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DIY costumes are easier than you think (and not a sexy nurse outfit in sight!)

  • Published in Features


We're just going to come out and say it: Halloween is one of our all-time favourite holidays. Sure, the food isn't as good as at Christmas, and yeah it's kind of annoying that women's costumes always seem to be prefaced by the word “sexy”, but there's nothing like the escapism of dressing up and exploring your gothic side. The only problem is finding costume ideas that aren't going to put too much strain on that ever-dwindling pay cheque or student loan. So we asked our fashion writers to put their heads together, and come up with some DIY costume inspiration for those who are feeling cash-poor and time-rich this year.

1. Embellish like a pro

diy halloween costume

Aussie fashion writer, Laura Cheshire, confessed she's new to the tradition of dressing up for Halloween, but still keen to join in with the fun. Armed with enough googly eyes and pipe cleaners to keep Blue Peter in business for several years, she set about making some subtly spooky embellishments to spruce up her outfit.


Laura said: “If the mere mention of witches, ghosts and gouls is all a bit too frightening for you, join in with the festivity in a subtle way with these simple embellishments.”


Ooogly headband: A cute and inexpensive way to give a nod to Halloween is this kitsch idea for a headband. Take a plain headband and tie on purple, orange or black ribbon. Use superglue to attach googly eyes, and (please for the love of God) leave to dry before putting anywhere near your hair.


Spider lapels: Twist four pipe cleaners together in the middle, and bend each “leg” about a third of the way down to help them stand up. Glue googly eyes on as a finishing touch and attach to your clothes with a safety pin.

2. If in doubt, bin bags


Fashion journalist/impoverished student, Hannah Bell, harks back to simpler times when Halloween costumes meant holes cut in a bin bag which was unceremoniously thrust over your head. Here's the slightly more sophisticated version of that costume from the good old days.

Hannah said: “If you’re wanting to avoid spending half your monthly wage, a tonne of time making something and pretty much avoid looking like a dick, then this idea is right up your street.”

Step 1: Acquire any black material and a long sleeved black top, whether it be something you’ve found at home like I did, or binliners if you’re majorly skint. Ensure the material of your choice is at least as long as the sleeve of the top.diyhalloween6

Step 2: Sew the material to the sleeve. Easiest way to do this is to pin it in places so you avoid sewing through the other side (which would be a massive inconvenience: trust me, I did it.)


Step 3: If you’re handy with a sewing machine then this will be a lot easier for you. As you did with the arms, pin what will be your wings down the middle of the back and then sew in place. Or use Velcro from a haberdashery shop to stick the bat wings on if you wish.


Step 4: Finally, cut a scalloped pattern along the edge of the material. I would suggest drawing a template so you get both sides spot on.

Step 5: It’s done! Time to go out, get pissed, and not look like a dick for Halloween!