15 No-Sew Halloween Costumes That Anyone Can Make

paper soldier halloween costume
Mike Krautter

A memorable costume doesn't always require sewing skills. Rather, you can make your own costume even if you have never picked up a needle and thread before tonight. All you need are a few craft supplies, some imagination, and a little bit of time to design a no-sew Halloween costume. Think of ways that you can make a character or a theme with only a few touches. From pegasus wings to a ladybug's polka dots, you can create a Halloween costume that will spook—and delight—everyone in the neighborhood.

The best costumes mostly require ingenuity. Ask yourself, what do you have on hand? You can also find plenty of supplies at your local arts and crafts store outside of the needlework aisle. Think paper crafts and templates, decoupage and appliqués, painting or stenciling. To recreate Rapunzel's famous hair for Halloween, braid a length of rope and rest it atop your head like a crown. For a quick makeover (and even quicker getaway into the Halloween night), stencil a few money bags with dollar signs, don an all-black ensemble, and you're suddenly a bank robber out for trick-or-treating. Or adhere row upon row of iridescent feathers to a no-sew cape that rivals that of Edgar Allan Poe's infamous raven. Gluing some creepy-crawly rubber bugs to a classic pair of sunglasses results in the perfect accessory for any Halloween party. Decorative masks and headpieces, as well as makeup ideas are all resourceful—and last-minute!—ways to make a costume at home.

As Martha herself has proven time and time again, resourcefulness is the key to a memorable costume—needle and thread, unnecessary.

01 of 15

Hedgehog Costume

hedgehog kids costume
The Morrisons

A rectangle of spiky faux fur, fuzzy felt ears, and white footie pajamas will turn your little one into an even more darling mini mammal. To make this costume, cut out a rectangle of faux fur twelve inches longer and eight inches wider than your onesie. Lay the faux fur down wrong-side up, and place the onesie on it toward the bottom at the center; you should have about four inches of excess faux fur below the feet and on either side of the body, and twelve inches above the neck opening. Fold over the edge of the faux fur about an inch (to make it look puffy), and hot-glue it to the top of the legs, the sides of the belly, and the shoulders of the onesie; let dry completely.

Fold the top edge of the faux fur in half to form a hood. Tuck in the back corner to make the back of the hood rounded rather than pointy, and fold the top edges under an inch; hot glue the top edges together, and let dry completely. Cut two semicircles out of felt, put a little hot-glue on the bottom edge, and press them onto the hood for the ears.

Once your child is wearing the onesie, stuff the pillow into the back, under the faux fur, to puff it out.

Fabric Empire Two-Tone Spike Faux-Fur Brown-Beige Fabric, $40 a yd, amazon.com; Primary The Zip Romper in White, $14.50, primary.com.

02 of 15

Guppy Costume

glitzy guppy kid costume
The Morrisons

Forget about finding Nemo. This goldfish, with her scene-stealing scales (giant sequins), fins (a cut-up tutu), and pom-pom eyes, is a much cuter catch. To start, cut a 6-inch-wide section out of the tutu's waist. Starting at the inner part of one leg opening, hot-glue on the long piece of the tutu to the edge of the leg opening; continue hot-gluing it down around the bottom of the leotard, all the way around to the inner part of the other leg opening. Cut the remaining piece of the tutu in half, and hot-glue each half to the top outer arms of the leotard. Hot-glue overlapping rows of sequins onto the front of the leotard and sneakers; let dry completely.

Make the headband: Add a white pom-pom underneath each orange pom-pom by separating the fibers on the back side of the white pom-poms and hot-gluing them onto the wire, then hot-glue a sequin pupil onto the front. Cut a little tulle off the ends of the arms or legs, and hot-glue it around the orange pom-poms. Let dry completely.

