Beating the costume shortage with last minute, DIY costumes

If you're having trouble finding a costume in stores for Halloween, it's because there's a costume shortage due to shipping delays. Many costumes, masks, and wigs that made it to stores are selling out fast.

We rounded up the experts to help you round up a costume that will not only save you money but will help save the environment.


Start by looking around the house for inspiration:  hats, wigs, glasses, coats, or swap items with friends.  

Green Living Mentor CEO Stephanie Moram created little detective costumes, and a zombie costume for her daughter shopping at home and a thrift store.

"We bought a button-down shirt like this. We cut it up and I put make-up on it to make it look dirty. She already had a black skirt at home, so I didn’t need to do anything with that. And we bought some leotards and we just cut them up," Moram showed us.  

She says some thrift stores sell used costumes for pennies on the dollar.

"There were tons of costumes, still in their bags, they were worn for one year. We had costume after costume that you can go buy for five or ten dollars," said Moram.


Aneisha McMillan with the Halloween & Costume Association says clothes at thrift stores can inspire you.

"Anything retro, like 1970’s disco. There are so many cool options there, even if you wanted to be a cowboy or a farmer with some overalls," said McMillan.

While single costumes are selling out, costumes for couples and families are easy to find and make.

"Let's say Scooby-doo, and you decided to dress as all the different characters. You could look around the house for a turtleneck or a skirt or outfits that would really go with that," said McMillan.


Between costumes and candy wrappers that get thrown away each year, Moram says trick-or-treaters generate a pound of trash a year.  

You can buy sustainable candy from companies such as Annies, YumEarth, and MadeGood, or sold in recyclable wrappers.

"There's a local candy shop that has these little chocolates. They’re organic as well, and they’re wrapped in paper," said Moram.

You'll find more ideas on the Inspiration Page of the Halloween & Costume Association website.

Google Frightgeist lists the most-searched costumes in cities across the country.