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Last Minute Halloween Costumes Ideas & Tips

My favorite holiday is Halloween.  I think it’s the theater person in me that absolutely loves getting the opportunity to dress up and be someone else.  When I met my husband, I met the perfect match.  He is a lover of all things scary.  When it comes to dressing up for Halloween, we are usually all in and over the top.

But, I understand how crazy it can be around this time of year.  Kids have so many activities, and getting any extra time to sit down and make a costume, is just about impossible. Sometimes the best costumes are last minute Halloween costume ideas.  But don’t stress, sometimes it’s easier to gather together last minute Halloween costumes than you think.

Tips for Last Minute Halloween Costumes


  • Ask family members if they have anything you can borrow.  This can be from full costumes that their children have outgrown, or pieces of your costume.  My son borrowed his grandpa’s motorcycle helmet to be an astronaut!
  • Makeup, makeup, makeup.  Don’t stress the outfit, pick up a make up kit at the store.  They usually include step by step instructions to guide you through application.  Wear a sparkly dress and be a vampire, where bright colors and be a clown.  If the make up is a hit, your outfit really won’t matter much.
  • Dollar Store.  Our local dollar store has great Halloween items as well as other wacky items you could use to make almost anything.
  • Thrift Store or Swap Sites/Online Garage Sales.  You can sometimes pick up the best costumes at the thrift store.  Grab a pair of overalls and a yellow hoodie, and you can be a minion. Many cities had swap sites set up on Facebook where you can pick up great items, including costumes for a fraction of the cost.  I’ve seen expensive princess dresses for $5.

Last Minute Halloween Costumes

Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

Here are some of my last minute Halloween costumes ideas sure to make you scream!

  • Cat. This one is all about the makeup.  I found that using eyeliner pencils and a bit of eyeshadow gave my girls a great kitty cat look.   Dress in black, and with the addition of a homemade set of ears and tail (or grab a set at the store) you will be purr-fect.  I’ve also just made my girls hair into “ears” for a faster look.
  • Witch.  If the makeup looks great, you only need to wear black to make a great witch.  Check the dollar store for a hat and you are ready to go!
  • Grandma.  Curlers in the hair and old age makeup, super simple and always good for a laugh!
  • Scary Doll.  A dress, cobwebs and a bit of makeup create an easy scary doll.  My daughter would sit very still and stare.  When someone got close to her she’d yell “Boo!”  We found out many people are afraid of dolls.
  • Beauty Queen. Use a dress (or swim suit!) and one of your daughter’s tiaras.  Make a simple sash using a piece of fabric and a marker with your favorite pageant title like “Miss America” or “Miss Understood.”

I hope you have a happy and safe Halloween.  Have fun and Happy Haunting!