Dressing up for Halloween doesn't have to break the bank. With a little imagination, there are a lot of costume ideas that can be easily made for pennies. A classic example is dressing up like a ghost, which only requires an old white sheet and a permanent market to draw some details. Another example of costume ideas that can be made for next to nothing is a tourist. A Hawaiian shirt, an old camera hanging from the neck, and lots of maps and guidebooks will make up the quintessential tourist outfit. The louder you make things, the easier it will be to identify this costume.
Another old standby when it comes to costume ideas is a cowboy. A felt hat and boots are the only essentials for this costume, as everything else can be put together by wearing your regular jeans. Dressing up as a witch is another of those costume ideas that never gets old. You can buy a wig at a thrift store and wear black clothes and a broom as complements. You'll probably need to buy a witch's hat too, but most costume places sell them for next to nothing.
When it comes to making cheap costume ideas interesting, the most important thing is thinking outside of the box. For example, dressing up as a soldier is extremely easy. All you need is camouflage clothing and some face paint. But paint a hard hat grey and brown, and you will be a hit. French Maid costumes can be put together with a simple apron and a duster, and doctor costumes can be made more interesting by adding some props like a stethoscope and a giant syringe.
Most costume ideas can be adapted to be worn by both children and adults. To give adult costumes an edge, you can turn anything into sexy or extreme, such as going as a mad surgeon rather than a regular doctor. Another example would be a witch or a cat but with a tight-fitting black bodysuit or a sexy black dress to spice it up.
Another great way to come up with cheap costume ideas is to go all out with crazy costumes. For example, you can dress as Mother Nature by attaching lots of silk flowers, plastic birds, and twigs to a colorful skirt and shirt. Or think about costume ideas in pairs: one person could be the devil and one the angel, or one the prisoner and one the police officer.
Some of the most successful costume ideas cost next to nothing. Check out thrift stores, friends and family member's closets, real uniforms from people you may know. If you keep an open mind, you will likely find inspiration wherever you look, even in things you get rid of or items in your closet!