Happy Halloween! Costumes on a Budget

Young girl in princess costume holding father’s hand

October will be here soon, and in all likelihood, Halloween costumes will hitting the store shelves long before then. Many kids love dressing up for Halloween and going out in search of sweet treats dressed as a spooky monster or one of their favorite movie characters, but these Halloween costumes can run upwards of $30 apiece!

To avoid dropping some serious cash on a costume your kiddo will only wear for one night, try helping them make their own costume at home this year. Not only will it save you money, but it will be a fun bonding activity for both of you! Here are some great budget Halloween costume ideas to get you started.

Grim Reaper

A grim reaper requires just about as much effort as a ghost costume, but looks spookier! You can either cut two eyeholes in a black sheet or sew the ends together halfway so that it can be worn as a cloak. For the face, you can find cheap black or white face paint. You could also make a skeleton mask with a piece of cardstock, or even a heavy-duty paper plate!


A fabulous princess costume is very easy to make at home. All you need is a length of blue tulle and a band of elastic from your local craft store. You can cut out the pieces of tulle and tie them around the elastic band to make your very own princess skirt, no sewing required! Get a shirt or leotard of a matching color (which you may already own!) and a cheap princess crown or tiara to complete the look.


For a creepy mummy, all you'll need is an old sheet. You can either rip the sheet into pieces or cut it up with some scissors. If you want the strips to have a musty appearance, you can soak them in coffee water for an hour or two. Rinse the sheets to get rid of any coffee smell and allow them to dry. Have your kid wear white or tan clothes and then wrap them up in the sheets!


If your child is a big Avengers fan, chances are they may want to be a superhero for Halloween. Many of these costumes can be recreated yourself! Your kid can be Black Panther with a black jumpsuit, white fabric paint for the markings, and a paper mask. For Captain America fans, you need a blue shirt and pants, some paper to make the mask and star on the chest, and a shield made from cardboard and colored duct tape. You can even help your kiddo design their very own superhero!

Bank Robber

For this costume, all you need is a pair of black pants, a black and white striped shirt, a paper eye mask, and an optional black hat or beanie. Grab a pillowcase and paint or draw a dollar sign on it to complete the costume. This sack can even double as their candy bag!

Spongebob Squarepants

If your kid is a big Spongebob fan, recreating his look is very easy! You'll need a white button-down shirt, a red tie, some khaki shorts, black shoes, and knee-high socks. If you want to recreate his boxy physique, you can also use a cardboard box! Draw his face and body on it, then cut armholes in the side and a neck hole on the top for your child to wear with the socks and shoes.

Punk Rocker

Feel free to get creative with this one. It's easy to make a unique punk rocker costume with clothing your kid already owns, with some glam makeup or jewelry from you! You can also buy spray-on hair dye for a colorful hairstyle that will wash out fast.