This Halloween, be smart – not scary. Create easy DIY second hand Halloween costumes with items you can add to your regular wardrobe and wear again!

An assortment of thrifted clothing arranged on a white background.

These eco-friendly halloween costume ideas for women are simple and cute – just the way I like it.

It may cause those of you who love Halloween to scratch your wig-covered heads – because you’re already wearing your costume, obviously – when I tell you that I’m not a fan of the spookiest of holidays. 

Sure, I like costumes, and candy and even a tastefully told ghost story, but as with the majority of the holidays we celebrate today – Halloween is just so wasteful!

Note that this post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on a link and make a purchase a small percentage of the sale goes to yours truly. Please know that I strive to only feature eco-conscious products and brands.

Why You Should Buy Second Hand Halloween Costumes

I’ve already harped on the wastefulness of Christmas. And at least Christmas is about something – peace and family and all those beautiful things. 

But what’s Halloween about? 

I’m not talking about it’s origins of remembering the dead, which I respect. But, nowadays, it seems all Halloween is about is buying a whole bunch of shoddily made stuff in order to celebrate one single day that has no actual meaning.

Costumes we’ll only wear once, decorations made of plastic and – the candy. Oh the candy! According to this infographic, Americans purchase 600 million pounds of Halloween candy each year. Candy with wrappers that end up in landfills. 

A young man and woman dressed up as Buffy and Spike for Halloween.
My favourite DIY Halloween costume of all time. (Because it was easy, we already had the clothes, and we love Buffy... and Spike too.)

This Halloween, I encourage you to go back to the basics. Instead of buying cheap Halloween costumes in a plastic bag, unleash your imagination and see what you can come up with for DIY Halloween costume ideas using things you already have at home. 

Or, buy a few choice pieces second hand and then add them to your regular wardrobe to wear again.

Here are four ideas for second hand Halloween costumes. I hope they inspire you to create your own eco-friendly costume!


Of course this was going to be my first idea! These items also work for a hippie or boho-inspired costume.

Flowing Dress

Denim Vest


Comfy Sandals


Find a fallen branch and cradle it in your arms like a baby. If you’re going the hippie route, draw a peace sign on your cheek and slip in some funky earrings.

Modern Ballerina

Contrary to popular belief, ballerinas are not just little girls in pink tutus, here are some items to help you create a Black Swan inspired look.

Black Bodysuit

Black Tutu Skirt

Pink Tights

Black Lace Up Flats


Throw together a DIY tiara, smudge on the black eye shadow and you’re ready to grande jete away.

Need help choosing eco-conscious furniture and decor for your home? That’s what I’m here for!


This costume is modelled after the classic Wonder Woman, because you know you’re wonderful… right?

Red Top

Blue Capri Leggings

Gold Belt
Red Boots


DIY a Wonder Woman tiara and grab an old piece of yellow rope for a magic lasso.


Think Lord of the Rings, not Christmas. Majestic, powerful and just super cool… if you’re a nerd like me!

Brown Tunic

Brown women's tunic on a mannequin.

Black Leggings

Black women's leggings on a mannequin.

Brown Woven Belt

Brown woven women's belt on a white background.

Brown Boots

Brown women's boots on a white background.


Pull the top of your hair back, add some tiny braids and whip up your own DIY bow and arrow.

Have a fun – and thrifty! – Halloween.


A red corset, blue leggings, red boots and gold belt on a pink background with text ideas for sustainable Halloween costumes.

Posted on October 14, 2018 (Last updated on September 10, 2022)

Let’s be treehuggers together!

Oh, and let’s be friends too…

Shop sustainable brands for your eco-conscious clothing needs!

Former architectural technologist. Current treehugger.

I’m here to help you green your home – and your life.


Subscribe to the Of Houses and Trees monthly newsletter and I’ll send you my FREE list of “The 8 Best Places to Buy Eco-Conscious Decor Online.”

What on earth is sustainable design? Learn all about this eco-focused design method and read the latest posts about green architecture, interior design and decor.

Sustainable living is more than just a thing treehuggers talk about. It’s about making conscious choices everyday. Read the latest posts on living with the planet’s wellbeing always in mind. 

Visit the Of Houses and Trees sustainable product directory and support brands trying to make a difference in the world.

Find out more about our 40 acres of land in Parkland County, Alberta and the sustainable home we built amongst the trees.

Need help creating the home of your dreams? Care about the planet? You’ve come to the right place! check out my affordable, sustainable e-design services.

Having a had time choosing paint colours? I’ve got you – and your walls – covered with an interior paint palette sure to compliment your home.

Have questions about creating an eco-conscious home? Go ahead – ask me! Sign up for one of my free online interior design consultations and ask me anything you want. 

A living room decorated in a mix of vintage and modern pieces.
4 Second Hand Halloween Costumes from Thrifted Items You Can Wear Again!

2 thoughts on “4 Second Hand Halloween Costumes from Thrifted Items You Can Wear Again!

  • October 15, 2018 at 7:01 am

    These are wonderful ideas and I completely agree as I make my way through the big box stores and think of the entire area as not only waste but a waste of time. There is very little originality or creative thinking in buying a plastic cape, hat, glasses, and blood. So much blood. I asked my granddaughter what she will dress up as this year and she said a zombie nerd. Last year she was a zombie cheerleader. I asked her why she had to always be something dead. Or bloody. She looked at me and did not understand the question. She is 10. But there is hope as her older sister will be a cowgirl using mostly items she already wears as she is – well – a cowgirl who rides horses. I’m just glad it’s only one day and that the world and marketers haven’t managed to squeeze it into Halloween Week. Yet.

    • October 24, 2018 at 3:09 pm

      I already feel like Halloween has been spread out into a multi-week event. Essentially as soon as back-to-school marketing is over, it’s Halloween marketing, and then of course Christmas comes earlier every year. I think we need a time of the year where we are preparing for absolutely nothing and buying absolutely nothing. Okay – I’ve just made up my mind. It’s happening!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.