5 DIY Halloween Costumes Made from Materials You Already Own

diy robot costume photo

DIY Robot Halloween Costume. Photo: Uriel 1998 / CC

Enjoy the process of creative reuse and take your DIY Halloween costume to the next level by making it from materials you already own. From a larger than life Gordon Gekko-esque cell phone, circa 1987, to a roller coaster car with an extra pair of legs, we rounded up five wacky Halloween costumes made from materials that you won't have to leave your house to find.

1. Robot

While popular among children, a robot costume is suitable for any age. All you need is a cardboard box or boxes big enough to fit around your body and a few other household items, including dryer venting, foil, glue, various electrical items (to be glued on to the cardboard box), duct tape, and silver paint. For more direction, Parents.com provides the 'how to' details.

2. Fire Fighter

fireman costume photo
Photo: Meaghan O'Neill

Last year, our editor-in-chief Meaghan O'Neill put her DIY skills to good use making a fireman costume for her son from items found around the house.

The bulk of the costume was made by adding duct tape and reflective strips to a jacket and pair of pants from her son's existing wardrobe; the fire hat was culled from an existing collection of toy fire hats; gardening gloves became fireman's gloves and an old broken garden hose was cut and taped for a fireman's house; and a Sigg bottle became a fire extinguisher with felt, electrical tape, a key tag (as the pressure gauge), and a carabiner. A hand-held radio, a pair of ski goggles, and an old belt, worn over the coat made the finishing touches.

3. Crocodile

cardboard crocodile photo
Photo: L. Marie/CC

To craft a cardboard crocodile costume, you'll need to collect a narrow cardboard box, butcher paper, masking tape, pinking shears, stapler, black marker, hot glue gun, and tissue paper--and from your wardrobe, you'll need to brown- or green-colored clothing.

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories provides step-by-step direction for the Halloween costume and tells us that it's okay if people try to feed the crocodile--the lower jaw of the crocodile holds candy, and with a tilt of the head, it slides right into your mouth!

4. Cell Phone

cellphone costume photo
Photo: mecredis / CC

Play homage to the cell phone by donning a Gordon Gekko-esque cell phone, circa 1987 for Halloween.

Flickr user mecredis posted photos from his Motorola Brick costume, which he assembled with board, a screw driver, and printed materials.

Take a look at his photos for inspiration and try making your own from items you already have at home, like cardboard, and print out the numbers, which are available online at Fibre Design.

5. Roller Coaster Car

rollercoaster costume photo
Photo: Krossbow / CC

This handmade roller coaster costume by Flickr user Krossbow is sure to start a few conversations at an annual Halloween party.

To craft this winning costume at home, you'll need a cardboard box -- which can be painted any color -- duct tape, a bar to hold on to (if you choose a metal bar, you'll need two tennis balls to stick on both ends), an extra pair of shoes and pants from your closet, and plastic bags or recycled tissue paper to stuff them. For added appeal, act the part by waving both hands in the air.

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More Green Halloween Costumes
Green Halloween: DIY Costume Ideas from ThreadBanger
Make Your Own Cheaper, Better Halloween Costume
Top Homemade Halloween Costumes for the DIY-Impaired

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