Halloween costumes don’t have to be expensive or store bought. It’s quite simple to put together easy Halloween costumes that are less expensive and more environmentally friendly than most of the store bought plastic costumes available. Here are some simple no-sew, easy Halloween costumes. Most of them can be thrown together at the last minute.

For the young kids

A chef – Chefs usually wear black pants and a white shirt, so start with those as the base of the costume. Add an apron with light utensils like a rubber spatula, a whisk, and a wooden spoon stuffed in the pockets. Create a chef’s hat from white poster board and a few other materials.

Army guy or girl – Camouflage is in style right now, so chances are the beginnings of this costume are already in the closet. Wear a camouflage shirt and pants with black shoes. An olive green hat or toy camouflage helmet along with a belt holding a toy water gun can complete the costume. Add black smudges to the child’s face as a finishing touch.

For the older kids

Rubik’s Cube – This easy costume is a great way to recycle a large square box. Cut the flaps off of the top of the box. Then use construction paper or paint to create nine colored squares divided by black lines on each of the remaining sides to make it look just like a Rubik’s Cube. You can make each side a solid color or mix the colors up to make it look like the cube is in the middle of being solved. Wear all black underneath the box.

Hippie – Tie dye a shirt, shred the bottom of a pair of jeans that are about to become too short, wear some small round sunglasses, create a headband to wear across the forehead, and paint a peace sign on a white pillow case for collecting Halloween treats. Peace, dude.

Sports player – Some people may consider it cheating for a child to wear his or her sports uniform. But, borrowing a uniform of a sport not played from a friend isn’t cheating. Switch a soccer uniform for a basketball uniform, and you’ve got a costume.

For the grown ups

All of the previous easy Halloween costume ideas for kids are adaptable for adults in a quick pinch, but perhaps adults can keep the basics of a costume that can be worn year-after year when chaperoning a PTA Halloween party or answering the door for trick-or-treaters.

For women, purchase cat ears and a cat tail. Each year, the ears and tail can be used with an all black outfit. Add whiskers with a black eyeliner pencil, and you’re set to prowl on Halloween.

For men, keep a whistle on a string and a clipboard stashed away to use each year. Then, wear a pair of gym shorts or sweatpants, a t-shirt, and a baseball hat, and you’re head coach.

Here’s one last tip for those with children that have specific characters that they’d like to be for Halloween. Use your social network to find out if someone already has that costume they’d like to lend or let you have. Just imagine all of the previously worn Cinderella, Harry Potter and Sponge Bob costumes that are sitting around in closets and the bottom of toy boxes. Ask your friends on Facebook or Twitter if anyone already has what you’re looking for. Reusing an already existing costume is the easiest and most environmentally friendly way you can go.

See also:

Halloween party ideas

Halloween games for kids

Homemade Halloween costumes

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Easy Halloween costumes
Easy Halloween costumes. It's quite simple to put together easy Halloween costumes that are less expensive and more environmentally friendly than most of the st