Dressever Vintage 1950s Short Tulle Tutu in Bisque, $19.99, amazon.com; Snowtime Anytime Indoor Snowball Fight Snowballs, $24.95 for 20, amazon.com; Leotard Boutique Long-Sleeve Ballet Dance Leotard in Orange, $18, leotardboutique.com; FineSequins Large Metallic Paillettes, 1", $11.97 for 100, finesequins.etsy.com; Party City Pom-Pom Head Bopper in Orange, $3.99, partycity.com; Party City Child Footless Tights in Orange, $5.99, partycity.com.

03 of 15

Venus Flytrap Costume

flytrap kid costume
The Morrisons

Paint plastic floral-arranging dishes green and red, edge them with press-on- nail "teeth," and hot-glue them together. Flower-pot pants and a buzzy snack complete the snappy look. To start, make the headpiece: Cut out squares of crepe paper large enough to cover the outsides of the half-ball form and 11-inch lomey dish and allow excess to fold inside. Cover outsides of the form and dish with spray adhesive, and press on the crepe paper. Repeat with the red crepe paper to line the insides of the form and dish. Hot-glue acrylic nail tips along the edges of the form and bowl, leaving a 2- to 3-inch gap on one side; let dry completely. Hot-glue the toothless part of the dish to the toothless part of the form; let dry completely. Hot-glue headpiece to top of baseball cap, if desired, and let dry completely.

Make the hands: Cover four smaller lomey dishes with green and red crepe paper and add acrylic-nail teeth, using spray adhesive, hot glue, and the method described above. Hot-glue two of the dishes together to make one hand; let dry completely. Hot-glue a ribbon inside the dishes to tie around your child's wrist; let dry completely. Repeat to make the other hand.

Make the fly: Cut a fly shape out of cardstock, then cut wing shapes out of tissue paper and cellophane. Put the cellophane on top of the white tissue paper, and hot-glue the paper and cellophane to the top of the fly. Hot-glue ribbon to the bottom, so that you can tie the fly onto your child's wrist. Let dry completely.

Cut out the bottom of a lightweight faux terra-cotta planter. When ready to wear, have your child dress in a green top and orange pants, then step into the planter; clip it on with suspenders. Put on the headpiece, then tie the hands and fly onto his or her wrist.

Smoothfoam Styrofoam Half Ball, 12", $13.99, michaels.com; Jamali Garden Lomey Clear Designer Dishes, 6", $1.50 each, and 11", $3.99 each, jamaligarden.com; ZQNYCY Crepe Paper Rolls, $6.99 for 2, amazon.com. ECBasket Stiletto Acrylic Nail Tips, $6.99 for 500, amazon.com; Bloem Terra Pot Planter 16", $12.96, amazon.com; Gungun High-Top Casual-Strap Sneaker in Orange, $19.99, amazon.com.

04 of 15

Poodle Costume

parisian poodle kid costume
The Morrisons

She's très chic, from her pillbox hat (a faux-fur-covered paper bowl) to the cuffs at her wrists and ankles. To start, make the pillbox hat: Cut out a square of faux fur large enough to cover the bowl, and two long ears. Wrap the bowl with the square; hot-glue the excess to the inside of the bowl. Hot-glue the top edge of the ears to opposite sides of the inside of the bowl. Cut a length of ribbon long enough to tie in a bow under your child's chin, and hot-glue it across the inside of the bowl, leaving the ends loose; let dry completely.

Make the wrist and leg cuffs: Cut out four 3-inch thick strips of faux fur long enough to form loops that can slip easily over your child's hands and feet. Hot-glue the ends of each strip together, and let dry completely.

Make the vest and collar: Cut out a rectangle of faux fur. Cut a slit halfway up the center of one short edge to make two flaps. Fold the flaps down, and hot-glue the ends of them to the corners of the other short side, to create arm openings. Decorate a length of ribbon with stick-on jewels for your child to wear around his or her neck; attach Velcro pieces to the ends for the closure.

