It’s that time of year again when regardless of who you’re talking with, “What are you going to be for Halloween?” is likely to come up in conversation. For some, the answer is obvious— they’ve known since the day after Halloween last year. For others, the answer is a mystery until an hour before leaving to trick or treat. If you’re sending out a costume S.O.S., we’re here to help. Why not consider a costume that reflects your love of all things aquatic? While mermaids, sailors, divers, and surfers are often go-to favorites, below are several unconventional water-themed costume ideas that will make a splash!

Coral reef– This is a great costume to make entirely your own. After all, no reefs are exactly the same! Find a flowy green skirt or bright, tropical-color pants, and a blue sweatshirt you don’t mind attaching things to. Paint several pieces of Styrofoam tropical colors and cut them to resemble the shape of coral. If you’re feeling especially artistic, use markers to make them more life-like by adding details. If you’ll be in the presence of black lights, use neon glow-in-the-dark paint. Use glue to attach the coral shapes to the bottom and middle of the sweatshirt. Buy large sponges or starfish and attach them with glue or pins. Make small, tropical fish and other coral reef creatures using felt, pipe-cleaners or similar materials from your local craft store. Use spray glue to give the top part of the sweatshirt a shimmering water look, and don’t forget to wear colorful makeup!

Girl wearing jellyfish costume, holding glowing umbrella

Jellyfish– You’ll light up the night with this costume! Find a clear dome-shaped umbrella. Spray paint the inside of the umbrella blue or pink to create a jellyfish-like tint. Attach several sheets of bubble wrap to the top and inside of the umbrella to make an opaque body. Create tentacles by cutting bubble wrap strips in different lengths and secure them to the inside edges of the umbrella. Wear white clothes. Cut holes for your arms and head in large, clear plastic garbage bag and put it on overtop. The day of your Halloween festivities, attach glow sticks to the inside edge of the umbrella. From a distance, the umbrella’s luminescent glow will appear to float through the dark at night.

Sunburnt lifeguard– This silly costume will have people laughing off the deep end. Wear red tights or a red body suit. Throw a lifeguard-style swimsuit on over your red clothing. Paint your face, neck, and any other visible part of your skin red. Leave the part of your face that would have been covered by sunglasses white to enhance the effect. Wear a whistle around your neck. Carry a bottle of aloe with you, and be sure to pretend you’re in pain when anyone touches your “skin.”

Girl wearing homemade rainbow fish costume

Rainbow Fish– Ever read The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister? This costume will help you make friends regardless of where you end up on Halloween. Find a solid navy t-shirt or dress you do not mind attaching things to, and blue leggings or tights. Cut scales out of rainbow colored felt. Make sure you have enough scales to cover the t-shirt or dress you will be wearing. Cut out several scales from a silver, shiny fabric as well. Iron or glue the rainbow scales onto the t-shirt or dress in overlapping lines, starting at the bottom, to resemble the outside texture of a fish. Mix the shiny scales in randomly with the rainbow scales, in a detachable way with pins. Unpin your shiny scales and give them away to friends throughout the night to bring the book’s message of sharing to life.

Shrimp on the Barbie– Looking for a clever costume that shows off how witty you are? This play on words is shrimply the best. Dress in an outfit resembling any classic Barbie doll, wearing copious amounts of pink, frill, and heels. Doll yourself up with makeup to look “plastic and fantastic,” and buy a platinum blonde wig or style your hair in a similar fashion. Attach fake plastic shrimp to the costume using Velcro, a hot glue gun, or safety pins and voila! You’ll be the first Barbie ever that’s attractive and intelligent.

Kid making fishy face wearing aquarium costume and octopus hat

An aquarium- This costume is sure to go over swimmingly for kids and kids at heart. Find a sturdy cardboard box that looks appropriately sized for your upper body. Cut the front of the box leaving a narrow rim around the edges. Cut holes on each side for your arms, one for your head, and a larger one on the bottom for your torso. The cardboard box should be able to rest on your shoulders. Use black electric tape or paint to outline the edges of the aquarium. Paint the inside of the cardboard box light blue. Glue a variety objects in the front part of the cardboard box including rocks, fish stickers, seashells, fake plants, starfish, and whatever else you can find to create an underwater tank scene. Attach battery operated lights to the top inside of the box. Cover the front hole with clear or blue plastic wrap. Wear a blue top and black pants underneath to complete the look.

Finally, if you’re looking for a costume that requires virtually no time or effort, why not simply go as a pool noodle? For the cost it truly cannot be beat, and we’re almost positive you’ll be one-of-a-kind regardless of the costume parties you attend. Have a different aquatic themed costume idea? Share it with us on our Facebook page; we would love to “sea” it!