Save Money with DIY Halloween Costumes

The fall season is upon us with the most mischievous holiday of them all: Halloween! This year, due to coronavirus, Halloween will likely look different than before. Since we understand the importance of staying safe while enjoying the holiday, here are a few ideas that embrace the creative side of Halloween and that allow you to maintain social distance while having some fun.

DIY Halloween Costumes 2020


For Grown-Ups: DIY Skeleton

Skeletons go hand-in-hand with Halloween, from the benevolent Jack Skellington of The Nightmare Before Christmas to the plastic skeletons decorating the lawns of your favorite haunted houses. If you’re looking for a DIY twist on a familiar theme, you can’t do much better than a DIY skeleton Halloween costume that will give everyone a good bone-chilling scare.

Take an old white t-shirt and cut out oval-shaped sections to create the illusion of a skeleton’s ribcage.  If you wear a black t-shirt underneath, then the stringy white wisps you leave behind will appear to show your empty ribcage underneath. You can even take it to the next level by applying black and white face makeup to go full-on skeleton.

For Anyone Who Loves Puns: Smarty Pants

This DIY Halloween costume is probably the easiest costume to make on the fly, as all it takes is a pair of pants, a jumbo bag of Smarties candies, and some double-sided tape.

To turn yourself into a literal smarty pants, take individual rolls of Smarties candies and tape them all over the front of a pair of pants (leave the back free so you can take a seat easily). Then, if you’re feeling extra committed to the theme, throw on a pair of glasses and pull out a thick textbook to complete the look.

For Kids: The Human Lego

This is a DIY Halloween costume that’s great for kids. Turn your child into a human Lego by cutting out the bottom of a cardboard box as well as two holes on the sides for the arms and one at the top for the head. Then, either tape or glue two even rows of plastic cups to the front of the costume to create the traditional Lego bumps.  Complete the outfit by painting it with your favorite bright color.  Whether it’s a sunshine yellow Lego or fire engine red, it’ll be sure to turn heads!

For Families: Rain and Shine

If you’re looking for Halloween costumes that you can wear as a family, this DIY option has something for everyone. Turn a rainy day into a family portrait by creating costumes for the sun, clouds, and rainbow. While one person dresses in bright yellow to play the sun, another can dress in rain gear while using double-sided tape to stick cotton balls to an umbrella, creating a makeshift cloud.  You can use colored construction paper and cardboard to become little droplets of rain or a rainbow. The sky is the limit with this theme, as you can have fun coming up with different costumes to go along with the theme.  Isn’t there a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow? With construction paper, scissors, and a little glue, there are so many options!

Celebrating Halloween Safely at A Distance

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that traditional Halloween activities like trick-or-treating can be high-risk for spreading coronavirus.¹

Still, just because you may not be able to go door-to-door for traditional trick-or-treating doesn’t mean that Halloween is canceled this year. There are a few ways to keep the fun going, get your fair share of candy, and show off your cute DIY Halloween costumes while you’re at it.


Virtual Costume Contest

With school and work meetings both moving to Zoom, why not Halloween? Meet up with your neighborhood friends for a virtual gathering to celebrate on Halloween night. Not only can you show off your Halloween costumes, but you can take your friends through a tour of the spooky decorations in your house as well.

Halloween Movie Night

Have some fun with your family by hosting a Halloween movie night! Everyone can dress in their favorite Halloween-themed gear and report to the living room for spooky movies, candy, and popcorn.

At-Home Trick-or-Treating

Parents can recreate the spirit of trick-or-treating at home with a fun candy hunt. Kids can search for hidden treats throughout the house, or family members can even set up stations indoors.


Scavenger Hunt


What better time than Halloween for a scavenger hunt? Scatter hidden artifacts throughout your home and create cryptic clues to guide the kids on a mighty quest.  What better reward for the victors than a plastic pumpkin full of candy?

The CDC suggests trying a “Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.”1

One-Way Trick-or-Treating

Get your neighbors, family, or other community members to contribute to a one-way trick-or-treating experience! Families can create wrapped goodie bags and line them up curbside for an à la carte candy pick-up! Be sure to follow CDC guidelines and wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before preparing goodie bags to share and after picking up goodies from others.

Social-Distanced Pumpkin Patch

Put on your mask and head to a local pumpkin patch or orchard for a taste of traditional autumn fun! Be sure to use hand sanitizer after touching pumpkins or picking apples.

Halloween doesn’t have to involve renting expensive costumes or spending weeks sewing your own outfit. When you try these DIY Halloween costumes and socially distance trick-or-treating options, you’ll have a blast in no time. And if you’re looking to find more helpful seasonal tips, check out the School of ACE blog!