A mother prepares a child’s costume before going out trick or treating on Halloween.
RichLegg/E+/Getty Images

Stand Out On Halloween With These Unique Costumes

Why be a witch when you can be a bundle of balloons?

There are some Halloween costumes that are simply timeless, like pumpkins and skeletons, but they don’t exactly turn heads. While the classic get-ups are always fun, it’s the unique Halloween costumes that get people's attention. The only problem is that these costumes aren’t exactly easy to dream up.

On a given Halloween, you’ll see about a zillion little girls dressed up as Disney princesses, just as many kids in some kind of superhero uniform, and a heavy sprinkling of bats, unicorns, and ninjas. For a lot of kids, especially the younger ones, standing out during trick-or-treating doesn’t matter as long as they get to dress up as Elsa or Iron Man. Once they get a little older, they may start wanting some unique Halloween costume ideas, and this desire to get creative every year often carries well into adulthood (looking at you, parents).

Some years, unique Halloween costume ideas might just fall into your lap or you might become easily inspired by something you come across while scrolling through your Instagram feed. Other years, however, you may feel creatively blocked and struggle to dream up a costume that’s right for you. If that’s where you are now, here are some fun, creative, and unique Halloween costume ideas to consider for this year’s outfit.


Medusa With Balloons

If you’re not familiar, Medusa is a Greek mythology monster who has snakes for hair. Honestly, she’s quite terrifying. Because of her scary nature, it’s not uncommon to see one or two Medusa costumes on Halloween. What makes this specific costume stand out, however, is the use of balloons. Instead of a wig, fake snakes, or wrapping your hair around wires, you can create Medusa’s iconic snake hair using long balloons. If you’re not sure how exactly to execute this amazing look, no worries because The House That Lars Built has a step-by-step guide to help you turn yourself into this terrifying creature (that will totally blow every other costume out of the water).


The Little Caesar’s Guy

“Pizza, pizza.” While it’s now known for its hot and ready pizzas, if you’re a kid of the 90s, you probably remember that there was a time when Little Caesars was absolutely amazing (raise your hand if your parents served their Big Foot pizzas at one of your birthday parties). You can page tribute to those days, and have a totally unique Halloween costume, by dressing up as the little mascot himself. Find a sheet to wrap around you like a toga, some leafy garland to turn into a crown, a pair of sandals, and a stick. For the pizza on the stick, simply cut a circle out of a piece of cardboard and dress it up with construction paper to turn it into the pie of your dreams.


90s-Style TLC

In the ‘90s and ‘00s, TLC was absolutely iconic. Not only was their music simply phenomenal but they always wore outfits that made them stand out (but in a really cool way). If you’re looking for a unique group costume, consider dressing up as the three ladies. Draw inspiration from one of their music videos, like the silky pajamas from “Creep”, the bright, oversized outfits from “What About Your Friends”, or their simply amazing look of crop tops, baggy pants, and sarongs from “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls.” Just remember to have lots of fun with the costumes, because you just know the three of them had a blast with their wardrobes.


A Bar Of Chocolate

Westend61, Getty Images

A bar of chocolate is not only a delicious treat but it’s also a creative costume, and something that’s super simple to DIY. This is a particularly good option for someone in need of a last-minute Halloween costume, because all you really need is some cardboard and aluminum foil. Tie some string or rope to a large piece of cardboard so that it hangs from your neck and draw little rectangles all over it to make it look like a chocolate bar. Then, take your foil and wrap it around the cardboard from the bottom to about halfway up. Make sure you secure the foil to the board with lots of tape and then crinkle the top section to make it look like it's been unwrapped from the chocolate bar.


Elf On The Shelf

Jena Ardell, Getty Images

Ah, this elf is the bane of your existence in December, but in October it can serve as a really good Halloween costume. You can easily make it yourself, too, with a red jumpsuit or dress, white gloves, white felt (to cut into a collar), and a Santa hat (minus the white ball on the tip). To make it all the more creative, come up with some accessories to make it look like you’re in a classic elf setup, or simply carry your kid’s book along with you. Assuming your kids are old enough to handle it, you could also go dark with the costume and turn yourself into a zombie elf.


Throwback McDonald’s Chicken Nugget Toy

Do you remember finding little nugget toys like this in your Happy Meals way back when you were a kid? They were so oddly iconic and fantastic, and there were so many amazing styles like this cowboy, a rock star, scuba diver, and there were even some Halloween-themed nuggets, too. To recreate your character, you’ll want a brown top and pants or a brown dress to make yourself look like a nugget, then look around your house, at a thrift store, or online to see if you can find items that match the character’s accessory. Make sure you have the McDonald’s logo on you somewhere, too, so that people will be able to connect what you’re dressed as.


A Board Game Character

Ashley at Sugar and Cloth came up with this adorable family Hungry Hungry Hippos costume when her daughter was a baby with a very healthy appetite. She has step-by-step instructions on her blog for recreating this specific family costume, but if you’re not a fan of Hungry Hungry Hippos, then let it serve as some inspiration for a different costume. What’s a board game you love? Can you turn it into a costume somehow? You could dress up as a character from Candyland, the two Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, the Monopoly man, or even some letter tiles from Scrabble (bonus points if you go as a group and spell something out).


