Last-minute Halloween costume ideas for the busy college student

costume coffee house
Costume Coffee House is this Friday at 8 p.m. | Photo by Amanda Rohde

Along with the fall weather and pumpkin patch posts on Instagram, Halloween features all sorts of frights and fun. For many, one of the most entertaining aspects of the season are the costumes.

Unfortunately, a college student’s budget does not always accommodate an elaborate, multi-faceted costume, but there are still ways to have a dashing good costume, even allowing notorious collegiate procrastinating. Here are five last-minute costume ideas that are fun, quirky and, best of all, cheap:

If some of these last-minute ideas are not for you, they might spark some creative, original ideas of your own.


We begin our list with something a little silly, but undeniably timely. Paint your face (white, black or vibrant neon) and draw on a clock—it can be analog or digital, but the more outrageous, the better.


This one is a classic, but it also presents the most opportunity for creativity. Guys: Hawaiian shirt, cargo shorts or shorts that are far too high above your knees and a large hat will block out both the sun and the haters. Girls: bright, exotic dress, flip-flops, floppy sun hat, bug-eye sunglasses and an oversized purse will complete the outfit. Have cameras and maps handy.


The easiest of last-minute costumes. Nobody pulled this look off more effectively than my main man Jim from ‘The Office.” Wear a plain, white collared T-shirt and place three fairly large black pieces of construction paper on the right side of your torso.


Halloween and dead things go hand-in-hand. Gather black clothes that you don’t wear anymore for a funny, somewhat grotesque costume. Paint a yellow dotted line down the middle of your body to simulate a road. Attach a disassembled stuffed animal or rubber chicken to the shirt. Fling some red paint on the animal.


Brighten up every moment and conversation you encounter by covering yourself head to toe in glitter. Ideally, wear some old black clothes you do not mind ruining. Staple streamers to your sleeves and pants and as you streak and whoosh across the night sky, you are sure to leave a shimmering impact wherever you go.

Make this Halloween one you will not forget, and bring your creative costume (individually or with friends) to Costume Coffee House in the Bowld Student Commons this Friday night at 8 p.m., where your costume will be judged by Dr. Dub and other faculty for the chance to win prizes.

Image courtesy of Amanda Rohde|Cardinal & Cream
About Gabe Hilliard 18 Articles
Gabe Hilliard, class of 2017, is a Public Relations major and Speech minor from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He loves many sports, especially baseball and ultimate Frisbee. Dancing and singing are his favorite passions and he will never turn down an opportunity to play pick-up sticks. Twitter and Instagram: gabehilliard_