10 Halloween Costume Ideas: for Kids, Adults, and Gene Simmons

Finding the perfect Halloween costume can be a drag. Some people like funny, or scary, or even sexy and unique. I’m a huge fan of homemade Halloween costumes which are quick and cheap. Sure, you can go and rent or buy one, but why?

To help you find that perfect costume this Halloween, I’ve put together 10 ideas to get your ghoulish brain cells bubbling. These ideas can work for kids, adults, couples, groups, and even for Gene Simmons.

1. Dress as a decade.

Pick your favorite decade and work your wardrobe to fit. Go as the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, or even the 90s.

halloween_costume_50sdecade.jpg

Here are 5 decades to get you going:

  • 50s This is easy. Grab a black leather jacket, blue jeans, white shirt, and some shades. Grease your flat-top, fire up the rag-top, grab your dolly, and you’ll be hip to hang. Daddy-O!
  • 60s Express your inner flower child. Wear some flowers in your hair, don some tie dye, and strap on your sandals. Peace! Make love, not war.
  • 70s Do you like Disco? Disco inferno? Good. Getting some bell bottoms and platform shoes should be easy these days. Exposing the hairy chest is totally up to you. Can you dig it? Let’s Boogie!
  • 80s Still got some big Bodacious blazers with shoulder pads sitting in your closet? Well dust off those Dynasty duds and get decadent with the 80s. Bright colors, teased bangs, and WAY too much makeup. Don’t forget your neon leg warmers. Just don’t gag me with a spoon, dude.
  • 90s Wear plaid. Add more plaid. Don’t wash your plaid for a week. Don’t shower for a week. Stop shaving. Take a chill pill! NOT!
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Want something else? Try these:

2. Coordinate in a color.

Got lots of pink, black, orange, or green clothing? Dress as a color! Go as an orange, a booger, or as a pink lady. It’s easy, fast, and cheap to go trick or treating in your own clothing by coordinating in a single color.

halloween_costume_orange.jpg

Yes, I own orange pants. Snicker.

3. Wear your wedding gown.

The wedding gown, it’s an expensive dress. Chances are you wore it once. Or got divorced and now have a lot of sequins in your closet. Anyvows, unwrap your wedding gown and get some mileage out of that train. Get some ghoulish makeup and go as a corpse bride. Or, throw on some old running shoes to be a “Runaway Bride”. Sneaky.

Got a groom? Dress your man in a suit or tux, and go as a bride and groom. Great costume for a couple.

4. Bust out the bridesmaid dress.

Always a bridesmaid? Got lots of taffeta or satin sitting in your closet? Wicked. Bust out the bridesmaid gown and walk down the Halloween aisle dressed for doom. Look horrid in your bridesmaid dress.

halloween_costume_bridesmaid.jpg

If your dress is more pretty and ethereal, then don some wings and go as a Faerie Princess, a sugar plum fairy, or something pretty.

5. Visit Value Village (or another thrift store).

Who doesn’t like going to Value Village (or some other thrift store) to find some quick, cheap, and easy Halloween costume. Find something, anything, and put together a unique look only you can pull off. Finding something cheesy is usually good for a laugh.

6. Choose a character.

Are you a book worm or a movie buff? Would you love to act out your favorite character for a howlish evening? Get wizardly and go as Harry Potter. Get with the Grinch and become a Who in Whoville! Go as Cindy Lou Who (a great costume for little girl). Feeling like some doom or just want to find the lost Arc? Break out your whip and go as Indiana Jones. Yes, I love Harrison Ford too. ;)

7. Get in uniform.

Ever play a team sport or toot an instrument in a band? Slip on your old team uniform and go as a band member, a baseball player, or a football star. Yes, soccer counts too. Kick it. Let’s play ball!

8. Be a pun.

I love a good pun here on Squawkfox. Here are some fun ideas with puns:

  • Tickled Pink. Get dressed from head to toe in the color pink. Carry around a big feather. A very interactive and fun costume.
  • Ceiling Fan. Write “Go Ceilings” on the front of an old shirt. Add other accessories like poms poms, etc. Don’t forget to cheer!
  • Babysitter. Get a doll. Fasten the doll to the seat of your pants. This is tasteless, I know.
  • Deviled Egg. Wear some white clothes. Cut a yellow circle out of yellow fabric and attach it to your tummy. Add some devil horns and a pitch fork. Do I crack you up?

Pick a pun and get silly in 5 minutes or less. Pun costumes make quick, cheap, easy, and unique Halloween garb.

9. Use your closet.

The best costumes are the homemade ones you already own. All the materials you need are right at home with you. Find some old accessories, think of a theme, and open an old storage box. You’ll find instant inspiration by using your creativity, and the clothes will already fit!

