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Trick or Cheap: DIY Halloween Costumes

Halloween cheap DIY Costumes for students

By Scott Zielsdorf

Are you a broke college student unsure of what to be for Halloween? Well, don’t you worry because The Nugget has you covered! I created a few easy-to-make costumes to help you join your friends on Halloween, even if you’re horribly unprepared!

The Mummy

Cheap DIY Halloween costumes for students mummy
Scott Zielsdorf

The toilet paper based mummy costume is a Halloween classic, almost as easy and iconic as the legendary “bedsheet ghost”. The materials needed for this costume are fairly simple to come by; all you really need are some toilet paper rolls (we used a total of 4) and some tape.

This is the kind of costume you will need at least one friend to help you with, as it is incredibly difficult to do by yourself. It took two of us about twenty minutes to wrap up our friend in all that toilet paper.

To accomplish this costume you begin by having your friend wrap your head, your torso, then your arms and legs. The toilet paper is probably going to tear a lot, and that’s okay! Just tape down the end of your last strip and continue from that point.

I used simple masking tape to get the job done, but ideally, you will want to use medical tape as it will blend in nicely with your “bandages” and will give a much stronger hold. That’s really all there is to it; so get out there, grab some toilet paper and make yourself into a spooky mummy this Halloween!

Tourist/Explorer

Cheap DIY Halloween Costumes Tourist
Scott Zielsdorf

You may not be able to afford a tropical vacation while in school, but this next costume will have you looking like you’re on a trip to the Bahamas. The tourist costume is a simple outfit you can throw together with clothes you likely already have at home, or if you’re missing a few things the local thrift shop should be able to help you out!

To help achieve your goals of tropical vacation bliss (or at least look the part), you only need a few items of clothing. This costume requires a snazzy button-up shirt, a Hawaiian style t-shirt would certainly do the trick but a plaid shirt will also suffice. Next, you need a pair of swim shorts and some comfy lounging sandals, to top off your look throw on a funky hat to help block out those harsh sun rays.

Adding some cheap sunglasses to the look will really sell that laid back vacation vibe, and of course, no tourist is complete without their binoculars; I made mine out of the leftover toilet paper rolls from the mummy costume. For a more modest look, you can layer the shirt over a white tank top, and if you swap out the funky vacay shirt for a tan long-sleeved you’ll be looking like a seasoned explorer in no time!

Bank Robber/Hoodlum

Cheap DIY Halloween costumes for students
Scott Zielsdorf

This third and final costume will have you looking like someone from the wrong side of the law or a typical movie-like portrayal at least. There are all sorts of costumes out there depicting criminals, such as prisoner jumpsuits or hitmen suits and this costume isn’t really much different. Utilizing simple winter clothing you can transform yourself into a scary (not really) bank robber or other nefarious henchmen.

As with the tourist costume, to achieve this look you will need various clothing items, all of which can be easily obtained from your closet or from the local thrift shop if need be. Start with a dark leather jacket layered over a simple shirt; ideally, a black one but any colour will do. I used a neck warmer and toque (or “beanie” if you’re American) to accomplish the hidden hoodlum look, but you could also use a balaclava to really get that criminal aesthetic. You can wear whatever pants you feel suit the outfit best; for our shoot, Noah’s skinny jeans suited the costume just fine.

We converted the tourist’s binoculars into a toilet paper pistol of sorts but most toy weapon props would lend themselves well to the theme. To finish off the look I suggest adding a money bag, given it’s Halloween it would make sense to fill the bag with candy. This costume would work especially well if one of your friends is dressing up as a police officer for Halloween, then your friends will all think you planned it and your costume will make much more sense in contrast with the police officer character, and they’ll likely spend less time accusing you of simply wearing winter clothes.

Hopefully, these incredibly simple costume ideas have helped inspire you for your own costume, or at the very least shown you what not to do with your costume. Now get out there and make your costume dreams come true!

Special thanks to Merick Bontrup and Noah DeWitt for modeling the costumes.

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