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33 Terrific Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costumes for Adults

There's no need to scramble the night before—we've got you covered.

There are those who spend months preparing for Halloween, and then there are the those who wish they had spent months preparing for Halloween. If you're part of the latter group, have no fear. We've rounded up the best DIY Halloween costumes you can put together at a moment's notice—so even if it's the night before the big day and you're without a get-up, you've got time.


Woman dressed as a pirate at a Halloween party laughing and dancing as she looks back towards the camera.

Looking for a last-minute costume that's less predictable than your average witch or vampire? Look no further than the pirate. All you need to pull this look off is whatever red, black, or white clothing you already have in your closet. Add a bandana and some hoop earrings and there's your costume! Bonus points if you manage to incorporate something with a skull on it into your get-up.


two people dressed up as mimes, diy halloween costumes

Another last-minute costume that incorporates red, black, and white is the mime. If you already have a black-and-white striped shirt in your closet, then you have half of your costume ready to go. Just throw on some white face paint and white gloves the day of and you're all set. Oh, and the best part of this costume? You get the added joy of not having to engage in any small talk because, well, you're a mime—and mimes don't speak.


Young couple celebrating Halloween. They wear costumes, smiling, taking selfie and enjoy in holiday, diy halloween costume

If you've got a black-and-white striped shirt in your closet but don't feel like putting on the face makeup that's required to be a mime, go as a bandit instead this Halloween. You can either grab a last-minute mask at the store or make one using black felt and yarn. (And if you're struggling you create the perfect mask shape, try this template!)

Scooby-Doo Gang

scooby doo gang diy costume

Looking for an easy DIY group costume that's simple but still recognizable? Grab your friends and go as the Scooby-Doo gang! Most of the characters' looks incorporate everyday articles of clothing—and if you don't own something, you can easily pick it up last-minute at a thrift store. Just make sure whoever goes as Scooby doesn't forget his or her cardboard dog ears!

Tooth Fairy

tooth fairy costume, diy halloween costume

If you've got a tulle skirt in your closet and a white shirt you're willing to part with, you can be the tooth fairy this Halloween. All you need to do is draw a friendly tooth face on your white shirt, pick up a plastic wand in the kid's section of the dollar store, and just like magic, your costume's complete!

Tomato Soup Can

tomato soup can costume, diy halloween costumes

All you need is red clothing—like the oversized red sweater and red leggings pictured above—to pull off this unique DIY tomato soup can costume. As a finishing touch, you can grab some iron-on letters from a store that sells crafts like Walmart or Michaels or just attach a handwritten sign to your sweater that reads "Tomato Soup." Not only does this costume require almost no effort at all, but you're also literally spelling out what it is, so no one will question what you are!


half skeleton makeup, diy halloween costumes

Not every costume has to be clothes-oriented. If makeup is more your speed, focus on your face with this half-skeleton look. There are plenty of tutorials online, but all you really need is black eyeliner and white face paint to get the job done. Even with minimal makeup experience, it's a look that's hard to mess up.

Back to the '80s

80s costume, diy halloween costume

The '80s is making a comeback these days, so why not use it to your advantage this Halloween? Take any of your '80s-inspired outfits or head to your local thrift store to pick one up, and you can go "back to the '80s" for your costume. Just make sure to throw on some bright, neon makeup and put a lot of volume in your hair—the bigger, the better!


ghost in the mist - punny halloween costumes

This might be as simple as it gets when it comes to last-minute Halloween costumes. All you need to go as a ghost is a white bed sheet. Even if you have a white bed sheet on hand, though, we recommend buying a cheap new one so you can cut out holes for your eyes. As spooky as it is, you probably want to, well, see.


mermaid costume, diy halloween costumes

If you're an avid shell collector, then this mermaid costume is right up your alley. And even if you don't happen to have seashells lying around, you can still pick them up on the cheap from craft stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

You can glue the shells in any manner—into a crown, into a necklace, into a bracelet, you name it—and you've pretty much got your costume. Add the finishing touches by picking out flowy clothes in sea tones like black, blue, and green.


witch costume, diy halloween costume

Dressing up as a witch on Halloween may be predictable, but if you don't have a lot of time on your hands, it's also one of the easiest last-minute costumes. All you need to do is pair any black clothing you have with a pointy witch's hat and your costume is good to go. You can either buy a cheap hat at a Halloween store or follow this online DIY tutorial to make one at home.

