Last Minute Halloween Costumes You Can Make Right Now

smiling girl in Pulp Fiction costume

You need a costume that’s creative, impressive, recognizable…and affordable. Instead of spending a ton of money at the store or recycling that tired costume you’ve worn before, start looking around your home and put your DIY cap on.

There are several costumes you can make right now with stuff you’ve already got around the house. Even a last-minute costume can be awesome, after all.

Great Last Minute DIY Costumes

Didn’t like the costumes they had at the store? No problem; you know how to DIY.

Television and movies have provided ample opportunities for the DIYer in search of an impressive costume. With just a few items, there are some truly iconic Halloween looks you can create pretty quickly.

Even if you're putting together something at the last minute, you can create a costume that others will appreciate. and understand.

Pulp Fiction

Are you a fan of the movie Pulp Fiction, or perhaps someone who appreciates pop culture? You can get lots of different costume ideas from this one movie.

You've got a black suit and a white shirt. Pair it with a bolo tie and slick your hair back, and you're Vincent Vega.

Or, get your afro going with some funky sideburns and a handlebar mustache, and you're Jules Winnfield.

Women can dress as Mia Wallace. Put on a white button-up shirt and black pants, and you’re more than halfway there.

Mia wore her hair in a straight, black bob with bangs. Props for the outfit may include a cigarette and/or a trickle of fake blood coming from the nose.

If you happen to have a gray trench coat to go with the outfit, you’re golden. And if you have a giant syringe, have it sticking out of your chest.


Have a mustache and a red blazer? Add a regular dress shirt and a loud tie to become Ron Burgundy.

Remind all your friends to “stay classy.” Carry anything that looks like a jazz flute, and you’ll be a big hit.

If you’re a woman with blonde hair, it won’t be too hard to become Veronica Corningstone (Ron’s lady love). Style your hair in big curls away from your face, wear a suit with a skirt and a patterned blouse, and you’re it.

You can always be a retro TV anchor even if you don’t tap into your inner Anchorman. Wear a suit from the 80s, 70s, or 60s, style your hair and/or makeup accordingly, and talk about memorable headlines from the era.

On Vacation

smiling man in Hawaiian shirt with sunglasses

Need a very simple costume that works for a man or a woman? You can literally put this look together in minutes.

Dress up in your ugliest shirt and a pair of shorts. Carry a large camera and a shopping bag to become a tourist.

Complete the look by walking around with a map and asking everyone you see for directions or to take a picture of you standing in front of various “landmarks.” Not only is this look easy to create, you can have a whole lot of fun playing around with the role.

Anyone for a Game?

Roll a pair of khakis up just under the knee, put on long argyle socks, and complete the look with a white button-up or polo shirt. If you have a sweater vest, it’s the ideal accent for this simple golfer look.

Wear white shoes and carry a putter to complete the ensemble. Now, you are a historic golfer, and you can be from just about any era you want, from the 1880s to the 1950s.

If you don’t have a golf ensemble, but you do have white clothes, put on a polo with a skirt or shorts. Wear white socks and white shoes to be any tennis legend you like.

If you happen to have a racket you can carry with you, the costume will be perfection—head sweatband optional! Carry a water bottle with you to really complete this look.


smiling men, one in casual Thor costume

Who doesn't want to be a Greek demigod and superhero?

Attach a long flowing red cape to the shoulders of a black and steel breastplate for the warrior look. Then add in shin pads, and forearm guards spray painted black and tarnished chrome to match.

Haven't got that stuff? Cut it out of cardboard, and you've got a simple DIY substitute.

For the cape, any large piece of red fabric will do. You can use a blanket, sheets, even an old red dress, to create Thor's cape.

For the headgear, add cardboard wings to any bicycle helmet and paint them in the same tarnished chrome and black theme.

A Styrofoam block with a wooden dowel handle quickly becomes Thor's hammer with a little more of that handy spray paint.

This costume is fun to make and wear whether or not you have the long blonde locks.

Operation Game

Why not think outside the box and become a classic board game? Or maybe that’s thinking inside the box, but you get it.

On a large piece of poster board or a refrigerator box, use permanent markers to design the operation game board. Outline the “patient's” body and then draw on the rest of the board identifying various body parts, such as the writer's cramp, bread basket, spare ribs, funny bone, and so on.

Attach a red wire with large tweezers on the end to the game board or cut out the shape of tweezers in more cardboard and spray paint them gray or silver. To make this costume more spectacular, have the person wear a hospital gown or scrubs under the game board.

Complete the costume with a red nose and prepare yourself for plenty of laughs.


boy and girl in Star Wars costumes

Star Wars is definitely a hot franchise right now, and creating a Jedi costume is a whole lot easier than you might think.

All you really need for this costume is a long, off-white robe. A big, plushy one works best.

