While it’s fun to dress solo, you can really have a blast with group Halloween costumes. Plus, they provide the cutest photo ops.
You could drop a lot of cash buying costumes for everyone in your family or friend group. But it’s easy to cut those costs when you do it yourself. Whether you opt to sew them, craft them, or pick up the key pieces from a thrift store (or the backs of your collective closets), as long as you stick to inexpensive materials, making your own helps you save money on your Halloween costumes.
But saving money isn’t the only reason to DIY. Making your own lets you be anything you want — from a superhero team to a fruit salad. You’re only limited by your imagination. Plus, you don’t need to be a pro tailor or crafter to put together a wide assortment of costumes. You can pull many ideas together from things you already own or that you can easily craft with just some paper and glue. And that makes DIY costumes the perfect option if you’ve waited until the last minute.
But we’re also in the era of COVID-19. So if you plan to go trick-or-treating or attend an in-person party with people outside your household or pandemic bubble, plan your face painting around the type of face mask you’ll wear (you don’t need to do the bottom half of your face). There are plenty of options that pair perfectly with almost any costume idea. And if you can’t find one that works, you can always make your own face mask or go with a clear face mask.
Note that a face shield isn’t the same as a clear face mask. According to Insider, Swiss health officials warn shields alone may not be as effective at protecting yourself or others against the disease. After researching an outbreak at a local hotel, they discovered all individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 had worn shields instead of masks. That said, when worn with a mask, face shields (or protective eyewear such as safety goggles) may provide additional protection against catching the virus through your eyes, a common source of infection for many respiratory diseases.
Additionally, skip any hand painting so you can frequently wash or sanitize your hands to keep coronavirus germs at bay. It just takes a little planning to ensure your costume is on point without sacrificing pandemic safety protocols.
So grab your significant other, BFF, family, or friend group, and go all-in on a coordinating look.
Couples Halloween Costume Ideas
Part of the fun of being coupled up is getting to do things together — including themed costumes on Halloween. But couples costumes aren’t only for romantic couples. They’re also enjoyable choices for best friends and siblings. So if you have a significant other, BFF, or brother or sister, try syncing up your costumes this Halloween for an added dose of fun.
While you can adapt many group ideas for a duo, these couples-specific costume ideas ensure your theme is unmistakable.
According to the National Retail Federation’s Halloween trends surveys between 2015 and 2020, superheroes are perennial favorite choices for Halloween costumes among both kids and adults. But store-bought supergear is also some of the most expensive. Aside from the base costume, which often sells for $40 or more, there are all the accessories to buy — swords, shields, hammers, and bracelets.
One solution is to DIY, and there are superheroes you can easily make a costume for. But for other superheroes, making your own supersuit can get complicated fast. The solution? Copy the secret identity of a superhuman using everyday clothes you likely already own coupled with a few choice accessories. It’s the perfect easy and unique DIY for the frugal superhero-loving pair.
1. Clark Kent & Lois Lane, Kara Danvers, or Bruce Wayne
There’s no need to don the full suit when you opt to cover it with Superman’s secret identity — Clark Kent. Just wear any business attire from your closet, such as a white dress shirt, black slacks, and a tie over a blue Superman T-shirt. Wear the dress shirt partially unbuttoned with the tie undone or loosened so the emblem shows through, and pick up some black-framed costume glasses to complete the look. If you’re trick-or-treating or going to a party, pair it with a Daily Planet face mask.
For Lois Lane, any everyday business attire plus a press badge will do. Use a computer program like Microsoft Word to design your own using free online Daily Planet clipart. Then print your badge on white card stock and wear it on a lanyard. Pair your Lois Lane costume with either a stately solid-color face mask that matches your business attire or a Daily Planet face mask.
See the look (minus the masks) on Your Homebased Mom.
Alternatively, Superman can pair up with Kara Danvers, aka Supergirl, or Batman himself, Bruce Wayne.
To dress as Kara, opt for an equally doable shirt-tear costume. Copy one of Kara’s button-down shirts and slim pants looks from the “Supergirl” TV show with clothes from your own closet along with some costume glasses. Then leave your shirt partially unbuttoned over a T-shirt bearing her emblem. Pair your Kara Danvers costume with an understated Supergirl face mask.
To dress as Bruce Wayne, opt for some fancier duds, like a tuxedo and bow tie if you have them, or your nicest suit. Then leave it partially unbuttoned over a T-shirt with the bat symbol. Pair your Bruce Wayne costume with a Wayne Enterprises face mask.
