Stand Out On Halloween With These Unique Costume Ideas

Why be a witch when you can be a famous painting?

Originally Published: 
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

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 trick-or-treaters dressed up as Disney characters, superheroes, bats, witches, unicorns, pumpkins, and ninjas. When you’re a kid, standing out during trick-or-treating doesn’t matter as long as you get to dress up as your favorite character. As you get older, you may start leaning towards more unique Halloween costume ideas, and this desire to get creative every year often carries well into adulthood.

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.

We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.


Andy Warhol soup cans group costume

This colorful and unique Halloween Andy Warhol soup can group costume has it all. It works well for a group, it’s a fun DIY, it’s a nod to the art world, and no one else will have the same costume. The tutorial shows you how to recreate this at home (down to the pop-top hats) and for $6 you can download pop art templates from The House That Lars Built to get this just right. Paired with fun wigs and bright clothes, this is a memorable costume you may want to save to wear again.


A Lisa Frank—inspired costume

Who can resist the siren song of school supplies from the ‘90s? Turn that nostalgia into a clever Halloween costume with this Lisa Frank DIY costume from Studio DIY. The ideas are colorful, eye-catching, filled with ‘90s vibes. You could riff a bit on the idea by wearing a marbled black and white outfit under the rainbow colors and being a notebook, or attaching three DIY rings made out of cardboard and calling yourself a Lisa Frank D-ring binder (remember those?).


Medusa costume using 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).


A bar of chocolate costume

A bar of chocolate is not only a delicious treat but it’s also pretty creative. You could DIY it, but there are also tons of cute chocolate bar costumes available to order ready-made, too. This one is not tied to any specific brand, and it’s incredibly detailed. On the back, you’ll find nutrition information written out. For a unique group costume idea, it’s fun to have everyone dress as a different candy, like Fun Dip.


The Elf On The Shelf costume

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.


Essential oil costume

Think outside the box (and inside the diffuser) with this fun and unique essential oil Halloween costume from A Beautiful Mess. Regardless of what your thoughts on the little aromatic oils are, you can’t deny that this costume is super cute (just look at the little hats with the scent labeled on top). The tutorial will walk you through everything you need to know, but the key here is really nailing the font so it looks like a real bottle. One trip to the craft store is really all it takes to make this come together.


Hungry Hungry Hippos family costume

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 the classic game, 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).


Disney foods family costume

Making this group costume is probably less expensive than buying four treats at a Disney park. These clever Halloween costumes include Disney park classics — Dole whip, a churro, a Mickey ice cream bar, and a Mickey waffle — and it’ll put the treat in trick-or-treat. Best of all, all four costumes are no-sew. Girl Loves Glam has all the deets on how to make each, just be prepared to get a ton of compliments.


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 costume

Another Halloween costume inspired by the childhood years of millennials is one of the original American Girl dolls including Samantha, Addy, Felicity, Josephina, Kirsten, and Molly (shown here). 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. This DIY Molly doll costume features a wool sweater (Amazon has some similar blue and red argyle sweaters), a collared shirt, crisp blue shirt, and of course that iconic beret. If you held on to your own dolls from when you were a kid, carry it along with you on Halloween night.


DIY balloon animal costume

This unique Halloween costume idea from Studio DIY is so unique and fun. You can expect to win the costume competition with a DIY balloon animal costume. To recreate this at home you’ll need some time, spandex fabric, and the ability to closely follow a tutorial, but it’s all worth it.


“Crocodile Rock” family costume

Laura at A Beautiful Mess shared this unique family costume idea 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 this “Crocodile Rock” look. 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 costume

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. There are so many to choose from, too — the Lucky Charms leprechaun, Rice Krispies’ Snap, Crackle, and Pop, Tony the Tiger, the Trix rabbit, and Toucan Sam, to name a few. Studio DIY has the scoop on how to make Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry, which were all part of a ‘70s Monsters Cereal line that sometimes get re-released for Halloween


A famous painting costume

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.


A DIY Pop Tart costume

Yep, you can be a Pop Tart for under $5 with this unique costume idea from Paper N Stitch. Check out the tutorial to find out exactly how to pull it off, but know that you’ll need some artistic chops and some basic craft supplies. Not into DIY? No problem. You could opt instead for a frosted strudel t-shirt.


Britney & Justin costume

More than 20 years later (I know, time is truly wild) Britney and Justin in denim outfits is still an instantly recognizable pop culture reference, at least for many of us. This Britney and Justin couples costume from A Beautiful Mess is made with the help of a denim corset and some yardage of denim material. Getting the different color jean-on-jean can be achieved by cutting up some jorts or jeans you don’t plan on wearing again. Lucky for you, denim bucket hats are having a bit of a resurgence, and they’re available at many stores right now, including Amazon or H&M.

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.

This article was originally published on