Halloween Costumes You Already Have in Your Closet

 Halloween Costumes You Already Have in Your Closet

Halloween is one of my all-time favorite days! I love the idea of being someone else for a night, dressing up and daring to wear something your friends may not expect of you. I also love the creativity involved and with the help of Pinterest, anyone can create an awesome costume with whatever they already have at home.

I don’t know if it’s because I grew up in the time of over manufactured plastic masks and highly flammable costume capes, but I love coming up with whatever I can find in the closet. My favorite costume as a kid was my mom’s last-minute creation of Princess Leia because I had a last-minute change of heart from being Barbie (plastic/polyester store-bought Barbie) when I saw my big brother put on his Darth Vader costume.

I was about 5 years old and on the verge of a meltdown when my mom tossed my two pigtails into Princess Leia Cinnamon Buns and tied her white bathrobe around me with a big awesome 70’s gold belt and medallion necklace. Boom. Instant Princess Leia to my brother’s dismay. By the way, he ditched me as soon as we got out of our parent’s line of vision and by the third house my buns fell apart, but it was still an amazing costume that I still remember a million years later.

Since I’ve been a mom, my kids have mostly worn handmade or recycled costumes, and the last few years of attending the local Zombie Pub Crawl, the hubs and I have gotten pretty creative in zombifying clothes from our closet or from the thrift store rather than going out and spending $50 on the latest Sexy Mermaid costume. This is also handy when you live somewhere known for drastic temperature changes in October. I’ve had to make a quick change from a hula girl to a snowball in a matter of a few hours to accommodate the bipolar temperatures of the midwest. 

Most of these items you probably already have or could find for cheap at a thrift store.

Military- if you have any Veteran family members, ask if they have anything you can use. My husband was in the Marine Corps over 25 years ago but we still have several sets of uniforms and about 6 pair of combat boots. I’m pretty sure each of our 3 kids has worn something for Halloween that said: “My dad is a Veteran.”

Prom Queen/Bride- Every thrift store has someone’s hideous prom gown or bridal gown, or you may have your own in your closet. Complete with a homemade sash and tiara and you can become Miss Whatever You Want! 

Cowboy- All you need is the hat, jeans and some kind of plaid shirt and you’re all set. 

Zombie- The best part about zombies is they are just the undead. You can wear ANYTHING and add some fake blood and messed up hair and voila! You’re a zombie!

Sports player/fan, Cheerleader- We have plenty of jerseys from our kids' sports and favorite local teams to be any football, basketball, baseball player or fan we could think of. 

Tourist-Long shorts and any kind of shirt, Hawaiian print if you have it, throw on a hat, binoculars or camera around your neck, a map, and socks with sandals!

Lady in Robe- If you want an excuse to go out in your PJs and Robe, this is it! Add some rollers to your hair for a creative touch. 

Bonnie & Clyde- This was actually a zombie costume for me and the hubs, but one of my favorites- we already had some of the stuff from a roaring 20’s party we had gone to, but the rest we picked up from a thrift store. He wore suspenders and a hat with an old button up shirt and pinstriped pants. I found an old dress in the back of my closet, some fishnets and cut up another pair of fishnets and hot glued the net to a feathery thing for my hair. We added bullet holes because well, we were zombies and that’s how Bonnie and Clyde really went out, so it seemed appropriate. 

Bumble Bee- Wear anything yellow and black and made some wings. In the photo, I was actually a Zom-Bee (get it?), hence the blood. Are you seeing a theme here?

Burglar-My kids had me convinced they were too old to trick-or-treat but changed their minds at the absolute last second. We found some black and white striped shirts, masks and made a money bag out of a pillow case that also acted as a candy bag!

Baby Snowball- My daughter’s first costume happened during my Knifty-Knitter phase where I was making 1000s of knit hats. I had a white fluffy one and a white outfit for her because it was also snowing and freezing that Halloween. 

Jelly Fish- I have been meaning to force one of my kids into doing this one after I saw a kid out trick-or-treating one year with this costume on. It was so amazing! Umbrella, some streamers added and battery operated lights inside the umbrella. So awesome and the kid was the only one not getting soaked that rainy Halloween!

Werewolf - We shredded a shirt my sone didn’t really like or had grown out of, messed up his hair with the help of some styling products, added some make up with the help of YouTube and some plastic vampire teeth and blood. 

The Dread Pirate Roberts and Princess Buttercup- This was my favorite for my son and daughter who were probably 5 and 6 at the time. I thought it was probably my last opportunity to dress them how I wanted before they developed their own opinions. We had also recently watched The Princess Bride, so I had them convinced they would be super cool. I was also going through a sewing phase and knew I would never be a great enough seamstress for my daughter to take anything I made seriously, so the dress would have to remain a costume. The Dread Pirate Roberts was easy- black pants, black shirt, a black scarf/belt around his waist a drawn on eyeliner mustache and an eye mask made from extra black fabric with some eyeholes cut out. He already had a plastic sword.

With the internet at your fingertips and some closet cleaning, you can pull off some amazing costumes without spending a fortune or buying mass-produced costumes.

Happy Halloween!! Send me your pictures! 


About the Author:

Jen Flickinger is a full time working mom of 3 busy kids and lover of Halloween. Married to a USMC and Army National Guard Veteran, Jen was drawn to the mission of Sword & Plough to bridge the civilian and military divide while promoting awesome looking products. 


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