A Dad on Vacation

dad on vacation outfit, diy halloween costume

If you're not looking to dress up too much this Halloween, then raid your dad's closet for a funny, last-minute costume. Baggy jeans, a short sleeve Hawaiian T-shirt, and a bucket hat make the perfect "dad on vacation" costume. Not only is it easy to throw together, but you're sure to be comfortable all night.

Little Red Riding Hood

red riding hood costume, halloween diy costumes

Little Red Riding Hood is a pretty easy look to throw together and pull off. All you need is a simple dress in a plain color like black or white and a red cape to perfect this fairy tale look. Many Halloween stores sell red capes during the season, but if for some reason you can't find one, you can always just tie something red—like a bed sheet—around your neck for the same look.

Lady Liberty

lady liberty dress up, halloween diy costumes

Donning any of your American apparel with a mint green bed sheet makes it clear you're Lady Liberty. A felt crown is a bonus—but if you can't find it at the Halloween store, you can always just make one yourself using this tutorial.

Super-mom or Super-dad

superdad costume, halloween diy costume

Need a last-minute costume for you and your kid? Try a DIY superhero look. All you need is two red masks made from felt and yarn and two red sheets that can double as capes to pull off this super stylish costume.



While this picture may be intense, this costume is anything but. In fact, all you need is a circular cardboard box—something like a hat box—and some paint in order to put together your own Marshmello mask. And while musician Marshmello is known for his iconic white face mask with cut-out X's for eyes, you can use any paint color you want when putting together your mask—it will be recognizable regardless.

Wednesday Addams

wednesday adams diy costume

Want to go as Wednesday Addams this Halloween? Layer a black dress on top of a white button-up shirt, making sure the cuffs and collar stick out. Finish the look by braiding your hair into two pigtails and throwing on some black lipstick, and you're sure to blend into the Addams family.


a man and a girl dressed up as farmers, diy halloween costumes

If you already have some plaid in your closet and you want to keep things cheap, then this is the costume for you. Pair any plaid shirt with jeans shorts or pants and some boots and voila: you're a farmer. You can go the extra mile by adding little accessories like a straw hat to finish off the look, but the outfit alone will get your message across.

A Frenchman or Frenchwoman

person dressed in a french style, halloween diy costumes

This look is easy because most of it is up for interpretation. All you need is a beret, really, and your "French" look is all but sealed into place. We recommend adding some fancier clothing to top it all off, like a button-up shirt with a nice bow tie.

Christmas in October

christmas in october, diy halloween costume

If Christmas is more your holiday of choice, then use that to your advantage this Halloween. Go ahead and pick up early pieces for the jolly holiday or use any decorations you have leftover from celebrations past and you can throw together a "Christmas in October" costume. Simple things like reindeer ears or a red plaid skirt will have your costume ready to go.


Bloody Halloween theme: The crazy maniak face on pink studio background

Why don't you go green this Halloween with a fun Frankenstein costume? Using green body paint, cover any body part that's not going to be clothed. Throw on some black garments and spray some black hairspray in your 'do, and you're now the monster from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Rosie the Riveter

rosie the riveter costume, diy halloween costume

Rosie the Riveter is a good costume that you can most likely put together using things you already have in your closet. All you really need is a denim shirt and a red bandana to tie in your hair for this iconic feminist look. Making the iconic "We Can Do It!" sign is optional, as the rest of your outfit already makes it clear who you are. And for more costume inspiration, here are 26 Easy Halloween Costumes for Guys That Are Seriously Festive.

