10 DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

Can you believe that September is almost over? Halloween is just a month and a half away, and if you’re planning to go DIY with your costume this year, now’s the time to get started. Need some help in the costume department? Check out these eco-friendly Halloween costume ideas!

From the decorations and single-serve candy to the costumes themselves, Halloween generates tons of waste every year. Here in the U.S. around 70 percent of us celebrate Halloween, and experts estimated in 2011 that we spend around $2.5 billion just on costumes. Imaging if you could save that money instead of spending it on plastic and polyester costumes that you’ll likely wear once and then throw away or donate.

Related Reading: The Green Halloween Guide

You might think that you need crazy sewing skills to make your own Halloween costume, but that’s not true at all. The thrift store is your friend when it comes to finding the clothing parts of your costumes. If you can’t find exactly what you want, you can always slice, pin, dye, or use a few super basic sewing stitches on something that’s close to bring your Halloween costume vision to life. For example, if you wanted to dress as a pumpkin but were having problems finding orange clothes, you can always buy pants and a top or a dress in a light, solid color and dye them orange.

Of course, if you want your DIY Halloween costume to be eco-friendly, too, you want to use green and reclaimed materials as much as possible when you’re making it. Ready to get your costume on? On the next page, check out 10 Halloween costume ideas made from upcycled and reclaimed materials!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by hanna_horwarth

Halloween Costume Idea: Superhero

DIY Eco-Friendly Costume Ideas

1. DIY Superhero Costume – All you need to be a superhero are a leotard, tights or leggings, and a pair of boots. You can find all of that at the thrift store if it’s not already in your closet! From there, just deck yourself out with a handmade cape and a DIY superhero badge, and you’re ready to rock.

2. Crocodile – Evil Mad Scientist shows you how to upcycle an awesome crocodile costume from reclaimed cardboard and packing paper. You know, the stuff that comes in every package from Amazon that you’ve been saving for a rainy day?

3. Robot – Now’s the time to start stashing away old cardboard boxes to make this awesome robot costume!

4. Owl – I know, Portlandia kind of made birds and crafting seem a little bit cliche, but I can’t get over this super adorable recycled owl costume from my friend Ellen Baker at Alpha Mom!

upcycled wig costume idea

5. Upcycled WigThis reclaimed wig is a great way to reuse those mesh produce bags that aren’t recyclable. So many costumes call for a wig, and you could make this work for all sorts of costume ideas, depending on what color yarn you use.

6. T.A.R.D.I.S. – Dr. Who fans, rejoice! This DIY T.A.R.D.I.S. costume uses a Mason jar and a flashlight at the top for some built-in special effects. Now if only it could really take you through time and space!

7. Hot Air Balloon -  The only thing that’s not so green about this hot air balloon costume is….well…the balloons! Could you use painted cardboard to make reclaimed faux balloons instead?

8. Paper DollDollar Store Crafts’s DIY paper doll costume calls for posterboard, but you could use big pieces of reclaimed cardboard instead.

9. Ladybug – I love how versatile these DIY ladybug wings are! You could paint them different colors to do other insects – bumblebee, anyone? Or, you could change the shape to make fairy wings!

10. Jetpack – Dress up like a futuristic spaceman (or spacewoman!) with this awesome upcycled jetpack made from reclaimed plastic soda bottles.

Do you guys have any fun, DIY costumes in the works? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

Image Credit: Superhero costume photos by Becky Striepe; Wig photo by Julie Finn

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Jo S.about a year ago

Thanks Becky.

ERIKA SOMLAI2 years ago

thank you

Susan A.
Susan A.3 years ago

Interesting ideas...

Heidi R.
Past Member 3 years ago

Cute. Enjoy everyone!

Joe R.
Joe R.3 years ago

The TARDIS costume is great!

Stella Gamboni
Stella Gamboni3 years ago

My vote for scariest costume this year goes to the guy dressed as President Mitt Romney.

Heiki K.
Heiki K.4 years ago

Lovely costume information!
Halloween Costume Ideas 2012

Ajla C.
Past Member 4 years ago


Marie W.
Marie W.4 years ago

Tardis wins.

Dawn C.

Who is trick or treating for UNICEF?