2. Jessica Jones & Luke Cage
Jessica Jones and Luke Cage didn’t end up together during their short Netflix run like they do in the comics, so their TV series costumes are an easy DIY for both romantic partners and platonic or familial duos. For Jessica, shop your closet or a thrift store for a black leather moto jacket, a gray or black T-shirt, a pair of jeans, black combat boots, black fingerless gloves, and a gray knit infinity scarf. If you have one, accessorize with a DSLR camera to look like a private investigator. See the look on Cosplay Savvy. And if you’re planning to go out, pair your Jessica Jones costume with a dark gray face mask the same color as your neck scarf.
Note: Don’t wear the scarf in lieu of a face mask. September 2020 research from Duke University found that loose-fitting scarves, bandanas, and neck gaiters could be worse than wearing nothing when it comes to protecting yourself and others from coronavirus germs.
Luke Cage’s costume is even simpler. Start with a yellow T-shirt and jeans, as shown on Cosplay Savvy. Then fill a cheap navy blue hoodie with bullet holes by hammering a nail through the fabric and pulling the fabric up over the nail head so it rips an even larger bullet-shaped hole. See WikiHow for more information, but skip the addition of blood in Step 5, as this superhero is bulletproof. Pair your Luke Cage costume with a bright yellow face mask stenciled with the indestructible hero’s catchphrase, “Sweet Christmas.”
3. T’Challa & Storm
You can DIY Black Panther’s supersuit by starting with tight-fitting black clothes and using strips of silver electrical tape to mimic the geometric patterns, like they did on Primary. But if you have a nice suit in your closet, it’s even easier to DIY his plain-clothes outfit from the movie’s casino scene. Just wear your suit and let everyone know you’re ready to save the day at a moment’s notice by donning a Black Panther necklace. Pair your T’Challa costume with a “Wakanda Forever” face mask or pay homage to the late Chadwick Boseman, the iconic actor who played the role in the “Black Panther” film, with a Chadwick Boseman Black Panther mask.
Nakia’s outfits from the film are more complicated (and expensive) to DIY. But in the comics, T’Challa marries the X-Men’s Storm. To dress as a plain-clothes Storm, you can wear almost any outfit. Then don a white wig and an X-Men belt buckle. If you’d rather wear her supersuit, it’s also a doable DIY. You just need some tight-fitting black clothes, the same wig and belt buckle, and an inexpensive black cape. There’s plenty of inspiration for your Storm costume on Maskerix. Pair your Storm costume with a lightning storm face mask or one with the X-Men symbol.
4. Poison Ivy & Harley Quinn
These two villains don’t often dress as anyone but their superselves. Fortunately, the costumes for these gals aren’t difficult to DIY.
For Poison Ivy, start with a green base — either a green leotard or a green corset with green leggings. Then follow the instructions at DIY Projects to hot-glue faux ivy leaves all over your clothes. Don a red wig, and get a full Poison Ivy makeup tutorial on Brizzy Voices’ YouTube channel. You can wear a face mask of Ivy’s poison lips or go with an ivy vine-print face mask.
For Harley Quinn, go with her “emancipation” costume. Though Ivy wasn’t in the 2020 “Birds of Prey” film, according to comics canon, it was Poison Ivy who helped Harley get over the Joker. Harley’s outfit from “Birds of Prey” is equally doable on a budget, especially since her iconic look relies mostly on makeup and hair color.
Pull a pair of super-short cut-off jean shorts from your wardrobe (or make some from old jeans) and a pink cropped tank, and pair it with orange suspenders. To cut costs, DIY the jacket. Start with a transparent raincoat, and cut it to waist length. Then cut strips of caution tape and curling ribbon (the kind used to wrap gifts) and tape them to each jacket sleeve. Get the full instructions on Maya Baguilat’s YouTube channel.
If you already have blond hair, you can color it with pink and blue temporary hair wax. If not, opt for an inexpensive Harley Quinn wig. And find a full Harley Quinn makeup tutorial on Jackie Wyers’ YouTube channel. Finish it with a Harley Quinn face mask.
Other Science Fiction & Fantasy Characters
Halloween is all about the fantasy — getting to be whomever or whatever you want. And it’s not hard to find inspiration in science fiction and fantasy.
5. A UFO & Alien
Dress as an old-fashioned UFO and its alien passenger beaming down to Earth to stock up on candy. To be the alien, dress in monochromatic green. Then wear a DIY eyeball headband made from small felt-wrapped foam spheres attached to a headband using floral wire. And if you’re heading out, don a matching green face mask or one with an alien face mask.
