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A Very Geek Chic Halloween: 10 More Geeky DIY Costume Ideas


Geek Chic Halloween Part 2
L-R: Disney’s Pocahontas, Wonder Woman, Oswin from Doctor Who 

It’s that time of year again…when ghouls and goblins come out to play and pumpkins scream in the dead of night! You’d think that a scaredy cat like me would hate Halloween, but it’s more treat than trick if only because of costumes.

If you read last year’s post A Very Geek Chic Halloween: 10 Geeky DIY Costume Ideas, you know that I have an unhealthy obsession with making costumes. So, this year, I’ve come up with 10 more DIY costume ideas to help you embrace your inner geek!

5 Tips and Tricks for Making Your Own Costume

  • DIY! For me, the fun is in the making of the costume. You don’t need to buy tons of fabric or materials: use what you have on hand!
  • Thrift! Stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army are a goldmine when it comes to finding Halloween costume components.  For instance, I altered a $4 thrift store dress to make the Pocahontas costume in the header.  The red bustier I used for Wonder Woman was another Goodwill find, and the gold accents are made from a pair of leather pants that I cut up and painted.
  • Repurpose! Scrounge around your room for household items that can be manipulated into costume pieces: for example, the apron in the Oswin costume was made from a $1 IKEA pillowcase.  I’ve also used aluminum foil to make Starfleet badges.
  • Borrow! Most of the costumes listed below use a variety of “normal” clothing, which you may or may not have already. Try scavenging through a friend’s closet – it may be that you each have an item that the other needs to complete a costume!
  • Be creative! A costume with a mash-up concept is always fun. Think Hipster Disney Princesses!

10 DIY Costume Ideas

Don’t have your costume lined up for Halloween yet? Try out of one these geeky getups!

1. Han Solo from Star Wars

Han solo costume
Product information: Blouse, Vest, Jeans, Boots, BeltKeychain | Photo credit

You can never go wrong dressing up as a scruffy-looking nerfherder, especially if he’s a sarcastic smuggler who happens to be one of the greatest film heroes of all time. (Also, he shot first.)

These tuxedo stripe trousers are remarkably similar to Han’s. (Plain navy or black pants work as well; you can also DIY the stripe by stitching a ribbon along the pant leg.) Any long-sleeved white or cream blouse will do – just make sure to add an edgy black vest. And don’t you just love a costume that lets you wear comfortable shoes?

2. The Fox from What Does The Fox Say?

The fox costume
Product Information: Cardigan, Cami, Trousers, Ears + Tail Set, Eyeliner, Eyeshadow | Photo credit

Last year I included “Gangnam Style” singer Psy in the geeky costume lineup, so it’s only fair that this costume lineup include 2013’s viral video smash hit: Ylvis’s “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)”

(Full disclosure: I sing this song in my room all the time. I’m one of those people who never gets sick of viral songs…I still love “Gangnam Style” and “Friday”. No shame.)

Instead of shelling out for a fox costume that you’ll only wear once, just pair an orange cardigan or jacket with a white cami and a pair of orange trousers (an orange skirt with black tights would work as well). You can buy costume fox ears and a tail, or try your hand at making your own by hot-gluing craft felt to a headband.

Finally, try this makeup tutorial to get that mysterious Fox look.

3. Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki's delivery service costume
Product Information: Dress, Flats, Headband, Satchel, Earrings, Broom | Photo credit

If you’re a Miyazaki fan, why not put together this simple costume inspired by the protagonist from Kiki’s Delivery Service, a sweet film about a young witch coming to age? Plus, for those who don’t understand the reference, it’s still a witch costume!

Pair a navy dress with red flats and a cute hair bow (if you can’t find a similar headband, try making your own with craft felt). If you don’t have a broom lying around, pick up an inexpensive Halloween broom prop. A messenger bag holds your “deliveries” as well as any essentials you might need to carry around on your big night out.

4. Walter White from AMC’s Breaking Bad

Breaking bad
Product Information: ShirtShortsSocksShoesEarringsMask | Photo credit

This drug kingpin’s TV reign may have come to an end, but you can still pay tribute to your favorite meth mastermind with this rather dashing costume inspired by Walter in the pilot episode of Breaking Bad. Borrow or thrift an oversized men’s green shirt, then add a pair of white workout shorts. (I mean, you could wear a pair of men’s tightie-whities, but I’d personally go with the shorts.)

