Dig out an old pair of pants and your trusty black Sharpie for this easy DIY Halloween costume. With a snip of scissors and a light coat of green make-up, you'll soon have Frankenstein's monster lurching out your front door. Find all the DIY details on Amber's post here.

photo: Cheerful and Co Via Primary Bath Time

Clear and white balloons pop all over a set of white PJs for this easy DIY Halloween costume—it's bubble bath time on the go! Primary has all the instructions so you can make your own, then take that rubber ducky for a spin around the block.

photo: Hello Wonderful Emoji

Pick your kiddo's favorite emoji and whip up this cute Halloween costume that's easy to customize. You'll be running after your smiley face trick-or-treating in no time. Hello, Wonderful shows you how you can make your own with not much more than cardboard and paint.

photo: Doranda Woestman via Watch Out for the Woestmans Trolls

Pull out a brightly colored skirt or tutu and a light t-shirt or leotard, and your little ones will soon be trolls. The awesome hair-dos look impressive—but they're easy to pull off when you follow blogger Doranda's DIY tip. Troll or treat!

photo: Slapdash Mom Paper Doll

With not much more than a big piece of poster board, you can create a perfect paper doll costume. We love that this easy DIY Halloween costume costs way less than a pumpkin spice latte while still being extra eye-catching. Follow the step-by-step directions at Slapdash Mom.


photo: All for the Boys Stick Figure

This clever stick figure costume from All for the Boys is sure to get lots of laughs. We love that it's easy, affordable, and eye-catching. Gather up lightly colored shirt and pants and follow the instructions here to turn your kids 2D.

photo: Brit Co Star

Make your star a constellation this Halloween. Brit + Co's adorable, sparkly costume relies on a gold ribbon and glittery duds that your kiddo probably has in her closet already. They recommend using craft foam for the head-topping star—but cardboard plus gold paint will also work in a pinch.

photo: Mriggen via flickr Superhero

With a pillowcase and a pair of scissors, you can make a cape worthy of your superhero. Gather up felt and ribbon and you can top off the costume with an eye mask. We've got the perfect tutorial to make this simple, last-minute costume.

photo: Hart Sew Baby Doll

This adorable wind-up doll is guaranteed to be one of the sweetest DIY costumes you'll find. Plus it's easy and cheap to make it yourself. Find how you can turn your toddler into a doll at Hart + Sew.

photo: Paging Supermom Cat

In less time than it takes to do the Monster Mash, you can make an adorable black cat costume. Paging Supermom calls it her Super Easy Kitty Cat Costume—and we couldn't agree more. It's a sweet option for preschoolers who change their mind about their costume at the last minute. See our other favorite cat costumes here. 

photo: Ellie Nakazawa via flickr Olympian

Your kiddo can be an Olympian in less time than it takes to sing the national anthem. Pull out a tracksuit, or a leotard if you've got a gymnast at home, then dig out a medal from a fun run or a 5k. Have her throw her arms in the air and give a cheer for this easy DIY Halloween costume!

photo: Brit Co Morton Salt Girl

We love this Morton Salt Girl costume because it's cute, clever, and takes almost no time to pull together. An extra bonus—since it relies on regular clothes, there's nothing that'll make sensitive kids uncomfortable while they're on the hunt for candy. But remember, as Brit + Co will tell you, the container of salt is a key accessory.

photo: A Casarella Jellyfish

This unusual animal costume is simple to make and packs a big punch. Dig out an umbrella and ribbon, then swim over to A Casarella to learn how to make your own easy jellyfish costume. We love her clever tip that'll give this daytime costume a spooky nighttime glow.

photo: Summer Poquette via flickr Cowgirl (or boy)

Dust off that denim, wrangle up a pair of boots and top it all off with a plaid shirt and a ten-gallon hat. You'll have everything you need to be a cowgirl or boy costume—minus the horse, of course. If you've got a pool noodle leftover from summer fun, you can turn it into a horse ready to ride off into Halloween night. Yee Haw!

photo: Leonid Mamchenko via flickr Pirate

Shiver me timbers! It's easy to pull together a last-minute pirate costume. Grab a striped shirt and wrap a bandit around your kiddo's head. Pull out a pair of old pants and cut off the hem, using some shark teeth-style zigzags If you'd like a little extra flair, add eyeliner, a pile of necklaces and make wee Blackbeard a cardboard cutlass. Don't forget to check our guide on how to talk like a sailor!

photo: US CPSC via flickr Sports Player

Calling all sports fans! Dig out your kid's fave jersey—whether it's football, hockey, or basketball—and in no time you'll have a sporty Halloween costume. You can add an accessory, from a helmet to a hockey puck, or a swipe of festive face paint, and then get out the door. Candy's waiting!

photo: Primary Lifegaurd

Primary's easy DIY lifeguard costume is a Halloween lifesaver. Cute sunglasses and red t-shirts or swimsuits are the key ingredients. Head over to Primary to find out the surprising supply used to make the costume's critical white cross.

—Oz Spies



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