To make the flying saucer costume, don a metallic silver leotard under a flying saucer built from spray-painted cardboard decorated with construction paper lights and felt flames. For added flair, cut an alien shape using the free template and situate your martian pilot behind a sheet of clear acetate that serves as the windshield. You can pair your flying saucer costume with a shiny silver sequin face mask.
Get the full instructions (minus the masks) on Aww Sam.
6. Jack Skellington & Sally
Dressing as one of these popular characters from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” requires some face and body paint. To become Jack, start with a pinstripe suit. Then cover your face with white face paint before outlining his characteristic skeletal features in black face paint. Paint any exposed areas of your body white. Get a full Jack Skellington makeup tutorial on RoudyGal’s YouTube channel. Pair the look with a Jack Skellington face mask. Pick one up on Etsy or make your own version by using black fabric paint to draw Jack’s mouth and nostrils on a plain white mask.
The same applies if you’re planning to dress as Sally. Cover your face and other exposed areas of your body with light blue face paint. Choose a dark blue hue from an eye shadow pallet for your eyes. Draw stitches down the side of your face using the Sally makeup tutorial on Victoria Lyn’s YouTube channel. If necessary, you can also wear a Sally Ragdoll face mask designed to look like her mouth and nose. Complete the costume with a homemade Sally dress sewn from scraps of fabric like the one on All Day Mom.
7. Tiana & Prince Naveen from “The Princess and the Frog”
Though fairy tale characters are typically tricky to pull off without a lush ball gown or elaborate princely suit, Tiana and Prince Naveen wear everyday street clothes in the Disney film “The Princess and the Frog,” and they’re relatively simple to assemble.
To be Tiana, wear a short-sleeved yellow dress with a white half-apron. Tie your hair back into a bun or ponytail. To keep costs down, you can skip her olive cloche hat and olive coat unless you already own something like them. See the look on Carbon Costume. Pair your Tiana costume with an understated “Princess and the Frog” face mask (there’s a glow-in-the-dark option). The proceeds go to a charity that helps communities of color, Black girls and women in particular.
For Prince Naveen, wear a white long-sleeved shirt with khaki-colored pants, a tan sweater vest, and a red tie. Complete the look with a newsboy hat and a toy ukulele. See the look on Carbon Costume. You can pair your Naveen costume with the “Princess and the Frog” mask or a solid-color tan mask that matches your outfit or one that matches your tie.
From phone games to board games, if you and your significant other or BFF like to play, games provide a wealth of inspiration for couples costumes.
8. Ash & Pikachu
Thanks to the popularity of Pokemon Go, Pokemon characters have gone mainstream. To get Ash’s look, start with jeans and a black T-shirt from your own closet. Hack his jacket by sewing the sleeves and collar of a short-sleeved white shirt onto a blue button-down shirt. Then use yellow double-fold quilt binding to trim it. Stencil Ash’s logo onto a baseball cap. Finish the look with some green fingerless gloves, lightning-shaped anime lines under your eyes, and a Pokeball face mask. Get the full instructions (minus the mask) on Instructables.
For Pikachu, start with a yellow sweatsuit with a hooded sweatshirt. Pair it with an inexpensive dress-up kit. Or DIY your own tail and ears from yellow, brown, and black felt like they did on Martha Stewart. There’s no need to paint your face yellow, as the yellow sweatsuit is suggestive enough. Keep it simple with a big red circle on either cheek, matching red lips, and a black nose. Get a full Pikachu makeup tutorial on Queen Shirin’s YouTube channel. Or you can skip the makeup and wear a Pikachu face mask instead.
9. Operation Board Game
To dress up as the classic Operation board game, one of you gets to be a doctor and the other the “patient.” For the doctor costume, dress in scrubs and wear a stethoscope. And don’t forget the surgical face mask — which makes this a perfect costume for Halloween 2020.
For the board game patient, start with a monochromatic gray T-shirt and matching gray pants. Cut the game pieces from white felt and make red backings for them to mimic the look of the game. Glue them to your shirt and pants. Write the words that go with each piece onto your clothes with a black permanent marker. Complete the look with a light-up red nose — just like the board game. You can glue the light-up nose to a skin tone-colored face mask with the patient’s signature grimace painted on it.
See an example on C.R.A.F.T.
10. Candy Land
Dress as Queen Frostine and Princess Lolly from the Candyland board game. For Queen Frostine, pick up an inexpensive tiara and wand and wear a blue dress, as shown on Carbon Costume. Pair your Queen Frostine costume with a candy face mask that looks straight out of Candy Land.
