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The Best DIY Costume Ideas for a College Student Budget

By Lexie Zanghi | October 29, 2021

Attending a Halloween party soon but have no idea what to wear? You will be ready in no time and save money with these DIY Costumes.

Especially after midterms, Halloween may have been the last thing on your mind. Plus, with the semester being halfway through, your bank accounts may be looking a little dry. Try to use items you already own, would use after Halloween, or cheap ones that will not cause you to go broke.

Solo Costumes


A vampire can be easy depending on what you are going for. If you want the stereotypical vampire look, find whatever black clothing articles you have, buy some vampire's teeth, and apply fake blood around your mouth. Even better if you have a black or red shirt or a flowy dress. You can add a cape if you are feeling extra daring. If you want a Vampire Diaries or Twilight look, any dark clothing will do.

Low-Cost Items to Complete the Look:

Black Dress: SHEIN Black Shirt: SHEIN Fake Blood: Party City Vampire Teeth: SHEIN Cape:Amazon


Popular costumes are regular angels or dark angels, and you can complete either of these looks all for a very low price, or utilizing items you already own. For the classic angel costume, wear a white dress or shirt. If you want to be the more dangerous dark angel, wear black. As long as you have a pair of wings, you will be all set. In fact, a pair of wings might be one of your only expenses for this easy and adorable costume!

Black or White Dress: SHEIN Black or White Button-Up: SHEIN Wings: Party City


If you have anything red in your closet, you can easily pull off this classic costume. If you are feeling extra fancy, you could pair your red outfit with some devil horns from any nearby store. You can even buy some wings and double the costume to be Cupid!

Red Dress: SHEIN Red Shirt: KOHL'S Devil Horns: Walmart

Couple Costumes:

Joe Goldberg and Love Quinn from “You”:

The third season of Netflix’s hit show “You” was released on October 15, and everyone is talking about it. This will make a very recognizable costume. The show takes place in the modern day, so you can essentially wear whatever clothes you would like. All you need for Joe is a denim or black baseball hat. For Love, an apron will do because she is a chef in the show.

Denim Hat: Walmart Apron: Walmart

Cosmo and Wanda:

Cosmo and Wanda are one of this generation’s favorite Nickelodeon cartoon duo. There is a high chance you have the necessary items already, but you can add crowns and wands to really spice it up. If you want to stay true to the outfits for the characters, for Cosmo, grab a white button-up, a black tie, and black pants. For Wanda you will need a yellow shirt and black pants. Lots of people have even gone so far as to buy green and pink wigs. If the wigs are not for you, you can simply dress in pink and green.

White Button-Up: Walmart Black Tie: Party City Yellow Shirt: Michael's Wands: Amazon

Playboy Bunny and Hugh Hefner:

This is one of the most popular couple and group Halloween costume over the last few years, and is always a crowd favorite. Gender-swapping this costume will be sure to get you a laugh, and will still be super cute. For Hugh Hefner, you will want to buy or use a maroon robe. For the Playboy Bunny, wear whatever black outfit you are comfortable in, and buy some bunny ears to go with it.

Robe: Amazon Amazon Bodysuit: Forever 21 Bunny Set: Forever 21

Group Costumes:

Frat Boys:

This one might be very easy, as you could be a frat boy yourself, or hang around them. Find a hat and flip it backwards, wear an oversized button-up or polo, sunglasses, and a red solo cup, and you are all set.

Polo: Walmart Button-Up: Amazon Hat: Michael's Sunglasses: Amazon Red Solo Cup: Target

Squid Game Characters:

Everyone is talking about one of Netflix’s newest shows, “Squid Game”, on apps like TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook. There are a few different characters that you and your friends can do. You can be players, needing just a white shirt and a green jacket. You can very easily add the numbers you would like to be as well. If you want to be the red soldiers, you can wear a red shirt or red jacket. You might also want to wear the masks too, but if that is not your thing, you can simply put a square, circle, or triangle on your outfit to symbolize your rank.

Green Jacket: Epic Sports White Shirt: Michael's Soldier Mask: Amazon

Purge Characters :

Dressing up as someone from the Purge is one of the most basic and overdone costumes for Halloween, but if you are in a time crunch and low on funds, it is an efficient one. You can wear whatever you want, but you will get bonus points if you have clothes you do not mind ruining with holes or fake blood. People usually pair their outfits with an iconic Purge mask, which can be found at any Halloween store.

Light Up Mask: Amazon Smile Mask: Party City

If you want more inspiration and ideas for whatever costume party you’re going to next, check out this Pinterest board!

Happy Halloween!


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