Scary Ronald McDonald

scary ronald mcdonald, diy

Using McDonald's' signature yellow and red hues, you can change the game up by going as a scary Ronald McDonald this Halloween. Use white, black, and red face paint to give your face a clown-like appearance, and finish the look off with a red-and-white striped shirt and a yellow vest. If you want, you can even get an "M" letter to iron on to the vest, though the iconic colors make it more than clear who you're meant to be.


clown diy costume, halloween costumes

If scary Ronald McDonald sounds like too much work, then just go as any clown this Halloween. This creepy costume is especially easy to cobble together because all it really requires is bright, rainbow-colored clothing and some makeup. With a red-painted nose and overdrawn lips, your look is pretty much complete.


pennywise costume, diy halloween costume

For this It look, you'll need white and red face paint. Other than that, though, this costume is really what you make it; you can wear tattered clothing if you want, but the costume is really all about the iconic face makeup. And for more on popular horror flicks, check out the 40 Best Horror Movies for Totally Freaking Yourself Out.

Misty from Pokémon

pokemon costume, diy halloween costume

Misty from Pokémon is as iconic a Halloween costume as they come. And all you need for this look is a yellow tank top, jean shorts, and some red suspenders. Finish the look by putting your hair up in a side ponytail and, if you happen to have some Pokémon memorabilia lying around, don't be afraid to take it with you when you hit up all the Halloween parties.

Harley Quinn

harley quinn costume, halloween diy costumes

If you want to be Harley Quinn this Halloween, all you really need to do is make sure you incorporate blues and reds into your look. You can try to find her iconic T-shirt in stores, but a plain white T-shirt will do just fine in a pinch.

As for the finishing touches? Put your hair in pigtails and add temporary red and blue hair color to the ends of either side. Add red and blue eye shadow to your face, and make sure not to forget the villain's iconic black heart!

The Joker

joker diy halloween costume,

What really makes or breaks a Joker costume is the hair and makeup. Temporary green hair color will easily transform your locks, and as for your face, some white face paint and red lipstick is all you need to put together this supervillain's iconic look.

The clothes, meanwhile, are up to you. You can either dress up like pictured above or dress down—just make sure you use colors like green, purple, yellow, and red.


flapper girl costume, diy halloween costume

For a flapper costume, all you really need is a knee-length dress in either white, gold, or black. To complete the look, add pearls and black gloves and hot glue a feather onto a headband to go with your classic '20s updo.


diy mummy costume, halloween

You might need an extra hand to help you put this costume together, but the supplies required are simple enough: just gauze or toilet paper. Have someone help wrap you up from head to toe, and suddenly you're a mummy. Add a little extra to you costume by putting on some black eye shadow around your eyes.


zombie costume, diy halloween costume

Want to go as a zombie this Halloween? Here's how to perfect your look: Take a plain white T-shirt and cut various holes into it. Give it an authentic dirty feel by going outside and tossing it around in the dirt for a while. Finish the Walking Dead-inspired look either by putting gray body paint all over your body or just by adding some gray eye shadow around your eyes and lips. And if you need inspiration, check out these 27 Scary Good Celebrity Halloween Costumes.

Cardi B


Cardi B is a hot name in the music industry this year, so who better to dress up as? Her look centers around big coats and bold colors like black and yellow, so all you really need to do is go big or go home with this costume. If you're struggling with this look, clothing lines like Fashion Nova have Cardi B collections that you can either use as inspiration or just buy pieces from.

Woodland Fairy

woodland fairy halloween costume, halloween diy costume

If you're digging the "fairy" trend but don't have glittery accessories in your wardrobe, try being a woodland fairy! All you need for this look is an earthy dress in a color like white, green, or black. Your accessories should incorporate things you would find in the woods, like berries, leaves, and branches. And for more Halloween inspiration, check out these 20 Target Halloween Costumes That Are Spooky Good.

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Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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