For Princess Lolly, decorate a yellow dress with lollipops cut from felt. Make her lollipop crown by cutting a band from a cereal box. Cover it with a wide strip of gold ribbon. And then make lollipop crown spokes from more felt. Wear a purple wig or use purple hair wax to color your hair temporarily. Pair your Princess Lolly costume with a lollipop or candy face mask. Get the full instructions on A Joyful Riot.
Dressing as a character from pop culture is always fun. And it’s not hard to DIY one using clothes from your own closet.
11. Bob Ross & Tree
This easy DIY makes a cute couple’s costume that’s sure to get a laugh. For Bob Ross, dress in a blue Oxford shirt and jeans. Add a wig with facial hair and carry a paintbrush and painter’s pallet (you can let various paint colors dry in the wells so it looks used, and gluing the brush to the pallet ensures you have only one thing to carry all night). If you’re planning a night out, you can skip the fake beard and opt for a beard face mask instead.
To transform into Ross’ fall-appropriate happy little tree, dress in a monochromatic shirt and pants — black, brown, or green. Then wrap yourself in leaf garlands, and pair your tree costume with a leaf-print face mask.
See this look (minus the masks) on Sundance and Company.
12. Instagram Filter
Poke fun at selfie culture by dressing as filtered and unfiltered versions of one of you. Choose similar clothing and wear your hair in roughly similar ways. If you don’t look much alike, don’t worry. This costume is even funnier if the unfiltered version attempts to look like the other by accessorizing with a wig or other silly accessories. For example, if the filtered version wears glasses, the unfiltered version can wear broken glasses. Or go all the way and have the unfiltered version dress as a zombie or other frightening creature. The filtered version then levels up with makeup and a flower crown. Wear signs made from poster board labeled #Filter and #NoFilter (or for something less cumbersome, opt to print the words on labels each of you wears). For face mask options, the #Filter wearer can don a glam face mask or fashion-forward face mask, and the #NoFilter wearer can opt for a plain face mask or one to match your unfiltered persona, such as a zombie face mask.
See an example on The Oprah Magazine.
13. Hash Tag
For the ultimate fun and punny costume, make yourselves look like hash browns playing tag. Use brown, yellow, and white poster board to make a person-size cardboard hash brown sleeve. Write the words “Hash Brown” on the front of the sleeve and “#Hashtag” on the back using markers (or a vinyl cutting machine if you have one). Then put the costume on and play tag. Pair your costumes with cute face masks featuring hash browns that appear to be playing tag.
Get the full instructions (minus the masks) on The Thinking Closet.
Cheap & Easy Family & Group Halloween Costume Ideas
Families and friend groups larger than two can take inspiration from the entire cast of a movie, book, TV show, or even a video game. Or think outside the box and get your ideas from everyday objects like food.
Whether you pick two characters to do as a couple or multiple characters to dress as a whole family, movies provide plenty of inspiration for group costumes.
14. “Alice in Wonderland”
For a whimsical group costume, opt for characters from “Alice in Wonderland.” Several are easy to DIY with just a few simple pieces you can thrift or find in your own closet.
- Alice. Go down the rabbit hole as Alice for Halloween. All you need is a thrifted blue dress, a frilly white apron, white tights, black Mary Janes, and a black bow for your hair. See Keiko Lynn for inspiration. Pair your costume with an “Alice in Wonderland” face mask.
- The Queen of Hearts. Become the Queen of Hearts with a collar made from playing cards. To make it, wrap a large piece of paper around your neck and trim it to fit. Then staple cards from a deck around the paper collar. Layer them to create a fanned-out effect. Then combine the collar with a red formal dress and gold tiara. Do your makeup as you typically would for a formal event, but paint your lips into a heart shape, as pictured on Good Housekeeping. You can also pair your costume with a Queen of Hearts face mask that mimics the evil queen’s face.
- The Mad Hatter. Search thrift stores for a vintage suit to wear as the base for a Mad Hatter costume. It doesn’t matter what color, but aim for as flamboyant as possible. Accessorize with an extra-large bow tie in a bright, flashy color. Learn how to make one yourself from a scrap of fabric on Paige Joanna’s YouTube channel. Fashion your own top hat from repurposed cardboard by cutting a brim and a circle for the top. Then connect the two pieces to your desired height using strips of cardboard. Once you have the hat form glued together, drape fabric over it and hot-glue it in place. Embellish the rim with colorful ribbon and feathers. Get the instructions on Find It Make It Love It. Pair your costume with a Mad Hatter-themed face mask or a face mask that mimics the Mad Hatter’s face.
