DIY: How To Make Zombie Clothes
How to Create a Zombie Costume
Zombies! These stone cold, slow-paced horrors from the grave are a popular choice for Halloween costumes. Fortunately, the zombie costume is relatively easy to put together. Simply choose what sort of zombie you wish to be and zombify your clothing and body, and you’ll be all set for your costume party or zombie walk.
Deciding on Your Zombie Style
Dress as a "traditional" zombie.If you want to embody the classical zombie type, go traditional. Be a walking, shuffling zombie who is slow and dumb with dead eyes. No specific type of clothing is needed for this type. Use whatever’s on hand, such as old jeans and t-shirts.
Make a special zombie.Maybe you want to go for a zombie with a special theme, such as zombie princess or ballerina who’s been zombified? Go for a cute identity that’s gone terribly, terribly wrong.
- If you want to be extra realistic, use stage blood.
- This might be where last year’s costume comes in handy--you could zombify it so long as you don’t mind destroying it in the process.
- You can also just be an interesting zombie, making a twist on other clothing. Zombies may have been a cheerleader, a pizza delivery guy, or had been on the way to prom.
Create a couple or group theme.It can be fun to have a couple, family or group of friends dress as zombies. Some costume competitions have this as a category.
- Be a zombie pair, such as a zombie bride and groom or maybe a famous couple from history who’ve come back from the dead.
- Be a zombie family! Mom, dad, sister and brother can all have fun as undead.
- Hit up a used clothing store to look for wedding apparel.
Make an undead version of a familiar character.Have a favorite superhero? Nursery rhyme character? Disney character? Choose a character and turn them into a zombie!
- Make sure you’ve got a costume on hand that’ll identify you as your character. You could always do something recognizable, such as simple, reworked Little Red Riding Hood costume.
- This is a great tactic if your costume is worn, or in bad condition. Since you will likely be fatiguing or distressing your costume (see below) it is better to work with items in less than new condition.
Zombifying Your Clothing
Fade and/or dingy your clothing.Seasoned zombies don’t wear brand new clothes, so you’ve got to make your clothing look old to be authentic. There are a few ways to do this with common household items.
- Use a spritz bottle filled with water and a few drops of brown or black food coloring, coffee, or black tea to make your clothes look old. This works best on lighter colors to make clothing seem dingy, dirty, and worn.
- Spritz your clothing unevenly to make it look more realistically aged.
- Use a 1:1 bleach solution to "fade" clothing. Zombies stand out in the sun, so clothes fade and look old. This is a good approach to make darker colored clothes look worn out.
Tatter your clothes by ripping and tearing them up.Zombies stumble around catching themselves on things, so to make it realistic tear up those clothes. Add some tears into your clothing with a seam ripper or knife or running a grater over areas. Don’t be afraid to also use your hands to tear at some small cuts.
- To make your tears look realistic, cut in random areas and vary the size of the cuts and the amount of fraying.
- Remember that your clothing will need to stay on your body, so don’t get too carried away with the ripping and tearing!
- Keep the tears PG-13
Grime up your clothes with dirt and mold.Take your clothes outside and rub them around in the dirt and mud to get that grimy zombie look down for your clothing. Add mold to your clothes by mixing up some liquid latex and oatmeal and letting it dry on your clothing.
- If you’ve got time in advance you could always bury your clothing outside for a week.
- You can find liquid latex at any costume store, a basic superstore, or online.
Add blood to your clothes.Zombies are all about blood and gore, so add some to your clothing to help add to the effect. Use store bought blood or make your own, and then spatter it all over your clothing using your own hands and sponges.
- Make sure to step away from your clothing to see how it looks at a distance.
- An easy do-it-yourself recipe for fake blood is combining corn syrup with a few drops of red food coloring. Then add a squirt of chocolate syrup to thicken and darken the blood.
Singe and sear your non-flammable clothes very carefully.Using extreme caution, take a lighter to your clothing to singe or burn parts of it to achieve that zombified look.
- Do not burn your clothes while they are still on your body.
- You should always do this in an open area away from flammable surfaces and have a fire extinguisher nearby.
Zombify Your Body
Make wrinkles using liquid latex.Apply liquid latex on your face in a light layer using a sponge, and then stretch your skin tight while drying the liquid latex with a hairdryer. This’ll be sure to make your face look old and tired.
- Do this before you put on your face makeup so when you apply makeup the wrinkles will appear deeper.
- If you’ve got a latex allergy, you can easily make your own liquid latex substitute. Mix together 1 cup (236.59 mL) cold water, ¼ cup (59.15 mL) tapioca flour, 1 packet plain gelatin, and 1 tablespoon (14.79 mL) of solid coconut oil.
