Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Please read our disclosure for more info.
For people who are into crafting, Halloween is even better than Christmas. There are spooky decorations to hang, giant pumpkins to carve, and — most importantly — terrifying costumes to make from scratch. For those of us with five thumbs on each hand, though, the prospect of making an attractive, wearable costume at home often leads to spilled paint, paper cuts, and accidents with the glue gun.
It can get stressful. Every year, Halloween costumes get more… Instagram-worthy. Everyone seems to be competing for the most involved, intricate, and clever homemade costume. Gone are the days when a (surprisingly expensive) store-bought banana outfit was the hit of the night. And there’s nothing worse than bobbing for apples at a Halloween cocktail party dressed in your civilian (or work!) clothes.
So what’s a clumsy person to do? First, take a deep breath. Second, eat a large handful of candy corn. And third, read about these five easy-to-make, cheap, klutz-proof Halloween costumes. Each of them takes less than 30 minutes to make and can be assembled with items you probably already have lying around your apartment.
The Gift That Keeps Giving
The ultimate two-birds-one-stone costume. Even if you’re as bad at wrapping presents as you are at making costumes, you probably have some wrapping paper stuffed in a closet somewhere. After that, all you need is a large cardboard box, some double-stick tape, and one of those big stick-on bows. Wrap the box, cut a holes out of the bottom and top big enough for your torso, and then cut holes for your arms. Wear uniform colors — preferably black — so that the focus is on the gift, not your outfit. The shinier the better. Think of it as a way to get rid of your tackiest wrapping paper.
Three questions: Do you own a white shirt? How about white jeans or slacks? Can you cut simple lines and circles out of black construction paper, and tape them to yourself in something approaching straight lines? If the answer to these questions is a resounding yes or even a maybe, you’re well on your way to playing the bones for a night. (Bonus: This makes a great couples’ costume, if your significant other is just as clumsy as you are.)
This one’s easy, but it might make you hungry. All you need is a package or two of tin foil and someone to help you wrap yourself in it, head to foot. Don’t wrap each leg individually, otherwise you’ll look like you’re wearing a spacesuit (another great idea!). But don’t wrap your legs too tight, either, or you won’t be able to walk, and you’ll end up attending the party as that all-too-familiar tragedy: a burrito that has fallen to the floor. Write your favorite order across your torso, and you’re golden.
Aggrieved Waiter Costume
Even if you’ve never worked in the service industry, impersonating a waiter undergoing a bad shift isn’t too difficult. Just strap on your favorite kitchen apron, grab your favorite takeout menu from your refrigerator, and stick a pen behind each of your ears. Keep a coin purse handy for change, and if you have a circular tray at home, balance it on your fingertips as you walk through the party, listing off the day’s specials and complaining about the chef overcooking steaks.
There’s something really funny about eschewing the topical, the clever, the gross, and going super-basic for Halloween. Turns out that wearing the sort of costume a toddler or a dog might wear can be really funny as an adult. A pumpkin is about as basic — and easy! — as it gets. The most difficult part of this costume is finding an orange sheet, or a gigantic orange t-shirt. If you have that, all you have to do is cut some jack-o’-lantern shapes out of black construction paper, and affix them with tape. Put the shirt on, then stuff a pillow or two (or three) under it, securing them if necessary with twine. (Or, you can just cinch a belt around your waist, over the shirt.) Find a green hat and voila: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
Sam Radbil is a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO, an online apartment search service. ABODO was founded in 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. And in just three years, the company has grown to more than 30 employees, raised over $8M in outside funding and helps more than half a million renters find a new home each month.