18 DIY Costumes That Don’t Involve Partial Nudity

According to Yahoo, Minnie Mouse and anything from the movie “Frozen” (think princesses) are among the most searched for costumes online. Pinterest has created its own board of the most pinned costumes – this group of rainbow loofahs is hot (it’s been repinned more than 1,000 times):



This zombie has been a top choice for men:



And of course, there’s the perennially popular old lady costume:


Not your style? We looked for quick and easy DIY costumes that don’t involve ageist stereotypes, lots of leg, bare midriffs, or zombie eyes. (Apparently, we olders are scary enough already.)

Adapt these to suit.

Popeye & Olive Oyl


Raid your wardrobes for this easy couple costume, and find a pipe – don’t worry about finding the exact items; cartoon colors, the pipe and a can of spinach do the talking. Source: Twitter

Lincoln Penny


This kid needed a stick-on beard. If you’re old enough to grow your own, you have the advantage! Use cardboard, glue and paint for the penny; buy face paint and spray-on temporary hair color for your face and hair. Source:

Stick Figures

halloween stick figure

White T-shirts and sweats or PJs, paper plates for the faces and electrical tape. Voila. The costume also works well with black outfits and white electrical tape. Source: Flavorwire



New Yorker illustrator Saul Steinberg created a wonderful series of masks in the early ’60s using simple paper bags – perfect for solo, couple or group costumes. See more here.


The more people the better with this costume – but solo works, too. Jellyfish use clear umbrellas with multiple small LED lights attached to the inside, and long, thin strips of cellophane, sparkly fabric or bubble wrap. Wear white or light colors, and open and close the umbrella for the swimming motion.

Old Master


He was under 40 when he died, but hey, Van Gogh is an old master. Use face paint crayons for the painterly effect. Source: reallyawesomecostumes.

Silver Surfer

halloween silver surfer

Hate that term “Silver Surfer”? Have fun with it. All you need is aluminum foil and a cardboard surfboard cutout (or boogie board loaner). We think the costume could be improved by wrapping yourself more tightly in the foil. Source: Mashable

American Gothic


The poor farm couple in Grant Woods’s famous WPA painting are way older than this costumed pair is even trying to look. If your hair’s already gray and you have some wrinkles, you’re almost good to go. All you need is a pitchfork (may we suggest the three-pronged devil variety for a twist on the theme?). Source:



If you have access to black-and-white movies-era outfits, all the better, but this costume works with any classic clothes, as long as they’re black, white and gray. The couple in this photo used a spray can of temporary black hair color along with standard white face powder; if your hair is gray, no need to color it.  Go as a couple, with a grayscale friend or alone. Source: Babble

Publisher’s Clearing House


Remember the Publisher’s Cleating House ads? Find some old rollers, grab your bathrobe and commandeer a man in a suit. Source:

Monster Mash

(Video link for mobile)

This “Monster Mash” video was performed by a bunch of seniors at a Virginia retirement community. Pick your costume and get ready to move. If you can find someone to come along as your gravestone, all the better (think cardboard).



From Tumblr: “My amazing 91 year old grandma’s Halloween costume this year. #besthumanever.” Need a cane? This costume couldn’t be simpler.  Source: loveandasandwich

Elton John


Someone posted this picture of her 76-year-old grandfather on Reddit: “My gramma said it was the first time she ever put rouge and an earring on her husband. He’s carrying a tape player with an Elton John cassette. Rock on, Pop Pop!” Source: Imgur


Punny Ideas

Thanks to Senior Planet writer Linda Abbit for these smart concepts:

  • Piece of Gum Stuck On A Shoe Dress in pink and attach a shoe to the top of your head.
  • Devil’s Advocate Wear buttons and carry signs that say DEVIL IS #1 and
    VOTE FOR SATAN, etc.
  • Nudist on Strike Dress in normal clothes and carry a sign that says
  • Self-Absorbed Attach sponges all over your body.
  • Under The Weather Stick cotton balls, a lightning bolt and a sun on a hat or visor.

Bonus:  For the Pet

dog-costume ghost-dog


Are you planning a Halloween costume? If not, why? If yes, which is it? Share your ideas in the comments section below.


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