Easy Halloween Costumes – No Purchase Necessary


Free and easy Halloween costumes are the best costumes.

My children love Halloween! Mostly, they love candy. They enjoy dressing up in costumes, but they have no interest in making their own costumes. I have no interest in shelling out money for a costume that will be worn only once or twice before the kids outgrow them. Instead, I create easy Halloween costumes from items I already have in my house. My kids still look cute and I didn’t waste any money. It’s a win-win situation! Here are some of my favorite ideas.


If your girl has a princess dress-up ensemble already, you are all set. If not, just add a tiara to any pretty dress. If you don’t own a tiara, make your own ribbon crown! If your little princess isn’t satisfied yet, offer to paint her fingernails or add a touch of lip gloss and blush. My little girl loves the opportunity to wear makeup! As a bonus, a tiara or crown will fit over a hat on a cold night of trick-or-treating. And while this suggestion isn’t free, it’s cheap and easy enough to find a used fancy dress at Goodwill or the Salvation Army. 


If you have a group of children, create a rainbow. Dress each child head-to-toe in a single color. The more colors, the merrier! Children can pick their favorite colors. This is another great costume for cold weather trick-or-treating if your children have matching colors of snow pants, coats, hats, and mittens. Talk about easy Halloween costumes!

Old Time Gentleman

Pick your favorite historical gentleman. Chances are good that he wore a beard and/or a mustache. All you need to recreate that look is an eyeliner pencil. Last year, I dressed my son as the explorer Samuel de Champlain. I drew on a fancy beard and mustache with my cheap drugstore eyeliner. To add more detail, I added a collar I made out of paper and a tassel made from yarn. It was quick and easy and my son even won a costume contest.

girl in a cat costume


Dress up your children as their favorite animals. For example, my son owned a lion hat when he was a toddler. I cut out an oval from some yellow felt and pinned it to his belly for a stomach and I created a tail from yarn to pin to his pants. I topped the outfit with the lion hat and I was done. Perfect! Use whatever animal props you already own. For example, if you own a headband with kitty ears, draw on some whiskers with eyeliner and add a yarn tail. Get creative!


This costume is perfect for your little dancer. My daughter takes ballet classes, so she already has ballet costumes galore. Last year, she wore her tutu from her last dance recital and I put her hair up in a classic ballerina bun. I also added some lipstick and blush. For indoor parties, she wore her ballet shoes. For outdoor trick-or-treating, I insisted on switching to sneakers.

girl in a ballerina costume


Robots are the original easy Halloween costumes. All it takes to make this costume is a cardboard box or two. If your child is older, let him or her create their own costume. To add some pizzazz, wrap the boxes in aluminum foil or add details with paint or tape. Empty paper towel or toilet paper tubes can also make a fancier robot. For a cool special effect, add some glow sticks.


To make a witch, start with a black dress. In cold Vermont, add some tights or leggings underneath for warmth. Hopefully, you already own a play witch hat. If not, create one out of paper. For bonus points, have your witch carry a broom or a black cat stuffed animal.

two girls in witch costumes


If you need a costume immediately, pick a ghost. Cut two eye holes out of an old sheet, drape it over your child, and you’re done. If you want to be Charlie Brown, cut out lots of holes!

What are your favorite easy Halloween costumes?



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