No Money for Halloween? No Problem!

Here’s Some DIY Costume Ideas That Won’t Break Your Bank This Halloween Season

Lisa Lilianstrom, Staff writer

Halloween comes once a year and there are so many people that like to go all-out with their costumes. However, not everyone can afford those expensive Halloween costumes sold at Halloween stores. Seeing those prices can get very frustrating, but there is a way you can be who you want to be without breaking the bank. Some people do DIY while some decide to go to various thrift stores, most commonly Goodwill. Whatever you decide to do, there is always a way to go as your favorite character without emptying your bank account. Here are some helpful DIY tips on some popular costumes for both men and women.

Harley Quinn

Suicide Squad’s favorite bad girl and the Joker’s lover, Harley is bound to be among the favorites of Halloween costumes this year. Here’s some ways to dress as Daddy’s Little Monster without being in monstrous debt.

Halloween store price:

Wig $24.99
T-Shirt $19.99
Jacket $49.99
Makeup kit $12.99
Shorts $29.99
Bat $16.99

DIY Harley Quinn

1) First buy a baseball tee from a local thrift store or wherever estimate might be 10 dollars
2) You can buy iron-on font from or you can make your own font iron-on by downloading the recommended font Jezebel, it also is recommended to get some iron transfer paper.
3) Get some scissors to cut around the design
4) Make sure you grab a clothes iron with preferred heat settings and an ironing board and iron your design on the shirt.
5) Instead of buying a wig that you’ll never wear again (unless you plan to go to a convention) buy some hair chalk which is $5.99 at Ulta Beauty. Just put it in your hair and it will come out after one wash of shampoo.
6) If you already have a pale complexion then you are good when it comes to her skin tone as Harley is a pale little monster. If not you can get some powder from your local beauty store. While it may be a tad pricier, it’s better quality.
7) As for her face makeup if you have some red and blue eye shadow, give yourself a smokey eye and you will look so fabulous and ready to go out with the rest of the squad.
8) You can get some mini shorts for $7.99 at Walmart
9) You can get a kids bat for $10.99 at Kohls but I wouldn’t recommend it because there may be some places that do not allow  weapons, even if they are just props.
10) The jacket is $28.99 at Walmart
11) Combat boots can also make for a cute addition. Prices may vary at places so I would recommend going when they are on sale.


Always a classic, the witch costume never fails to impress on Halloween. You don’t need a spell book to save money either, all you need is some creative juice and a little bit of magic!

Halloween store price:

Cape $16.99
Tights $8.99
Full Costume $24-59
Hat $14.99
Make up $9.99
Shoe cover $6.99

DIY Witch

1) Now would be a good time to put that black dress in your closet to use
2) You can get a cape for 4 dollars cheaper at Walmart
3) Also there are 5 dollar tights at Walmart too!
4) You can use either a hat or a cape, if you choose one you don’t need the other.
5) As for the makeup all you need is some red lipstick

Flapper Girl

Always a classic costume go-to, as well as popular, flapper girls were popular in the 1920’s but there is no need for a time machine. The things you need for a flapper girl can be found in your very own closet!

Halloween store price:

Full costume $29-49
Necklace $4.99
Boa $10.99
Headband $12,99
Garter $7.99
Earrings $9.99

DIY Flapper Girl

1 You can always use a dress that you already own that old homecoming dress could come to be useful.
2) Ask your mom if she has any pearl necklaces that she can loan you.

The Joker

The Joker is a crazy villain; always killing people, always just a complete psycho. Don’t go crazy over those prices because here are some ways to save money and it’s no joke!

Halloween store price:

Full costume $59.99
Toy revolver $5.99 (depending on if where you are going allows prop weapons)
Wig $19.99
Makeup kit $12.99

1) Like Harley you don’t need to buy a wig that you are never going to wear again you can just get some temporary green hair dye. Get some green hair spray for $3.99 at Party City.
2) You could probably find a purple suit at a thrift store for less than $20. No luck, you can always get a white suit and dye it.
3) I wouldn’t recommend getting a toy revolver because there may be people that mistake it for a real gun. If all else fails, get a squirt gun or a gun that pops out with a “bang” flag.
4) The makeup kit is three dollars cheaper at Walmart.

Video Game Character (Link)

You don’t need to break any pots in order to get the Link costume… all you need is the basics!

Halloween store:

Costume $49.99
Shield $19.99
Sword $16.99
Hat and ears $16.99

DIY Link

1) For the hat you can get a green night cap. If you can’t find one and you have any spare fabric, measure your head and cut 2 long triangles. Then sew the fabrics to make a hat. If you’re wearing a wig, measure that too.


Arrgh mateys! You don’t need a treasure map to find that pirate costume, you can just use some items that you already own. A pirate is a classic costume that people have been wearing for years and the tradition can continue with these awesome tips! Arrgh!

Halloween store prices:

Full costume $29.99-59.99
Eye patch $1.99
Earring $1.99
Hook $3.99
Wig $17.99
Parrot $9.99
Bandanna $12.99

DIY Pirate

1) Use a formal white shirt from your closet for the top or any color shirt
2) Pirates don’t wear stiff business collars. Away with it (give it the plank!) by snipping it off and restoring a ruffle or similar soft collar instead. If you hate sewing, you can probably get away with using fabric glue to attach a ruffle but ensure that the area that has been cut won’t fray.
3)  Since you’re wearing a decent shirt, it’s more about upgrading than turning it to tatters. Consider some of the following embellishments: Fancy buttons for both the middle and cuffs and golden or silver chain toggle for the collar. Ruffles can be added almost anywhere on the shirt ––around the cuffs, around the collar, down the button line, etc.
4) You could probably get away with buying the eye patch
5) And maybe the earring too.
6) If you have some black pants laying around you can use those.
7) You can find a 2 pack of bandannas for $4.99 at Target

Don’t let your bank account spook you this Halloween. Have fun, get creative and get your spook on!