I’ve Got Your Halloween Costume!

I don’t know if it’s because I’m an art teacher, or because I have a love of all things silly, but I get positively giddy about dressing up for Halloween. My husband may have a different take, since my costume craziness has led to him donning outfits including Napoleon Dynamite, Mr. Mint from Candy Land, and a dinosaur.  Despite these choices, I’m confident he would admit that he had fun.

Today I want to share how to dress up as three famous artists using things you may already have around your house. Men, don’t feel left out. I’ve even got a costume for you. Let’s get started.

1. Frida Kahlo

First up is the beloved Frida. Who could resist sporting that spectacular unibrow? Not me.

For this costume you will need…

  • thick ribbon
  • a few fake flowers
  • bobby pins
  • an eyeliner or brow pencil
  • a colorful shawl or scarf
  • a loose-fitting top
  • a full skirt
  • Large earrings (optional)
  • A stuffed bird or money for your shoulder (optional)

One of the most iconic features of Frida is the braided hairstyle she often wore. Although it looks complicated, the process is fairly simple.

1. Part your hair down the middle and make two pigtails.

2. Tie a piece of ribbon around each pigtail and braid it into your hair.

3. Using bobby pins, pin the braids to your head.

4. Snip the flowers off of the stem and insert near the top of your head

If your hair isn’t long enough for this style, or you’d like to keep things simpler, you can also get a large headband and hot glue the fake flowers to it.

After that, it’s just a matter of penciling in your unibrow and mustache and throwing on your skirt and top. Finish it off with your wrap and any optional accessories and you’re done!

Since I borrowed the skirt from my mom, this outfit cost me a whopping $5. I bought the eyebrow pencil for three dollars and the ribbon for two.

2. Jackson Pollock

OK guys, here’s one for you. Nothing could be simpler than dressing up like the iconic artist Jackson Pollock.

For this costume you will need…

  • a white t-shirt
  • a pair of old jeans rolled at the ankles
  • an old paint can with drips
  • a stick splattered with paint
  • a fake cigarette of some kind (optional)
  • a ribbon (optional)

Throw on your t-shirt and jeans. If your jeans are old and you want to splatter some paint on them, even better. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, splatter your hands with some paint, too. Yes, that will be awesome.

Next, stick your fake cigarette in your mouth and pick up your paint can and stick. If you want to get extra fancy, attach a ribbon to the stick and pretend to drip paint wherever you go. Don’t forget Pollock had quite a strong personality. Have fun with it.

This costume cost me $2, which I spent on the ribbon at my local craft store.

3. Georgia O’Keeffe

Growing up in Wisconsin might make me partial to Georgia, but that doesn’t mean she’s not a great person to dress up as for Halloween.

For this costume you will need…

  • a large, white menswear-inspired shirt
  • bobby pins
  • a long skirt or loose jeans
  • a black blazer or wrap sweater
  • a painting of a giant flower
  • southwest jewelry (optional)

Although some say that Georgia O’Keeffe wasn’t so stark in real life, this iconic portrayal of her should help your non-art friends “get” your costume. Well, that and the giant flower painting.

Sometime before Halloween, have some fun creating a painting inspired by O’Keeffe. Layer your large shirt over your skirt or jeans and top it off with your black blazer. Throw your hair back into a bun and secure with bobby pins. To top of your outfit, wear some silver southwestern jewelry. Pick up your painting and you’re ready to go!

This costume cost me $4 for the white shirt I found at my local thrift store.

I hope I’ve inspired you to get creative this Halloween season. You could also pull out these costumes when teaching. How fun would it be for your students to learn action painting from Pollock himself?

 Tell us, what was your best homemade costume?

Have you ever dressed up like an artist before? We’d love to hear about it.

Amanda Heyn

Amanda is the Senior Editor at AOE. She has a background in teaching elementary art and enjoys working to bring the best ideas from the world of art ed to the magazine each day. 


  • I teach high school art, so I don’t like to wear my costume for the entire period because it is way too distracting for them. But I’ve come up with an awesome solution that the kids look forward to seeing every year! 

    • What is your solution, Mallory?! Do you just dress up for the beginning of class? 

      • Yep! We are encouraged to be out in the hallways anyway, so I just put on my Mona cutout (pictured above in these comments) and I lean against a wall right outside my room. The high school kids think it is HILARIOUS. 

  • You can find some awesome Roy Lichtenstein costumes online too- but I think my face would *really* break out in spots if I used that much face paint…. some versions are really spectacular, though!

    • I agree, Ingrid. Those Lichtenstein costumes ARE amazing. I had the same thought as you about the make-up! You could probably just get away with a super bright wig and polkadot dress though. 

  • Jorena

    We have book character day here at my school on Halloween.  I just finished reading Uncle Andy’s by James Warhola to my kids.  If I can lay my hands on a short white wig, I think I’ll come as Andy Warhol.  I have a black turtleneck, black leather coat and large sunglasses. Wow!  Geeee  Um… Yeah!

    • That would be awesome! I hope you find a wig! 

  • Amanda, I LOVE your costume ideas and you are too cute! I’m a bit biased because Frida happens to be one of my favorite artists.  I’m a bit jealous that I can’t pull off dressing up like Frida.

    • Thanks, Cassidy. I had a lot of fun dressing up. I don’t know if I really pulled off Frida, either. That unibrow is NOT flattering! ha. 

  • Check out Mallory’s costume in the attached photo! SO AWESOME!

    • hahahahaha. This is incredible. 

    • Jenny Humphreys

      I dressed up as the Mona Lisa last year by wearing a black wig and an old black bridesmaid’s dress.  I carried an open frame in front of me.  

      This year, I am dressing up, along with a male co-worker, as The American Gothic.  When we are not together, we will carry the other’s head on a stick.  I am making a pitchfork out of cardboard and a yard stick as we speak.  Should be fun!

  • Alobermeier

    LOVE THIS, AMANDA!!!!!!  Happy Halloween!!!

  • Nancy

    Dressed up as “Moan-a”L isa with frame also.  Scary version had white, black, and red face paint with stringy long black hair..  No longer DaVinci’s most beautiful woman!

  • Dartist25

    Mallory-love it!!
    I’ve done this before, and will do again this year-I paint my face in the style of a Picasso painting-weeping women style, or just simply cubist style. Just takes some makeup, then wear all black unless you want to get really into it and paint your clothing to fit.

  • Marybee

    I dressed up as the Girl with a Pearl Earring today. It was a hit, but funny the kids had no idea who or what I was. Most of them thought I was a TV.  It was quite the task to carry the frame around (plane cardboard with glued on doilies, painted in gold) but I had a great time!

    • See, you are educating and entertaining all at the same time! It sounds like that costume facilitated a great conversation.

  • meow

    Looking for any awesome, scary, funny
    or weird Halloween Costumes
    and just in time, I found your blog which is very interesting. Thanks for
    sharing and I do hope I could pin some nice photos on my Pinterest boards. Good
    day! :D

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  • Guest

    My husband and I went to a Costume Party this weekend. We did the Roy Lichenstien Pop Art.

  • Julie Bridges Lamarche

    My husband and I went to a costume party this weekend. We went as Roy Lichenstien’s Pop Art

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