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5 Harry Potter Costume Ideas On a Budget


With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to decide on a costume and get to work before you run out of time.

If your household is anything like mine, the Harry Potter trend is far from over. Each year, my husband and I have to think of a novel and creative way to churn out a new Harry Potter costume for the kids that doesn’t break the bank.

Since we’re sort of DIY fanatics, we spend days mulling over what to do for the upcoming season and have quite a collection from the last several years. Fellow parents, let me share with you some of our favorite budget-friendly Harry Potter costume ideas we’ve managed to pull off so that you can rest easy and give your children yet another fun Halloween.

#1. Hogwarts Robes

Could anything be more iconic than those long-flowing Hogwart uniforms? The great thing about this costume is they’re so simple and versatile. Whether your little ones want to be Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin, you only need to change that little patch on the left-hand side.

If your kids are anything like ours, they’ll love this costume idea. They can take the quiz to figure out which house they want to be in and the masquerade can start!

How To Make Your Own Hogwarts Robe:

  • Cut an old robe to the right length, adjusting the sleeve length as necessary.
  • Sew an inner lining of the appropriate color into the neckline so that it shows along the lapel and neckline the way it does in the movies.
  • For a final touch, find a red and gold tie from your closet or purchase one from the store.
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Don’t forget to add a wooden stick from your backyard as a wand!

#2. Sorting Hat

It’s unconventional, we agree but that just makes it even more fun as a costume! The Sorting Hat didn’t get a lot of screen time in the movies but it was still a memorable personality that left us wanting more.

How To Create Your Sorting Hat Costume:

  • Make the base and cone from cardboard and assemble them.
  • Curl up some tissue paper into the desired thickness for eyebrows, under-eye, nose, and lips to give the hat a face.
  • Use a mixture of glue and water to coat the entire length of the hat with tissues.
  • Give it a finishing touch by painting it a beautiful brown.

#3. Dobby

Dobby the house-elf has a special place in our hearts. From annoying us in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with his vague reasons for jeopardizing Harry and Ron’s life (for all good reasons as we learned by the end of the book) to sacrificing his life to help Harry and his friends get out of Malfoy Manor, Dobby did it all.

What better way to honor his memory than by dressing as the heroic character he was?

How To Make a Dobby Costume:

  • Sew a large pillowcase and leave appropriately-sized openings for legs and arms. You can also use a pillowcase you currently own and cut the necessary holes in it.
  • Add rips and holes to the pillowcase to give it a tattered appearance. Let’s keep it humble like Dobby, shall we?
  • Carry a sock as a prop.
  • Paint your face and limbs a grayish-beige color. Latex or liquid latex is safe for the skin and is commonly used in cosplay.
  • Make and cut large, pointy ears from craft felt and glue them on a hairband. You can also make attachable prosthetics for your ear.
  • Make a long pointy nose and spray paint it to match the color of the skin. You can purchase a fake witch’s nose or make a nose with air-dry clay yourself.
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Add spice to the mix by screaming every time you see a Malfoy. That’ll wrap things up well, wouldn’t you say?

#4. Mandrake

So, your kid wants to dress up as something spooky this Halloween? No more cute costumes? We have your back. A mandrake costume may just be what Professor Dumbledore ordered.

Yep, the same one that had all the first years wearing earmuffs to protect their ears from the mandrakes’ shrieking. Think about how fun trick or treating will be with your cute little munchkin dressed as a small mandrake — minus the shrieking let’s hope.

How To DIY a Mandrake Costume:

  • Grab a plastic pot depending on your child’s size.
  • Take a knitted hat and hot glue leaves to the front.
  • Print a tag complete with the scientific name of the mandrake, maturity level, and a word of caution. Stick the tag to the front of the pot.

#5. Dementor

Dementors drain peace, love, hope, and happiness out of the air. Mix things up this Halloween by being one of the bad guys.

This costume just may have avid Harry Potter fans on the other side of the door emptying all their candy in your basket. After all, no one should take chances with a Dementor.

  • Pair a black hooded coat with black pants.
  • As the outline of the dementor’s skeleton is visible through their robes, accessorize the outfit with a skeleton top. If you don’t want to purchase one, you can paint a normal blacktop too.
  • Attach a tattered black fabric to the sleeves to give the costume a flowy appearance.
  • Paint the visible body parts with black and grey body paint and you’re done. You now have a dementor at your house.
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So, which costume idea are you most excited to try? Let us know down below.

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