Argyle socks and moccasins round out the look, while a pair of crystal earrings reference Heisenberg’s “Blue Sky” product. If possible, get a hold of a pair of old-school glasses, a fake mustache, and a gas mask (this one’s less than $10 on Amazon) to complete the costume.

5. Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender

Product Information: Tunic, Skirt, Leggings, Socks, Belt, Eyeliner | Photo credit

After taking a lot of heat from friends for not watching Avatar (the animated Nickelodeon one, not the one with giant Smurfs), I’ve finally gotten around to watching the show. I’m loving it so far!

Aang, the eponymous Avatar, is easily the most recognizable character from the show, with his flowing monk robes and arrow-emblazoned noggin. For an easy take on this flying-bison-riding hero, layer orange and yellow garments over a pair of brown leggings or yoga pants. If you have blue body paint, great! If not, try using eyeliner or eyeshadow to create the blue Airbender markings.

6. Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Product Information: Jacket, Dress, Shoes, Necklace | Photo credit

Vampires, monsters, and hell in suburbia (literally): what could get more Halloween-y than dressing up as everyone’s favorite vampire slayer? Buffy’s most iconic look is probably her prom outfit from the Season 1 finale, “Prophecy Girl”. (Memorable zinger: “I may be dead, but at least I’m still pretty. Which is more than I can say for you.”)

This is a fairly easy outfit to assemble with things you may already have in your closet, like a white maxi dress and leather jacket. While the crossbow is optional, a cross necklace and a stake would definitely add to the costume. If you have other Whedonite friends, why not try and get a Scooby gang (complete with Angel) costume group together?

7. Daphne and Velma from Scooby Doo

Scooby doo
Product Information: VelmaSweater, Skirt, Shoes, Glasses | DaphneDress, Tights, Scarf, Shoes | Photo credit

Speaking of Scoobies and Sarah Michelle Gellar (what a smooth transition!), Daphne and Velma from Scooby-Doo are two easy costumes to put together. Plus, the great thing about duo and group costumes is that more people are likely to recognize your character.

To get Velma’s look, pair an oversized orange sweater with a red pleated skirt. Knee-highs and a pair of thick-framed glasses are essential! For Daphne, any purple dress will do. Accessorize with a neon green scarf and pink tights. Scooby-dooby-doo, where are you?

P.S. Don’t do a Google Images search for “Daphne and Velma” on a school computer without turning on SafeSearch first… Rule 34 is very real!

8. Misty from Pokémon

Product Information: Top, Shorts, Suspenders, Shoes, Backpack, Phone case | Photo credit

Here’s a costume that just about everyone will recognize: Misty the Water Trainer from Pokémon! The best part? You probably already have a pair of denim cutoffs and colorful sneakers in your closet. The suspenders might be somewhat tricky to find, but you can always just tie red ribbon to your belt loops.

There are a couple of options for Misty’s yellow top: since crop tops have been trendy, you can probably find an inexpensive yellow one in stores. If you’d rather be a little more covered up or if you just like to be more hands-on with your costumes, try cutting the sleeves off of an inexpensive yellow Hanes tee or a thrift store find. This way, you can adjust the shirt length to your comfort level. Psyduck and orange hair optional.

9. Abby Sciuto from NCIS

Abby ncis costume
Product Information: Coat, Top, Skirt, Socks, Boots, Cuff, Choker, Lipstick | Photo credit

If cutesy costumes aren’t for you and you happen to be a fan of NCIS, why not dress up as Abby Sciuto, the awesome forensic specialist and “the happiest goth you’ll ever meet”?

Any basic black outfit will do – ideally paired with a tough pair of boots – but you’ll need a lab coat and goth jewelry to really pull off this look. Finally, pull your hair up into Abby’s trademark pigtails and apply a coat of vampy lipstick.

10. Vanellope Von Schweetz from Wreck It Ralph

Product Information: Hoodie, Skirt, Leggings, Boots, Earrings, Hair Ties | Photo credit

On the other hand, if you prefer a more saccharine look, it doesn’t get much sweeter than Vanellope von Schweetz from Disney’s Wreck-it Ralph! This aspiring Sugar Rush racer may be cute, but she’s still one tough cookie.

