How to make a Greek Spartan costume

Written by kittie mccoy
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How to make a Greek Spartan costume
The Spartan hoplite is one of the most famous images of ancient Greece. (Getty creative)

A Greek Spartan costume is probably not the best choice for a shy man, but you can pull this look off if you don't mind showing a little skin. Most store-bought Spartan costumes feature burgundy and brown shades but you can choose any colour combination you prefer since you are making the costume at home. The most difficult aspect of creating a Spartan costume is making the helmet but you can purchase a helmet to save time, if desired.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Fabric
  • Tape measure
  • Round dustbin lid
  • Gold spray paint
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Foam board
  • Silver spray paint
  • Boxer shorts
  • Safety pins
  • Gold brooch
  • Leather sandals
  • Baseball cap
  • Paper
  • Cereal box
  • Tape
  • Wheat paste
  • Water
  • Tall glass

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  1. 1

    Purchase metres of cotton fabric in the desired colour for your Spartan cape. Most cotton fabric sold at fabric stores is approximately 1.5 m (59 inches) wide which will be sufficient for this costume.

  2. 2

    Purchase enough fabric to make a rectangle approximately 50 cm (20 inches) by your waist measurement plus 20 cm (8 inches). This fabric is for the wrap of your costume.

  3. 3

    Spray paint a round dustbin lid with gold spray paint to create your shield. Staple the ends of two 25 cm (10 inch) long, 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide strips of cloth to the inside of the lid so that you can slip your forearm through these strips to hold the shield.

  4. 4

    Draw the shape of your sword onto a piece of 13mm (1/2 inch) thick foam board. Cut out the sword and spray the blade of the sword with silver spray paint and the hilt of the sword gold to match your shield.

  5. 5

    Wear a pair of boxer shorts and wrap the smaller piece of fabric around your waist so that the ends of the fabric overlap at your side. Safety pin the wrap to the waistband of your shorts to hold it in place. Use at least three or four safety pins to keep the wrap on securely.

  6. 6

    Wear a 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 inch) wide leather belt around your waist to cover the top of the wrap and the waistband of your shorts.

  7. 7

    Tie the cape around your neck and secure it with a safety pin either at the front of your neck or at one shoulder so that part of the cape drapes across your chest. Trim the bottom of the cape so that it is at least one foot above the ground.

  8. 8

    Pin a gold brooch onto the cape where it is tied together at your neck or shoulder. Look for a gold brooch at resale shops and remember that you can spray paint any brooch with gold spray paint to use with your costume.

  9. 9

    Wear leather sandals to complete your Greek Spartan costume.


  1. 1

    Cut the bill off an old baseball cap that fits your head. This will form the base of your Spartan helmet and ensure that it fits properly on your head.

  2. 2

    Draw the design for the front of your helmet onto a piece of paper. Cut the design out and hold it up to your face to make sure that it is the correct size and that you will be able to see while wearing the helmet.

  3. 3

    Carefully cut open a cereal box and lay it out flat. Trace your helmet design onto the cereal box and cut it out. Tape the front of the helmet to the baseball cap and try it on. Adjust the front of the helmet while you are wearing it until you are happy with it's shape.

  4. 4

    Mix 120 ml (1 cup) of wheat paste in 540 ml (4.5 cups) of water and stir it together. Dip one inch strips of newspaper into this paste and apply them to the helmet front and baseball cap to make a paper mache helmet. Try not to crush the baseball cap as you work.You may want to balance the cap on a tall glass or a vase to hold it up while you paper mache. Let the helmet dry completely.

  5. 5

    Spray paint the dried paper mache Spartan helmet with gold spray paint to match your sword and shield.

Tips and warnings

  • Wheat paste is similar to wallpaper paste and is found in home improvement stores.

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