How to Make 4 Unique Last-Minute Halloween Costumes

You Can DIY These Creative Costumes With Just a Glue Gun

four diy halloween costumes against set backdrop

The Spruce

There are two types of people: those who plan their Halloween costumes months in advance and those who have no idea what to do when that holiday rolls around. If you find yourself on the latter end of that spectrum, fear not—you have options beyond scavenging for whatever's left at the party store or attempting a complicated DIY project that involves needle and thread.

We'll show you how to whip up four Spruce-approved costumes for anyone who needs a unique last-minute outfit. Watch our "One Thing" tutorial below and follow our steps to transform a few basic items into piñata, bubble bath, cactus, and "fail" costumes.

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4 Adorable Last-Minute No-Sew Costumes for Halloween

Creating a Workspace

Find a large flat and smooth workspace, like a kitchen island or table, a counter, or a coffee table. Make sure your workspace is big enough for your entire garment to lay on. While these projects aren't too messy, hot glue can be a bit unwieldy, so either cover your workspace with newspaper or a large piece of cardboard to protect the surface from any hot glue drips.

Piñata Costume

If you want to bring the party to the party, DIY your own piñata costume. With just rainbow crepe paper, a glue gun and some fun optional extras, you can turn a plain dress or long T-shirt into a costume worth celebrating.

pinata costume final

What You'll Need

Tools

  • Craft scissors
  • Hot glue gun

Materials

  • A loose-fitting White dress or long T-shirt
  • Rainbow crepe paper

Accessories (Optional):

  • Party hats
  • Rainbow piñata bat
  • Candy
pinata costume materials

Instructions

  1. Ready Your Garment

    Lay the garment out on a flat surface and heat up your hot glue gun.

  2. Prepare Your Materials

    Cut the crepe paper to the same length, about five inches and line them up side by side. Decide the order in which your different colors will be placed on the garment.

  3. Glue the First Layer

    making a pinata costume step 3

    Carefully apply a line of glue to the short end of your crepe paper. Starting at the top of your garment, glue each pieces of crepe paper so it hangs vertically. Continue to glue the crepe paper across the garment until you have a straight line of one color. Fill in any gaps and hot glue some pieces onto the sides of the garment to cover them.

  4. Glue the Remaining Rows

    making a pinata costume step 4

    Now that the first row is done, tuck it back using a pen, pencil, or any other long, weighted item, so you can start on the next color. The reason you're tucking the previous row back is because you want to create overlapping layers of crepe paper, similar to a real piñata.

    Start the next line an inch or two below the first row of color, and hot glue pieces of the next color across. Continue until the entire frontside of the garment is covered in layers of colored crepe paper.

    Tip

    Write down the order in which the colors descend the dress, and keep track of where each line of color starts so that the back matches the front.

  5. Repeat on the Back of the Garment

    Once the front of your garment is covered, flip and repeat the colors on the backside. As you add more layers, you may want to trim the pieces so your layers are shorter or longer. It's all up to you!

  6. Add Accessories (Optional)

    pinata costume extras

The piñata costume is so eye-catching and engaging that it can stand on its own, but if you want to elevate your game, you can include optional extras, like a piñata bat, crepe paper-covered party hats, and, of course, candy.

Cactus Costume

This costume is so simple that even the most DIY-averse can make something worth wearing. The cactus outfit only requires a green sweatshirt, white pipe cleaners, and your trusty glue gun. Bonus: This costume is sure to keep you warm on a crisp Halloween night!

cactus costume final

What You'll Need

Tools

  • Craft scissors
  • Hot glue gun

Materials

  • Green crewneck sweatshirt
  • White pipe cleaners

Accessories (Optional):

cactus costume materials

Instructions

  1. Ready Your Garment

    Lay out the sweatshirt on a flat surface, and heat up your hot glue gun.

  2. Cut the Pipe Cleaners

    Cut the pipe cleaners into small segments, folding them into a V-shape and putting them aside to be hot-glued. These pipe cleaners will be the spines or "pricklies" of your cactus costume.

  3. Glue the Pipe Cleaners

    Add a bead of glue to the bottom part of the V-shaped pipe cleaner. Hold it straight up against the fabric for a few seconds, until the glue has cooled. Continue until you have hot glued pipe cleaners across the entire garment. Create a pattern or place the pipe cleaners randomly—the level of detail is up to you!

  4. Cover the Back and Sleeves

    Once you've finished the front of the sweatshirt, you'll want to continue gluing pipe cleaners to the sleeves and back of the garment.

  5. Add Accessories (Optional)

    cactus costume extras

Want to add an extra flare to your cactus costume? You can attach artificial flowers or homemade tissue paper flowers to your costume. For a fun accessory, hot glue one of the flowers to a simple white headband. Throw on some black or brown jeans or leggings and consider yourself cacti-fied.

Bubble Bath Costume

Our bubble bath costume is perfect for those people with a bubbly personality or who celebrate self care. Using just an oversized T-shirt, balloons, and a few optional extras, you'll be a member of #seriousbathersclub in no time.

bubble bath costume final

What You'll Need

Tools

  • Hot glue gun

Materials

  • Oversized white T-shirt
  • White and clear balloons, in varying sizes (we used 5-inch, 9-inch, and 12-inch)
  • Rubber ducks, in varying sizes

Accessories (Optional):

  • Shower cap
  • Headband
  • Shower scrubber
  • Bottle of bubbles
bubble bath materials

Instructions

  1. Prepare Your Garment and Materials

    Blow up your balloons, heat up your glue gun, and lay the fabric out on a flat surface.

  2. Start Gluing Balloons to the Fabric

    bubble bath step 2

    Pull the tied end of each balloon taut and carefully add a bead of hot glue. Press the balloon end to the fabric and hold for a about five seconds.

    Tip

    Keep the inflated part of the balloon away from the hot glue. The heat may cause the balloon to pop.

  3. Cover the Shirt With Balloons

    bubble bath costume step 3

    Continue hot gluing varying sizes of the balloons to the shirt, holding the tied, hot-glued end of each new balloon fairly close to already-placed balloon ends. You want as little space as possible between the balloons so that your shirt looks completely covered.

  4. Add a Duck or Two

    bubble bath costume step 4

    Once all of your balloons have been placed, find a spot for your rubber duck. (We like to place it near the shoulder.) Apply a generous amount of hot glue to the bottom of the duck, and hold it against the fabric for about a minute or so. Rubber ducks are a bit heavier and require more glue and more time to adhere to the fabric.

  5. Repeat on the Back

    Repeat steps 2-4 on the back of your T-shirt.

  6. Add Accessories (Optional)

    bubble bath costume extras

While the bubble bath costume is great by itself, you can add even more accessories, like a shower cap and a shower scrubber. Get creative and make a fun, "bubble" covered headband or carry a bottle of bubbles. We recommend pairing this costume with blue jeans to represent the "water," of course.

"Fail" Costume

Sometimes, even that DIY costume you thought you could nail ended up being a huge fail. If that's the case, you can still have an amazing costume by transforming your costume gone awry into a spectacle.

fail costume final

We chose to turn a plain T-shirt and apron into a baking fail, where all kinds of messy baking supplies like colorful cupcake wrappers, flour, cocoa powder, and colored icing come together into one messy, and wildly fun, costume. As a final touch, we created a "fail" sign by gluing a simple paper printout to a wooden board.

The key to this costume is that it can look however you'd like, because costume blunders come in all colors, patterns, shapes, and sizes. Just add the "fail" sign and everyone will be laughing right along with you on Halloween.