How to make a “Nerds” Halloween costume

Halloween is creeping up on us, and it’s time to start the costume planning. While buying a costume is convenient, it doesn’t leave much room for creativity, and it can be expensive. Luckily, we’ve come up with a sweet and easy homemade costume idea that won’t break the bank: Nerds! You can rock this Halloween costume solo, but it works even better with a partner. So grab those craft supplies, and let’s get nerdy!

Nerds halloween costume

What you’ll need*

  • Paint brushes or sponge brushes: $5.58
  • Large cardboard poster or poster board: $4.99
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
  • Jeans or khakis
  • Glasses

*Prices may vary

  • Paints: purple, pink, teal and white: $6.96 (total)
  • Pencil
  • Rope: $2.99
  • Plaid or plain-colored button-up
  • Shin-high white socks
  • Suspenders (optional)


Create the image.

Creating the image of your Nerds candy box

Using a pencil, start by tracing the image of a Nerds candy box onto the poster board. We taped the poster board to the wall and used a projector to blow up the picture so we could trace it as accurately as possible. Or you can play up your drawing chops and freehand the image.



Paint the image of the Nerds candy box

Once the image is completely traced, paint the posterboard. Instead of purchasing both light and dark versions of the purple and pink paints, mix in the white with the darker color to create the lighter shade. Make sure to paint from dark to light. It takes about a day for everything to be completly dry. Go over the poster board the next day, using the leftover paint to correct any mistakes and clean up the image as you see fit. We recommend using sponge brushes because they cover a greater amount of space and have a cleaner stroke than regular bristle brushes.


Tape the rope.

Measure out enough rope so that the costume can hang down comfortably from around your neck. If your partner is shorter or taller, adjust the amount of rope accordingly so that the board hangs evenly. Once the rope is measured, use duct tape to attach the rope to the back of the board.


Get nerdy.

Get extra nerdy with your Nerds Halloween costume

The great part about this costume is that the majority of your outfit is already in your closet. Any plaid or plain-colored button-up will make a perfect top for your nerdy ensemble. Tuck in your shirt with a pair of jeans and a belt. For some extra nerdiness, roll up your jeans till they’re about shin high, and bust out the white, shin-high socks. To complete the look, wear a pair of large-rimmed glasses with tape on the bridge of the nose. You can also play up the nerd look by carrying a calculator and wearing suspenders. Slip the poster board around your neck, and voila! You’ve got the sweetest (and most clever) homemade Halloween costume in town.

Happy Halloween everyone!

More homemade Halloween costumes:

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How to… make an inexpensive Rosie the Riveter costume
How to… make Dora the Explorer’s magical backpack
How to… make a Fruit of the Loom Halloween costume
How to… make a Where’s Waldo Halloween costume
How to… make a flight attendant costume


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