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Halloween student party

How to do Halloween on a student budget

The end of October brings a welcome opportunity for students to chill out, get dressed up, decorate their digs, and have some fun.

However, fancy dress costumes and house decorations don’t come cheap. So, how can you enjoy Halloween on a student budget? Follow our top tips below and have the best and cheapest Halloween yet.

Reuse an old costume

If you dressed up as a witch last year, then why not use the same costume again? You’ll be saving money and doing the planet a favour while you’re at it. Make the costume unique by wearing different accessories to last year and it’ll look like new.

Alternatively, if you already own a celebrity costume, you could use that and turn it into a ‘dead celebrity’ costume with just a few tweaks. Add some cuts, fake blood and a grey pallor, and voila!

Buy a cheap costume

If you aren’t feeling creative or you can’t be bothered to make a costume yourself, then you’ll be able to find a cheap Halloween outfit online instead. Try somewhere like, where you’ll find lots of options, or eBay if you don’t mind buying second-hand.

Make a costume

Student in Giraffe Halloween costume

Making a costume may sound like a lot of effort but you’ll be surprised by what you can create with very few materials. In fact, you might already have what you need in your house. You’ll also have loads of fun getting your (witch)craft on!

Great materials for creating Halloween outfits include:

  • Plain t-shirts
  • Cardboard boxes and sheets of cardboard
  • Food packaging, including yoghurt pots
  • Sticky tape/glue
  • Paint
  • Make-up
  • Bedsheets

Ideas for homemade Halloween costumes include:

  • Ghost
  • Vampire
  • Playing card
  • Juice carton
  • Mobile phone
  • Barbie doll (in a box)
  • Robot
  • The Tin Man
  • A lego piece
  • A Rubix Cube
  • Google Maps (with locations)
  • A grater
  • Angel
  • Devil
  • Guess Who characters
  • Operation person (with cardboard organs, like the children’s game)
  • Cat
  • Dog
  • Harry Potter character
  • The Joker
  • A 404 error
  • Boxer
  • Lifeguard
  • Skeleton
  • An Egyptian Mummy

You might see something you like the sound of above, but if not, think about what you’re really into and work on a costume related to that. That way, it will be a great conversation starter, too. Don’t just limit yourself to the spooky theme — all fancy dress is acceptable when it comes to celebrating Halloween at uni!

Get clever with the décor

Halloween pumpkins

You’ll see all manner of incredible Halloween decorations in the shops at this time of year, such as terrifying animatronics. However, it is possible to decorate your student house on a budget and for it to look awesome.

An instant creep factor can be achieved in your Leeds student accommodation using a £1 bag of fake cobwebs. Simply stretch them out over various pieces of furniture and photo frames and you have yourselves an instant haunted house effect.

Another good staple is a spooky tablecloth, which you should be able to pick up in Leeds or online for a few quid.

Why not set a budget between you and your housemates and head down to the local pound store? You’ll be surprised at how much stuff you can get for £15, for example.

Other decent local shops for cheap Halloween buys are:

  • Wilko (Headingley or Leeds city centre)
  • The Range (Leeds)
  • Home Bargains (Leeds city centre or Kirkstall)
  • B&M (Kirkstall)

You could also carve some pumpkins — why not make it a competition?

Happy Halloween!

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