This year Halloween falls on a Saturday, so you can be sure you’ll be invited to lots of parties. Fortunately, you can create a great costume for cheap. Check out my 10 Halloween costume ideas from last year, and then consider this new crop created for this year.

5 Cheap Halloween Costumes for Adults
Adult Halloween costumes are frequently topical in nature, especially during heated political times. This could definitely be called a heated political time.

Financial Zombie
Get a bedraggled suit from the thrift store, then stuff fake money in the pockets. Apply zombie makeup to your face. Now you’re a victim of the financial meltdown and also partaking in this year’s hottest monster trend.

Upside Down House
Get a pair of large cardboard boxes. Paint one to look like a house and cut the other into a triangle for the roof. Cut a hole in the top of the triangle large enough to fit your legs. Attach the roof to the house. Now for the fun part, cut out the bottom of the house box. Stretch two fabric straps over it so it will hang over your shoulder. Now you’re someone who is upside down in your house. Sometimes it feels good to laugh at misfortune, really.

Hiker
The jokes about the Appalachian Trail and Mark Sanford continue. So, dress up as a hiker, but with a twist. Men, toss a red lace bra over your shoulder or place lipstick marks on your neck and cheek. Women, wear a red lace bra over your hiking outfit. Print a map of the Appalachian Trail and carry it in your pocket with the label showing (or just label a blank sheet of paper and stick it in your pocket.)

Celebrity Baby Bump
The tabloids are obsessed with the baby bump. Every celebrity, pregnant or not, has one. So, you should have one, too. Get a slinky ballgown at the thrift store and then stuff a beach ball or pillow inside it. Carry a trophy of some kind labeled “Oscar.” Now you’re a celebrity with a baby bump. When you enter, try to have friends yell and take your picture like you’re a real celebrity. Walk around claiming that you’re not pregnant and you don’t know what they’re talking about.

LOLCat
Dress up as a cat in form-fitting black clothes, black whisker makeup on your cheeks, and cat ears. Now print a LOLCat slogan on white paper and tape it to your chest. I saw this particularly amusing one that might work for Halloween.

5 Cheap Halloween Costumes for Kids
Kids are a little easier, and a little harder to find cheap costumes for. Some kids want the storebought costumes so they look perfect, but explain why homemade is better – they’ll be unique. No one will look exactly like them. All of these can be adapted for boys or girls.

Pirate
You can never go wrong with a good pirate outfit, and it’s also the easiest costume to make. Baggy pants, a loose white shirt tied with a scarf at the waist, an eyepatch, a sword, and a pirate hat. Bonus points for giving the kid a pouch packed with gold coin chocolates. Make it a sheer bag so other people can see what’s inside.

Hobo
I don’t know why, but hobo costumes were popular when I was a kid, and still are it seems. These are also easy to make. Just find a child’s suit two sizes too big at the thrift store and stuff it with newspaper to make the belly pop-out. Add a bowler hat, a stick with a handkerchief bundle tied to the end, and some dirt stains on the cheeks and you’re golden.

Robot
Yes, you could buy a Transformers costume, but that’s so boring. Instead, get some boxes and wrap them in tinfoil. Attach construction paper buttons and plastic bottle cap knobs. Cut holes in the tops and bottoms to fit your kid through, then glue the boxes together. Attach shoulder straps. If your kid wants a robot head, make sure you cut a large eye screen out.

Wizard
Rather than go the obvious Harry Potter route, you can make a simple wizard costume if you have a bit of sewing skill. Sew a long tunic with large sleeves in a metallic fabric. Cut a small branch off a tree and whittle it down for a wand. Now roll a manila folder into a cone and staple it together. Cut the bottom edge into a smooth circle. Cover the whole thing in metallic fabric. Voila – easy wizard costume – claim it’s Dumbledore if they really want Harry Potter.

Vampire
With the kids going crazy for Twilight, the vampire is also sure to make a strong showing this Halloween. You can go classic vamp in black clothes, black cape, and white face with red lips, or do the modern vamp – black clothes, glittery white skin, and sullen expression. The classic is probably easier for homeowners to figure out at the door when the kids come asking for candy.

So now you have twenty cheap Halloween costume ideas. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to spend a lot of money to make Halloween fun!

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