25 Cheap Student Costumes That Don’t Suck

Halloween can be loads of fun when you're in college, whether you decide to spend the holiday going to haunted houses, partying it up, or just having friends over to watch scary movies. A big part of the fun of Halloween is in dressing up, but costumes, especially really great ones, can get pretty pricey, which doesn't always work well when you're working with a limited budget. Sometimes, the only way to get an amazing costume that won't break the bank is to make your own.

While DIY costumes can sometimes be lame (think a sheet with two eye-holes cut in it), there are many budget-friendly ways to craft costumes that are actually pretty impressive, if not downright cool. We've collected just a few here that can help you craft your way to an amazing Halloween costume that may just make you the envy of all your friends. Get started now so you'll be prepared by the time October 31st rolls around.

  1. LEGO people:

    This Halloween, embrace your childhood by dressing up as a LEGO person, a costume that's both easy and cheap to make. If you want to make it even easier, just be a LEGO block instead.

  2. Pop art:

    Some makeup and a bottle of fabric paint can be all you need to make an incredible costume. Use this inspiration to give yourself the Liechtenstein look by applying small dots and outlines all over your face and body.

  3. Mac and Cheese:

    What's a more appropriate food for a college student to dress up as than mac and cheese? Using supplies that you probably already have on hand (a laundry basket, toilet paper tubes, and duct tape) you can go as this delicious comfort food without having to spend much of anything on a costume.

  4. Rock-Paper-Scissors:

    If you're in the market for a great group costume, why not go as the classic game Rock-Paper-Scissors? This costume is easy to make and is budget-friendly for college students who don't have a ton to spend. Just be prepared to get challenged to play the game all night long.

  5. Pride and Prejudice zombie:

    Zombies have long been a classic cheap Halloween costume, but if you're looking to think a bit more outside of the box, consider giving the zombie look a regency makeover by playing a zombified Jane Austen character. Surprisingly, there's plenty of inspiration to be found, helping you easily turn a dress or a suit, some fake blood, and face paint into a cool costume. If Jane Austen isn't your thing, there's always zombie Abe Lincoln.

  6. Cactus:

    You don't have to be a DIY expert to make this awesome costume. You'll just need green sweat pants and a hoodie, pipe cleaners, and a glue gun to turn yourself into a walking saguaro. Add some flowers or desert animals for a little something extra.

  7. Brella Bat:

    A broken old umbrella and some black clothes can be transformed into a rad bat costume with pretty minimal effort and a shoestring budget. Sure, it's not as cool as being Batman, but you'll get serious points for creativity.

  8. Pinata:

    You aren't likely to find a costume that's much more budget-friendly than this one. A simple sweatsuit paired with cut up crepe paper can turn you into a human pinata. It's a great costume, but may be a bit of a dangerous one as well, as people will likely try swatting at you all night to get candy.

  9. Paper Doll:

    Cardboard, paint, and wrapping paper combine to make this costume. It's both budget-friendly and could be a lot of fun depending on the outfit you choose for your paper doll. If paper dolls aren't really your thing, consider going as another paper product: toilet paper.

  10. Jellyfish:

    Leave it to the people at Martha Stewart to come up with an amazing DIY costume like this. Using an umbrella, tape, bubble wrap, cellophane, you'll be transformed into a super cool jellyfish that will make all of your friends jealous.

  11. The Hamburglar:

    Get nostalgic with this costume that draws on McDonalds advertising from decades past. All you need is a prisoner costume, a hat, a tie, and some ingenuity and you'll be ready to steal hamburgers all night long.

  12. Muppets:

    Who doesn't love The Muppets? Not only are they fun, many of them are easy to replicate through DIY costumes. There are great ideas out there for being Animal, Professor Honeydew or Beaker, and even the Yip Yips, just to name a few.

  13. Robot:

    A robot is definitely classic costume, most likely because it's incredibly easy to make. While the classic box-based robot works, there are numerous DIY ways you can take things up a notch using plastic bins, recyclables, dryer venting, and much more. Use this robot for inspiration and dream up your own way to make an incredible robo-costume.

  14. Moose:

    The costume pictured here may be for babies, but it would be pretty easy to translate into an adult version. Simply get bigger sweats and bigger gloves and you'll be set.

  15. Dobby the House Elf:

    Harry Potter fans can dress up like a character from the movie without having to spend much at all. A ripped up sheet, a hat, some floppy ears, and a sock can help you get that Dobby look.

  16. A cloud:

    You don't want to rain on someone else's parade — or do you? With this incredibly easy-to-make costume, you can do just that. You'll just need some simple supplies you can get at any craft store to build your cloud and you can add rain, rainbows, or even lightning as you'd like.

  17. Strong man (or woman):

    There are dozens of ways to make your own old-timey strongman costume. You can follow the instructions here, or go your own way with a tattoo shirt or other modifications.

  18. Nyan Cat:

    Want a costume that's sure to confuse you in 20 years when you look back at photos of it? Then this is perfect! Based on a popular internet meme, this costume will have you proudly walking around as the now famous Pop-Tart-wearing, rainbow pooping, flying cat.

  19. Bacon:

    If you're looking to be loved by all on Halloween, consider being bacon. This costume is easy to make and will transform you into the most beloved of all meats.

  20. Gameboy:

    You might have to be a bit older to get this one, but even if you aren't you'll just look hip and retro in this budget-friendly Gameboy costume. Even better, all it takes to make is a box and some paint!

  21. Tron characters:

    You can look like you just got off the grid with this amazingly simple yet great costume. All you'll need is black clothing, painter's tape, and a paper plate. Seriously, it's that simple!

  22. Vending Machine:

    If you're worried about needing some snacks mid-Halloween merrymaking, then consider this costume that will ensure you'll have them strapped to you all night. Even better, the supplies you'll need are pretty simple to find and you can add your own touches throughout.

  23. The house from Up:

    This costume might take a bit of artistic skill, but it won't cost much at all. Simply paint a box to match the house in the movie, get some helium-filled balloons, and you're good to go. For bonus points, dress up as Carl, the old man who lives in the house.

  24. Spaghetti and meatballs:

    If maneuverability isn't a concern, then this costume can be an excellent choice, turning you from a human into a plate of delicious spaghetti and meatballs.

  25. Black and White movie:

    Costumes don't get much more simple or creative than this. Dress yourself in black and white clothing and paint your skin in a grayscale tone. You'll look like you just walked out of an old film!

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