Read these 17 Homemade Costumes Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Costume tips and hundreds of other topics.
The best way to apply any sort of theatrical application, like a fake nose or beard, is with the tried and true method of spirit gum. You can find it at any theatrical supply or magic shop or online from a company like Ben Nye Makeup. Spirit gum is generally sold in small doses and is a brush on adhesive. Be sure, however, to buy spirit gum remover as well! Removing that fake nose can become fairly messy without it!
If you're handy with the sewing machine, scissors, and thread, you can make your own outfit for a Halloween costume. Not sure where to start? Take a look at our Halloween costume pattern ideas.
For a horror costume that'll create chills down the most fearless of hearts, dress up as the possessed girl from Exorcist. You'll need long dark hair, waved and matted with bangs. For the horror costume outfit, get a white nightgown with ruffled collar and sleeves. Go heavy with the dark eye makeup for a dramatic effect. For the face, use theatrical makeup to create a pale complexion. Then use theatrical makeup to create facial scratch marks. Accessorize your "Exorcist" possessed girl with a crucifix and put on your best demonic voice or use a voice changer.
This is the perfect Halloween costume idea for up and coming TV stars. A large cardboard box is all that is needed for the case. Keep the background plain and wear a colorful t-shirt to make the picture really stand out. Make a wire TV antenna, and top the box with a plant or bowl of artificial fruit. SUPPLIES: A large cardboard box Gray poster paint A paintbrush Blue card stock All-purpose glue 4 flat buttons thick wire knitting needle masking tape a 6 inch square of thick foam or sponge artificial potted plant a t-shirt, leggings or pants INSTRUCTIONS: 1) Cut the flaps form the bottom of the box. Then cut a square out of one side of the box for the TV screen. Paint the box gray, and leave it to dry. Glue a square of blue card stock to the inside back of the box for the background. 2) Glue the buttons in a row down one side of the box for the TV controls. To make an antenna, bend the wire into a circular shape with the ends pointing down. 3) Pierce a hole in the top of the box with a knitting needle. Push the ends of the antenna into the hole. Bend the ends of the wire flat against the top of the box on the inside. Tape the wire in place. 4) To make the TV set comfortable to wear, glue a square of foam on the inside top of the box. Position the foam in the center so it will rest on your head. To finish, glue an artificial fruit bowl or a fake plant to the top of the television set.
You can pop up at any masquerade party with this simple jack-in-the-box costume. If you don't have a body stocking, then a matching t-shirt and pants or leggings will do. Draw a big spring on the t-shirt or body stocking with a fabric pen to make it look like you just sprung into action. You can also purchase costume wigs online. SUPPLIES: Ruler Pencil Scissors Red and white card stock All-purpose glue Brass paper fasteners 2 ½ yards of green cord masking tape crepe paper circle stickers needle and thread a large cardboard box sticky-backed plastic 3 ¼ yards of wide polka-dot ribbons a stapler stuffed animals or dolls black fabric pen a white body stocking or leotard INSTRUCTIONS: 1) To make the costume hat, cut a 24-by-5 inch strip of red card stock and two 24-by-1 inch strips of white card stock. Glue the white strips along each long edge of the red strip. Overlap the ends of the strip, and fasten them together by pushing brass paper fasteners through the white strips. Flatten the fastened prongs against the card stock. 2) Push the brass paper fasteners through the white strip, about 3 ¾ inches apart. Then push more fasteners through the lower strip halfway between each top fastener. Thread the cord up and down between the fasteners. Tie the ends of the cord together. Cover the backs of all the fasteners with masking tape. 3) To make the bow, cut an 11-by-6 ¼ inch rectangle of crepe paper. Squeeze tight at the center to make a bow, and fasten it with tape. Cover the tape with a narrow strip of crepe paper, and glue the ends together at the backs of the bow. Decorate the bow with circle stickers. Sew the bow to the neck of the body stocking. 4) Cut the flaps off the top and bottom of the box. Cover the box with sticky-backed plastic. Then decorate the bow and box with stickers and shapes cut from more sticky-backed plastic. 5) Cut the ribbon in half, and staple one end of each piece to the top of the box at the back. Try on the box, and pull the ribbons over your shoulders. Adjust the length of the ribbons, and staple the other ends to the front of the box. Use masking tape to attach a few toys to the inside of the box at the top.
Whether you're looking to make a costume for the next party, Halloween event, or any other time of the year, you can make a number of costumes from scratch. Looking for homemade costume ideas? We have them. Read on to find out what's on our list of homemade costume ideas.
Peppermint Stick – Dress in a white t-shirt hoodie and plain white cotton pants. Wear the hood up. Take red electrical tape and wind it diagonally around your body up to the hood.
