Create a bug costume

Written by Analisa Duran
October 28, 2020

Spooky season brings pumpkins, scary movies and everyone’s favorite – costumes. No matter how you celebrate, having a unique and creative disguise is an annual challenge for many. This year, consider thinking smaller (a lot smaller) and take a cue from some of nature’s creepiest, crawliest creatures – bugs.

According to scientists, there are over 10 quintillion bugs alive right now, in numerical form: that’s 10,000,000,000,000,000,000! Of those, there are up to 10 million insect species — each keeping our world moving in their own way.

Despite their ghastly reputation, these tiny unsung heroes are pollinators of fruits and vegetables and producers of food like honey. More gruesomely, they also balance ecosystems by feeding on dead animals and plants. Much like the ghouls and ghosts of Halloween night, many of these bugs slither and slip around without being seen. Give friends and family a fright on Halloween by designing an insect-inspired costume. Use their complex anatomies as a blueprint to bring your ideas to life while considering how their form and function power their important roles on Earth.


Use your house as inspiration. Up-cycle and be creative. Here are some suggestions:

  • Headband
  • Paper plate
  • Pencils
  • Pipe cleaners/Fuzzy sticks
  • Large brown paper bag
  • T-shirt
  • Construction paper
  • Hot glue gun
  • Tape
  • Markers
  • Bugs Life Activity Sheet
  1. Use the Insect Guide to help you choose a bug to dress up as, or do an online search for your favorite creepy crawler. The iNaturalist app can be used to find photos of bugs in your local environment.
  2. All insects have a head, thorax and abdomen along with six legs and an antenna. Find items around your house to represent these items. Some items you can use:
    • Head
      • Paper plate mask
      • Hat the color of your bug
    • Abdomen and Thorax
      • T-shirt the color of your bug
      • Paper bag made into a vest (can be decorated to look like the bug of your choice)
      • Staple legs to the bag
    • Antenna
      • Pipe cleaners attached to hair clips
      • Pencils hot glued to a head band
    • Legs
      • Construction paper stapled to your t-shirt or paper bag abdomen

Have other ideas? Go for it! We challenge you to be as creative as possible. Share your bug costume with us on Instagram or Facebook @fiucase.


The challenge to create something new is enthusiastically accepted by artists and scientists alike. Whether repurposed, recycled or reimagined – there are many ways to make something unique to solve a problem or enhance the world. Follow FIU@Home for more ways to create something new.