Wear the robe over jeans or any pants you want, a pair of boots, and any shirt you like. Close and belt the robe and maintain a calm demeanor, and now, you're a Jedi.

Put this quick costume over the top with an empty toilet paper roll. Sounds strange, but stick with it, and you’ll see how cool this easy prop can be.

Wrap the toilet paper roll with duct tape and use colored markers to draw a row of small circles in different colors along the length. This is the hilt of your lightsaber, and now, you are truly a Jedi.

Pulling off this costume is more about attitude than anything else, though it does help if you practice your hand-wave.

Tim the Toolman

Do you love 1990s television? Have you got a pair of suit pants or slacks, a button-up shirt, suspenders, a tie, and a tool belt?

It's very possible you or someone you know well has one or all of these items, which is your complete costume for becoming Tim "the tool man" Taylor, a character played on TV by Tim Allen.

Tim is a TV icon and many will recognize this ensemble. If you can do the grunt, you can really pull off this costume.

Have a friend who owns jeans and a plaid shirt? Have them join you, and now, your Tim has an Al!

Roman Statue

girl in Roman toga costume

If you literally haven't got a thing to wear as a Halloween costume, grab a white sheet. The heavier the fabric, the better.

First, wrap it once around your upper body across the chest under the armpits. Bring the end up over your shoulder and tuck it in the back, near the other end of the sheet.

Pin it together with a couple of safety pins, and now, you are a glorious Roman statue. This look really works if you throw on a pair of sandals and some jewelry to complete the outfit.

If you can find some small leaves to put in your hair, you have truly created a historic Halloween look.

Mary Poppins

Who wouldn't want to be a beloved children's character like Mary Poppins? She is practically perfect in every way, after all.

When you get right down to it, copying Mary's look isn't all that difficult. All you need is a white button-up blouse that's buttoned all the way up, a black skirt, a red ribbon around your neck tied in a bow, and a no-nonsense attitude.

Wear your hair up in a pretty Edwardian bun, and you are one of literature's most famous nannies. If you can do a British accent, you will bring delight to all who witness this costume.

Last Minute Halloween Costumes FAQ

Get creative with your costumes this year, and build a DIY Halloween using all the stuff you’ve already got in your house. Once you start looking around, you might discover all sorts of looks you can create easily and affordably.

homemade kid costumes

How to Make a Last-Minute Halloween Costume?

You don’t need to have a Star Trek uniform just lying around in order to come up with a last-minute Halloween costume. There are lots of highly recognizable looks you can create just by using clothing and items you probably already have.

Think about movie and TV characters, various famous personas, and any items or specific looks you might associate with that person. This could give you some idea about last-minute Halloween costumes.

How Can I Dress Up for Halloween without a Costume?

You don’t need a Halloween costume to go to a costume-themed Halloween event. You can think outside the box a little, get creative, and add a single prop to become a well-known idea.

A tinfoil hat, for example, and that’s all you need to be a YouTube theorist. Wear fitness gear and be a gym rat or a personal trainer.

How about an all black suit and sunglasses? You can be a federal agent.

You can also pretty easily become a college professor if you have a sweater vest or a tweed blazer. Be a scientist if you have suspenders and a bow tie.

If you need ideas for Halloween costumes, start with your own closet! You might find all kinds of ways to dress up for Halloween before you're done.

What Are Some Last-Minute Halloween Costumes?

Halloween is about having fun, so try having some fun with your last-minute Halloween costume.

It's actually encouraged to use random stuff around your house to create a Lady Gaga costume. Wear your wildest shoes and black or white yoga pants or sweatpants and a T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt, and then just attach random stuff to your body.

The weirder, the better. Wear an inflatable poot item, hang a teapot around your neck, and put on your strangest hat.

If you have a little black dress, you can be Audrey Hepburn.

Wear your hair in an updo, and it helps if you have diamond jewelry to wear. If you can get a tiara, put on a tiara!

If you have a solid red, green, yellow, or blue T-shirt and any kind of white fabric you can cut up, become a classic candy.

Cut out the shape of a lowercase "m" in the white fabric, pin this onto the shirt, and it's just that easy to become an immediately recognizable Halloween icon. After all, isn't the holiday all about candy anyway?

How to Make a Good Last-Minute Halloween Costume?

All you ever need to make a good Halloween costume is a little creativity and some DIY energy. Be willing to cut things out, sew things together, get out the hot glue if needed.

Grab your crafting supplies, take a look through your closet, and you’ll start to get plenty of ideas for ways you can make an impression with your Halloween costume, even if you do put it all together at the last minute.

Further Reading

DIY Halloween Decor

DIY Tricks for an Outdoor Haunted House

How to Use Every Part of a Pumpkin

Last Minute Halloween Ideas

Scary Cheap Halloween Costume Ideas

Your Ultimate Fall Pumpkin Guide