Make the tail: Cut out a piece of faux fur large enough to wrap around the ball, and hot-glue the edges down onto it. Cut the rope to a length appropriate for your child, and hot-glue the faux-fur-covered ball to the end of it. Let dry completely. When ready to wear, safety pin the tail to the back of the leotard.

StylishFabric Style 5023 Curly Lamb Faux-Fur Fabric in Off White, $25.90 a yd., stylishfabric.etsy.com; Leotard Boutique Lined Long-Sleeve Ballet Dance Leotard in Ivory Cream, $20, leotardboutique.com; Leotard Boutique Jefferies Girls Microfiber Tights in Ivory, $8, leotardboutique.com; June & January The Slip-On Shoe, in Grapefruit Low Top, $17, juneandjanuary.com.

05 of 15

Gladiator Costume

gladiator paper halloween costume
Barbara Donninelli

This gladiator and lion won't be doing battle in the Colosseum— they'll be having far too much fun scaring up loads of candy. The gladiator's getup is built with museum board and prong fasteners, a piece of window blind, and—for the helmet's crest—a section of flower fan.

Strathmore 2-ply Museum Boards, 32" by 40" in Gray, $7.50 each, dickblick.com; Brass Fasteners, 1/2", $6.25 for 100, staples.com; Redi Shade Paper Blind in Gray, $5, homedepot.com.

06 of 15

Pegasus-Unicorn Costume

pegasus unicorn costume
Addie Juell

This mythical creature is an impressive sight, and sure to leave all of the other neighborhood kids wide-eyed with wonder. But it's a costume that's easily assembled with household supplies: An iridescent fringed party curtain, glittery fabric (for ears and hooves), a pleated dancer's cape, and an LED candle (for the horn) are either hot-glued or stuck together with halves of Velcro to make this winged pony glow.

Danzia Iridescent White Worship Angel Wing, $30, danzia.com; Beans and Peanuts Vanilla Sparkles Chunky Glitter on White Canvas Back, 8" by 11", $4, beansandpeanuts.etsy.com; Wento Silver Holographic Vinyl, $11 for 1/4 yd., wento.etsy.com; Leotard Boutique Lined Long-Sleeve Leotard in White, $20, leotardboutique.com; Leotard Boutique Jefferies Microfiber Tights in White, $8, leotardboutique.com; Lucco Balaclava Face Mask, $8, amazon.com; Motique Accessories Plastic Hard Headband with Teeth, 1" in White, $6, amazon.com.

07 of 15

Violet Costume

Violet Flower Halloween Costume
Chelsea Cavanaugh

If you can cut and glue felt, you can make this adorable flower. The top four petals attach to a headband, the bottom two to a ribbon that ties under your sweet blossom's chin. Bonus: The "leaves" are safety-pinned to the dress (translation: removable), so it can be worn again.

Primary The Long Sleeve Classic Tee in Grape, $11.50, primary.com; Rainbow Classic Felt Craft Felt, 72" in Bright Lilac, $7.50 per yd., fabric.com; Craft Felt Cut, 36" by 36" in Violet Sky, $8.50, fabric.com; Michael's Felt in Olive Green, $10 per yd., michaels.com. Michael's Bright Green Felt, $10 per yd., michaels.com; Celebrate It 360° Satin Double-Faced Ribbon, 5/8" in Lavender, $5 for 10 yd., michaels.com.

08 of 15

Crow Costume

no-sew crow cape costume for Halloween
Addie Juell

Be a blackbird in the dead of night with a shimmering cape of fine feathers. Cut a semicircle out of black felt, then cut a notch in the center of the straight side to make an opening for your neck. Hot-glue on overlapping rows of feather trim, working from the bottom up.

AWAYTR Rooster Hackle Feather Fringe Trim, $10 for 10 yd. amazon.com; M&J Trimming 02450 Black Velvet Ribbon, 2 inches wide, $4 per yd., mjtrim.com; Elegant Lashes F096 Feather False Eyelashes, $11 a pair, amazon.com.

