So you left it up until the last minute, and now Halloween is just a couple days away. You're faced with the dire prospect of going down to the Spirit Halloween store and buying a prefab and possibly inappropriate off-the-rack costume. But not so fast! You still have tons of options. Here are a slew of awesome-looking costumes you can pull together in the next couple days.

Want more? Here are our last-minute costume recommendations from 2010 and 2011.


With a new Carrie film coming early next year, this is a pretty topical costume. And all you need is a white dress (preferably prom dress-looking) that you don't mind ruining — plus some red paint. Bonus points if you go with the awesome "bucket suspended in mid air" thing that the person on the left somehow pulled off. Photos by Lisa-U on Tumblr and Just Maddison on Instagram.

Andrew from Chronicle

Suppose you're a dude who needs a super-last-minute costume for Halloween. The main character of Chronicle, the found-footage superhero movie, is probably your best bet. Just wear a gray shirt and dark hoodie, with khakis and sneakers, and then scrunch up your face and close your fist while pretending that you just crushed a beer can. The main prop you'll need is pre-scrunched beer can, or possibly some kind of magic levitating tennis ball. Really the facial expressions will carry this one.

Impromptu Surgery Noomi, from Prometheus

This is for the very very brave. All you need to pull this one off is some gauze bandages, and some black eyeliner or sharpie to scrawl little black goo marks all over your body, possibly coated with a bit of KY Jelly to make it look like you've just given yourself a spur-of-the-moment appendectomy and removed a huge octopus creature. Oh, and you'll need to go to the drug store and get some fake scar makeup to create an operation scar.

The Power Outage from Revolution

Just dress in all black, and go around the Halloween party turning all the lights out and trying to power down people's phones and computers. Unless they've got a little golden pendant, which you can give to one or two special people. Once you actually turn off the music and lights at the party, people will totally get who you are. They'll love it! Or if you're a blonde girl, you could go as Charlie — just wear a blue shirt and brown jacket and expose way too much of your teeth.

Rebooted Superman

Superman's costume got a lot easier to pull together at the last minute recently — all you need is jeans, hiking boots... and a Superman T-shirt with a little bit of red cloth sewn on to it. Or just find a plain blue T-shirt and glue on a Superman logo made of felt. Everybody who felt sad that the end of Smallville meant the era of easy last-minute Clark Kent costumes was over can breathe a sigh of relief — Clark Kent is easy once again. So to speak.

Lumpy Space Princess

I'm in lumpin' love with this Lumpy Space Princess costume, via Tumblr. And it looks pretty simple, although we're missing a few of the added extras. Explains Bambz: "you don't just ask a lady about her lumps. this is the costume without the petticoat and yellow hi tops. I also have yellow and purple beads for wrists and neck, as well as star shaped pins for the hair. Party!" Also, here's someone's ultra-simple last-minute Marceline the Vampire Queen, together with Princess Bubblegum.

John Carter

This is the outfit that John Carter spends most of his movie wearing — although he gets some kind of fancy chest piece at one point. And this seems like it would be pretty easy to get together if you have some brown cloth or some brown clothes that you don't mind cutting up. Basically, a strip of brown fabric tied diagonally around the torso, and then wrap some more brown fabric around your midsection, with one flap coming down in front to suggest "loincloth." Probably helps to have brownish hair that you can style to look like Taylor Kitsch.

Kim Possible

This is Jamie's costume, via LivetheDream00 on Tumblr. Kim Possible, the mid-2000s action hero, seems like a pretty simple costume to get together, especially if you already have the reddish hair. Basically just the black shirt, cargo pants, and black gloves. (For extra points, try to get hold of a really big belt that you can strap a few gizmos to.)

Javier Bardem from Skyfall

This is timely, since the film is coming out in just a couple weeks. All you need to do is have unnaturally blond-looking hair, or be willing to put Sun-In in your hair. Or find a really cheap blond wig that you can cut and style a bit. Then find a cream-colored jacket and dark patterned shirt, and you're basically done.

Merida from Brave

This is one of those costumes that seems like it ought to be really difficult — but I think you can do a pretty decent Merida costume with just a really long blue dress (or matching blue top and flowy blue skirt) and then a big red wig. Or if you have red hair that you can turn frizzy, so much the better. The wig is probably the hard part — but a proper wig store ought to have something pretty close. Bow and arrow, obviously a plus.


Represent for this under-appreciated animated movie. Come on. And if people haven't seen Paranorman yet, then beat them over the head with a severed zombie arm. All you really need to be Paranorman is a red hoodie, a backpack, and enough hair gel to make your hair stand straight up. Extra credit for drawing really big eyebrows.


She's going to be the Doctor's new companion — but we've already seen a version of her in "Asylum of the Daleks." And her "Asylum" outfit is ridiculously easy to put together, and yet quite recognizeable. All you really need is a red dress and black hair or wig — red flower in your hair is nice but optional, and the black belt would probably help sell the character. We never really see much of her feet on screen, so any red shoes ought to do. She does wear an apron at one point, when she's baking souffles. Image via Companion Clothes.

The Christopher Nolan Version of Any Random Batman Villain

There are approximately 10,000 Batman villains that Christopher Nolan never got around to Nolan-izing, in the course of his epic Dark Knight trilogy. So pick one, and create the "Nolan" version — which means, a few defining characteristics, but way, way toned down. A Nolan Riddler might just mean a natty green jacket, a black fedora, and maybe a discreet question mark on your tie. Plus a cane. (See David Tennant modeling this look, at left.) A Nolan Killer Croc probably just means a wife-beater, and some "scar tissue" (Rice Krispies) on your face. For women, try a Nolan-ized Poison Ivy, which is probably a nice green dress and leafy bracelet or belt.

Creeper from Minecraft

You basically just need a box and some paints/construction paper. Via GamerShelke on Deviant Art.

Bruce Banner from Avengers

You basically just need a purple shirt, although a snarky attitude and graying black hair would help to sell it. GIF via IndependentMasterList.

Silent Hill Nurse

There are few of these costumes on Tumblr. (Photos above via Alchemy and Alkaline, and Girl Memoir.) It seems like a pretty simple costume to make — you just need a button-up white or off-white dress, and then wrap some gauze bandages around your head until you make a suitably gruesome and distorted shape.

Jon Snow and Daenerys

If you're really desperate, you can do passable Jon Snow and Daenerys costumes in a pretty big hurry, as long as you can lay your hands on the wigs. All Jon Snow really needs is a big black cloak (find a black bedsheet) and furry black collar (find a stuffed animal you don't mind sacrificing) over some black clothes, and a haunted scowl. All Daenerys really needs is a flowy blue silk dress (if you're doing season two Daenerys, when she's in Qarth) and nice jewelry. The hair is the main thing, for both of them.

Carl Sagan and the Cosmos

This is the most charming costume idea ever, and we hope we get to see pictures of how it actually turned out. As Nola Makes an Art explains:

the boyfriend and I are going as Carl Sagan and the Cosmos for the Halloween party this weekend. It's gonna be ASTROMATICAL! also I'm wearing a sequined bustier…and no one can stop me because I'm the cosmos.

If you don't just want to steal Nola's amazing idea, and/or you're a single guy, just go as Carl Sagan.

Got a better idea for a last-minute Halloween costume? Please post it below!