Ah, Halloween. It’s a great time of the year if you’re into gourds, campy television, and crafting. Who doesn’t like pumpkin beers, all-night movie marathons of bad ‘80s horror movie sequels, and grown-ass men and women parading around in costumes?
But if you’re not so great with your hands, or if your idea of “creative” is to carve a frown into a jack-o’-lantern, Halloween can be stressful. Every year, the costumes get more and more… Instagram-worthy. Everyone seems to be competing for the most involved, intricate, and clever homemade costume. Gone are the days when a (surprisingly expensive) store-bought banana outfit was the hit of the night. And there’s nothing worse than bobbing for apples at a Halloween cocktail party dressed in your civilian (or work!) clothes.
So what do you do if it’s the week before Halloween, you don’t have a costume, you can’t think of one, you’ve spent all your money on candy for neighborhood kids/yourself, and you can barely put together an Ikea couch?
Have no fear. It turns out that our apartment-hunting experts at Rentable are also pretty savvy when it comes to cheap, fun Halloween costumes. Check out these four costumes, each of which takes less than 30 minutes to make and can be assembled with items you probably already have lying around your apartment:
1. The Gift That Keeps Giving
The ultimate two-birds-one-stone costume. Even if you procrastinate and haven’t started thinking about Christmas yet, you probably have some wrapping paper stuffed in a closet somewhere. After that, all you need is a big cardboard box, some tape, and one of those giant stick-on bows. Wrap the box, cut holes out of the bottom and top big enough for your torso, and then cut holes for your arms. Wear uniform colors — preferably black — so that the focus is on the present, not your clothing. And the shinier/more outlandish the wrapping paper, the better.
This one hinges on a few wardrobe questions: Do you own a white -shirt? How about white jeans or slacks? If so, you’re in luck: All you need is to be able to cut lines and circles out of black construction paper, tape them to yourself in something approaching straight lines, and you’ll be well on your way to playing the bones for a night. (Bonus: This makes a great couples’ costume, if your significant other is just as uncreative and broke as you are.)
This one’s easy, but it may make you hungry. All you need is a package or two of tin foil and someone to help you wrap yourself in it, head to foot. Don’t wrap each leg individually, otherwise you’ll look like you’re wearing a spacesuit (another great idea!). But don’t wrap your legs too tight, either, or you won’t be able to walk, and you’ll end up attending the party as that all-too-familiar tragedy: a burrito that has fallen to the floor. Write your favorite order in sharpie across your torso, and you’re golden.
The old stand-by. There’s something really funny about eschewing the topical, the clever, the gross, and going super-basic for Halloween. Turns out that wearing the sort of costume a toddler or a dog might wear — dressing up as a lion, or a bat, or some other non-scary thing — can be really funny as an adult. A pumpkin is about as basic — and easy! — as it gets. The most difficult part of this costume is finding an orange sheet, or a gigantic orange t-shirt. If you have that, all you have to do is cut some jack-o’-lantern shapes out of black construction paper, and affix them with tape. Put the shirt on, then stuff a pillow or two (or three) under it, securing them if necessary with twine. (Or, you can just cinch a belt around your waist, over the shirt.) Find a green hat and voila: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.