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7 Family Costume Ideas for Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner, and you may be frantically trying to come up with last-minute ideas for the family. It’s not always feasible to purchase entire family costumes, and at this point, it’s probably too late to try to order something even if you can afford to.

We’re here to help! To keep costumes family-friendly, we’ll all need to dive into our creative mindsets—and probably raid the old junk closet for extra supplies. You’ll need some craft supplies too. Glue gun, duct tape, Post-It notes, and some other such items. But you’ll see what you need as we go.

Let’s have some family costume fun!

1. Crazy Cat Family 

Ever hear of the crazy cat lady? What if she had a family? It’s a simple, fun way to use all those stuffed animals in your kid’s toy bin, too—specifically if they’re cats. You’ll need: safety pins, bathrobes, sloppy clothes, stuffed cats, and that’s about it!

Each family member can create their own “crazy” identity. Throw on a pair of joggers, tie a bathrobe over it, mess up your hair, and pull on some mismatched socks. Next, you’ll take the stuffed cats and safety pins and pin them to your clothes—the more creative, the better. Pin a cat hanging from the back of your shoulder as if it’s clawing you. Perch a cat on a stocking cap and pull it on your head. The more cats you have hanging off the family, the better.

And bonus? There’s no cat dander to exacerbate your allergies!

2. Ninjas Unite 

What family doesn’t have a desire to sneak through the darkness of night with the finesse and athleticism of a ninja? Your kids will love this one, and all it requires is a lot of black clothes!

Dress the family from head to toe in all black. The more, the better. Preferably, long sleeves and pants, with black socks and black shoes. But do the best that you can. You’ll want to find some black scarves or knit caps to tie over your eyes (we recommend cutting holes in them so you can see; otherwise, you may skimp on the element of finesse). Another fun option is to take dark face paint and color in portions of your face. The kids love it, and it can be made even more fun if you let the kids draw on designs.

3. Reminder Notification 

You know how your phone’s apps ding with reminders? Turn your entire family into one big reminder notification. You’ll need a whole bunch of Post-it Notes, a glue gun, and ideally, clothes that mimic the color of your Post-Its.

You’ll want to add the Post-Its to your clothes before you get dressed. Also, you’ll want to use a t-shirt or something you don’t want to re-wear after Halloween. Write reminders on a myriad of Post-Its. If you’re creative, you can even Google funny reminders (just be prepared to have people reading you all night!). Once you’ve finished that, pick up that glue gun and attach them to your shirt. Granted, Post-Its are already sticky, but not enough to stay attached to your clothing.

When asked what you are for Halloween, you can let everyone know you’re their Reminder Notification and follow it up with an obnoxiously loud ding! Your kids, especially the little ones, will have a blast as they ding their way door-to-door.

4. Football Frenzy 

It’s not rocket science and granted, it may not be very creative, but we all hail from areas where a football team is our favorite. Or, as it is in our house, where football teams are at odds between different family members.

As a family, raid your closet for your favorite team jersey, t-shirt, sweatshirt. You’ll also want to get face paints and maybe other accessories that suit your favorite football team. Then go at it and turn yourself into the wildest fan-frenzied maniac for Halloween.

If there are competing opinions as to the best team, even better! I’d have to allow my son to don all the Kansas City Chiefs regalia in my house as my husband and I carry forth the true devotion of a Cheesehead—er—Green Bay Packer fan. If you want to have a lot of fun, do an Internet search for some of the craziest football fans for your preferred team. You’ll find a lot of inspiration, and if the odds are good and you already have a shirt in your closet with the proper NFL logo, you’re set!

5. Smartie Pants 

Dress your family up like a candy jar full of Smarties. All you’ll need is a bunch of Smarties, a glue gun (or duct tape), and whatever clothes you want to wear. Take the rolls of Smarties and attach them to your pants—as many of them as you can.

Your family will become a team of smartie pants, and you’ll be a smartie parent for creating such a punny Halloween costume at such last-minute notice.

6. Attitude Adjustment

Your family can really dress up the puns with this one, and it will take all of a few minutes to throw together. You’ll need an old t-shirt (because really hot glue will work best for this), a glue gun, and a bag of chips (the bigger, the better).

Glue the bag of chips to the shoulder of the t-shirt. When you wear it, you’ll be the family with a major chip on their shoulder. Get it? Chip? On your shoulder? Sure, it’s a quick idea and something that takes only a moment of your time to get prepared, but when all else fails, it’s a costume, and as a whole family, you can be a Fun Pack of chips which all need a bit of an attitude adjustment.

7. Garbage Day 

Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting your raid your trash can for this one. But you will need some garbage bags. Preferably different colored ones. Black, white, a plastic shopping bag, or something of the like. Have the family dress in basic jeans and a solid color t-shirt. You can cut a hole in the bottom of the bag so it fits down over your head and onto your shoulders, or you can take the plastic shopping bags and attach them to your clothes—waistband of your jeans, etc.

If you want to add more fun to it, you can stuff and/or attach old cardboard boxes of pasta or crackers, tape a few newspapers to it, crumple up some tissues, and more. Just be sure you’ve probably sorted your “garbage” between family members. You can have “trash,” “recycling,” “shopping bag recycling,” “cardboard,” “cans,” and the litany of garbage day pick up. This one is guaranteed to be simple and cheap. We just suggest that you pick only clean trash; otherwise, you might be a bit stinky.

All in all, if you need family fun for Halloween that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg or is available quickly and at the last minute, these are some ideas. It just takes a little cooperation from the family to get it all put together, and you can be ready to fill those buckets with candy from your Halloween party in no time flat!

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/FamVeld

Jaime Jo Wright is the winner of the Carol, Daphne du Maurier, and INSPY Awards. She's also the Publishers Weekly and ECPA bestselling author of three novellas. The Christy Award-Winning author of “The House on Foster Hill”, Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing suspenseful mysteries stained with history's secrets. Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at!


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