At The Beach, A Totally Awesome Family Costume

It’s no secret that I am a VERY big fan of DIY costumes. And people that know me in real life know that I could spend all day every day at the beach.

So this year, I combined my two loves for this awesome, cheap, and super easy family costume:

At The Beach Group Costume -MIY with Melissa


*I do realize that by the time you read this Halloween will have passed and you all will be on to turkeys and pumpkin flavored everything, but I ran out of time this year (because we recently moved into a new house) and I just thought my husband’s metal detector was too good not to post. Plus, it’s never too early to start thinking about next year’s costume, right? So, better late than never...

I have to say, I pitched this costume to my family almost in a state of desperation because I knew that we would have very limited time to make costumes after only being in the new house for about a month. (Moving is the worst, isn’t it?!)

But even though it was an attempt to spend as little money and time as possible, I’m really happy with it.

And I love that you won’t see any other trick- or- treaters running around with these unique costumes. Well, except for the shark, maybe.

So, one at a time, here’s how we threw this costume together, months before Halloween was on anyone else’s radar. In July. (Not an exaggeration.)

At The Beach Group Costume

The Sand Castle Builder

Originally my husband talked me out of this one because he thought I would just look like I was holding a bucket of sand toys instead of being in costume. So I settled on The Over Tanner. And it was a huge mistake. Huge.

For our Halloween party I used dark makeup to make myself look overly tan. It got all over everything I touched. The bathroom looked like someone had smeared diarrhea all over the trash can, sink, floor, and door handles. And worst of all, it stained my pink bathing suit, guys. I’m still sad about it. I do not recommend this method for trying to look extra tan, folks.

So a couple of days later, when Halloween finally rolled around, I grabbed the bucket and shovel, threw on my beach going gear, makeup stains and all, and congratulated myself on being right about this great, easy costume all along. Naturally. And, it was FREE!

At The Beach Group Costume -MIY with Melissa


The Lifeguard

Every beach needs a lifeguard to look out for everyone. This costume could not be more fitting for my oldest child; she’s always “directing” the younger kids and looking out for them.

Truly, offer a whistle to an 9-year-old and you’ll make their day. So I grabbed this one for $6.45 and a shirt similar to this one for $11.95 on Amazon and paired them with some shorts she already owns. Done and done.

At The Beach Group Costume -MIY with Melissa


The Beach Babe:

My youngest, Maddie, was finally old enough to participate in her own swimming lessons (not parent/ tot) this summer and she really enjoyed it. (Not counting the first day that she screamed her head off and cried for me the whole time.)

She basically wanted to live in her swimsuit all summer so that was really the inspo for the entire group costume. I tried to think of a way to accessorize her suit for as little money as possible. I was originally planning on just sticking with her suit and puddle jumper, but then I found the snorkel and flipper set on clearance at Marshall’s near the the of the summer for $6. Perfect.

At The Beach Group Costume -MIY with Melissa


The Shark

Ethan has been really into dinosaurs and sharks these days, as any respectable 7-year-old should be. I knew I just wouldn’t have the time to make his costume myself with the packing and unpacking of so many boxes in the near future, so I stalked this one on Amazon for about a month, waiting for the best price. Which ended up being $31.34

At The Beach Group Costume -MIY with Melissa


Metal Detector Guy

Every summer for as long as I can remember, my family went to the beach. And every summer we say this guy, usually in a polo with shorts, sportin’ a  wickedly outdated fanny pack, headphones, and a ridiculous beeping thing that only every revealed the presence of small change.

So Trav grabbed a shirt and his swim trunks from his closet, swiped my old bucket hat, dug up these headphones from somewhere in, and I found this fanny pack on Amazon for $7.95. Normally I would rifle through every Goodwill shelf within driving distance to search out an authentic and cheap costume piece such as this, but I ran out of time this year.

For the metal detector itself my husband used a piece of a curtain rod (which we didn't end up using when we hung all the curtains,... in every room of the new house,...all at the same time. Whew.), cut a circle from scrap plywood, cut the handle pieces from scrap 2x4’s, attached them with some hardware, and painted it all black. The finishing touch was wrapping some extra wire from the ceiling fans we just hung (again- all 7-,all at the same time) around the neck of the metal detector. (I have no idea what that’s actually called, but it’s what makes sense to me, so that’s what I’m going with.)

At The Beach Group Costume -MIY with Melissa


Lookin’ good.


Total Cost:

So if you’ve lost track, we were able to get festive, with our totally unique costumes, for a grand total of $63.69!

At The Beach Group Costume -MIY with Melissa


Pretty great.

And easy.


Additional Costume Ideas

If you have more than five folks in your group, here are some other characters that would be fun to include in this group costume:


The Completely Covered Beach Goer

You know the type.They are clearly worried about skin cancer and doing a much better job than the rest of us at protecting themselves from the sun. They usually show up with a long sleeved shirt, long pants or a long skirt, sunglasses, a huge hat, and often sit under an umbrella the whole time.


The Surfer

Sunblocked up and in a wetsuit, with a board under their arm. If you can borrow the props this would be fun. If not, it could get really pricey.


The Boogie Boarder

All you need to pull this one off is a boogie board and a swim suit with a rash guard. Truth be told, I almost went for this option but didn’t want to try and haul around our boogie board at our Halloween party.


The Runner

Grab a sweat band and some running shorts and you’ve got yourself a costume. Bonus points if you keep checking your heart rate and can include a Fit Bit.


The Seashell Collector

You could wear whatever you want as long as you walk around with an armful of seashells. I guess a mesh bag would work, too.


The Fisher

Seriously, do they ever catch any fish with all the commotion the kiddos create wading around in the shallow water? Seems like a less than ideal spot. But what do I know. You could just grab a tackle box and rod for this one. If you could find a bucket hat and one of those adorned vests it would really drive the costume home.

Did you DIY a costume this year? Leave a comment and tell me about it! Or tag me in your Instagram posts!


Happy haunting, friends! And whatever you make, make it yours!


Want more spooky ideas? Check these out: