5 DIY Halloween costume ideas

With some creativity and just a few bucks, you can create your own do-it-yourself Halloween costume that is sure to be the envy of the neighborhood, party or office. Plus, it will be a one-of-a-kind look that will save you money. How’s that for a rare treat!

Here are five tips for putting together the best thrifted DIY Halloween costume.

  1. If you find a great piece but have no idea what to do with it, do some homework before putting it back on the shelves or the rack. Those unique finds are worth holding on to. You just need to do a little Google searching. Find an outrageous purple jacket and don’t know what you could do with it? How about the Joker or Prince? Striped red and black pants? The world’s most famous pet detective — Ace Ventura. A plain blue dress? Madeline from the beloved children’s book series.
  2. A fancy gown in a solid color can be any number of Disney princesses. Just accessorize to complete the look. Yellow dress? Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.” Blue gown? Cinderella or Elsa. Pink? Aurora. Purple? Rapunzel.
  3. Don’t shop with one costume idea in mind. When you shop secondhand, you must be open to the possibilities of the exciting items you might find in store. You might be looking for round eyeglasses when you come upon an amazing shark hat and your idea of being Harry Potter goes out the window.
  4. Find the one signature item and then build onto it. A leather coat could be the Fonz, Sandy or Danny from “Grease,” James Dean or a biker. Red leather? Michael Jackson in “Thriller.” Brown leather? Amelia Earhart or Indiana Jones. If your original idea doesn’t work, move on to another idea for that great find.
  5. Put a twist on a traditional costume. Instead of being a regular witch dressed head to toe in black, how about going in a hot pink tutu instead? Whatever you choose to be, put your own signature look on it.

About Goodwill: Goodwill NCW is a nonprofit human services organization whose mission is Elevating People by Eliminating Barriers to Employment across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, 24 human services programs, unique shopping experiences at its boutiques and Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at It offers four Donation Express sites and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit

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