10. Go as Kiss. Be Gene Simmons.

Do you wanna rock and roll all night, and party every day? If you’re looking for a group Halloween costume, then going as the metal band Kiss is a classic. Just download this free printable Gene Simmons pattern to get the Kiss face makeup right. Get some black boots, pants, and wig out with a teased up wig.

gene_simmons_stecil_costume.gif

Download: Gene Simmons Kiss Costume (PDF)



The tongue thing is totally up to you.

Make a last minute Halloween costume with an old pillowcase

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Make a last minute Halloween costume with an old pillowcase

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More Halloween Fun:

Got any Halloween costume stories to tell? Got a fun idea for a frugal costume this year? Are your kids all decked out for Halloween? Got a costume pun? Do scare us in the comments below!

Your two cents:

  1. FFB October 13th, 2008

    You brought me back to childhood! Most of my friends back in the day would have loved to be Gene Simmons for Halloween!

  2. Treva October 13th, 2008

    Thanks so much for the fabulous laugh this morning!!! Now I wish I was headed to a costume party!

  3. Kerry October 13th, 2008

    @FFB I actually met Gene Simmons (briefly) while attending a sports conference at a hotel in Vancouver. Simmons was sitting in the internet lounge drinking a glass of water, checking his email. He’s very nice and down to earth in person. I am happy to report he kept his tongue in his mouth the whole time I saw him.

    @Treva So happy to hear you snickered. It was my orange pants, wasn’t it? :D

  4. Rachel October 13th, 2008

    I LOVE YOUR FLUEVOGS!

  5. Kerry October 13th, 2008

    @Rachel I LOVE FLUEVOGS TOO! My crazy pink shoes (with treads) are not really frugal, but I wear them every chance I get, even weddings!

  6. Beth October 13th, 2008

    I don’t know how you could think you’d look horrid in that bridesmaid’s dress! It’s gorgeous!

  7. Kerry October 13th, 2008

    @Beth It is stunning. That’s why I wrote, “If your dress is more pretty and ethereal, then don some wings and go as a Faerie Princess, a sugar plum fairy, or something pretty.” :D

  8. Gracia October 13th, 2008

    I hate this time of the year when every blog I read is about Halloween and reminding me that over here in Spain we do not celebrate it. Oh I’m so jealous!! And I love pun costumes, they’re the best, and every time I have to dress up as something, I add a little pun somewhere.

  9. Sade October 27th, 2009

    @squawkfox, thanks for all the great ideas! I’ll contribute of few of my own:

    I would recommend (if you’re in the US) to check Wal-Mart for fabrics. They’re so cheap in the clearance area, around $1-1.50 per yard. The remnants section in any fabric store is also worth checking out. If you can’t sew, bust out that hot-glue gun, and “sew” a costume using the glue as a seam binder.

    Going as a greek god or goddess is pretty easy; six yards of an interesting fabric draped like a toga (you can find direction online), and a fake ivy headdress…and you’re Athena!

    If you don’t want to spend the money on a pattern for a costume, use clothes you already have, and take them apart at the seam–voila! a ready-made pattern.

    If you can turn a bridesmaid’s dress gothic with a little black RIT dye and some white lace. On that note, you could also change the color of any wedding dress or otherwise light-colored dress with a packet of dye. Add some leather, brass ornaments or a pocket watch and you’re a steampunk.(Fake blood dripping down any dress is also pretty rad.)

    If you’re a gent, dig out your black suit and tie, iron up a white collared shirt, wear a pair of sunglasses, make a fake ear bud with a curly telephone cord that goes from your collar to your ear, and go as a member of the MI6, CIA, or the Secret Service. Be sure to have proper identification you can flip out at any moment.

    Last, check craiglist.com for cheap costumes other people are selling or trading in your area. You may even be able to sell your old stuff. I got a $50 wig for $10, and it’s beautiful.

  10. Robin Poulin October 19th, 2010

    How fun! I remember one Halloween when I was a kid that I took a large box (probably a toilet paper box) and cut holes for my legs and arms and head, painted the box white, put dots on it and so was a die. Was fun. Probably a little stiff to walk in. My girls dress up every now and then turning boxes into cars and create straps to go over their shoulders or sometimes they turn into a robot. We usually get our boxes from the local grocery store and the girls use their many crayons/pencil crayons to make their creations or glue old lids on.
    Enjoy your celebrations everyone… in safety of course… so make sure your creation keeps eyes clear for view :)

  11. Lynn October 11th, 2011

    One year we worked an outdoor community event and it was really cold! My husband layered on all the white clothes in our combined closets and I did black. We bought knit caps and gloves from the $2 rack in our colors, plus two deep stainless steel salad bowls. With our silver “lids” and duct tape “S” and “P” on our chests, we went as Salt and Pepper. It was warm and definitely not scary or offensive, and we heard lots of giggles a few steps after people passed us and finally caught on. We plan to reuse the white costume in another duo–salt of the earth and light of the world. The gloves and caps are always handy, and our new salad/mixing bowls are used regularly.

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