09 of 15

Tornado Costume

Tornado Halloween Costume
Chelsea Cavanaugh

A tomato cage and tulle are the only elements you need for a tornado costume that will blow everyone away. Fabric leaves, model fences, and toy cows get swept up in the fun.

Lowe's Galvanized Steel Wire Round Tomato Cage, 54", $4.78, lowes.com; Gray Tulle, 54" in Charcoal, $1 per yd., fabric.com.

10 of 15

Storm Chaser Costume

kids in storm chaser and tornado halloween costumes
Chelsea Cavanaugh

This twister's sister is breezy thanks to wire gaffers'-taped into her skirt and tucked into her shoelaces, plus an inside-out umbrella. Gel ensures her bad hair day lasts all night.

RainStoppers Children's Umbrella, 34" in Black, $13, amazon.com; Michael's Aluminum Hobby Wire, $5.79 for 50 ft., michaels.com.

11 of 15
girl in ladybug costume
Addie Juell

Prep this adorable insect ensemble in the blink of an eyelash: Glue extra large faux strips onto big Jackie O sunglasses, and stick black felt dots on her favorite red jumper.

Primary The New Swing Dress in Cherry, $24, primary.com; Motique Accessories Plastic Hard Headband with Teeth, 1" in Black, $6, amazon.com; Creativity Street Chenille Pipe Cleaners, 12" by 6mm in Black, $5 for 100, amazon.com; Darice Acrylic Pom-Poms, 2" in Black, $3 for 8, amazon.com.

12 of 15

Bank Robber Costume

bank robber costume for Halloween
Addie Juell

Here's all you need to pull off this Halloween costume (or pull off a grab-and-go cash scheme for that matter). To rob a bank in style, you'll need a criminal mastermind's must-have: money bags. Then, dress in black and go heavy on the eyeliner.

Joyousbuy Portable Travel Shoe Totes, $9 for 10, amazon.com; Juvale $100 Play Money, $8 for 100 bills, mrotin.com.

13 of 15

Fringe Paper Lion Costume

Paper Lion Halloween Costume
Barbara Donninelli

Instead of a sewing machine—use staples, tape, and glue to put this costume together. Customize leggings and a zip­ front hoodie with a few different garlands.

Party Cheap Tissue Fringe Drape, 15" by 10' in Golden Yellow, $8.33, partycheap.com; Party Cheap Creative Craft Tissue Fringe, 12', $2.12, partycheap.com; Party Cheap Tissue Grass Mat in Golden Yellow, $4.49, partycheap.com.

14 of 15

Little Miss Monstrous Costume

little miss monstrous halloween costume
Henry Leutwyler

With her streaked hair and striking red lipstick, this sinister sweetheart sure makes a fashion statement. To complement such bold hair and makeup, keep the rest of the costume simple: You need little more than an easy-to-assemble bed sheet "shroud" and some bandages to complete the look.

Wamsutta 525-Thread-Count PimaCott Wrinkle Resistant Twin Flat Sheet, in Ivory, $20, bedbathandbeyond.com; Halloween Party Online Super-Size Jumbo Afro Wig in Black, $26.85, amazon.com; Ace Elastic Bandage with Hook Closure, $5.49, walgreens.com; Rit Liquid Dye, in Black, $5 for 8 oz., dickblick.com.

15 of 15

Jellyfish Costume

Jellyfish Halloween Costume
Shanna Sullivan

Dive into fun this Halloween with this cute sea creature costume. A shimmery umbrella completes the look. The secret to the shine? Strips of cellophane and bubble wrap.

Primary The Long Sleeve PJ Top, in White, $12, primary.com; Primary The PJ Pant, in White, $12, primary.com; RainStoppers Children's Umbrella, 34", in White, $13, amazon.com; Staples Standard Bubble Roll, 5/16", 12" x 100', $16.39, staples.com.

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