DIY Costume Ideas

Store bought costumes can be cute, but we have all seen some amazing homemade costumes that take the cake. Not only are DIY costumes usually more creative and have more detail than the ones you buy, they can be a LOT cheaper too. And when you have Halloween events all month long, it’s a great way to create a different look for each spooktacular event you partake in. We got some great DIY costume ideas from local Bronx Mama Liz Varenne and are excited to share!

I love making my own costumes. I generally get inspiration from actual costumes and real ideas. Meaning I don’t just whip something up. I need a solid lead since I’m a visual person.


Indian Princess Costume

This Indian Princess costume was a dollar men’s t-shirt from Salvation Army. I made sure to go on half price day so I paid $1 instead of $2.


  1. I marked off where I would cut the fringe and cut it in horizontal cut along the sides. And at the bottom I cut it in a v shape and fringed. Also fringed the sleeves.
  2. The excess I cut off the bottom I also fringed, and out around the neck. I stitched that on, but you could leave it off or attach with fabric glue.
  3. I then used orange felt sheets, and cut strips to accent the design. Again can be stitched or glued. I took an old bead necklace out of a goodybag and hand tacked it to the outfit. I made a matching headband with left over t-shirt material.
  4. Face was painted like an Indian. She wore her boots and brown leggings that we had. That’s it!


Harry Potter Costume

For this Harry Potter costume I bought a black grim reaper cape at Rite Aid. She wore a white button down shirt of my son’s, a striped tie, an old scarf and I DREW on the glasses and lightening bolt. For the wand we just grabbed a toy- you can often find wands at your local dollar store in the cheap toy section.

  1. Cape
  2. White button down shirt
  3. Striped Tie
  4. Scarf
  5. Play glasses or draw them on!
  6. Drawn on lightening bolt
  7. Wand

Ta da!


Rock Star Costume

For this cool rockstar, the tutu makes the entire look. She simply wore leggings and hip clothes, grabbed an inflatable guitar, and I sprayed her hair with hot pink spray

The Tutu

You can use strips of 4-inch wide tulle on a roll but it was cheaper to buy yards of it and cut it up. You can use 4″ wide and 2 ft long strips.

  1. Use a piece of 1″elastic for the waist.
  2. Start tying the strips evenly around the elastic. Try to tie at the same point in each strip so they are even.
  3. Keep going around and tie or pin together.
  4. Use some tulle for the headband as well.

And you’re ready to rock!


Liz Varenne is a freelance makeup artist, mother of three, and super thrifty. Check her out at



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