Creative Halloween costume ideas are hard to come by. Ones that don’t require loads of time and money are even harder. Here are some DIY Halloween costumes that are easy and affordable: they’re unique combinations of traditional Halloween costumes, accessories, and random household items. Some ideas are specific, others are broad for inspiration. Think of it as a Halloween remix?

Corporate Mascot

(Example: Wendy’s Girl)

Mayor McCheese, Twinkie the Kid, and that talking Mini-Wheat? All of these are awesome and hilarious corporate mascots that nobody thinks of when Halloween rolls around, and that’s a darn shame! (Well, sometimes people opt for dressing as the Burger King, but he’s really creepy, so that doesn’t count.) Here’s an easy recipe for a Wendy’s Halloween costume: a standard Dorothy dress from the Wizard of Oz and a Pippi Longstocking wig. Grab a delicious Frosty and you’ll have everyone asking where the heck you got that brilliant costume (as well as where you got that Frosty…)

dorothy dresss


wendy costumepippy longstocking wig

Vampire + Your Favorite Decade

Halloween vampires usually wear traditional Dracula attire: dress pants, white shirt, black and red cape. Luckily, modern vampires like Edward Cullen and Bill Compton have given us a helpful reminder that vampires don’t need outrageously greasy, slicked back hair. (If anyone has proven that a vampire can have intentionally unruly hair, it’s Edward Cullen.) Think about it – vampires are immortal and need to blend into their surroundings, and sometimes those surroundings are a  Madonna concert in the 1980s. The costume possibilities are endless: Get some bellbottoms, a paisley shirt, John Lennon glasses. Round out the look with some fangs, a little blood dripping from your lips, and you can be a flower child with a taste for blood. If the 70s aren’t your scene, consider the classic “Mad Men” look of the 1950s. Or the flapper and gangster motif of the 20s and 30s – all with a taste of blood of course.

vampire teeth

+ORhippy costumeORORflapper costume

gangster costumebride costume


(Example: Keyboard cat)

Keyboard cat. Business cat. Surprised Kitty. These YouTube stars have warmed our hearts over the years and you can spread the love by dressing as one this Halloween. Some cat ears and a tail (or a whole cat costume if you’re up for it) and a few relevant accessories are all it takes to transform yourself into a fabulous internet meme. Keyboard cat is one of the most famous, and the only accessories she needs are a blue shirt and a keyboard slung around the neck. Easy and adorable. (Note: Some people are more meme-savvy than others, so have a smart phone ready to show off the YouTube video that inspired your costume.)  Meow!

cat costume


keyboard catkeyboard cat shirt

Play on Words

Word play is fun, but it can also be a clever endeavor. These costumes are great for people who love puns and tend to hang around people who like big words. There are quite a few things you can do with this idea, none of which are terribly hard to execute. There’s something for every level of here: Beginners, find a Mad Hatter costume and look really, really angry. Intermediate: find an Einstein wig and mustache and throw in some Frankenstein make-up, ultimately transforming you into, what else? A FrankenEinstein!  Advanced: Grab an acoustic guitar, dreadlocks wig, and a vampire costume and you’ll be a “campfire vampire.” Get it? The possibilities are endless with this category. Plus, everyone at the party will have fun figuring out what you are, which is the perfect ice breaker to talk to someone new.

mad hatter costume

OR+mad scientist costumeOR+vampire costume+

guitarrasta costumemonster makeup

Zombie + Anything

There is no greater mashup than the zombie mashup. Take any character, super heroes, favorite childhood cartoon characters, Presidents of the United States – whatever – and then add zombie to it. Grab yourself some greenish gray face paint, dollops (or gallons) of fake blood and you have a classic zombie mashup. It’s almost too easy. Here are just a few to sink your rotten teeth into: Zombie Smurfs, Zombie Star Trek, Zombie Cast of Friends – it works for everything. A lot of people have fun playing Zombie Where’s Waldo.

zombie hand

++zombie makeup+ORspock costumeORORwhere's waldo costume

abe lincoln costumegnome costumemeat cleaver

The great thing about most of these ideas is that you can interpret them to suit your needs. Ladies, sexy costumes, plus size costumes, miniskirts, and full coverage dresses all work as bases for vampires. Guys, you can make funny costumes or scary costumes depending on what kind of zombie you go for. These make great group Halloween costumes, too.  The possibilities are endless.