Pile on the candy colors with a teal hoodie and a pleated brown skirt. There are replicas of Vanellope’s tights available on sites like Etsy, but any pair of brightly-colored tights or leggings would get the look across. Use colorful hair ties to replicate her candy-studded hairdo. (If you’re sure it won’t rain where you are, you can also try hot gluing actual candy to hair clips and using those as well.)

What did you think?

Are you a fan of DIY costumes? What are you planning to dress up as this Halloween? (I’m working on my Ping costume from the “I’ll Make A Man Out of You” sequence in Mulan!) Do you have any DIY tips to share? What does the fox say? Let me know in the comments! 

Posted on on October 9, 2013 / Filed Under: Inspiration / Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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45 Responses to “A Very Geek Chic Halloween: 10 More Geeky DIY Costume Ideas”

  1. 1
    October 9th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    The Vanellope outfit is adorable! If I wasn’t laid up with a leg brace this year, I would totally go as her. But since I’ve already got the crutches….I’m going as Crutchy from Newsies :)

  2. 2
    October 9th, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    These are all great, love how geeky they are! I would love to be Abby for Halloween!

  3. 3
    October 9th, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Your outfits are awesome! I love the Han Solo one. Also, your Oswin is a WIN in my book.
    I’m totes a fan of the DIY, I think they look 100x better. I’m going as Fem!Eleven this year, fez and all.

  4. 4
    October 9th, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Brilliant. I’m definitely getting great ideas for my costumes! :)
    Seriously Shannon, your posts are always the best :)

  5. 5
    October 9th, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Oh my gosh, I wish I was doing something this Halloween! I’d love to dress up as a character from Avatar: TLA. Greatest show ever!

    And I’ve always wanted to dress up as Daphne, too!

    I’d LOVE to go as Rapunzel.

    Man, I wish I was doing something for Halloween!!! Maybe I’ll make Halloween costumes and model them and just sell them after I wear them for fun… New job aspiration! lol

  6. 6
    October 9th, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    That is just the best Pocahontas costume at the top! I’ve gone as a Disney character just about every Halloween!

  7. 7
    October 9th, 2013 at 5:21 pm


    I was going to DIY a Marty McFly costume this year, but now I have to see if I can swing an Avatar Yangchen costume. Avatar is like one of my all-time favorite shows. I can’t believe I never considered it as inspiration for a Halloween costume! I don’t know how far you are in the series, but Avatar Yangchen is one of Aang’s past lives, and the most recent airbender avatar before Aang. She also happens to be a woman with long brown hair, which makes this costume way easier for me haha.

    Thanks for the post!

  8. 8
    October 9th, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Cute Girls Hairstyles has a video tutorial on a Vanellope’s hairstyle.

  9. 9
    October 9th, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Also, a Hogwarts student costume is a super easy and affordable costume for us college girls! A simple grey or black pleated skirt, white button up, grey or black sweater or cardigan, black tights or knee-high socks, and some black shoes. The only purchase I would need to make would be a house tie (and just go to a thrift store and hope for the best, and if that fails, it’ll be maybe $20). It’s made up of neutral, basic pieces that most of us probably already own. It’s perfect. :)

  10. 10
    October 9th, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Love this post! It’s a little off topic, but your Abby mention made me think of how wonderful it’d be to have a ‘how to dress like…” For Ziva, or Abby? Or even inspiration from other ncis characters!

  11. 11
    October 9th, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I plan on going as Captain Mal from Firefly. Khakis, brown boots, maroon button up. I’m very excited.

  12. 12
    October 9th, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    i LOVE this post. (and the fact that you’re watching atla :D ) the kiki costume is adorable and i want to do daphne/velma with you, omg.

    i’m doing a simple costume this year ’cause i’m going to be on the road: clark kent! (i stole this one from a friend and figured i could femme it up :) ) i have a blue shirt with a superman logo ironed onto it. i’ll wear it under a button up or a blazer with dress pants, and my brand new glasses are geeky black-rimmed. i already own all the pieces: costume: $0, memories: priceless

  13. 13
    October 9th, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    These costumes are so many different kinds of fabulous, I just can’t contain myself!!! I wish you’d done this post earlier, as I’ve already cemented this year’s “Grumpy Cat” Halloween costume, but there’s plenty of time for planning for next year! :) Good job at making them so cute and affordable!

