10 Easy DIY Costumes for the Burned-Out Halloween Parent


DIY costumesFull disclosure here, I don’t like Halloween. Sure, when it comes to my kids, I tolerate it. I listen to them elaborately plan costumes for half the year. I enthusiastically take them to all Halloween-related activities and actually enjoy watching them trick-or-treat in the neighborhood.

However, there is not much more I despise than having to dress up myself. Unfortunately, as an adult with young children, I often find myself required to attend functions “in costume.”

Here are ten easy DIY costumes for the “burned out” parent on Halloween. These can also be used for Halloween reluctant kids as well!


This one is fairly self-explanatory. Wear black. Find a pair of cat ears someone has inevitably thrown behind the couch. If you’re feeling particularly festive, throw some whiskers on with eyeliner. This costume is also versatile depending on the ears you have (elephant ears – wear grey, deer ears – wear brown, etc.).

Where’s Waldo

This one takes a little more planning than the cat, but it is a tried and true costume. A red and white striped shirt and pair of thick black frames are all you need. Feel free to add the hat, but not necessary.

Rosie the Riveter

We live in the northeast, so there’s a 99% probability you have a chambray shirt in your closet. Throw that with a red bandana, and you’ve got yourself a costume.


There are so many ways to accessorize this one, but chances are you can find most pieces in your wardrobe already. Floral maxi dress? Denim jean jacket? Tie-dye? Find yourself a pair of circle sunglasses and a flower crown, and you are good to go.


This is a very simple one: a flannel shirt, jeans, boots, and a hat. Any beanie or bomber hat will do. This one you can even make look cute!


This is another costume that is super easy and versatile. Hawaiian print shirt, muumuu dress, khaki shorts, sneakers/sandals with high white socks will all work. You can also accessorize this one with your regular clothes with a fanny pack, pair of binoculars, camera around the neck, white zinc on the nose, etc. The tackier, the better!

Trader Joe’s Employee

Who doesn’t love Trader Joe’s? Print out the TJ’s logo and pin it to your solid t-shirt. Or get crazy with a Hawaiian print. 


I’m obsessed with cheetah print almost as much as my 5-year-old daughter. Throw a pair of cat ears on with any cheetah print clothing article, and boom…cheetah.


This is classic last-minute Halloween. White sheet, black marker – you know the drill.


Grab a red shirt and spray-paint a white cross or the word “lifeguard” on it (reversing the colors at your preference). You can use masking tape to make the stencil. Put on a pair of flip-flops and sunglasses to complete the costume.

Do you have go-to DIY Halloween costumes? Let us know in the comments!

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Emma is a stay-at-home mom to her identical twin daughters, Charlotte and Grace (born March 2016) and her son Crosby (born July 2019). She currently resides in Fairfield with her children and her husband Mike. Emma is originally from northeastern CT and worked and lived in Stamford and New York City as an attorney until her daughters were born. Though she misses certain aspects of city life, there really is no better place then living by the beach. When she is not being hounded for snacks or trying to pry her kids off the highest point of the playground, she enjoys going out with friends, trying new restaurants on date nights, binging Bravo and staying active.


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