DIY Jersey City Inspired Halloween Costumes


Planning to go out in town for Halloween weekend? Use the opportunity to show some hometown pride and poke a little fun at Jersey City while you’re at it with these JC-inspired looks for adults and groups. If you have a hot glue gun, construction paper, paint and/or markers, and a few disposable pieces of clothing on hand, you’re already halfway to an easy Jersey City-centric costume. Luckily, all of the materials needed can be found at Target, Staples, one of our city’s dozen dollar stores … and your own closet!

Make sure to tag @EverythingJerseyCity and use #everythingjerseycity to show off your JC-inspired Halloween costumes this year!


Light Rail Train Car

Cut the flaps off the bottom and top of a large enough cardboard box to fit around your waist; attach rope to the top of the front and back panels by cutting holes and tying so the box hangs freely suspenders-like from your shoulders. Paint the whole thing white and paint or use markers to draw a big black square on the front panel and two long rectangles along the sides for windows, adding headlights, NJ Transit logo, and “Light Rail” details to finish. Make sure to repeat, “you must have a validated ticket to ride this train,” all night. 

Bonus group costume: Repeat the process and add a rope or bungee cord connecting the fronts and backs of the train cars together. 

Photo courtesy of (left) and (right)


Statue of Liberty

Start with a green dress and drape a green sheet over, following an easy sheet-to-toga tutorial, like this one. Create her headpiece from green construction paper glued to a headband, wrap a large book in construction paper for her tablet, and add orange and yellow construction paper flames to a large flashlight for the torch. 

For the Jersey City touch, make sure to turn around for every picture to represent the Liberty State Park view we get to enjoy.

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David Bowie Mural

Put a JC spin on a David Bowie costume with plenty of bright face paint and a steady hand to (attempt to) recreate the famous Bowie mural by artist Eduardo Kobra on Jersey Ave. Pair with something skin-tight and loud enough to make Ziggy Stardust himself proud.

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Dixon Mills Ticonderoga Pencil

Wear a yellow dress or t-shirt and pants/pencil skirt combo, then create a simple hat from rolled paper painted pink and green for the eraser or cone with plack tip for graphite. Stencil “Dixon Ticonderoga” down the side of your body to complete the look, then make sure to get a shot in front of the former Dixon Mills factory for the ‘gram.

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Holland Tunnel

Cut out a black square of construction paper and glue to the front of a gray sweatshirt. Then, cover the rest of the bottom of the shirt leading up to the square with tiny toy cars hot glued on and jostling to get in. Make honking noises all night. Optional: Add the Holland Tunnel toll sign complete with the unfortunate Christmas decorations placement from 2018.

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Liberty Science Center’s Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium

Pay homage to the biggest planetarium in America with a full-body star-gazing look. Start with a black bodysuit, dress, or t-shirt with pants/skirt combo and hot glue on white paper stars and strings for constellations. Optional: For a light show element, buy a bag of battery-powered, LED plastic candles to add to the stars for a cheap but stunning effect at night.

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Colgate Clock

This may get you more than a few eye rolls, but for our Jersey City pun-lovers, hang a wall clock, or cut a clock face out of cardboard, around your neck and tape a tube of Colgate-brand toothpaste to the bottom. Carry a toothbrush for good measure.

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Jersey City Celebrities

Check out a list of some of the famous faces who were born in or have called Jersey City home sometime in their lives and try to match an iconic look to what’s already in your closet. For Martha Stewart, a neutral-colored cardigan over a white button-down and jeans plus a tray of pastries capture her iconic look; a basketball jersey, shorts, and sneakers channel Shaq; and a suit, tie, and Fedora bring Frank Sinatra back to Jersey in a pinch. Just stay in character and repeat well-known catchphrases to reinforce the illusion.

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Couple Costume: Bagel and Cream Cheese

You go together like a Wonder Bagel and cream cheese! Cut out two cardboard circles large enough to hang to your knees and cut one hole near the top to hang the circle off your shoulder like a purse. Paint on black bagel hole and “everything” seasoning. Both partners wear all white and hang the cardboard off opposing shoulders to create the sandwich effect. Just make sure not to leave each other’s side all night, or else you’ll become an open-faced bagel missing its other half.

Photo courtesy of @eatingforironman


Group Costume: Taylor Ham, Egg, and Cheese on a Roll

Celebrate one of NJ’s greatest creations with each person dressing up as an element of everyone’s favorite breakfast sandwich. Paint and cut out the shapes of each ingredient twice out of cardboard large enough to cover the chest to the knees and hang them like a sandwich board over the body. For more people, add SPK. For an even easier costume, have each person wear one color head-to-toe representing their food and label as necessary.

Warning: Be prepared to engage in the Great Taylor Ham vs. Pork Roll Debate all night.

Photo courtesy of (left) Photo by Sam Mikhail (right)


Honorable Mention: Newark Ave

Don a green body suit, drape a string of white battery-powered Christmas lights across your body, and craft a Newark Ave street sign out of a broom and cardboard … we don’t recommend letting people walk all over you, though.

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Need a place to wear your new creation?! Check out the Event Calendar for all Jersey City Halloween events! Checking this article in 2020? Take a look at our 2020 inspired Halloween costumes!