Crafty Costumes: 5 Cheap and Fun Halloween Costumes for the Starving Student

The Halloween season is upon us, which means costume parties and the rare professor who doles out extra credit for dressing up. The only drawback is that costumes from the store are expensive. Don’t let money troubles ruin your Halloween. It’s time to get creative with these five cheap and fun costume ideas.

#1 A Butterfly

This costume requires you to be a little crafty. You’ll need a black bottom (pants, skirt, leggings), a black top, a pair of sheer black pantyhose, colorful spraypaint, two wire coat hangers, and a black elastic band (1″ wide). You can find the instructions to make your wings here.

#2 The Brawny Man/Woman

ThisĀ costume is fun and comfortable. All you need is a pair of jeans, a red and black plaid button down shirt, and a roll of paper towels. If you want to get authentic, you could get some black face paint and a stippling sponge to create a beard (unless you can grow your facial hair yourself). If you don’t have the red and black plaid shirt, you can probably find one at your local thrift store. If they don’t have one, you can find one for cheap on Just make sure to double-check the sizing.

#3 A Mummy

You would think a good mummy costume would cost a lot of money. However, it’s easier and cheaper than you’d expect. All you need is a pair of sweatpants or leggings, a long sleeve t-shirt, tea, and several yards of white fabric. One of the best places to get white fabric is by purchasing old sheets at the thrift store. Take your sheets of material and cut them into long strips. Then, tea-stain your fabric strips in a brownish colored tea. After your fabric dries, put on your shirt and pants/leggings and start wrapping. As you wrap the fabric, safety pin sections in place. Make sure to cover the safety pins by overlapping material over the top.

PRO TIP: Make sure you wrap yourself so that you can take the top and bottom off separately. That way you can use the bathroom if you need to, or you can save the costume and wear it again without starting the wrap job over. Also, you don’t have to wrap your face. Use black eyeshadow under your eyes, in the hollows of your cheeks, and down the sides of your mouth to give you that “dead” look.

#4 A Spider’s Next Meal

This costume is scary, cheap, and simple. All you need is some decorative spider webbing, some plastic bugs, and your regular clothes. Put on your clothes, and then wrap yourself up in as much spider webbing as possible. It’s a good idea to wrap your legs individually so you can walk. Wrap the plastic bugs into the webbing as well for an extra creepy look.

#5 A Devil

Surprisingly, a devil costume is one of the most comfortable outfits to pull off. All you need are red and black clothes and a pair of devil horns. Just put on the red and black clothing you already have, throw on the devil horns and voila, you’ve got yourself a comfortable, affordable, and super fun Halloween costume.

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