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4 Nature-Inspired Halloween Costume Ideas

What we know as Halloween dates back to the Celtic festival of Samhain. During these festivals, Celts would adorn themselves in costumes, typically consisting of natural elements, to celebrate the end of harvest and the coming winter. Although the traditions surrounding All Hallows Eve were longstanding in England and Europe, its history in colonial New England was limited for a time due to religious beliefs. It wasn’t until the 19th century that the concept of treat-or-treating came into play, and by the 1930s, Halloween had become the secular holiday it is today.

Instead of opting for an ultra-modern or store-bought costume, hark back to ancient times with one of these nature-inspired Halloween costume ideas. Most of them can be made by upcycling existing clothes, adding a few accessories and a bit of makeup.

owl costume makeup


To create a complete owl look, hot glue some felt feathers onto a black, brown or tan top, or add a cape to create your wingspan. If kiddos aren’t willing to sit for make-up application (or, like me, your make-up skills aren’t great), you can always add a simple, tie-on mask to create the owl’s face. Pretty Pleased offers a fairly easy tutorial for creating the look above, and it doesn’t require a ton of products! Via Pretty Pleased.

simple Mother Nature costume
Photo by Viktoria Haack.

Mother Nature

Embody Mother Nature herself with this simple, woodland-inspired costume. Wear a dress made from natural fibers—cotton, linen, hemp—in the color scheme of your choice. Just because its fall doesn’t mean you can’t adorn yourself as a spring or summer version. Pin butterflies in your hair, create a bird’s nest atop your head, or keep it simple with a natural crown or flower crown. Via David Graves.

butterfly wings


Pair black pants, shoes and a black top with butterfly wings to create this striking costume. Your wings can be as simple or elaborate as you like. Attach black pipe cleaners around a headband to create antennae, and you’re all set. Via Cherie Harris.

tree costume


There are many ways to build your tree costume, but to create the unique look we’ve chosen you’ll just need some temporary, spray-in hair color (optional), natural accessories (optional), a brown outfit, and face paint. Add greens to hair, if you wish, and pin in any accessories you’ve chosen—moss, butterflies, birds or flowers. Put on brown clothing, and begin painting bark on any exposed areas, such as arms, neck and face. Via Joni Lynne.

Whether you’re getting ready to take your tots out for their first Halloween or dressing yourself for a party, these nature-inspired costume ideas are sure to please any crowd. If you're short on cash and time, check out 4 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes for more fun ideas.