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Eco Friendly and Zero Waste Halloween Costume Ideas

Here in the UK, we like to get dressed up on Halloween in scary costumes. But what scares me the most is how much waste these costumes create. And it’s not good waste. Much of it is plastic or non recyclable. Costumes often get worn once or twice and are then discarded. Many of the costumes sold in stores are not machine washable, leading to people discarding them much more quickly than they normally would.

The good news is there we don’t have to suck the fun out of Halloween. We can still get dressed up for Halloween without adding to more of this waste.  Ideas include:

1.) Borrowing a costume previously used by a friend or family member.

2.) Renting a costume

3.) Buying a second hand costume and handing it down to somebody else for next year.

4.) Make your own costume by using what is already at home or in thrift shops.

The fourth idea is my favorite. If you already have the stuff, you are not creating any extra waste. And the best news is you don’t have to sew if you don’t want to. I am the queen of lazy. A costume has to be easy to consider it from my opinion. So without further ado. Here are some make at home zero waste / eco-friendly costume ideas.


A long white shirt with red paint, lipstick or pen to make the bloodstains. There are various recipes online for white face paint.

You can use red lipstick and mascara for the paint as well. Or use some face paint if you wish. Hair gel can make hair stand up for better effect.

Grim Reaper

A black sheet can make the cloak. A stick, some cardboard and some foil for the scythe.



Black joggers, black t-shirt or black and white striped t-shirt and a black hat. Make a swag bag from a black bag and cut out a dollar sign to stick onto it. Kids can use the swag bag to keep their candy in. Make a mask out of some cardboard and attach some elastic so it can be worn. Or you could make an eye mask out of a face mask or tights buy cutting out some holes for the eyes. Wear a black beanie.

Faceless man

We bought a cardboard mask from a craft store for the faceless mask costume. As it was cardboard, it’s recyclable when finished with. Although we still have it! You can purchase a white face mask made of eco-friendly hard papers online (#amazonaffiliatelink). If you are creative, have a go at making your own. The outfit was a black top and black joggers.

Red Devil

What you Need 

1.) Red dress or other red outfit such as a red t shirt and skirt. Boys could wear a red shirt. Team it with a black waistcoat

2.) Headband

3.) Red card for the horns. Or paint some card red and make the horns that way. It’s super easy to make the horn. You can bend the cardboard horns around the headband. Or if you have a glue gun, you can glue on the horns. Find a tutorial on how to make and glue devil horns to a headband. 

Optional – you could also make a red eye mask out of cardboard and elastic. Or if you have some old red tights – they would be good. 

Halloween Cat

What you Need 

1.) Black dress or other black outfit such as black joggers and t-shirt.

2.) Black Headband

3.) Black card for the ears. Like with the devil horns, it’s super easy to make the ears. Bend the black cardboard shaped ears around the headband. Or if you have a glue gun, you can glue on the ears. Or like the girl in the photo, make a headband with some card and attach the ears with a stapler


Super easy to do. If you have bandages wrap them around yourself like you would if you were a mummy. Otherwise, you can use toilet paper. Or you can use a mix. Bandages for the head and toilet paper for the body. 

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