- The White Rabbit. On a budget, a full bunny suit is out of the question. But you can still follow the white rabbit into Wonderland by casting the illusion with a pair of cheap white bunny ears. Pair them with a white suit or white dress and red jacket. Carry an oversize toy watch or clock-face purse like they did on Color Me Courtney. Complete the look with rabbit face paint or a white rabbit face mask.
15. “The Wizard of Oz”
Though based on the book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, the movie version of “Wizard of Oz” is full of options for costumed characters. And since a whole team of companions helps Dorothy, this film is perfect for creating a group look.
- Dorothy. Make an easy-sew Dorothy dress like the one on Andrea’s Notebook. To make Dorothy’s shoes, paint a pair of cheap pumps or flats with glue and sprinkle on red glitter, as shown on Crafts After College. Pair your costume with a blue gingham face mask.
- The Scarecrow. Start with a flannel shirt and some thrifted denim overalls. Then embellish the overalls with raffia “straw” and patches made of scrap fabric. Add a floppy hat fashioned from burlap and some scarecrow face paint like they did on Where the Smiles Have Been. Or go with a scarecrow face mask.
- The Cowardly Lion. Use brown yard to create a lion’s mane, and pair it with a yellow shirt and some face-painted whiskers, as shown on A Night Owl. Or skip the paint and go with a lion face mask.
- The Tin Man. Sew a heart cut from red felt onto a square of silver metallic fabric cut to fit the front of a long-sleeved gray shirt. Complete the look with a gray plastic or aluminum funnel strung with elastic cord so you can wear it (over a tight-fitting gray beanie to cover your hair if you want) like a hat. Get the instructions on Old Salt Farm. Paint your face and exposed body parts with silver paint like the YouTube tutorial from Classy Cosmetics. Pair it with a silver face mask.
- The Wicked Witch. Do a modern take on the Wicked Witch of the West by fashioning a tutu-style skirt from green and black tulle. Combine it with a black shirt and black witch hat, as pictured on Simple as That. Put on your best witchy makeup using the tutorial from LetzMakeup, and pair it with a Wicked Witch face mask.
- Glinda. To keep Glinda’s elaborate costume easy, thrift a poofy pink prom dress, and make your own crown and wand. To make her crown, use a template to cut the shape from white foam board. Spray-paint it silver, and embellish with rhinestones. To make her wand, cut a star shape from a sheet of silver glitter craft foam and embellish with rhinestones. Glue the star onto a silver-painted wood dowel. Get the full instructions on Make It Love It. Pair your costume with a sparkly pink rhinestone face mask.
16. The Scooby Gang
This group costume is perfect for Halloween since the Mystery Inc. gang’s mysteries typically involve discovering the truth behind local hauntings.
- Scooby. Dress in monochromatic brown clothes, and add a set of homemade dog ears cut from brown felt glued to a headband. Cut a Scooby collar and dog tag from more colored felt, as pictured on Arlene Mendoza. Pair your costume with a brown face mask the same color as your shirt (you can draw or paint on a black nose and whiskers if you want) or one with a Scooby-Doo print.
- Shaggy. This one can’t get much easier. Just pair a green T-shirt with brown pants. Finish your costume by drawing on some shaggy beard whiskers or don a face mask printed with Shaggy’s cartoon facial features or a solid-color green mask the same color as your T-shirt.
- Fred. Wear a white sweater with a pair of blue jeans. If you have one, add a blue collared shirt under the sweater. Tie an orange fabric scrap into an ascot, like they did on CiCi Marie. Pair your costume with a Mystery Machine face mask.
- Daphne. Wear a purple or lavender dress with a green silk scarf tied loosely around your neck plus an orange wig and light purple headband. Pair your costume with a solid-color purple or lavender face mask the same color as your dress.
- Velma. Pair an orange turtleneck sweater with a pleated red skirt. Add a pair of knee-high orange socks, some red shoes, and some black-rimmed glasses. Wear your costume with a solid-color orange mask or red mask.
17. “The Addams Family”
It doesn’t get any more classically Halloween (or high drama) than the Addams Family.
- Morticia. Any long, dramatic black dress is right up Morticia’s alley. Pair it with an equally dramatic black wig and some austere makeup, as shown on Kayla Hagey’s YouTube channel. Pair your costume with a black lace mask.
