When it comes to quick and easy Halloween costumes, many find they have to sacrifice the idea of being unique or elaborate. Although they may require inspired creativity and a bit of crafty skill, party ready costumes can be both affordable and a joy to create, even on a whim.
Standard Quick and Easy Halloween Costumes
Whether you are running to the drugstore or whipping something up at home, there are some old costume standbys that are always simple and effective.
For kids and adults, an animal costume can be simple and straightforward. You can purchase cat or rabbit ears at an affordable price or make them yourself with cardboard and crayons. For both creatures, use mascara or an eyebrow pencil to blacken the nose, then use the same pencil to draw whiskers. Wear a top in a plain color to match the ears. Solid and basic black or white colors are the easiest to pair with either a skirt or plain trousers. You don't even have to have a tail, although cat tails usually accompany the ears if you are buying them. For a rabbit, cotton is a good fluffy tail standby, just pin it on and call it done.
Women and girls can easily be gypsies. A long skirt with a scarf in a contrasting color tied over it, a loose blouse or even a camisole with another scarf wrapped around the shoulders, big earrings, a scarf around the head and some garish makeup and jewelry finishes the look.
Men and boys can just as easily be old-fashioned hobos. This is an especially good quick and easy Halloween costume for a boy, because he can wear his father's shirt and jacket over a loose pair of jeans. Add a floppy hat and a stick with a bandana stuffed with some fabric attached and the costume is done.
Never forget one of the oldest costumes of all - the basic ghost. If you don't have a white sheet or pillowcase that can be sacrificed to the cause, a ghost costume can be bought at any drugstore and is guaranteed to fit all sizes. If you don't find one you like, head to the fabric store and buy a few yards of cheap muslin. Cut out eyeholes and throw it over your head.
Funny Quick and Easy Halloween Costumes
If you're going on the fast and cheap, you may as well aim for a laugh. An easy costume that's great for a couple is the embarrassing American tourist. Wear your ugliest shorts, or buy some hideous Bermuda shorts at a thrift shop, a contrasting shirt like a Hawaiian shirt, sneakers, white socks, a floppy hat or baseball cap and a camera around the neck. Carry maps and guidebooks. This costume is unisex, but the ladies might add giant sunglasses, tacky plastic jewelry and a cheap plastic shoulder bag.
You can also just pick up a pair of Groucho Marx glasses and a fake cigar and be the legendary funny man. If you have two friends who want to get in on the act, a cheap curly wig and top hat with some oversize clothes makes one Harpo and a beat-up suit with little hat creates Chico. It helps if you can do a few of the classic jokes and bits from the Marx brothers' movies.
If you or the kids are just looking to have some fun, rather than dress up as a specific character, there is nothing like getting some cheap masks from the craft shop and spending a few hours at the kitchen table decorating them. Who says decorative masks are only for Mardi Gras? Fabric, sequins and glitter can help you create all kinds of fun looks, and you're only limited by your imagination.
Some may simply choose the classic route and don a plain black mask with a hat and become an old fashioned bandit, it's up to you!