10 Easy Halloween Costumes for Women That Are Budget-Friendly

Portrait of concerned female farmer agronomist outdoors with sky as copy space.
BitsAndSplits / Getty Images/iStockphoto

It’s our favorite spooky time of year again, where kids dress up in scary costumes and adults embarrass their kids in silly costumes. You’re never too old to dress up for Halloween. In fact, make it an event, throw a party for your friends, and do it on a budget too.

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Here are ten easy Halloween costumes for women that don’t cost too much.


If you love to drink a milkshake, now you can be your favorite flavor on Halloween. All you need is a dress or jumpsuit in a single color to reflect vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry shake flavors. A dress at Goodwill is only $5.99 if you need to buy one.

The only part that will require some creativity is making the cherry-on-top hat. There’s an easy tutorial at Studio DIY that requires a simple headband — you can get a 3 pack at Target for $3.99 — some white stuffing, ($5.99 for 12 oz. at JoAnn’s Crafts) a red balloon and some red felt. You could buy all the supplies for less than $17.

Bag of Ice

This costume couldn’t get any simpler. You need one actual large bag of ice (just the bag, of course), a white or blue t-shirt, and a white or blue pair of pants or shorts (depending on how cold it is in your area). A 20-pound bag of ice is $4-6 at supermarkets, and chances are that’s all you’ll need to spend. However, if you need to buy the outfit, you can get a blouse or shirt at Goodwill for $4.49 or less, and pants for $5.99 or less.

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Bubble Bath

Take everybody’s favorite comfort activity to a whole new level with this bubble bath costume, courtesy of Good Housekeeping. All you need is a cute shower cap and a whole lotta white balloons. You could wear flesh-toned clothing that matches your skin tone, or all white. A cute, reusable shower cap at Amazon is just $6.95 and a 100-pack of white balloons is $7.59. This whole outfit would cost you a bit less than $15.

Nail Polish

Halloween is a fun time to reimagine everyday things into wild costumes. Turn yourself into your favorite nail polish shade with some cardboard, poster paint and glue. You can go with fancier tools as recommended by Club Crafted — including a hot glue gun, spray paint and stencils — or go low budget.

You can surely find a cardboard box free. Tempera paints will cost you $6.46 at Walmart for a pack of six, though you can buy individual bottles for much less. A bottle of Aleene’s all purpose tacky glue is $4.88 at Walmart, as well. Fit the box to your body, paint it with the brand and color of a well known nail polish brand, like Essie, and fashion a piece of stiff white paper into the handle on a headband or clip, which you may already own or can get for under $5.

Piece of Bubblegum

Another edibly-inspired Halloween costume is to go as a piece of gum, according to Studio DIY. You’ll need a pink dress, jumpsuit or top and bottom in the most neon pink you can find, and some cut-out letters to spell out “bubblegum” or the brand of your choice, along with some pink balloons.

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If you have to buy the dress and can find one secondhand, you’ll pay about $5.99 at Goodwill. Or, the online retailer Shein sells one for just $8, brand new. Walmart sells a pack of white paper cut out letters for $4.78 and pink balloons are 97 cents each at Walmart. So you’d be looking at about $12-20 for this costume.


Modern farmers probably have a lot of different outfits, but the iconic image of a farmer is often overalls paired over a flannel shirt. If this isn’t already in your closest, a pair of overalls at Goodwill will probably cost the same as a pair of jeans, about $5.99, and a flannel shirt about $4.99.

You can even mock up your own “USDA” seal of approval with your printer and some cardboard. This outfit should cost you about $12 if you can buy items secondhand.

Instagram or Snapchat Filter

Consider this simple “Instagram filter” (or Snapchat), suggested by Good Housekeeping. All you need is a big piece of cardboard to cut out like a frame, and whatever filter “props” would make your outfit. They went with a dog filter with puppy ears (paper and a headband), and whiskers and a nose drawn on with some costume makeup.

Draw, paint, or print out the filter tools at the bottom of your poster board frame. You can probably make this whole costume for $5-$10. [x]

Social Media

On a related note, consider going a little “meta” for your Halloween costume by dressing up as your preferred social media platform. A Pinterest user interpreted it by wearing all black, adding a cut-out of the Pinterest logo and pasting on a variety of pictures to her chest. All you’d need is a printer and clothes you can find in your own closet.

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Here are some other ideas: Cut out paper statuses and pair with the Facebook logo, or curate some photos of people on vacation along with the Instagram logo.

50 Shades of Grey

How about a Halloween costume that’s a little tongue in cheek? Take the title of the adult fan fiction “50 Shades of Grey” by E.L. James, and get literal with it.

Using either a printer or paint sample cards (which are free), plaster 50 pieces of gray paper/cards to a black or dark shirt over dark pants or skirt. You could also go with a dress. Given that most people likely have dark clothing in their closets, this costume could essentially be free.

Ketchup or Mustard

Food related costumes are fun and silly and often get a lot of laughs among friends. Consider being a life-sized condiment with this simple ketchup or mustard costume, courtesy of Studio DIY.

You need a red or yellow dress/jumpsuit or shirt and pants combo for your main outfit. Then, you can make a “spout hat” out of a couple pieces of paper or felt, a paper plate or disposable tin container and a headband. The paper and felt will cost about $1 each at most craft stores. You can probably snag a free plate from a friend or family member, and a headband will run you between $1 and $4.

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