- Gomez. A pinstripe suit is ideal for emulating Gomez, but if you don’t have one, a black suit works too. The key to Gomez is in the makeup, including his thin black mustache. Find a makeup tutorial on Prince De Guzman Transformations’ YouTube channel. Pair your costume with a toy cigar and pinstripe face mask or cartoon Gomez Addams mask.
- Wednesday. Wear a black skater-style long-sleeved dress with a white faux Peter Pan collar, black tights, and black Mary Janes. Pick up a braided Wednesday Adams wig, and visit Kayla Hagey’s YouTube channel for a Wednesday Addams makeup tutorial. Pair your costume with a Wednesday Addams face mask printed with her infamous line, “I am smiling.”
- Pugsley. For this one, you want a T-shirt with horizontal white and black stripes, a pair of black shorts, midcalf black socks, and black shoes. Pair your Puglsy costume with a solid-color black face mask.
18. “Star Wars”
All nine of the “Star Wars” movies are full of fun and interesting characters, making this movie franchise perfect fodder for a group look.
- Princess Leia. If you stick to her look from “The Empire Strikes Back,” you can pull together an easy Leia costume with a few pieces you may already own. Combine a white button-down shirt with white jeans, a white puffer vest, and brown boots. Pick up a faux blaster from the dollar store, and finish the look with a crown of braids, as shown on Lovely Indeed. Pair your costume with a solid-color white mask or a face mask with an understated Star Wars print.
- Han Solo. To get Han’s look, combine a light brown shirt with brown jeans and a black tactical vest. Shop your closet for a pair of black boots like they did on Say Yes. Pair your costume with a black mask matching your vest or a face mask printed with one of Han’s famous phrases, like “Never tell me the odds.”
- Luke Skywalker. This one’s super-easy if you already have a white karate gi. Luke’s look is achievable by tying a brown belt over the gi top. Wear it over brown pants, and don’t forget Luke’s No. 1 accessory — his lightsaber. See the look on Say Yes. Pair this costume with a light beige mask matching your pants.
- Rey. Dress in a long-sleeved gray T-shirt and gray jogger-style pants pushed up to your knees. Drape two tan fabric strips over your shoulders in an X shape across the front of your body, and hold them in place with a brown belt. Wrap more fabric around your forearms, as pictured on All Things With Purpose. Pair this costume with a gray mask matching your T-shirt or a tan mask matching your fabric overlays.
- Yoda. If there’s a baby in the family, a Yoda costume is perfect for the little one’s “Star Wars” look. Not only is Yoda small, but all babies look adorable in Yoda ears. Use a free pattern to sew a cap from green cotton complete with big Yoda ears. Then dress Baby in a brown onesie and white robe, which you can buy premade or make yourself using the pattern and tutorial on See Kate Sew. If you’re dressing a baby as Yoda, skip the mask, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns against masking children under 2. For that reason, you don’t want to take them out of the house, either. So keep this costume for the cute photo ops.For kids over 2, make them a face mask from the same fabric you made the hood or go with a mask that mimics Yoda’s face.
- Darth Vader. Skip the expense of a full costume, and shop your closet for a black shirt, pants, and shoes. Make a robot panel for the front of the costume by painting a square of cardboard black. Add cutouts from colored construction paper to make all the buttons, as shown on The Nesting Spot. Use a free online tutorial like the one on How Does She? to make a cape from black fabric. The only thing you need to buy is the Darth Vader helmet. Or if you’ll be wearing the costume to trick-or-treat or attend a party, wear a black hoodie as your top piece and go with a Darth Vader cloth face mask.
Video Game Characters
If you have video game enthusiasts in your family or friend group, dress up as characters from your favorite game.
Choose one person to be Pac-Man (or Mrs. Pac-Man). Then have the wearer dress in black while donning a 3-D Pac-Man suit made by cutting Pac-Man shapes from cardboard, gluing them together, and painting them yellow. Get the full instructions on The Effortless Chic.
Pair this costume with a solid-color black or yellow face mask or a face mask with a Pac-Man print.
Unless you opt to make a Mrs. along with your Mr. Pac-Man, everyone else gets to be ghosts. Make them by cutting a scalloped edge from the hems on T-shirts the same color as Pac Man’s ghosts — pink, light blue, orange, and red. For the eyes, cut large ovals from white felt and small squares from blue felt (for the pupils). Glue the eye pieces onto the T-shirts. Get the full instructions on Covet by Tricia.
Pair your ghost costumes with solid-color face masks the color of your ghost or a face mask with a Pac-Man ghosts print.
