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Last-Minute Halloween Ideas if You’re A Total Procrastinator

It happens every year: You come up with a pretty brilliant Halloween costume mid-July, but come October 31, you’ve either forgotten about it completely or you’ve completely changed your mind. (Cereal Killer just doesn’t feel so original anymore.) We’ve been in the same boat, and that’s why we put together a little guide that will come in handy when you’re without a costume and candy on Halloween. Check out these last-minute ideas.

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Don’t try to slide by in just jeans and a cashmere sweater at the neighborhood trick-or-treating fest. Here, four last-minute costume ideas for you (and any little tykes or four-legged friends who may be out carousing with you).


Eleven from "Stranger Things"

Considering the whole entire universe is obsessed with this Netflix original series, you’re guaranteed to get plenty of compliments on your costume. Plus, you probably have most of the items you need already in your closet.

Get the look: dress ($100), jacket ($30), sneakers ($50), watch ($25), socks ($9)


A Formal Apology

If you’re really at a loss and need to whip together a costume in a matter of minutes, simply throw on a little black number and hold a sign with the word Sorry written across it. Done. 

Get the look: dress ($148), heels ($52)

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Homemade by Jill

An Aerobics Instructor

Grab a colorful onesie, bright pants, leg warmers (use the sleeves from an old long-sleeve tee) and a headband. Throw in a boom-box stuffed toy and you’re ready for class.

Get the look: onesie ($10), leg warmers ($12), boom-box toy ($7), headbands ($6)

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A Beanie Baby

Take advantage of little Cooper’s teddy-bear face and turn him into a real-life Beanie Baby. Simply draw the toy’s signature heart hang tag and tie it around your pup’s neck with some ribbon. Let the compliments pour in.

Get the look: drawing paper ($5), markers ($7)

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Your trick-or-treaters should be top priority. (After all, you want to be voted best house on the block, don’t you?) Make their night complete by putting in a little extra effort when it comes to the oh-so-important Halloween loot.

Stephanie Ridhalgh

Candy Selection is Key

You may be under a time crunch, but don’t let that hinder you from buying the proper treats. And by proper, we mean KIT KAT barsREESE’S Peanut Butter Cups and HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate. No one is ever going to complain about chocolate.

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Love Vividly

Make Goodie Bags

Instead of waiting for little Johnny to sort through your candy bowl, put together Halloween goodie bags. Fill decorated bags with candy and give one to each kiddo.

Chic Halloween decor? That’s an oxymoron, right? Not anymore. The key is to snag items that are not explicitly “spooky.” That way, your foyer won’t look out of place come November 1.

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Design Love Fest

Pick a Palette

Halloween may be associated with the color orange, but go all out with a neutral color like black or white for an upscale version of the usual. Mix in a few metallic accents for a sophisticated touch.

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Style Me Pretty

Set the Right Mood

If you’re planning to skip the trick-or-treating altogether, have friends over for a candlelit dinner party. Gather some empty wine bottles (we trust you have a few) to hold candlesticks in place. The low lighting will create a spectral vibe.

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Design Love Fest

Skip the Carving

Shoot—it’s 3 p.m. on Halloween and you have yet to carve a pumpkin for your doorstep. Instead of breaking out the knife, reach into your toolbox and drill a pattern of holes into the side of your gourd. See, we told you it could be chic.

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Halloween would not be complete without a few devilish treats (in appearance and calories). This time around, replace the kitschy pumpkin cupcakes with a few of these clever recipes.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Red Wine Pasta

Pasta is great on its own (duh), but when combined with red wine it is a festive masterpiece. Even better? It’s made in one pot.

Get the Recipe

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Beery Bloody Mary

A classic Bloody Mary, except with one twist: It’s made with beer. Feel free to add your personal flair for the garnishes. Perhaps an “eyeball” olive or carrot-stick “fingers”?

Get the Recipe

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Jolly Rancher Candy Apples

For a modern take on candy apples, melt down JOLLY RANCHER candies and get dippin'. Sweet and sour with just the right amount of crunch.

Get the recipe