Halloween Costumes for Kids (on the CHEAP!)

Halloween is coming up fast, and it seems like some people spend a ridiculous amount of cash on costumes for their kids!  I’m not a big fan of that AT ALL.  In fact, I’m the kind of mom that heads to the when costumes are marked down to 75-90% off in November to throw into the dress up box and have my kids choose from that the next year.

Halloween Costumes for Kids on the Cheap as seen on JennsRAQ.com

Sometimes it is just easier to make your own costume.  There are also some REALLY inexpensive costume options available to purchase, and you don’t have to be that perfect Pinterest mom to pull it off!  For costumes that won’t break the bank, I always check out Oriental Trading.  They sent us a few costumes to add to our dress up box in exchange for this post, so thank you!  I loved that there were multiple options for under $30, many under $20.

I’ve been ordering from Orielental Trading since *I* was a kid – where else could you get a “gross” (that’s 144 for those that don’t know) of personalized wooden pencils with your name on it for school?  Uh, yeah.  I was that kid.

Anyway, here are some awesome ideas for dressing your kids up on the cheap this year!  I hope you find some inspiration that fits within your budget.  If you have lots of kids like I do, you probably know what it’s like to pinch those pennies.

Halloween Costumes for Kids (on the CHEAP!)

Super Hero
This may be my favorite easy costume to throw together for a kid.  You can easily turn a vinyl table cloth from the dollar store into a cape, make a DIY paper and yarn face mask, and have them wear all one color or a leotard even with tights in whatever colors they like.
You can also buy a set for cheap and make it even easier on yourself.  Check out this Superhero Halloween Costume for just $13.  You can even get it personalized, and it comes with gloves, mask, and cape.  They can wear it on the blue side or the red side.  Pretty cool, and really inexpensive.

Minecraft Characters
Probably the only thing I like about Minecraft is how easy it is to draw and make costumes and such with because everything is boxy.  Grab some cardboard boxes and paint, maybe a few sheets of construction paper and some scissors, and you’re in business!  I’ve seen some really cute Creeper costumes that were made for practically nothing!

This star costume is really cute and very inexpensive

Once again, boxes!  For the rounded parts, you can use a variety of things, but the bottoms of Dixie or SOLO cups work really well.  You have a rainbow of color choices available.

I promise that not everything will be a cardboard box theme, but ROBOTS!?  The ultimate in reusing and recycling to make a creative and fun costume.  You can use boxes, milk jugs, old cords, a vent hose from the dryer, pieces from broken appliances, and more.  It’s a fun way to let kids get creative.

A scarecrow is an easy and inexpensive Halloween for costume for kids

Silly Scarecrow
Use a pair of old jeans, a denim or flannel shirt, and a floppy brown hat. Stuff in some straw, get a little face paint to decorate their little scarecrow face, and  that’s it!  Simple.

Athlete or Sports Fan
You’ve probably got a cheerleader outfit, sports shirt, or team jersey around the house somewhere, right? Find whatever sports-related items you can and turn your kid into the ultimate athlete.  Make it fancy with related gear (such as shin guards or pom poms), and you can totally use some face paint to get more into it without spending a lot more.

Pint-Sized Painter
Find an oversized white button-down shirt and some black tights. A black felt beret or a bandana adds a cute touch. Make an artist’s palette out of card board and some paint, or you can find little plastic white palettes pretty inexpensively at the store. Finally, have your child carry a huge paint brush and that costume is ready to go!

A Mummy Costume is inexpensive and a classic, fun way to look spooky for Halloween
Musty Old Mummy
Although you can use toilet paper, strips of old cloth looks better and holds up well. Toilet paper rips easily and if it gets wet, you are going to have a mess on your hands. Just tear some old white sheets into strips. If your child wears white clothes and shoes, it’ll look even more spooky, so that if the cloth shifts, it won’t be noticeable.  Add some dirt or dust to the strips of cloth to make the mummy costume look aged, and wrapyour kid up.  Alternately, you could wrap your kid up first and then let them roll around in some dirt.  WIN for both of you. 😉

This costume is super affordable at just $13.50 for the mask and cape from Oriental Trading

This costume is super affordable at just $13.50 for the mask and cape from Oriental Trading. Have your child wear a black top and dark pants, and you’re set!

Ghastly Ghost
Classic! Use an old white sheet, and feel free to tatter it up a bit to look worn. If you want, you could even use some black construction paper to make some “chains.” If you want, you could even have your child hold a flashlight beneath the sheet with one hand (and their plastic pumpkin in the other for candy, of course!) to light themselves up when it’s dark outside.  Spoooooooky.

Buzzing Bee
Find a pair of yellow and black P.J.’s that your child can wear at night and as part of the costume, and then add a set of wings and an antenna. If you can’t find black and white PJs, a pair of black or white sweats would work with some colored construction paper for the other color.
Wings can easily be homemade or you can buy some at a local dollar store for very inexpensive.  The same goes for the antenna.  An easy homemade version would be a headband and some black pipe cleaners wrapped around and poking up, rounded at the standing up part’s tip to look more like the little bee everyone is used to.

Petite Pirate
YAR gonna love this one.  Pirates are always a hit, and the costumes arrrrrr easy to make. Get some black or brown boots, some pants (black, brown, maroon, green), a loose-fitting white long-sleeved shirt, an inexpensive eye patch (or make your own) and a hat or bandanna. I’ve totally seen bits and pieces for this kind of costume at dollar stores before as a set for CHEAP.  Sometimes those include a cute fake big gold earring, too.  Cute!

Darling Dorothy
Most little girls have seen The Wizard of Oz. This is a costume that folks young and old will love. Find a blue gingham dress, white apron and some red shoes. You can add red glitter to the shoes, if you can’t find any with it already on there. Put her hair up in two pigtails and maybe add a little red lipstick to her pout.  Adorable!

Going as a musician for Halloween is a fun and inexpensive costume for all ages.

Musical Sensation
A popstar costume is the best because the possibilities are endless. Punk up your child’s hair, grab an old guitar or pair of drum sticks and put them in well-loved, holey jeans. Making a homemade “microphone” or recognizable instruments is easy, or you can easily buy a cute inflatable microphone or inflatable guitar.

Daring Adventurer
Boys and girls will love dressing like Indiana Jones, Dora, or Diego. The items you might want to use to complete the look  of Indiana Jones are: cargo pants, boots, a brown jacket or button-down shirt, a compass, a satchel and, of course, a hat. Find inexpensive regular clothes for your kiddos to wear to look like Dora or Diego.  It’s fun having a little explorer around!


I hope these suggestions have helped you to determine how to help your kids, or really anyone in the family, dress up on a budget.  Which costume idea is your favorite?

About Jenn L

Jenn lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and 5 children. The family likes to eat healthy and try new recipes. Jenn homeschools all of the kids. She is heavily involved with local bloggers and is slightly addicted to social media.