20. Super Mario Brothers
Super Mario enthusiasts can easily pull together a costume for the brothers from everyday clothes plus a few key accessories. For Mario or Luigi, all you need is a pair of denim overalls, a red (Mario) or green (Luigi) T-shirt, and Mario and Luigi caps. For added fun, try a fake mustache, and a pair of white gloves, or get an accessory kit that includes everything you need.
A Princess Peach costume comes together with a pink leotard, a homemade tutu skirt made with pink tulle, a blond wig, long white gloves, and a Princess Peach crown, which you can DIY from yellow felt and embellish with jumbo-size faux gems like they did on Repeat Crafter Me. To complete the look, add a pink parasol and pink shoes.
Pair your Super Mario costumes with a face mask matching your character.
Minecraft is a popular video game, and fortunately, all it takes to pull off a costume for these pixelated characters is some cardboard boxes and a printer or paint chips (the paper kind you get from the hardware store). To make a friendly creeper, choose a box big enough to go over the wearer’s head. Cut two eye holes in the box wherever the wearer’s eyes will be. Then choose a second box big enough to fit over their body. Cut a hole for the wearer’s head, armholes in the sides, and a hole in the bottom so it slips on like a dress. Then cover both pieces with paint chips in shades of your chosen color. Get the full instructions on Coolest Homemade Costumes.
And since the box mask gives you plenty of room to breathe, wear any kind of mask you already have underneath.
Everyone can be creepers or choose other game characters to dress as. Make a ghast costume by covering a box large enough to fit over the wearer in white paper. Make the face with black electrical tape, and glue or tape white crepe paper streamers to the bottom of the box to look like ghostly tendrils. Get the full instructions on A Thrifty Mom. And pair your costume with a solid-color white mask.
Or make Minecraft’s Steve. Print panels for your box mask using a free download. Glue the panels to all four sides of the box. Then wear the mask with a blue T-shirt and jeans. Get the full instructions on Morena’s Corner. And since like the creeper, the box mask gives you plenty of room to breathe, wear any face mask you have on hand underneath.
Food costumes are fun and silly. Plus, they’re right in line for a holiday that’s all about indulging in treats.
22. Fruit Salad
This fun costume is perfect for a family or group of friends that love to get a laugh. Plus, fruit costumes are typically quick to pull together, making them ideal for last-minute DIYs.
- Strawberry. Start with a red-colored base, either a dress or a top and pants. Cut tiny seed shapes from white construction paper and use a drop of hot glue on each to attach them to your clothes. (If you want to preserve your clothes, use removable glue dots instead.) Make a leafy topper by cutting a stem and leaves from green construction paper using a free template and gluing them around a small cup. Then glue the whole thing onto a headband, as shown on Studio DIY. Pair your costume with a strawberry mask or use white fabric paint to draw seeds on a solid-red mask.
- Pineapple. This simple fruit costume requires only a yellow dress or yellow shirt and pants and a leafy topper. Make the topper by cutting leaf shapes from green construction paper using a free template and gluing them around a toilet paper roll. Then attach the whole thing to a headband, as pictured on Studio DIY. Pair your costume with a solid-color yellow mask or pineapple-print face mask.
- Watermelon. Use a variation on the strawberry costume to dress as this sweet fruit. Dress in a pink dress and green tights or a pink shirt and green pants. Cut watermelon seed shapes from black construction paper and use hot glue or removable glue dots to stick them to the pink part of your outfit. Pair your costume with a watermelon face mask or get a face mask the same pink as your top and use black fabric paint to draw on tear-drop shaped watermelon seeds.
- Grapes. Dress in a purple or green top and leggings. Blow up about 20 purple or green balloons, more or less, depending on the wearer’s size. Tie the knotted end of each balloon to a long string about 8 inches apart, and wrap the string around your torso so the balloons look like a bunch of grapes. Cut leaf shapes from green felt, and hot-glue them onto a headband. Get the full instructions on Woman’s Day. Pair your costume with a grape-print face mask or a solid green or purple face mask.
23. An Ice Cream Truck & Ice Cream
This cute costume idea lets everyone dress as sweet treats from a food truck.
- Ice Cream Cone. Make sprinkles from colored mini craft sticks (or paint plain mini craft sticks yourself). Use hot glue to attach a safety pin to the back of each one, and then pin them in a random pattern all over a white dress or white top and pants. Make an ice cream cone hat from brown paper twisted into a cone shape, as shown on Treasures and Travels. Pair your costume with a sprinkles face mask or an ice cream cone face mask.
