25 Cheap Student Costumes That Don’t Suck

Halloween can be loads of fun when you’re in college, whether you decide to spend the holiday going to haunted houses, partying it up, or just having friends over to watch scary movies. A big part of the fun of Halloween is in dressing up, but Halloween costumes, especially really great ones, can get pretty pricey, which doesn’t always work well when you’re working with a limited budget. Sometimes, the only way to get an amazing costume that won’t break the bank is to make your own.

While DIY costumes can sometimes be lame (think a sheet with two eye-holes cut in it), there are many budget-friendly ways to craft costumes that are actually pretty impressive, if not downright cool. We’ve collected just a few here that can help you craft your way to an amazing Halloween costume that may just make you the envy of all your friends. Get started now so you’ll be prepared by the time October 31st rolls around.

  1. LEGO people:

    This Halloween, embrace your childhood by dressing up as a LEGO person, a costume that’s both easy and cheap to make. If you want to make it even easier, just be a LEGO block instead.

  2. Pop art:

    Some makeup and a bottle of fabric paint can be all you need to make an incredible costume. Use this inspiration to give yourself the Liechtenstein look by applying small dots and outlines all over your face and body.

  3. Mac and Cheese:

    What’s a more appropriate food for a college student to dress up as than mac and cheese? Using supplies that you probably already have on hand (a laundry basket, toilet paper tubes, and duct tape) you can go as this delicious comfort food without having to spend much of anything on a costume.

  4. Rock-Paper-Scissors:

    If you’re in the market for a great group costume, why not go as the classic game Rock-Paper-Scissors? This costume is easy to make and is budget-friendly for college students who don’t have a ton to spend. Just be prepared to get challenged to play the game all night long.

  5. Pride and Prejudice zombie:

    Zombies have long been a classic cheap Halloween costume, but if you’re looking to think a bit more outside of the box, consider giving the zombie look a regency makeover by playing a zombified Jane Austen character. Surprisingly, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found, helping you easily turn a dress or a suit, some fake blood, and face paint into a cool costume. If Jane Austen isn’t your thing, there’s always zombie Abe Lincoln.

  6. Cactus:

    You don’t have to be a DIY expert to make this awesome costume. You’ll just need green sweat pants and a hoodie, pipe cleaners, and a glue gun to turn yourself into a walking saguaro. Add some flowers or desert animals for a little something extra.

  7. Brella Bat:

    A broken old umbrella and some black clothes can be transformed into a rad bat costume with pretty minimal effort and a shoestring budget. Sure, it’s not as cool as being Batman, but you’ll get serious points for creativity.

  8. Pinata:

    You aren’t likely to find a costume that’s much more budget-friendly than this one. A simple sweatsuit paired with cut up crepe paper can turn you into a human pinata. It’s a great costume, but may be a bit of a dangerous one as well, as people will likely try swatting at you all night to get candy.

  9. Paper Doll:

    Cardboard, paint, and wrapping paper combine to make this costume. It’s both budget-friendly and could be a lot of fun depending on the outfit you choose for your paper doll. If paper dolls aren’t really your thing, consider going as another paper product: toilet paper.

  10. Jellyfish:

    Leave it to the people at Martha Stewart to come up with an amazing DIY costume like this. Using an umbrella, tape, bubble wrap, cellophane, you’ll be transformed into a super cool jellyfish that will make all of your friends jealous.

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About Emma Rae Curtis

Kids around the world count down the days until Christmas but not Emma Rae Curtis. Ever since her first Halloween, Emma has been a huge fan of the magic that is Halloween. While raising her kids, Emma had the time of her life making Halloween costumes and hosting lively Halloween parties. Each Halloween her house is still decorated to the hilt making it a trick or treat favorite in the neighborhood. Emma is an avid researcher, reader and writer of all topics involving Halloween costumes, traditions, decorations, parties, and accessories. At the urging of her friends and family Emma has worked independently as a Halloween writer/researcher since 2001. Emma also does consulting for organizations regarding all things related to Halloween parties, Halloween costumes, and Halloween related information.
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