How to make a zombie costume

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How to make a zombie costume
Get the zombie look! (Getty Thinkstock)

A zombie lurches through graveyards, emerges from shadows and is unstoppable in a quest for human flesh. What could be better for a Halloween costume? Making your own zombie costume can be fun and inexpensive. Follow these tips to make a zombie costume.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Old and well-worn clothing
  • Beat-up shoes
  • Brown or red paint
  • Leaves and/or dirt
  • Scissors and/or razor blade
  • White and black face paint or makeup

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  1. 1

    Begin by selecting old, well-worn and beat-up clothing. Search local thrift stores and surplus stores to find old shirts and trousers for your zombie costume or use clothing of your own that you don't mind destroying to make your costume. Choose over-sized clothing that can be torn and tattered. You may want to make your zombie costume more unique by choosing a specific zombie persona such as a nun or cheerleader. Don't spend too much on these costumes as you will be destroying them to make them appear fresh from the grave.

  2. 2

    Tatter the clothing you have selected for your zombie costume. Use scissors or a razor blade to fray shirt cuffs and edges and to tear holes in pant legs and sleeves.

  3. 3

    Rub dirt and grass on the tattered clothing pieces to make it appear that they have come from a grave. Tuck a few leaves into pant and shirt pockets for added effect.

  4. 4

    Splatter the clothing with brown or red paint to give the effect of bloodstains. Pay special attention to the shirt cuffs and collar, as these will be the most gore-spattered during most zombie activities. Add these details after you have completed all other alterations on your clothing since they will need to be laid out to dry after applying paint.

  5. 5

    Add any desired touches to the shoes you have selected. Smear them with dirt and add more spatters of brown or red paint to make them appear as worn as the rest of your outfit.

  6. 6

    Mix a small amount of black face paint into a larger amount of white face paint a little at a time until it has a uniform grayish tone. Apply to all areas of your face, neck and hands that will be visible.

  7. 7

    Accent the gray skin tone on your face and hands with small dabs and streaks of white paint to make the skin appear more mottled and deathlike. Add these splotches with a cotton swab or paper towel to give the paint texture.

  8. 8

    Apply a ring of black makeup under each eye to give the eyes a sunken, hollowed look. Use a small amount at first and experiment until you achieve the desired zombie look.

  9. 9

    Finish your look by mussing and ratting your hair until it is as scary as the rest of your costume. Use heavy hair pomade to give hair a stiff, unwashed look. Consider adding a few clumps of dirt or some leaves too.

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