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9 Last-Minute Costumes for the Halloween Procrastinator

Just like the monsters that terrorize unsuspecting teenagers in horror movies, October 31st has a habit of sneaking up on you. For the habitual procrastinator, being invited to a Halloween costume party is great, up until you realize it’s two hours before the event and you still don’t have anything to wear. You have no time to make something elaborate and don’t want to fork over money for a store bought costume that you’ll only wear once. So what’s one to do? Fortunately, you can check out this list of perfect last-minute Halloween costume ideas. This year, you can dress up as…

1. Where’s Waldo

What you need: Hipster glasses, white and red striped shirt, red ski cap

This costume is incredibly easy to assemble from either your closet or the local thrift store. The more red-and-white striped clothes and accessories you can find, the better. Costume bonus: if you get tired of socializing, simply hide. If someone finds you, insist that hiding is part of your costume and congratulate them for finding Waldo.


2. A witch/wizard with a malfunctioning invisibility cloak

What you need: A blanket, towel, or any large piece of cloth

All you need to do to pull off this costume is to throw your cloth over your head and shoulders. This is now your magical (albeit faulty) invisibility cloak. Walk around the party with the cloak covering you and act surprised when people talk to you (“You mean you can see me?!”). For extra authenticity, pick up a stick to use as a wand.


3. A bunch of grapes

What you need: balloons, safety pins, green pom-pom or feather boa

This costume is awesome because it is super simple to pull off and is dirt cheap. Simply blow up the balloons, get a friend to help secure them to your shirt with the pins, then voila! You’ve got yourself a great-looking costume for less than five dollars. The only downside is that you can’t ever sit down, or you’ll pop your balloons.


4. Your significant other or best friend

What you need: A friend and their clothes

This costume is perfect if you have a significant other or best friend whose procrastination skills rival your own. All you need to do for this costume is swap clothes with each other. Simple as that! If your S.O. or best friend is of the opposite gender, then this costume is even better (everyone loves a good gender swap).


5. A formal apology

What you need: Formal attire and rudimentary sign-making skills

This is a costume for those who enjoy the finer things in life, like champagne or punny humor. Simply put on a fancy dress, slap the words “I’m sorry” somewhere on your person, and you’ve got yourself a formal apology.


6. Guess Who characters

What you need: Poster board, markers, wacky accessories (optional)

This nostalgic costume is perfect for a group costume or a solo costume due to its ease of assembly. Simply cut a frame out of a poster board and write a name on it. You can either choose one of the original characters or make up your own character. Don’t be afraid to get crazy with the accessories (it is Halloween after all).


7. Charlie Brown

What you need: A yellow shirt and a black sharpie

If you have a yellow shirt and a black sharpie, you’re five minutes away from having your very own Charlie Brown costume. Bonus costume points if you own a beagle or carry around a tiny Christmas tree.


8. Error 404

What you need: A white shirt and a sharpie

Even simpler than the Charlie Brown shirt, this “costume” requires next to no effort and zero time for the true procrastinators among us. If you can write a simple sentence and own a white T-shirt, then you can pull this look off beautifully.


9. A muggle

What you need: Literally any items of clothing in your closet

The muggle is the last bastion of those who are pressed for time and truly have nothing to wear. For those who are not readers of Harry Potter, a muggle is a non-magical person who basically looks like any person off the street. The idea of this is that you are finding a way to turn your everyday attire into a costume, eliminating the need for any sort of preparation. Another non-Harry Potter variation on this is the classic “nudist on strike”. 

However, be careful in choosing the “muggle” or “nudist on strike” route, as it will likely get you branded as lazy. Oh well, maybe everyone will forgive you if you bring some really good snacks to the party. Plus you’ll totally make an awesome costume next year. Or maybe the year after that…

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Julianne Woodson

George Mason University

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