DIY Halloween costume ideas that work double-duty

by Amanda Kingloff / / Source: TODAY

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There are two types of people in this world when it comes to Halloween costumes: those who are indecisive and those who procrastinate. Whichever category you fall in, TODAY is here to help.

Are you wavering between a few options? (How can you pick between Elsa or Anna?) Perhaps you are torn between a classic get-up and something more timely and current.

RELATED: Break Halloween with this easy DIY for "the dress"

Or, maybe you’ve waited too long to get this year’s costume and find the stores emptied of all the good options. You can dig through your basement to unearth a costume from three years ago, but, alas, you go to the same party with the same people every year. You can’t show up as a black cat ... again.

Whether you are of the ambivalent variety or a last-minute decision-maker, we have three costume transformations coming to your rescue. With a few quick and crafty tweaks, you can turn one rather ordinary costume into something extraordinary.

Caped crusaders

One black cape equals two awesome costumes. With the wave of a magic wand, turn your magician costume into the "Game of Thrones" hero, Jon Snow.

Halloween costume ideas
Amanda Kingloff

Black pants from; Black boots from Payless; White shirt from H&M; Red bow-tie from Party City; Plush bunny from; Plush husky from Toys R Us; Suspenders from; Knit scarf from; Cape from

Magician crafts

What you’ll need:

  • Playing cards
  • Permanent glue dots
  • Wrapping paper tube
  • Scissors
  • Black paint
  • Paintbrush
  • White duct tape
  1. To embellish the cape, use glue dots to adhere playing cards to the inside lining of the cape.
  2. To make the wand, cut a cardboard tube to 14-inches long and paint it black. Let it dry, then wrap about 1 inch of either end in white duct tape.

Game of Thrones crafts

What you’ll need:

  • Tasseled scarf
  • Safety pins
  • White paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Cardboard
  • Silver duct tape
  • Hot glue gun
  • 2-inch bouncy ball
  • Aluminum foil


  1. Cut scarf into two pieces and safety pin each half to the shoulders of the black cape. Make sure to pin on in a few layers to give each shoulder some height.
  2. Paint dashes of white paint on the scarf to create a snowy effect.


  1. Cut a 4-inch-by-24-inch rectangle of cardboard. Cut one end to a point.
  2. Cut a 5-inch long piece to make a decorative guard for the handle.
  3. Cover both pieces of cardboard in silver duct tape.
  4. Hot glue the back of the cardboard blade to the magician’s wand, leaving about 5 inches of the wand showing on the bottom.
  5. Hot-glue the guard to the junction of the blade and the handle.
  6. Wrap a bouncy ball in aluminum foil and hot glue it to the end of the sword’s handle.
  7. Optional: Glue the untied bow-tie on the end if you'd like to add a fake-blood effect. "For the watch!"

RELATED: 35 DIY Halloween costume ideas you can make now

Country fare

Even cowgirls get the blues and realize that they need to change up their Halloween costume this year! Turn that red, gingham shirt into a creative costume: a perfectly crafted picnic!

Halloween costume ideas
Amanda Kingloff

Red gingham shirt from; Jean skirt from Topshop; Bandana from Nordstrom; Cowboy hat from Party City; Play food from Target; Espadrilles from; Colored doilies from Michaels Stores; Boots from Sierra Trading Post.

Picnic crafts

What you’ll need:

  • Play food
  • Large safety pin or small nail
  • 1/8-inch hole punch
  • Wooden beads
  • Fishing line
  • Scissors
  • Green ribbon
  • 2 earring fish hooks
  • Jump rings
  • Hot glue gun
  • Colored doilies
  • Permanent glue dots
  • 4 green buttons
  • Hair clip


  1. Add lunch-time flair to your shirt by creating a doily border. Cut doilies in half and use glue dots to adhere them to your shirt.


  1. To make the earrings, punch a hole in two plastic potato chips, and loop jump rings through the holes. Attach earring hooks to the jump rings.
  2. To make the barrette, hot-glue a metal hair clip to the back of a slice of watermelon.
  3. To make the necklace, poke holes through the plastic foods on either side with a large safety pin or nail. Thread fishing line through the holes, spacing them apart with beads. Tie the fishing line to two 14-inch pieces of ribbon.

Picnic-basket purse

  1. Cut off the majority of the hat’s brim, leaving about 1 inch in tact. Fold that rim into the hat and hot-glue to secure.
  2. Cut detached brim into a 2-inch wide strip and fold to hot-glue the cut edge and prevent fraying. Cut this into two, 10-inch strips.
  3. Hot glue each strip to the front and back edges of the “basket” to make the handles; glue a button on top for decoration.
  4. Line the basket with the bandanna.

From pumpkin to Piper

Orange is the mascot of Halloween ... and it’s also the "new black," of course. Turn your innocent pumpkin costume into this saucy and humorous "Orange is the New Black" ensemble.

Halloween costume ideas
Amanda Kingloff

Orange T-shirt from; Orange pants from; Orange hat from, black flats from DSW, Hair net from; Underwear from Nordstrom; Screwdriver from

Pumpkin crafts

What you need:

  • Black felt
  • Scissors
  • Permanent glue dots
  • Wine cork
  • Brown pipe cleaner
  • Hot glue gun
  1. To make the T-shirt, cut jack-o'-lantern features from black felt and attach with glue dots.
  2. To make the hat, wrap the pipe cleaner around the base of the cork and create a spiral by wrapping it around your pinky finger. Hot glue the bottom of the cork to the top of the orange hat.

OITNB crafts

What you’ll need:

  • Black felt
  • Scissors
  • Permanent glue dots
  • Cardboard
  • Utility knife
  • Gray duct tape
  • Hot glue gun
  1. To make the shirt, cut the letters D.O.C. out of black felt and attach to the back of the T-shirt with glue dots. Wear it over a long-sleeve white shirt for the full effect.
  2. To make the duct tape slippers, trace shoe soles onto cardboard and cut out with utility knife. Cover each sole with gray duct tape. Make the strap by adhering two pieces of tape to one another (adhesive side to adhesive side) and hot gluing the ends onto the bottom of the shoes. If you're trick-or-treating or outside, you can always make them big enough to fit over regular shoes!

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