Minimal Effort Needed- Halloween Costume Ideas- Using Materials You Already Have

Are you stressing over this year’s Halloween costume? Don’t want to spend a ton on an outfit that you’ll wear for a few hours? Maybe you received a last minute invite to a Halloween costume party and panic has set in?

Relax, we’ve got you covered. No need to buy much- if anything. Use what you have around the house; add some personality and confidence and you’ll be the envy of your neighborhood when taking the kids trick or treating. Or you can be the talk of the bonfire or costume party without spending a dime or waiting on an order to show up on your door step.

Here are a few simple, yet photo-worthy, fun ideas for you and your friends and family.

Cowboy & Indian

Having trouble convincing “your man” to dress up for Halloween? This is an easy and fun couple’s costume and it won’t take much convincing. Ladies- find a long black wig or braid your own hair. I paired this with basic brown dress, beaded belt and some moccasin boots and voila- an Indian to partner up with the cowboy you’re already dating or married to. Dig out the chaps, boots, hat, jeans and snap shirt– or like in my case, grab them from the mudroom floor or the clean laundry pile and your everyday cowboy is suddenly “dressed up” for the Halloween party. He’ll be comfortable and you won’t be fielding all of the questions about why “so-n-so” didn’t dress up.

Magician with Rabbit

Here’s another great idea for a couple costume. This is also great for a male partner that doesn’t want to go crazy dressing up. With a quick trip to the dollar store to fix up a top hat, bow ties and rabbit ears and mixed with clothes already in our closets we had costumes. Add a little makeup and you’ll have comfortable, warm and awesome costumes with little effort and hardly any investment.

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Rodeo Clown

Who doesn’t have a pair of jorts (jean shorts)? Well if you don’t, make some! Add suspenders, a loud shirt and some clown makeup along with cowboy boots and hat and you’ll leave the house as not just any clown, but a full-fledged rodeo clown. Add a scarf or two tied to your belt loop for that extra special touch.

Rodeo Queen

This is an opportunity to find your outdated, but favorite, shirt, hat or jeans from the decade of your choice. Those old riding jeans you couldn’t part with or the cowboy hat with a feathered hatband suddenly found new life. Add a sash and crown yourself the winner!


When our son was asked to dress up for the classroom Halloween party and parade, he stubbornly refused. Not wanting him to miss out on a fun part of elementary school, I convinced him to at least wear his hunting clothes. This, like most of these ideas, work for children and adults. If you already have the camo outfits hanging in the closet or in the hunting bag, get one more day of use out of them. You may not win a costume contest, but at least you’ll get a participation prize.

Mexican with a Burro

Have a miniature donkey? We do. Incorporate him into Halloween. Even if he can’t go to school at least use him as a photo prop. Cut a head hole in an Indian blanket and you have an authentic poncho. We had the sombrero from a vacation in Mexico, but any large-brim cowboy hat will do. An eyeliner- painted mustache was the perfect finishing touch for this “little vaquero”.

Corn Candy

Weather can play a large part in costume choice. An outdoor party on October 31 in the Midwest can be darn right cold. I’ve used this idea for exactly this reason. I’m not going to a bonfire dressed as a sexy police officer in heeled over-the-knee boots! Second choice- a Piece of Corn Candy. If you have a yellow rain parka or a set of slicker pants- you’re almost set. A white hat, cowboy or otherwise and orange sweatpants completes the ensemble. It’s nothing fancy, but at least you’ve tried and you’ll be warm and comfortable as you celebrate Halloween.

Did I miss any? Be sure to add your ideas and photos in the comments. Happy Halloween!

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