Last-Minute Halloween Costumes

October 29, 2013    |    By +
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When it comes to Halloween costumes, it can be tough planning and getting creative each year. Some years, we nail it and have the perfect outfit laid out months in advance, and some years it’s the night before Halloween and find ourselves browsing the local drugstore for inspiration. If this is one of those tough years, we wanted to assist you with some last minute, easy-yet-still-clever costume ideas. We enlisted the help of Shana Aborn, special features editor for Woman’s World Magazine. She had some great suggestions for us, and one big takeaway tip: Don’t forget about the comfort level of a costume. When Aborn’s son chose to be Darth Vader, for example, complete with the big, heavy mask, he didn’t last more than 10 minutes out there. She recommends staying away from anything over the face in general, saying, “try face paint versus a heavy mask.” So here are five clever, last-minute Halloween costume ideas, for all ages.

1. A Grape

Turn yourself into a grape using purple or green balloons.  Attach them to the upper half of your body, wear leggings or tight pants on the bottom half, and fasten leaves on top of your head. A proactive way to solve people trying to pop or “eat” your costume all night is to carry a bag filled with real grapes around with you.

diy grape costumeAdorable DIY Grape Costume: Image by

2. Pig in a Blanket

This is a cute and comfy idea for all the ladies out there. Put together a head-to-toe, light pink outfit. Make ears out of floppy, pink felt fastened to a headband. Purchase a stout (DIY one if you are crafty enough) and the clincher is to have a big blanket wrapped around you at all times. Coziest outfit we can think of.

diy pigs in a blanketDIY Pigs in a Blanket Costume: Image by Real Simple

 3. A Scarecrow

It’s a classic, but Aborn points out, it’s easy! Use a plaid shirt, overalls, floppy hat and raffia from the dollar store.  Easy, simple and done.

diy scarecrow costumeDIY Scarecrow Costume: Image by

4. Super Mario Brothers

This is fun for the boys, or even for grown-up couples or best friends’ costumes. Grab some old overalls, find some plain red and green T-shirts, and buy matching caps. You can use felt to make big overall buttons and use stickers or extra pieces of felt to label the caps “L” and “M” for Mario and Luigi.

diy supermario brothers costumeDIY Super Mario Brothers: Image by Indulgy

5. Smarty Pants – This is a super inexpensive, grab at the supermarket, last-minute but still clever idea that any age can pull off.  Put together a professional looking button down shirt; overly nerdy, thick rimmed glasses; and some colorful pants. Turn yourself into “Smarty Pants” by taping Smarties candy all over your lower half.  Bring an extra bag full and you’ll be the smartest one in the neighborhood.

smarties candiesSmarties Candies: Image by

And a bonus costume: Don’t forget the power of a cardboard box! This Pottery Barn Kids’ costume is adorable and professional, and you could take inspiration from this idea to create a cardboard costume. Think gingerbread house, a robot, box of cereal, popcorn carton…


We want to hear your stories of when you had to throw something together last-minute, so tell us in the comment section: What’s the most clever costume you came up with in the quickest amount of time?  We’re sure there a lot of your fellow readers are dying for some great ideas! Visit for Halloween treat ideas, costume inspiration, spooktacular Halloween cocktail recipes, and Halloween decorating. 

Lindsay Roberts is a nationally known gift expert and founder of She is regularly interviewed on gifting segments for network affiliates across the country. She has been featured on sites like E! Online and and has been hired as a spokesperson and social media gift expert for national brands.


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Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.