DIY Halloween Costume Ideas on the Cheap

Because Our Quarantine-O-Ween College Care Package Can Only Do So Much!

Halloween is coming up, and while there may not be any big parties this year (even though the holiday falls on a Saturday), you still can dress up and have fun! Our easy Halloween costume ideas don’t take much time and effort, but you’ll want to start planning now so you can make sure all your components are ready for October 31.

Quarterback Halloween Costume

Perhaps the least expensive of all our costume ideas is also our punniest. Print out a picture of a U.S. quarter, and tape it to your back. Voila! You’re a quarterback! 

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman! (err… Clark Kent)

Superman Halloween Costume   If you’re a college guy, you probably have a Superman t-shirt or know someone who does. Wear it under a white button down, partially unbuttoned, and a red tie. Add on a pair of black plastic-framed glasses, and you’re Clark Kent, ready to hop into a phone booth and turn into a superhero ready to save Metropolis.

Raid Your Own Closet: Athlete Edition

We’re willing to bet money your high school jersey is still in your possession. Put it on, along with the rest of your sports uniform, and your athlete costume is complete. 

Raid Your Own Closet: Scarecrow Edition

DIY scarecrow costume

To turn yourself into an adorable or fearsome scarecrow, dig deeply into your closet for a pair of overalls or jeans and a long-sleeved flannel shirt. Use an eyeliner or acrylic paint to give yourself a scarecrow face. We recommend pigtails for feminine scarecrows; disheveled hair looks great on anyone in this costume! Top it off with a cap.


If you love cheap thrills, this Sia costume is pretty darn affordable. You’ll need an iconic black-and-white wig with a massive bow (both of which you’ll need to purchase from your favorite store), then grab black-and-white getup from your closet for the rest of your outfit. You got all you need!

Morton Salt Girl

Morton Salt Girl

For a classic throwback costume that’s oh-so-sweet, reproduce the Morton salt box. Wear a yellow dress or tan trench coat and carry an umbrella. Bonus points if you carry around your very own container of Morton salt.


A Simple Cat Costume

Most discount stores carry simple headbands with cat ears attached – or you can make your own by adding felt ears to one you already own. Use black eyeliner to draw your nose and whiskers and wear a monochromatic outfit. A matching tail completes your look.


diy cowgirl halloween costume

If you live in most of America – save maybe the coasts – you probably already own a pair of boots and a cowboy hat – or live down the hall from someone who does. This ultra-simple costume is both rustic and comfortable. All you need is add jeans and a button-down shirt, tucked in. If you have access to a shiny belt buckle, that’s icing on the cowpoke cake!


Hotline Bling-Era Drake

Even if your favorite version of Drake is when he was still called Aubrey Graham and played Jimmy on Degrassi, there’s no denying that his look in the video for “Hotline Bling” was more than iconic.

For this costume, you have two choices, which means you can raid your or your roommate’s closet to get the necessities. You’ll need either 1. an orange puffer coat, white t-shirt, skinny-leg jeans, and a pair of classic construction boots, or 2. a gray knit turtleneck, white skinny jeans, and a pair of classic construction boots. Bonus points if you can figure out how to make your own color-changing background to carry with you.

A Clockwork Orange Antihero

Stanley Kubrick’s 1970 film A Clockwork Orange (and the original novel by Anthony Burgess), features dystopian antihero Alex and his droogs, committing “ultra-violence” everywhere they go. Channel your own inner Alex by wearing a white button-down shirt, black pants, a black bowler hat, and a set of false eyelashes. 

Who Knows Holden Caulfield?

Another literary Halloween costume, don a flannel deerstalker cap and your favorite 1950s garb and put on a permanent look of disgust on your face and a fake cigarette in your mouth to turn yourself into Holden Caulfield, from J.D. Salinger’s masterpiece The Catcher in the Rye.

Special Extras in Our Halloween-Themed College Care Package

Our October college care package is filled with spooky frights and delights to light up the night. (Literally, there are glowing items and things that light-up – but we don’t want to give away all the contents.) When you subscribe to our monthly plan, you’ll get a new care package auto-renewed every month with free shipping. Or, if you want to add a one-time gift to your wishlist, a single college care package.

Tell your parents, guardians, or grandparents that all you want for college is an awesome university care package. 

Shop now.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for accuracy. It was originally published on October 5, 2020.

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