We’ve got tons of ideas for non-scary Halloween costumes that are easy and cheap to make.
Have you thought about Halloween costumes for you or your kids yet? Does the cost of costumes scare the fun out of Halloween for your family?
Planning for Halloween Takes the Cost out of Costumes
Halloween will be here before you know it. And costume-loving families know that putting together a unique and inexpensive costume takes some planning and some time.
The earlier you start, the more complete and creative your outfit will be—plus you’ll have more time to find great deals.
We know it may sound strange, but our kids would start talking about their Halloween costumes during the summer. But starting now will still give you enough time to put together an awesome costume!
Only One Halloween Costume Limit
Our kids loved thinking ahead and putting together homemade non-scary Halloween costumes. We did have one rule, though—we didn’t allow gory or ghoulish outfits. Other than that, the sky was the limit on their creativity.
10 Non-Scary, Inexpensive & Creative Halloween Costumes
Want more Costume ideas? Check out our Halloween Costume Videos at the bottom of the page!
We’ll give you 10 economizer-tested ideas for non-scary Halloween costumes to get you started. If you come up with a creative winner, we’d love to see it and hear about it.
1) The Thrift Store Pirate Costume
Since the Pirates of the Caribbean series was created, pirate costumes have become really popular. But you don’t have to dress like Captain Jack Sparrow or spend a treasure chest of gold to have a winning costume.
Our daughter Becky completed an easy version of this costume for “Dress Like a Pirate Day” at the bookstore where she worked. Her “Thrift Store Pirate Costume cost about $25 for the whole ensemble (which for our family was a lot of money!).
A co-worker spent more than that just to rent the blouse and hat for her costume. Here’s what Becky did (see photo above) for her non-scary Halloween costume:
Blouse. She found a white frilly blouse at our favorite consignment store for $10. It had a low neckline so she supplemented with a white knit camisole top under it.
Vest and Knickers). At a thrift store, she found a brown vest for $3 and brown linen pants for $7. Much to Annette’s dismay, Becky cut the legs off the linen pants to make rough-looking knickers.
Boots. She found a pair of leather paddock boots for $2.
Bling. What would a pirate be without some jewelry? Becky found a large gold-plated necklace ($1.50) and a big gold hoop earring ($1.50) at the same thrift store.
Finishing Touches. She completed the ensemble with two long pieces of cloth we had at home. One she used as a belt, and a matching piece became a headband/scarf. She also sported a wooden sword borrowed from one of her brothers.
Do a Google Search for Pirate Costume Ideas -and you’ll be amazed.
The outfit was a hit and she received many compliments. We arrrrgree!
RELATED ARTICLE: Homemade Halloween Party Games for Kids
2) The Cluster of Grapes Costume
We found this idea in a magazine and loved it. Inflate about twenty purple balloons (fewer if you’re outfitting a small child). Tie off each end with a string, leaving a 3-inch tail. Tie each balloon onto a long piece of string, leaving about 8 inches between each one.
Dress in a solid-color top and pants (purple is the best color, but black or white will work, too). Wrap the string with balloons around the torso and tie. You may want to use safety pins to keep the string from shifting.
Cut large leaf shapes out of lime green felt or other fabric, and hot glue them to a matching hairband. Or weave some silk-plant leaves throughout the balloons. This is the perfect kid non-scary Halloween costume.
3) The Identity Crisis Costume
This is really easy. We saw this in another magazine that has since ceased publishing. Wear a black dress or sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Using sticker-type name-tags, write a different name on each tag. Stick them all over the outfit. It’s hilarious.
4) The Granny Costume
The Granny Costume is another easy non-scary Halloween costume to assemble from thrift store finds. Start with a long, solid-colored skirt, add a flowered blouse, white apron and bonnet, lace-up shoes and a pair of old glasses (pop out the lenses).
Abbey’s friend Lauren wore a few years ago and it was really cute.
5) Sick and Tired Costumes
Making costumes from plays on words is hilarious. Steve and Annette have used this one a couple of times. Annette wore a bathrobe and slippers (with warm clothes on underneath), added makeup to create bags under her eyes and messed up her hair.
