Alex Wittwer/PSU Vanguard

DIY costume ideas

Headed to a Halloween party and realized you forgot to put together a costume? Don’t stress! Here are a few DIY costume ideas that’ll take you just a few minutes to put together and shouldn’t cost you hardly anything.

Smarty Pants

A classic DIY costume for procrastinators and pun-lovers alike. Simply get yourself a bag of Smarties candies, and tape a bunch of them to any old pair of pants. Thus, Smarty Pants!


50 Shades of Gray

A PG-style costume based on the bestselling erotica series. 

Take a trip down to your local hardware store and head over to the paint department and grab every shade of gray of those little paint-slips that help you pick a color (they’re free!). 

Next, go ahead and tape them all over a shirt (preferably gray) 

And now you’re 50 shades of gray! 


Smart Cookie

Are you a soon-to-be or recent graduate of Portland State? 

If so, here’s an opportunity to use your cap, gown and tassel that you probably had to spend way too much money on for you to wear only once. 

Simply take your gown, and tape or glue a bunch of cookies onto it. The cookies can be either real or fake. 

Then, when you wear your cap and gown to the party, you’ll be one smart cookie! 


Sea Shell Slinger 

Have you been to the beach recently? Did you happen to take home any pretty shells? 

If so, here’s an idea for you! Take those pretty shells, and simply tape them to the inside of a jacket, preferably a trench coat, if you have one. 

Then, when someone at the party asks what you are, open up your coat and reveal your precious wares—you’re Sally who sells sea shells down by the seashore! 


404: That’s an error

If you’re really on a low budget or crunched for time, here’s an idea that shouldn’t cost you anything and take you less than 30 seconds.

Just take a white shirt, and with a black marker write, “404: Costume not found.”  

Hopefully, it’ll make someone laugh. In terms of DIY costumes, it doesn’t get much easier than this!