Dr. Facilier

The Princess and the Frog has one of the best villains: Dr. Facilier. He’s into Voodoo (so much so that he’s responsible for the whole frog situation) but more than that, he wears an amazing outfit that is totally costume-worthy. You’ll need a top hat with a skull and crossbones, black dress pants, a purple blazer (or black works, too), a purple vest, a red cummerbund, a spooky necklace, and a cane with a purple globe of some kind on top. If you want to go a little over the top, carry a deck of cards, a fake Voodoo doll, and a toy frog with you, too.


A Bundle Of Balloons

Tara Moore, Getty Images

Chances are very high that you already have a bunch of balloons in your house (but if you don’t, you can easily get some inexpensive ones just about anywhere), so blow a few up and turn yourself into a bundle of balloons for Halloween. Ideally, use balloons in a few different colors and try to blow them up at various sizes so that you can create a more unique look. To attach the balloons to your clothing, follow the steps in this tutorial for a different costume made out of balloons. Just remember, you’ll need to be able to move around freely throughout the night, so pick your placements wisely.


An OG American Girl Doll

Another Halloween costume inspired by the childhood years of millennials is one of the original American Girl dolls including Samantha, Addy, Felicity, Molly, Josephina, and Kirsten. These girls were all about their era-specific accessories like bonnets and purses, so there is a lot to work with to turn yourself into your favorite one. If you held on to your own dolls from when you were a kid, carry it along with you on Halloween night. Or, if you’re going for more of a boxed doll look, carry a copy of one of their books since they were always included in the original packaging.


A Pair Of Fuzzy Dice

Thomas Winz, Getty Images

Perfect for a friend or couple costume, a pair of fuzzy dice is easy, fun, and not something you see very often. To make your own, you’ll need a cardboard box, some kind of fuzzy fabric to cover it in, and some black felt to create the dots. Sugar Bee Crafts has a tutorial for creating a standard dice costume for kids, so you can follow it to create the base of the two costumes, then get creative and add some of your own personality with colorful furry fabric to turn them into anything but basic fuzzy dice.


“Crocodile Rock” Family

It doesn’t get much more creative than this, does it? Laura at A Beautiful Mess shared this family costume and, frankly, it’s amazing. Her husband dressed up in a cozy hooded crocodile onesie, she’s rocking a keyboard costume, and their toddler is the cutest little Elton John there ever was to create “Crocodile Rock.” This costume is unique on its own, but if you don’t want to steal someone else’s idea, maybe it can serve as inspiration for a different costume based on one of your favorite songs or bands of all time. If nothing else, it really sells the idea of dressing toddlers up as Sir Elton, doesn’t it?


A Cereal Mascot

The best thing about cereal is, well the cereal itself, but the cartoon mascots definitely come in at a close second. These little guys also make for fantastic Halloween costumes that people will instantly recognize, but may not think to create on their own. There are so many to choose from, too, like the Lucky Charms leprechaun, Rice Krispies’ Snap, Crackle, and Pop, Tony the Tiger, the Trix rabbit, and Toucan Sam, just to name a few. Most of the costumes will be really simple to pull together, and it gives you an excuse to purchase and enjoy your favorite sugary cereal.


A Famous Painting

For the very artistic people out there, you can turn yourself into a painting like this person. They chose Van Gogh’s famous Starry Night, but if you’re not quite that talented then consider turning yourself into the subject of a famous painting instead, rather than a full painting itself. There’s the obvious Mona Lisa or The Scream, but there are so many more incredible works of art to consider, too. If you’re going out for Halloween with a group of friends, pick a work of art that features several characters, whether it's humans or animals (dogs playing poker, perhaps), everyone can dress up as someone different.


Bob & His Thanksgiving Turkey

Fans of Bob’s Burgers know that Bob Belcher loves three things: his family, burgers, and cooking his Thanksgiving turkey. So, while most couples or friends would go for the obvious Bob and Linda or Gene, Louise, and Tina costumes, you can shake things up a bit by putting a spotlight on the love story of Bob and his turkey. Both costumes will be very easy to find or create on your own, and even if the two of you get separated at some point in the night, your outfits also work just fine as solo pieces (though, they are better together, of course).


A Glamour Shot

We’ve all seen (or have even taken) an iconic Glamour Shot at some point, so why not turn the look into an amazing unique Halloween costume? You’ll need a comb and lots of hairsprays so that you can tease your hair to make it as big and curly as humanly possible (much like Danielle Fishel’s hair in this photo), a lot of overly dramatic makeup, great big fake jewelry, and a top that looks like it came right off an evening gown. The kicker here is that you’ll also need a backdrop of some sort, ideally one that works with the color top you’re wearing, so that it looks like you’re a walking photograph. If you’re really dedicated, you can figure out a way to also have a frame in front of you so that you walk around looking like a framed Glamour Shot.

Coming up with unique Halloween costume ideas is tough, and sometimes all you need are a few ideas from someone else to spark a totally different idea in yourself. But, if that didn’t happen here, feel free to use any of these fun ideas so that you can avoid blending in this Halloween.