Getting ET Home Costume for Under $20!

As a child I grew up watching ET and was fascinated. Eight years ago I met my best friend and we both discovered our love for aliens. So much so, that for my first tattoo on my 18th birthday I got “UFO” tattooed on my inner lip. Every Halloween I try to outdo myself, thinking of something better, something that will catch your attention and make you want to ask my a bunch of questions.

After searching and searching it finally hit me. Why not live out my dream and be ET?! I was so indecisive on what I wanted to be I ended up constructing my costume in 24 hours and for $20 EXACTLY just in time to show it off for the weekend before Halloween. I attempted to get a real ET stuffed animal except cost and shipping dates were ridiculous. Instead, my thrifty artistic self went to Kinkos and enlarged my favorite photo of ET that I could find. I taped that onto a plastic mask which I purchased at a local costume store. For ET’s body I grabbed my favorite stuffed frog and burrito wrapped it in a white bed sheet until it looked just liked the scene from the movie.

To keep him on me, I took a belt and tighted the basket on my waist and of course for the finishing touch, how could I forget his famous glowing heart? I purchased a LED stick at a costume store, cut up a piece of a pink shopping bag and taped it around so it would have a similar effect of his heart. Oh and the basket… that was free (but don’t ask me how). What about the red hoodie? I walked into a store and they had two left. I picked one closer to my size and went to the register. While ringing me up she announced “$11 please” I was surprised because the price tag said $18. Of course I told her and her manager standing behind her replied “it must be your lucky day”.

By the time I let the world see my costume it was the Saturday before Halloween. I work in the heart of a college town right on the most popular street packed with bars. That night they had the annual Monster Masquerade and ALL night I got complimented for the best costume along with tons of pictures. I felt great that everyone was so endeared by my costume. Fast forward one week to Halloween night they had another event going on a couple bars down, DJ’s, lights the whole nine yards. Walking down the packed streets to get to the bar was an adventure since I had to squeeze a basket strapped to myself through a mob.

Finally when I made it into the bar, I ended up getting on stage dancing my heart out with little old ET strapped to me the entire time (and yes, there is a video! ). Eventually a guy who worked at the bar personally led me through the crowd to take photos with the professional photographer and I currently am up on their website. It was such a great night being complimented on how creative and awesome everyone thought my costume was. What was the best part is that everyone knew who I was, young and old and that it only cost me $20 and a few hours to put together.

  • Costume Ideas Brainstormer
    • Diana

      Hey, fantastic costume!
      – Do you have a link to the picture of E.T. that you’ve used?

    • FranKnee

      What kind of mask did you use and do you have the link for the face…. and how did you do those handle bars?! lol

    • LeighAnn

      I was just wondering the same thing about the ET photo. Nothing looks as good as yours! Thanks

    • mico

      I too would like a link to the photo!

    • Mandi Lindner

      If you’re asking about the handlebars I just got some 3/4″ PVC at Home Depot with two 90 degree elbows and silver spray paint for $6.32. Buy the 10 foot pipe, have them cut it into 1.5 foot sections (the bar) and 5 inch sections (the handle). Attach 90 degree elbow and voila! I bought spray paint for $4, but you could also wrap the bar in duct tape and the handle in electrical tape that you have at home for free. The PVC pipe itself was $1.95 and the elbows were 40 cents each.

      With a red sweatshirt from Goodwill for $6, and a basket for $2 that makes my rendition less than $15!!

      • Chakita

        Do you have any pics of the handle bars? How did you attach them?

        • Mandi Lindner

          Here’s the full E.T. costume (sans me in red hoodie) with handlebar tutorial with pictures:

          I included a link to the image I used for E.T.’s face. In all I spent less than $15 and 2 hours. $5 for the hoodie at Goodwill, $4 for the crate at Fleet Farm, ~$3 for the handlebars at Home Depot and $1.50 for E.T.’s face. I had a red bike light for his heart and a white towel to wrap him in. I used a small rectangular pillow for his body.

    • Beth

      Where did you get the photo of E.T.?

    • Gaby K

      How big did you enlarge the photo of E.T.?

    • Sarah

      how big is the picture of ET and how much did it cost?

    • Maria

      Can you describe and if possible maybe show how you did the heart?


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