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Going to a Costume Party? 11 Creative Ideas From Your Closet

costume ideas for costume party

I’ve always wanted to wear my wedding gown again…why not wear it to a costume party

Finding a creative costume for a costume party doesn’t have to be stressful or frustrating! These costumes ideas are fun and easy.

Here’s what one reader says:

“I rarely buy costumes because I think that it’s much more fun and creative to make your own,” says Brandi, who loves wearing an “Eve” costume of “Adam and Eve” lore. “And I hate spending money on a costume that I’m only going to wear one time.”

If you’re going to a costume party, a way cool costume is a Red Riding Hood Costume for Women on It’s both classic and sexy!

And, here are eleven dress up ideas for costume parties that you can create out of the stuff in your closets and kitchen…

Carrie costume – from your closet (and Stephen King!)

“This was my all time favorite dress up idea for women: Carrie from Stephen King,” says Kathleen, who created Lucky Day Boutique. “I went as Carrie for four years in a row and won quite a few awards. In case you don’t know who that is, Sissy Spacek played her in the 70’s movie Carrie. She went to prom, was the homecoming queen – and gets pig’s blood poured all over her. I put on a long blonde wig, wore my white graduation dress from high school, had the same homecoming sash on and had fake blood all over me.  It was awesome.  People recognized me right away.  Nothing is worse that having a costume that you have to explain!”

If you want to go to a costume party as Carrie, you’ll need fake blood to pour on your dress.

“Day After” Bridesmaid costume – from your closet

“Wear your most hideous, wrinkled, stained bridesmaid’s dress, the one you balled up and threw in a bag and never dry cleaned because it wasn’t even worth selling at a yard sale,” says Leanna who blogs at Atlanta Bridal Blog. “Put on a lot of makeup and color your lipstick outside of the lines and smear heavy eye makeup just slightly.  Put hair up, but in a tausled in an off-to-the-side up-do. Wear a bow tie and, if you’re cold, a man’s tuxedo or suit jacket. Carry a dead bouquet of flowers that match your heinous dress, and you’ll be the hit of the costume party!”

White Trash costume – a dress up idea from your garbage

“Wear all white and tape “trashy” trash (e.g. cigarette butts, etc) to your outfit,” says Leanna of WinoWriters. “Wear lots of make up and, preferably, clear heels.”

This dress up idea for costume parties is also eco-friendly – you’re cleaning up the environment and maybe even the party house!

Gang Green costume – a “group” idea

Here’s another idea from Leanna, the Queen of Costume Party Ideas:

“You and a group of friends wear dark green sweatsuits and large gold jewelry,” she says. “Pull one pant-leg up and put a black mark under one eye, or any other signature gang symbol, tattoo, accessory you like.”

This costume party dress up idea is also a pun — “gangrene”….get it? Gang green?! Gangrene! Creative, huh? :-)

Super Mom costume – from your closet

“I went to a costume party last year, and dressed up as Super Mom,” says Jennifer, of LivHealthy. “I wore a black top, black yoga pants, black knee-high boots & borrowed my son’s cool toy, light-up utility belt. I picked up a pretty blue sparkly mask from the dollar store and wore that too!”

Potato Head Costume

dress up ideas from your closet

“Mr Potato Head” photo Josh Koonce via flickr, CC License

I found this simple potato head costume on flickr – but I think you need the right head to carry it off!

The Martyr costume – from your emotions

“The inspiration for this dress up idea was that I didn’t really want to go to the costume party in the first place and I felt like a ‘martyr,'” says Shirley, of The Domestic Episodes of a Rodeo Princess. “So I dressed as one! I got some burlap, cut a hole in it, so I could wear it like a poncho. Before putting it on, I burned the edges with a candle and then I stabbed it repeatedly with a steak knife. This was my martyr dress. I went out in the back yard and got a thorny vine and wove myself a crown. Then, I tied my wrists and ankles with left over strips of burlap.”

If you’re going to a costume party, this outfit is also a great conversation starter!

Grocery Bag costume – from the grocery store

If you waited until the last minute to find your costume for the party, this dress up idea is quick and easy…

“I took a box and cut the top off and taped the bottom. Then I cut a hole in the bottom (for my head) and that became the top of costume. I covered the box in paper bags from the grocery store,” says Brandi. “I bought toy groceries from the grocery store and put them all along the top of the costume surrounding the hole to look like the grocery bag was full. My headpiece was a milk carton with the words missing in the front and thats where my face went. People wanted to take me home!”

Black Widow costume – from a costume store

“I found a big inflatable spider at a costume shop,” says Shirley. “I glued it to a black ski hat.  I wore the hat:  voila!  I was a black widow! It’s easy and you don’t have to be worried about complicated costumes in the car.”

Eve costume – a dress up idea from the Bible

“Last year I was Eve of ‘Adam and Eve.’ I went to Michael’s and bought a ton of fake green leaves and a plastic apple,” says Brandi, who blogs at Bee’s Runway. “I cut all the leaves from the fake branches and hand-stitched them onto a strapless bra and a pair of seamless panties. It only took about two hours to make. I’m going to a costume party this year, and will be making my own Pocahontas costume with materials I bought from a local fabric store.”

For more literary ideas, read Book Character Costumes – Dress Up as a Literary Character.

Leftovers costume – from your cupboard

Brandi has yet another costume party idea – she’s rivaling Leanna for the Queen of Costumes! “One year my friend and I created a “leftovers” costume for her with aluminum foil, super glue, and stretchy fabric,” says Brandi. “That one was slightly more difficult because aluminum foil tears.”

You might also be interested in Food Costumes to Make at Home – From Beef Tacos to Dates.

Patsy Stone costume – a costume party idea from your makeup bag

“One year I decided to go as Patsy Stone from the BBC’s cult TV show Absolutely Fabulous. I don’t think I spent one penny on that costume but everyone at the costume party knew who I was!” says Rana from San Diego. “I took a black suit that I had and made the skirt really short and the jacket more revealing…just like Patsy would wear. I wore four inch stiletto heels and really bold gold jewelry that I already owned.  I also did my make-up very thick and a little smeary. I have blond hair so the trick was to spray it as much as possible to get the height.  I managed to capture Patsy’s signature beehive pretty well. Finally, my props were a cigarette (unlit) and martini glass (empty) which I toted around all night.

Haven’t found the right costume yet? Here are more ideas for parties: Easy Homemade Halloween Costumes for Women.

More costume party ideas here: What to Be for Halloween – Original Teen Costumes.

And if you have any dress up ideas for costume parties, please comment below!

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5 thoughts on “Going to a Costume Party? 11 Creative Ideas From Your Closet”

  1. I want to wear my wedding dress to the next costume party I go to! It’s been sitting in my closet for the past 7 years, getting old and musty. I might as well party in it :-)

  2. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hello Ella,

    I hope you have a great time at your costume party, and that you find the exact right costume to wear! I doubt you’ll find an 1800s gown in your closet, but you never know… :-)


  3. I’m going to my first costume party! It’s not a Halloween party, it’s a costume party, there won’t be halloween apples or games. I’m excited about it and want to dress up in a gown that is beautiful, like from the 1800s. Thank you for these dress up ideas, but I’m going the whole hawg for this costume party!!!!!!!!

  4. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comments, Eren! I’m hoping to go to a costume party this year…even if I have to throw my own dress up party. I think I’ll just wear all the funkiest, trippiest clothes I have in my closet and call myself “Indecision.”


  5. These are funny ideas – lol. Especially the Grocery Bag and the Gang green ones.. hilarious ;-)
    I love dressing up for parties – so much fun!
    All the best,