Tea Bag – Sew up two large square pieces of sheer neutral colored fabric. Size the pieces to be two times the length of your torso. Leave openings for your head, arms, and legs. Keep bottom end of your tea bag as snug as possible without restricting movement. Stuff a large clear plastic bag with potpourri, leaves, or similar items. Line the inside of your tea bag with the stuffed plastic bag. Attach a string and tea bag tag and your look is complete.
M & M's - Get a large piece of felt in an M & M color of your choice. Choose from brown, yellow, green, pink, white, or virtually any other color. Cut out two large circles, big enough to place over your torso with room left over. Sew the top and sides, leaving room to slip the M & M costume on over your head and leave openings for your arms and legs. Using a second sheet of white felt or darker color for a lighter M & M, cut out the letter “M” and attach it to the front of your M & M costume.
For a couples costume that's sure to get attention at the next Halloween event, make your own Barbie and Ken outfit. It's one couples costume you can put together in a number of variations. Here's our version:
For Barbie, get a wig with long blond hair. Add lots of blue eye shadow, fake eyelashes, and pink lipstick. Get a print halter dress and put on those high heels.
Ever the surfer dude, complete the couples costume by putting Ken in board shorts, surfer shirt, and stiff hair.
To really get the Barbie and Ken outfit complete, add fake tans.
Why be any ole cowboy when you can make your own character costume and be the Lone Ranger himself. For this outfit, you'll need a black mask for your eyes, white cowboy hat, red necktie, and dark leather gloves. Dress up in a pale blue shirt and pants. Next add a black belt and black holster with two toy silver guns to your Lone Ranger character costume. In case there's any doubt as to who you are, you need to practice the dialogue, “Hi-ho Silver, away!”
For the ultimate gift-just present yourself! All you need for this homemade costume idea is a large cardboard box and lots of crepe paper and wrapping paper. Wear your present costume over a body stocking or a paid of tights with a leotard or t-shirt. SUPPLIES: A large cardboard box Scissors Ruler Pencil Clear tape 2 large rolls of wrapping paper colored crepe paper all-purpose glue colored card stock felt-tip pen 31 inches of hat elastic a body stocking or leotard a pair of socks INSTRUCTIONS: 1) Cut the flaps off the bottom of the box. Cut out a 9-inch diameter circle in the top of the box for your head to go through. Cute an oval about 6 inches wide and 9 inches high on each side for your arms to go through, 3 ¼ inches below the top edge. 2) Cover the box with wrapping paper, using clear tape to hold it in place. Join the paper in the middle of the front, top and back of the box, where the seams will be covered by crepe paper. Cut holes in the wrapping paper at the head and armholes, making them about ½ inch smaller than the box holes. Snip the wrapping paper to the edge of the box holes. Fold the snipped edges inside the box, and take them in place. 3) Cute two long strips of crepe paper 7 inches wide, and glue them to the front and back of the box. Make a pleat at one end of each strip and fold each end neatly inside the neck hole. Glue the ends in place inside the box. Glue the other ends of the crepe paper inside the bottom of the box. 4) Cut a large square of colored card stock for a gift tag. Cut a point at one end. Write your name on the tag with a felt-tip pen and glue the tag to your present box. 5) To make the bow headdress, cut a strip of crepe paper 32 inches long and 7 inches wide. Fold the ends to the center and glue them in place. Squeeze the middle of the strip, and hold it in place with tape. For the bow tails, cut a strip of crepe paper 20 inches long and 7 inches wide. Tape the midpoint of the strip to the middle of the bow. Next lay the hat elastic across the back of the bow. Wrap a narrow strip of crepe paper around the center of the bow and secure the ends with glue.
Are you a material girl? If you are, create your own blast from the past costume as the Material Girl herself - Madonna, circa 1980's. Think thick eyebrows, dark eyeliner, curly hair, and all the lace accessories you can muster – gloves, lace skirt, bustier, and headband. Add some neon bangles you can find at a thrift shop and fishnet stockings as well. Finish off your blast from the past costume with gold chains and a cross pendant.
