Make a last minute Halloween costume with an old pillowcase

Your linen closet is the perfect place to go shopping for a frugal last minute Halloween costume. Whether you need a kids Halloween costume or something more fitting for a teen or adult, the answer to your costume conundrum can be found in an old stack of used pillowcases.

Any pillowcase color will do. White makes a great ghost. Green can become a hulking ghoul. Slap on an eye patch, and a black or brown pillowcase turns into a pirate costume. Got a wacky patterned or bright colored pillowcase? Get creative and call it a fruit costume. The possibilities are eerily and deliciously endless.

skeleton costumes

To show you that homemade costumes can be just as cool (and far cheaper) than the store bought stuff, I made three Halloween costumes out of pillowcases. Two pillowcases were bought for $1 each at my local dollar store, the other was sitting unloved and crumpled in my closet, just waiting for a costume party to attend.

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In total, each costume cost me around $2 to stick together. Take my no-sew pillowcase costumes for a spin and maybe your ideas will be funner, scarier, or more spooktacular than you could imagine for just a few bucks.

Pillowcase Halloween Costumes: Stuff you need

The possibilities are really endless. This is what I used for my three costumes.

homemade halloween costume ideas

  • Pillowcases: green, purple, brown
  • Leftover felt fabric
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Glue gun, or fabric glue
  • Pencil
  • Construction paper, paper bag
  • My free costume templates
  • Optional: Fabric markers

The instructions are fast and simple: Get a pillowcase. Measure your kid’s head and arm diameters. Cut head and armholes into pillow case. Download and cut out a costume template. Stencil template to felt fabric, or use fabric markers to transfer template directly to pillowcase, and fill in using markers. If not using markers, glue felt fabric to pillowcase. Done. Happy Halloween!

Skeleton Costume

Yes, I’m wearing a set of homemade skeleton bones plastered onto an old purple pillowcase this year for Halloween. I’ll have a heart of a pumpkin.

skeleton costume

You can have a pumpkin heart too. Download my skeleton template and these bones are yours.

skeleton template
Download: Skeleton Template

Gather your costume ingredients.

homemade skeleton costume

Cut out your fabric. Glue. Done.

childrens skeleton costumes

Just wear a dark turtleneck paired with matching tights or pants to complete this frugal Halloween look.

Crayola Crayon Costume

Bright pillowcases can be turned into condiment containers (yellow mustard, red ketchup, or white mayonnaise), but the brightest blues, greens, and reds can become the cutest Crayola crayons too.

crayon costume pattern

Get your crayon on with the right costume ingredients.

kids halloween costumes


Download my crayon costume template.

crayon costume pattern
Download: Crayon Costume Pattern

Measure your kids, and cut out a few (OK, two) armholes and some space for a head. If the pillowcase is too long, chop off the bottom. I won’t tell.

homemade halloween costumes

Transfer crayon template to felt fabric, or use fabric markers to draw in the details.

crayon costume

Add a matching winter hat to top the look, or construct a cone hat to become the sharpest crayon in the box.

crayola crayon costume

Bring the whole family along and become a big box of crayons. Easy.

The Paper Bag Princess

Sit down Disney. I’m done with your Sleeping Beauties, Snow Whites, and generic Barbie doll-shaped princesses living life just to marry the perfect Prince Charming (Shhh, he doesn’t exist). I’m raising my daughter to kick some a$$, kinda like Princess Elizabeth in my favorite kid’s story book The Paper Bag Princess, by Robert Munsch.

The Paper Bag Princess

You’ve gotta admit that any princess who rescues a prince from a fire-breathing dragon using serious brain smarts while wearing a paper bag is cool. Plus, she lives happily ever after by dumping his privileged arse. Turns out he didn’t like her garb. Again, take that Disney.


crown template
Download: Crown Template

I love this book. So when Chloe is big enough she may just ‘Trick or Treat’ in a pillowcase costume to look just like The Paper Bag Princess.

paper bag princess costume

For this super simple last minute Halloween costume you’ll need a brownish pillowcase, a brown paper bag, an elastic, and some yellow paper. A belt or ribbon tied around the waist pulls this costume together.

princess crown stencil

Download my crown template, and assemble the crown parts with a little elastic looped through the crown ends.

crown template

Cut three holes for arms and a head into the pillowcase, stick on a brown paper bag, and the costume is done. Total cost is under $2, although the book costs a few bucks more.

paper bag princess halloween costume

When you’re done with this costume, go ahead and make yourself some gourmet popcorn in a brown paper bag.

Three homemade Halloween costumes (perfect for last minute tricksters) on a very slim budget.

Happy Halloween,
Kerry

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