Use makeup to make your face pale.Make sure your face is pale by blotchily applying a very pale nude makeup to your face. You won’t want your natural skin tones to give you away as alive!
- Don’t make your face blue or green since zombies are always very earth toned.
Make your tongue dead with food coloring.Zombies shouldn’t have pink tongues, so mix a drop of black food coloring in with your mouthwash and swill it around in your mouth. This’ll give you the perfect dead looking tongue and mouth.
Make your eyes look sunken in.Make your eyes appear sunken in by adding a dark purplish-brown makeup color around your eye socket and along your upper and lower lids.
- Go darker along the lids by adding a black eyeliner pencil on top of your purplish-brown color.
Wear colored contacts.Colored contacts are a great way to mute the life from your eyes. Try a pair in red, green, or another dark color.
- Colored contacts should only be used with a prescription, even for non-corrective lenses. You can get them by visiting your local eye doctor and getting a prescription.
Make open wounds on your face and body using liquid latex.Mix up some liquid latex and cotton, tissue paper, or toilet paper in a bowl and then apply to your face or arm. Allow the mixture to dry halfway and then begin to pull pieces away. Sponge on some dark earth tone colors and then add blood into the mix.
- If your liquid latex wound is going to cover any hair, add a layer of petroleum jelly first.
- When you’re done being a zombie you can just peel off the liquid latex to remove it.
Add blood to your face and body.Use a Q-tip to apply some blood smears to your body and face.
- You can make the blood drippy or smeared.
- Go ahead and give yourself a bloody nose!
Tease and grease up your hair.Don’t forget to make your hair look disgusting to complete your zombie look. Tease it out with a brush and tangle it all up. Use hairspray to make sure your teased hair stays in place. Put conditioner in it while dry to make it look greasy and gross.
- You can find colored hairsprays if you want to add some darker black or brown tones into your lighter hair. You can purchase these at any local pharmacy.
- Get creative and incorporate leaves or twigs into your matted hair.
- If you don't want your hair to be ruined or deal with combing it out later, get a cheap wig that you can destroy.
QuestionDon't dead things have discolored skin? I would think that you would add blues and purples and reds to discolor the skin, wouldn't you?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI recommend using slight tones of purple and blue, but white pale skin is the most common for achieving the zombie look.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is liquid latex?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerLiquid latex is 2/3 water and 1/3 latex. It is often used for makeup effects.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I make that spray?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou'll need to brew black tea or coffee, and then spray it on the clothes.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if i don't know what kind of zombie I want to be?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry watching a few zombie movies and seeing what kind of zombie appeals to you most!Thanks!
QuestionHow do you zombify a leotard without destroying it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could smear it with dirt and a soluble blood substitute, such as ketchup. Then you can throw it in the washing machine later.Thanks!
QuestionWhat kind of shoes should I wear?Kiah RosendaleCommunity AnswerYou can wear any type of shoes you want depending on what type of zombie you are. If you have a junk pair of shoes, you can add some fake blood as well.Thanks!
QuestionI have this brown dress; how do I make it look old since the blood or anything won't show up on it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry incorporating a scarf or some other lighter colored item, like a jacket, to put the blood on if it isn't showing up on your brown dress.Thanks!
QuestionI have a zombie outfit already with blood on it. Should I add extra blood to give it a bit more effect or just leave it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI think you could leave it, but to make it more like a zombie, you could make some more rips here and there so people will notice that you're a zombie. If there are already tears and rips, go ahead and do whatever you want.Thanks!
QuestionHow do you make fake blood really dark in color?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAdd chocolate syrup to your red food dye and corn syrup mix.Thanks!
QuestionHow would you "zombify" a leotard?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUsing a skin-colored leotard, add a few rips here and there, then use thin permanent markers to draw on stitches. Add some wounds with fake blood.Thanks!
Will the corn syrup and food dye mixture dry on the skin so I could make fake wounds?
Can you add bare feet to a zombie costume?
To create a zombie costume, first make your clothes look old and tattered. Try using a 1:1 bleach solution to fade clothes or make them look worn out by running a grater over areas to create small tears. Make some fake blood with corn syrup, red food coloring, and chocolate syrup to spatter on your clothes so you’ll look bloody and gory! Remember to zombify your face and hair, too, using dark purplish-brown makeup around your eye socket and eyelids so your eyes look sunken in, for example.
- Experiment with fabrics and makeup beforehand, giving yourself plenty of time to prepare and fix mistakes before an event.
- Buy some fake scars. Apply them to the face, neck, arms and various body parts to add to the effect!
- Be aware of scaring others, especially small children or others who might frighten easily. Stay good-spirited and keep the fun going for everyone.
- Test any products on a small section of your skin beforehand to make sure you're not allergic. Avoid using liquid latex products if you are allergic to liquid latex.
Sources and Citations
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