- Sundae. Dress in a white shirt and brown skirt or pants. Add a brown infinity scarf to mimic chocolate sauce. Cut sprinkles from different colors of card stock, and tape them to your shirt. Top your “sundae” with a whipped cream and cherry headband. Make whipped cream by folding white coffee filters into 3-D fan shapes. Blow up a red balloon “cherry,” and tape the coffee filters to the balloon. Then tape the whole thing onto a headband, as pictured on HGTV. Pair this costume with an ice cream sundae face mask.
- Ice Pop. Dress in a black shirt and tight-fitting pants. Cut two craft stick shapes from tan felt and safety-pin them to each leg of the pants. Make an ice pop shape from foam board, and cover it in strips of different colored poster board to create a layered ice pop. Make a shoulder harness from ribbon, and wear it over your shirt. Get the full instructions on Happy Together. Pair this costume with an ice pop face mask.
- Food Truck. This one’s ideal for little ones riding in a wagon or push car. Find a large box big enough to fit over the wagon. Cut out the bottom, and carve semicircles large enough for the wagon wheels to show through. Use a smaller box to make the front of the truck. Cut it to shape, and use duct tape to secure it to the other box. Paint the whole thing white. Cut off the front panels of ice pop and ice cream boxes (or print some pictures from the Web) and glue them onto the “food truck,” as shown on Costume Works. Pair this costume with a frozen dessert face mask or a mask with the words “Treat Yourself.” Note that children under 2 should not wear face masks. But going maskless makes them especially vulnerable to the novel coronavirus. So if you’re making this costume for a child under 2, it’s best left for the cute photo ops.
24. Movie Snacks
If your family or friend group misses its visits to the movie theater during the pandemic, pay homage to your favorite entertainment spot with a group movie snacks costume.
- Popcorn. Start with a box large enough to fit over the wearer. Tape up the top and cut the flaps off the bottom. Cut arm and head holes to make it wearable, and then cover the whole thing with white duct tape. Use red duct tape to make stripes on all sides of the box. Loosely crumple yellow tissue paper into balls, and glue them onto the box’s top around the head hole. Finish the box by taping a free, downloadable popcorn label to the front. Then dress all in red. Get the full instructions on Care.com. Pair this costume with a popcorn face mask.
- Candy Bar. Cut two large rectangles from felt in the base color of the label of whatever kind of candy bar the wearer is dressing as, such as brown felt for Snickers or blue felt for Nestle Crunch. Cut a zigzag of triangles across the top and bottom to look like candy wrapper edges. Cut an oval in both felt pieces for the neck hole, and sew up the top and sides, leaving a space on each side for armholes. Decorate with letters and shapes cut from felt to look like the appropriate candy bar logo using the free template on Oh My! Creative. Pair the costume with a mask the same color as your candy bar or a face mask printed with your candy bar.
- Skittles. Cut two squares of red felt large enough to fit the wearer. Cut each side edge in a triangle zigzag to imitate the wrapper edges of a fun-size bag of Skittles. Sew up the top and sides, leaving a gap in the top for the wearer’s head to poke through and a gap in each side large enough for the wearer’s arms. Then use more colored felt to cut circles and lettering to look like the front of a Skittles bag. Stitch on the decorative pieces or use glue, as pictured on Our Humble Abode. Pair this costume with a red face mask or Skittles mask.
- Nachos. Mimic the red plaid pattern on a nacho basket by laying lines of red tape over white poster board. Then follow the instructions on Thrifted Queen to cut and fold the poster board sheets to make a wearable basket that slips over your waist aided by shoulder straps. Decorate the basket with “chips” cut from tan-colored craft foam layered with “cheese” cut from yellow and gold foam. Finish the costume with a green hat painted to look like a jalapeno. Pair this costume with a green face mask similarly painted to look like a jalapeno, or buy a jalapeno face mask on Etsy.
Group costumes are extra-fun for couples, friends, and families. But we usually wear costumes to parties or trick-or-treating. And this year, both those things will look a little different thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
But that doesn’t mean we have to put the brakes on the whole thing. There are still plenty of activities to celebrate a safe Halloween — many of them involving costumes. Costume parties can take place via Zoom. Or if you’re in an area with relatively few coronavirus cases, you can host a socially distanced block party. Check the Halloween 2020 map if you’re unsure.
- Wear a mask
- Keep your distance (at least 6 feet) from those not in your immediate household or pandemic bubble
- Remember to bring (and use) hand sanitizer
If nothing else, after you put together your group look, stand outside under this year’s Halloween blue moon and take some awesome pics to share with your other friends and family. There are many ways to make Halloween memories fun and special.
Are you doing a group costume this year? What’s your theme?