6 Fun and Affordable Ideas (and Costumes!) for Halloween 2020

Do-it-yourself outfits and socially distant celebrations can help make the spookiest holiday of the year safe and enjoyable, pandemic or not.
October 6, 2020
4 mins read

The year 2020 has featured cancellation after cancellation. From concerts to graduation ceremonies to sporting events, it can feel like COVID-19 has ruined everything. As the leaves turn yellow and night falls sooner, college students and children alike are beginning to worry about what will become of their beloved autumn holiday.

While the traditional fun of Halloween typically involves large-group gatherings, health experts strongly advise against this in the midst of the pandemic. This doesn’t mean that all Halloween festivities must come to an end, though. Here are some affordable costume ideas, as well as socially distant ways to celebrate the spookiest day of the year.

1. Dress Up as a Pencil 

This clever costume idea can be as easy or as intricate as you like, and it’s original. All you need are some pink pants, a yellow T-shirt and a brown party hat with a tip made out of black construction paper. Feel like going the extra mile and harnessing your inner artist? Purchase a pack of yellow pool noodles and use whatever sort of material you want to transform those noodles into a pack of pencils. You can carry them around with you or attach them to your outfit.

2. Host a Costume Fashion Show Via Zoom

Maybe a costume fashion show isn’t your first choice of ways to celebrate the best day of the year, but it’s better than sitting at home alone eating a giant bag of chocolate. Just send out a Zoom link to your family and/or friends, show off your costumes, enjoy some Halloween candy and treasure the socially distant company of your loved ones.

3. Another Costume Featuring Pool Noodles

Who knew pool noodles were such a popular Halloween costume accessory? This idea involves five green pool noodles, some green and purple felt paper and duct tape. This costume, if assembled and crafted correctly, resembles a bundle of asparagus, and it’s a definite conversation starter at your next Zoom costume party. Country Living discusses a simple and cheap way to create this costume.

4. Create Your Own Indoor Haunted House

While attending a traditional haunted house during a global pandemic isn’t the safest activity, there’s no reason the spirit of Halloween should be excluded from your 2020 plans.

Whether you are living with kids, roommates or your family, designing a haunted house for your living room or apartment is a great way to spend your Halloween night. The best part about this activity is that creating it is truly up to your own personal interpretation.

If you’re feeling a little more lowkey, feel free to rely only on decorations to construct your haunted house. Want to make more of a production of it? Volunteer your family members or roommates as live actors. Dress them up as mummies, clowns or whatever you think is scariest.

The Spruce Crafts offers a whole list of ways to make your haunted house as spooky as possible.

5. Why Not Dress Up as a Duct Tape Skeleton?

This DIY attire has to be the easiest costume I’ve ever seen— and it’s perfect for kids. All you need to transform into a spooky Halloween skeleton is a black pair of pants, a long-sleeve black T-shirt and lots of white duct tape (bonus points if it glows in the dark!).

The construction of this costume is pretty self-explanatory. Just brush up on anatomy and stick the tape on the black attire to resemble bones. Once you’ve successfully transformed into a skeleton, turn off the lights, enjoy your glow-in-the-dark bones and perform your very best dance to “Spooky, Scary Skeletons.”

6. Have a Trick-Or-Treating Parade

Since traditional trick-or-treating festivities aren’t safe, organizing a neighborhood “Halloween parade” could be a great alternative. Children can stand outside and wave as a parade of their adult neighbors drive by, throwing candy and admiring their spooky — or adorable — Halloween costumes.

Perhaps you could even organize a “drive-through haunted street” throughout your neighborhood and encourage everyone to transform the outside of their homes into haunted houses.

Just because Halloween must be celebrated differently this year doesn’t mean that we sit around and mope. This Halloween in particular offers more time to prepare your costume and decorations, as many of us are spending more time at home.

However you decide to spend your holiday, remember to be creative, eat lots of candy and celebrate safely.

Hannah Reynoso, University of Iowa

Writer Profile

Hannah Reynoso

University of Iowa
English and Creative Writing (Publishing Track)

Hannah Reynoso is a junior at the University of Iowa, majoring in English and Creative Writing. When she isn’t writing, Hannah likes to cook, exercise and hang out with her two dogs.

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