  14. 14
    October 9th, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Really great ideas! I love the Abby, Han, and Kiki ones.

    Personally I’m planning on thrifting my costume and dressing up as Bender from The Breakfast Club. I pretty much have the hair and some of the accessories already.

  15. 15
    October 9th, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Anyone have ideas for a cute (nerdy is cool, too) outfit for someone with glasses? I know you could technically wear glasses with any outfit, but I’d like to be a character who already has glasses. Help please!!

  16. 16
    October 9th, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Super loved the Han Solo costume! Just the most comfortable costume on the list. You also nailed Kiki and Misty pretty well. The Fox costume is quirky!

  17. 17
    October 9th, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    What a helpful post! I was Misty two Halloweens ago, but I had a show-accurate wig. This year, I’m going to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

    I’m doing something similar on my blog. It’s called the Closet Costume Challenge, and I’m making Halloween costumes using only items in my wardrobe. Click on my name to check it out!!

    While I’m the kind of person who likes to be super accurate with costumes, I know a lot of people are okay with skimping on the details or need a last-minute costume. So thanks for making this post, and I hope you guys will check mine out as well!! xx

  18. 18
    October 10th, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Buffy is still cool, even after all those years.

  19. 19
    October 10th, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Love this! I have a Heisenberg hat…that I actually bought for fashion purposes haha…but I didn’t want to wear a hazmat suit for Halloween. The green shirt and faux underwear is a much better idea!

  20. 20
    October 10th, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I love this! I went as Misty two years ago, and you might have convinced me to go out one night as Velma, because I already have an orange sweater! The other night, though – and this is a good idea to add to this list – I’m going as Castiel!

  21. 21
    October 10th, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    @Kyrstin: Check out #5 on last year’s list! :)

  22. 22
    October 10th, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    OMG can you just do a whole fashion inspiration post on Avatar? Or Legend of Korra?

  23. 23
    October 10th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    While I love all of these costume ideas I have one thing to suggest. I have a nephew who wanted to be ironman for Halloween. His only issue, iron man is white and he’s black. It’s weird but I have this issue every year too. All my best ideas are for white characters. Anyway just hoping this comment might make you consider posting some non-generic (witch, cat, etc) costume ideas for people of color.

  24. 24
    October 10th, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Can you do Evil Willow?!?!? Not Vamp Willow…….Evil Willow.

  25. 25
    October 10th, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Awesome list! I’m going as Firefox, the web browser. I’m gonna buy the fox ears and tail that you listed and wear orange clothing. Can’t wait!

  26. 26
    October 11th, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    This was awesome! Even better than last year’s list!! (And considering you convinced me to go as Jamie and my bf as Adam, that’s a serious claim.)

    My hands down favorite was the Kiki outfit. Like I almost squealed aloud in the library-favorite. I am such a huge Ghibli fan and I can’t believe I never thought of that.

    It’s been a rough week, but your article has definitely brought a smile to my face.

  27. 27
    October 12th, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    I completely agree with Nadine! A Geek Chic post inspired by Avatar: The Last Airbender would be amazing!!!

  28. 28
    October 13th, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    @Yessica! Thanks so much!! I’m glad the article cheered you up :) And ahh, I was wondering if anyone actually did the Mythbusters costumes!

  29. 29
    October 13th, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I went as misty last year!

  30. 30
    October 20th, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Love the Abbey from NCIS one! I wouldn’t have thought of her! Brilliant!
    Toedels, Axelle Maximilian

  31. 31
    October 23rd, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    @Jackie Same issue Jackie, I can totally relate.

  32. 32
    October 31st, 2013 at 6:46 am

    It’s a great collection. I’m very curious about the next year.

  33. 33
    November 23rd, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    I LOVE the Abby costume! That’s on my list for next Halloween :)

    This year I went as Garcia from Criminal Minds. I dyed my hair red temporarily (it was easier than a blonde wig), and then went to a charity shop – the UK equivalent of a thrift store or Goodwill – for a bright floral dress, mismatched cardigan and tights and bright shoes. I finished it with my own glasses, a smoky eye, some cheap quirky costume jewellery with various different charms and bright lipstick. It was so much fun and a really easy look to throw together cheaply!

  34. 34
    May 27th, 2014 at 2:15 am

    This really helped me out for Halloween this year I’m going as Buffy

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