Tag Archives: thrift store costumes

10 Thrift Store Halloween Costume Ideas

The official countdown to Halloween has begun! With parties and trick-or-treating around the corner, its time to find that original costume, and what a better place than your local thrift store?

It’s amazing what you can find at the thrift stores during Halloween. Many stores, like the Salvation Army and Goodwill stores set up an area of the store specifically for second hand Halloween merchandise. They even offer consultants to help you piece a costume together!

Plus, it is a frugalite’s dream – buying local, recycling, very budget friendly – with a little creative thinking you can have a field day finding a great costume for Halloween.

To help you get the creative juices flowing here are 10 Thrift Store Halloween Costume Ideas:


Find two loose fitting skirts to layer, a large white shirt and a shawl or scarf. Find any kind of gaudy, large or flashy costume jewelry such as big hoop earings, bracelets and beads are good and you have just created a gypsy costume.

Bride of Frankenstein

A great classic Halloween costume is the Bride of Frankenstein. All you need to buy is white formal or wedding gown from the thrift store. Then finish the look by teasing the hair up, spraying stipes of white on both sides of the hair and adding some dramatic make-up.

Dr. Killjoy

Become a depraved medical practicioner who works in the Asylum. This costume requires a pair of scrub and a lab coat. Accessorize with a medical face mask, lots of fake blood on the outfit and large fake shot.


Thrift stores are always stocked cheap prom dresses. Adorn the look with cheap costume jewelry and a tiara. Need princess shoes? Paint a pair of shoes with silver, glittery paint.


Shiver Me Timbers! This costume can be made by a pair of jean cutoffs, a striped pullover shirt, an eye patch made out of black fabric and a red bandana. Look in the costume jewelry case for a big clip-on hoop earring. Enhance the look with pirate lingo – check out Pirate Speak: How to Talk Like a Pirate

80s Prom Queen

Thrift stores make it easy to find formal dresses adorned with giant bows, sequins galore, puffy sleeves, layers of lace and bubble skirts. To be an 80s prom queen you will need the tackiest prom dress, lots of costume jewelry, the biggest, crunchiest hair, and the brightest eye shadow to complete this look.

The Mother-in-Law

Mud masks and wearing curlers was popular with the women many years back. You just need to grab a bathrobe, throw on a pair of bath slippers, pin some rollers in your hair, and apply a mud mask. Halloween costume in comfort. If you prefer not to wear a bathrobe, find a pair of polyester pants with an elastic waist band and a tacky floral print blouse.


This is a great inexpensive costume. Pick up a suit and shirt you don’t mind getting messy. Tatter and tear the suit to make it look worn, a white face and black circles for the eyes will make any person look dead, and smear fake blood across body to complete the look. Women can dress it up with a thrift store prom dress.


There is always Hawaiian shirts available at a thrift store. Pair that with some khaki shorts, some colorful, large sunglasses, a sun hat, and an old camera to go trick or treating as a tourist. To enhance the look a streak of white make-up on your nose to look like you are preventing a sunburn and where some knee high socks.

This costume can also be changed up to look like a geeky nerd. Just omit the hat and camera, add black rimmed glasses with tape in the middle, and a pocket protector.


Steampunk is the Victorian era meets tech – think of the movie Wild Wild West with Will Smith and Kevin Kline. Men can dress it up with wool suits, top hats, long button up shirts, cargo pants with lots of pockets, vests, belts, and a pocket watch. Ladies can wear gowns, layered skirts with big belts, button up blouses, vests, metal jewelry and flight hats. What makes the steampunk is a pair of flight goggles – to do so the frugalite way – paint a pair of swim goggles gold.

Do you have a favorite costume put together from thrift store finds? Or have another great idea to share?

(Photo credit: Kitty-Mutant via Deviant Art)