You will get to the costume party in time dressed as this grandfather clock. The brown moire fabric has a wood-effect pattern, which is perfect for the clock case. If you have a sewing machine at home, you can use it to sew the side seams together instead of sewing them by hand. To complete the costume, glue toy mice to the tunic and the costume hat and find other related costume accessories online. SUPPLIES: Tracing paper A pencil Scissors Straight pins ruler Black fabric pen 12 square inches of white fabric 3 ½ yards of 36-inch wide brown moiré fabric all-purpose glue pinking shears 1 yard of gold cord black, brown and gold card stock colored pencil a brass paper fastener masking tape needle and thread toy mice a 24 inch length of brown ribbon INSTRUCTIONS: 1) Trace a clock pattern form one of your wall clocks. Cut out the circle. Do not cut out the hands. Pin the pattern onto the square of white fabric, and cut out he clock shape. Use a fabric pen to copy the Roman numerals onto the clock face. Leave it to dry. 2) To make the tunic, you will first need to make a full-size paper pattern. Now use pinking shears to cut out two tunic pieces from the moiré fabric. 3) Glue the clock face to the front of one of the tunic pieces 4 inches below the neck edge. Glue or sew gold cord around the edge of the clock face. 4) Cut out the tracings of the clock hands. Position them on the black card stock, and trace around the shapes with a colored pencil. Cut out the hands. Use scissor points to make a hole at the dots on the hands and through the center of the clock face. 5) Push a brass paper fastener through the holes on the hand and then through the clock face. Open out the prongs on the underside of the clock and flatten them against the fabric. Stick some masking tape over the prongs to hold them in place. 6) Pin the two tunic pieces right sides together. Stitch them together along the sid seams, using running stitches. 7) Use pinking shears to cut a slit about 4 inches long from the center of the neck edge of the back tunic piece. Cut the ribbon in half, and sew one end of each length to each side of the slit. You'll tie the ribbon in a bow when you wear the costume. Turn the tunic right side out. 8) To make the grandfather clock hat, trace and cut out a square piece or an oval piece from the brown card stock. Glue the card stock onto the fabric. Trim away the fabric from around the edges of the brown card stock. 9) Now lay the small molding pattern on gold card stock, and trace around it. Cut out the shape, and lay it back on the card stock. Trace around the shape, and cut out a second molding. Glue one of the moldings to the brown moiré clock top. Cut a strip of brown card stock 24 inches long by 1 inch wide. Glue the ends together. Then glue the clock top to the front of the strip. 10) Glue the second small gold molding to the tunic just below the clock. Lay your uniquely designed pattern on gold card stock and cut out the shape by tracing around it. Cut out the shape and glue it to the bottom of the tunic. To finish, glue toy mice to the hat and the tunic itself.
If you want to decorate a costume mask on your own or buy costume accessories, use a ridged white plastic mask (blank face male and blank face female) with a matte finish will usually works best. It will take paint and glue much better then a shiny plastic or fabric costume mask.
For a mouse costume, make a nose from a ping-pong ball painted black and glue whiskers to the nose. Wear a white body sotkcing or a pair of white leggings and a white t-shirt. Buy pink and gray mouse ears from a costume shop or make your own with pink and gray felt sewn onto a headband. Wear white gloves and make a tail from a length of white rope.
This homemade costume is really easy to put together. You will need some old clothes and a pair of rubber boots. SUPPLIES: An old shirt and an old pair of pants Sccissors Scraps of fabric Needle and thread Straw All-purpose glue 1-inch wide elastic a pair of rubber boots an old hat pencil and tracing paper orange card stock 20 inches of hat elastic hay or straw INSTRUCTIONS: 1) Cut a ragged edge around the sleeves of the old shirt and around the legs of the pants. Cut out patches of colorful fabric and sew them to the shirt and pants. Glue pieces of hay or straw to the bottom of the shirtsleeves. 2) To make the bandana, cut out a square of fabric. Fray the edges by pulling out 3 or 4 threads from all four sides. 3) Cut 2 lengths of wide elastic long enough to wrap around the tops of the rubber boots. Sew pieces of straw to the elastic. Overlap the ends of the elastic and sew them together. Slip the elastic over the tops of the rubber boots. 4) Cut a slit across the crown or top section of the costume hat. Glue straw inside the hat, and pull it through the slit. Glue more straw inside the brim of the hat so that it hangs down. 5) To make the nose, cut out a long triangular piece form orange card stock. Cut out a nose, fold together like a cone shape and glue them together by overlapping each end piece. Make a hole at each side of the nose. Thread elastic through the holes, and knot the ends inside the nose.
Try these home inspired homemade costumes if you're looking for some fun ensembles to make.
Static Cling Laundry – Get several pairs of socks and underwear. Attach the items to your clothing via a safety pin. Bunch up your shirt or skirt and secure from the inside with the use of fabric tape. For added effect on this homemade costume, muss up your hair vertically and spray with hairspray.
Bubble Bath - Wear a nude colored bodysuit. Get clear and white colored balloons, blow them up and attach the ends to your bodysuit with safety pins. Add a scrub brush, shower cap, and don't forget the rubber ducky for your bubble bath!
An old pair of men's pajamas is the main material needed for this homemade costume. You can make the nightcap made from the pajamas bottoms or buy one at a vintage store. To complete the sleepyhead costume, add slippers, your favorite teddy bear, and an unlit candle in a candleholder.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|