Tricks and Tips for Homemade Halloween Costumes

October 19, 2018


Halloween is coming up soon! Are you ready? We're here to help. Check out these 7 ideas for homemade costumes:

Imperfections are perfect

Those holey jeans or that ripped top work really well in creating the disheveled effect  that works for so many Halloween looks. Whether dressing as a zombie or a visitor to the wrong cabin in the woods, you can give your well-worn clothes another purpose before you renew them.


Another great source of costume components is the pile of clothes you are planning to donate. You can make your own canvas. Using fabric paint, acrylics, or dyes, redefine shape lines, add identifying features of your character, or include turn the whole thing into a fun visual pun.

Extra limbs

You can also use the things that don't fit from that donation pile to create asymmetrical and unexpected proportions and body features. Limbs that pop out of unexpected places or at unexpected angles, particularly in comparison with your everyday stature, are an excellent way to make a regular outfit into an amazing costume. 

Getting ahead

Masks, hats, and other headgear tie your costume together, and they can be made from so many materials we have laying around the house. Cardboard is flexible and easily painted. It's a great source for mask or hat making. Cloth scraps from sewing projects or retired clothes can be wrapped, combined, and decorated into all sorts ways. You can even grab some clean plastic bottles from the recycling bin to make shapes for things like horns or ears.  


Recyclable materials also work great for flavor-adding accessories. Plastic packaging and tin foil or metal scraps can transform into jewelry. Fabric scraps can become identifying patches and spooky streamers. 

Candy caddy

Everyone knows the classic trick of using an old pillowcase to hold your candy as you trick-or-treat. Whether you are on the hunt for sweets or need a place to hold personal items while staying scary, you can improve on the concept by sewing large pockets into your costume.

Spooky pockets

If you are willing to open holes and add pockets inside your outfit, you can add some awesome dynamic features to your appearance. Frightening features can poke out of unexpected places, and your getup can give off an eerie glow with decorative lighting. You can even use apps on your smartphone to display an animated beating heart or controllable eye peeking out through gaps in your costume.


Halloween is a great time to try out your DIY spirit. We'd love to see what you come up with. Send us photos of your best DIY Halloween costumes, winner gets a $50 gift card. Email submissions to by 11/2 at midnight. 

Also in (RE)NEWS

Books for bottles
Books for bottles
The best way we can share the Renewable Life with our kids is by setting a great example. This Italian cafe inspires students to rethink ...

Read More

Where does our stuff really go?
Where does our stuff really go?
When we are done with the stuff, it has to go somewhere, and we then think of it as ‘away’, at least from us. But there is no ‘away...

Read More

Start a stuff journal
If you want to build up the habit of staying renewed, start out by tracking some simple metrics. Become more mindful of your impact...

Read More