As another Halloween approaches, don't work yourself into a fright. Conjure up an easy costume with everyday household items. Dress up your children or yourself with no sewing and little shopping involved. Many of these ideas adapt for boys or girls, young or old.


Plunder your closets for a bandana, vest, oversized white shirt, cut-off shorts, and boots or flip-flops. Make an eye patch with black felt or heavy paper attached to black yarn. Construct a large hoop earring with pipe cleaner.

Traveler or explorer

Binoculars, a tacky shirt, khaki pants, suitcase or backpack, map and homemade passport create an adventurous, world-weary traveler.

Lunch lady

Transform into a middle-aged cafeteria worker with an apron, rolling pin, hairnet, dress or skirt, and padding to add bulk. Wear make-up and smudge your face and hair with flour.


Wear a large, empty frame around your neck. Do your hair and don a fancy, old-fashioned shirt or dress for your self-portrait


A pair of glasses with taped frames, bowtie or necktie, shirt with pocket to hold multiple pens, and suspenders create the classic nerd. Carry books and a calculator.

"Dead tired"

Pajamas, a bathrobe, messed-up hair and grey make-up with dark under-eye circles will give you a "dead tired" look.


Turn up the attitude with glam and sparkle. Gold and silver jewelry, a dressy outfit and shoes, hat and oversized sunglasses will diva-fy you or your daughter.

White trash

Dress in a white shirt and pants and dig around your garbage cans for wrappers and bits of trash to adhere to your clothes

Greaser or hooligan

Revisit the 1950s with a cool greaser ensemble. A plain white T-shirt, dark jeans, slicked-back hair, comb and sunglasses will complete the look.

Farmer, farm girl or hick

With a bandana, flannel shirt, overalls or jeans, boots and straw hat, you can create a country bumpkin. Pencil in freckles on your cheeks and carry a basket of produce.

80s rocker

Spike the bangs, curl the hair, and dig out neon colors, legwarmers, stonewashed jeans, a vest, shoulder pads and leggings. Wear heavy make-up and piles of bracelets and necklaces. For boys, don a long, curly-haired or mullet wig.

Baked potato, leftover or robot

Utilize aluminum foil to create any of these looks. Wrap up in foil to become a dinner leftover or baked potato. Or, wrap a large box after cutting out a head, arms and legs to create a robot.

Anything zombie

Many teens and tweens appeal to the grotesque. Recycle an old ninja, princess or football player costume with a zombie twist. Add rips, dirt, fake blood and a messy hairdo and frightful face to any previously-used costume.

Don't shriek and moan over the hassles of Halloween. Enjoy the costume aspect of the holiday with any of these low-cost, low-stress ideas. Scan your house for everyday items to ignite your creativity and reuse and recycle.

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