T-shirt Projects

10 Quick & Easy T-shirt Halloween Costumes II

Following up last year’s popular list of 10 Quick & Easy T-shirt Halloween Costumes, here is another collection of ten DIY costumes on the fly. From the cinematic to the everyday, from the historical to the commercial, from the sweet to the oh-so-punny (scroll down to #10)…. But let’s start with a classic.


-Orange T-shirt
Tulip Fabric Spray Paint (in black)
-Freezer Paper
-Craft knife and cutting mat
-Warm iron
-Newsprint paper

Make it:
Use the pen to sketch out jack-o-lantern features on a sheet of freezer paper.

2. Use the craft knife and cutting mat to cut out the features.

3. Iron the freezer paper stencil onto the front of the T-shirt. Insert a sheet of newsprint between the layers of the shirt to prevent the paint from bleeding through.

4. Mask the parts of the T-shirt that are still visible, and spray over the stencil with black paint.

5. Let the paint dry briefly, then peel up the stencil.

6. Let the paint dry completely, then try on the T-shirt and go find a pumpkin patch to haunt!


#1 Jack-o-lantern. As shown above, that pumpkin patch classic. Black paint on an orange T-shirt. Optional: Accessorize with a green vine and leaves headband.

#2 Sunny day. Paint white clouds on a pastel blue T-shirt, or stick pillow stuffing on the T-shirt. Inspired by one of our readers, Emily A. (not to be confused with Emily P., our model for this post!), who used a variation of the Mohawk Mo’ Rock hat (from Generation T: Beyond Fashion) as the headpiece. We used this more recent accessory. And hey, you can always use the costume to moonlight in Ben & Jerry land.

#3 Dominoes. A fun and very easy group costume (just leave the ears and tail at home so you don’t get mistaken for a dalmatian) — use black fabric paint or black permanent marker on a white T-shirt. And if you get tired at any point while wearing the costume, simply lie down adjacent or end-to-end with a matching number onĀ  a friend’s shirt!

#4 Strawberry. Paint yellow seeds on a red shirt, and use green T-shirt scraps to fashion a stem with leaves to sit a top your head. Go solo or meet up with friends to make blueberries, watermelon — a whole fruit salad!

#5 Hippie. Tie-dye a T-shirt, then pair it with bell-bottom jeans, a headband, and any other . (Note: You have to schedule in additional drying time with this one.)

#6 Soup can. Start with a plain white T-shirt and use a black permanent marker, stencils, and red and yellow paint to embellish it. Then convince a pal to go as Andy Warhol!

#7 X-ray. A great way to show some skeleton on Halloween, use white paint on a black T-shirt (and the painted parts will show up gray).

#8 M&M candies. Paint white lowercase ‘m’s onto red, yellow, blue, green, orange, and/or brown T-shirts. Then really go the extra mile and wear white gloves and white sneakers. Gather up a group of friends for a whole handful of candies. Note: This approach also works for Skittles!’

#9 Napoleon Dynamite. Based on the indie hit, paint blue edges on a white T-shirt to mimic a ringer tee; paint or iron on letters to spell “Vote for Pedro.” Top it off with some wiry glasses and a curly wig.

#10 Ceiling fan. Heh. Number 1 fan of the ceiling. Get it? Get it? Use fabric markers or paints on a white T-shirt — and plenty of cheerful props!

Happy trick-or-treating everyone! Here’s to last-minute costumes that are as easy as 1, 2, 3.

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[ Posted on October 23rd, 2012 ]


  1. […] As some of us on the East Coast slowly emerge from the effects of the-decidedly-not-T-shirt-weather that recently blew through, here is, nonetheless, some T-shirt fun to help brighten the atmosphere. (And, I might add, a rather nice resource for some more last-minute T-shirt-based Halloween costumes!) […]

  2. Emily says:

    Wow, cool!!! I didn’t actually end up being a sunny day for Halloween, because I decided at the last minute to help out with a haunted house for the food bank, so I dressed as a zombie, as per the organizer’s request. Next year, I’m thinking I might be either a sunny day, or an Angry Bird. I found some cool, easily copy-able Angry Birds masks here: http://gadgetsin.com/angry-birds-felt-masks.htm

    There’s a tutorial here: http://oneluckymom.com/?p=2617

    I don’t really like that tutorial, because I’d probably measure where the eyes need to go before sewing the two layers of the mask (and the top feather and beak) together, but it still looks cool. The instructions call for felt, but it could also be made with T-shirt fabric (or even denim, if you decide to be the pale blue bird), and instead of an elastic strap, you could use a piece of a T-shirt hem, with the stitching removed, and stretched out. I actually made a sleep mask that way a while ago.

  3. […] who are down to the wire when it comes to your costume. For the third year running (see year 1 and year 2 here), we have another 10 quick-and-easy T-shirt-based Halloween costumes. From the literary to the […]

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