She carried a teddy bear and put a sign around her neck that said “Tired.” Steve wore a hospital gown (clothes underneath, too) and a bathrobe, applied red makeup around his eyes and on his nose and carried a box of tissues. He had a sign that read, “Sick.” Together we were . . . you guessed it, “Sick and Tired.”
You could try the same thing with “Salt and Pepper,” “Richer or Poorer,” “Ketchup and Mustard,” or any number of other combinations.
6) A Mime Costume – Great for Talkative Kids
A Mime costume is super easy and is another inexpensive and non-scary costume to create.
Just dress in black sweatpants and a black turtleneck or sweatshirt with black socks and black shoes. Buy a tube of white face paint (look for clown white) from a costume shop, thrift shop or grocery store (around Halloween time). Use an eyeliner pencil for the eye highlights.
If you need an illustration, do a Google search for “Mime Photo” or look in library books.
7) Authentic Cowboy Costume
This one’s pretty easy to pull off in Arizona, but it may be harder in other parts of the country. Start with a long-sleeved plaid shirt and blue jeans. Add a leather belt with a big shiny buckle (cardboard-covered with aluminum foil works, too), cowboy boots, hat and a red bandana tied loosely around the neck. Props like a lasso or cap gun and holster just add to the look.
8) A ’50s Costume
We see inexpensive poodle skirts at thrift stores all the time. Just add a white or black sweater, white ankle socks, saddle shoes or white canvas sneakers and you’re set. Putting your hair into a ponytail adds a finishing touch.
Guys can get a matching look with blue jeans, a white T-shirt with rolled-up sleeves, white socks, black shoes, and greased-back hair. Just leave a few strands hanging down in front for that “Studley” look. A leather jacket (if you’ve got one) completes the ensemble.
9) Scarecrow Costume
This costume is another easy one to pull together. For the past two years, Becky’s scarecrow costume was so good that many people thought she was just a “statue” or stuffed scarecrow. She started with a large flannel shirt and old blue jeans. She sewed on five square patches (old fabric cut with pinking shears), put on a pair of old, leather work-gloves and old boots. We wrapped raffia around her wrists and ankles, and twisty-tied bunches of it to stuff in her pockets and between buttons in her shirt, leaving enough to stick out and look like hay. Lastly, she covered her head with a light-brown piece of fabric, with cut-out eye and nose holes, gently tied it around her neck and donned an old straw hat. She took an old broomstick and stuck it in one arm across her shoulders and out the other arm. At a church harvest festival, she stood still in an open area, with her arms dangling on the broom-stick, and people walked up and poked her and stared. When she moved one young child was so startled that he ran away crying—poor little guy.
(The picture on the right is Steve’s Scare Crow from the Wizard of Oz costume that he made for $15 for an appearance on the Today Show.)
10) Non-Scary Halloween Costumes with Uniforms
Thrift stores often carry all sorts of uniforms that will work as costumes. We’ve seen graduation gowns, baseball uniforms, bowling shirts, Air Force flight suits, scuba diver wetsuits, camouflage gear and other military garb, scrubs for medical professionals, and, of course, boy- and girl-scout uniforms.
You’re likely to find even more interesting uniforms in your area. Just be on the lookout and let your imagination run wild.
Let the creative costume building Begin!
Are you ready to start rummaging around the house to pull together winner costumes for you and the kids this year? Creating a unique costume is a lot of fun when you have the time. If you feel like you’re lacking on the creative end, don’t despair; just go visit a few garage sales and ask if they have any costumes their kids have outgrown. You’ll be amazed at what people will pull out to sell for just a few dollars. So cut the costs and compound the creativity in your costumes this year.
YouTube Live non-scary Halloween Costumes Video
In this video, we describe even more non-scary Halloween costumes. And we talk about where we’ve found the best deals on costume components and full costumes for kids.
Today Show Halloween Costume Segment
A few years back, Today Show producers saw some of our Non-Scary Halloween costumes and asked us to show viewers how we found inexpensive costumes. This segment shows us planning and shopping and then talking about how much we spent.
For ideas about Halloween party games and crafts, click here!