How to make a Corpse Bride costume

Tim Burton's 2005 animated film, "Corpse Bride," features an Englishman from the 1800s who accidentally marries a corpse bride. She is blue with maggoty eyes and wears a torn lacy wedding dress, complete with a veil and tiara. Making a homemade "Corpse Bride" costume is simple with a charity shop wedding dress, a yarn wig, plastic flowers, costume make-up and a little creativity.

Tear a small hole on the right side of a charity shop wedding dress, like the corpse bride, with a pair of scissors. This will be the place where you are going to sew extra fabric with drawn ribs.

Draw ribs with a black fabric marker on white satin-type fabric.

Attach the fabric piece to the dress by sewing with needle and thread. Sew the dress inside out to hide the edges of the loose fabric.

Wrap the blue yarn around the cardboard lengthwise. This is going to be the wig, and you should wind the yarn tightly making sure not to double the yarn over. The cardboard size can be adjusted to your head. The 30 cm (12 inches) is intended for front of the head, and the 65 cm (26 inches) is for the length.

Tape the yarn 5 cm (2 inches) from the top of the cardboard on both sides, leaving the masking tape longer than the cardboard. The tape holds the yarn together when you sew the wig.

Cut the yarn at the bottom, and place the yarn carefully onto tissue paper. The paper allows for easier sewing.

Sew between the two pieces of masking tape to create the top of the wig, making sure to catch all the yarn pieces.

Repeat steps 4 to 7 with the white yarn, but sew the white yarn wig piece directly onto the sewn blue yarn piece with tissue paper.

Gently remove the tape and the tissue paper, and place the wig on your head, with your own hair in a ponytail. Use hair clips to secure onto your hair.

Put on dress, shoes, veil and tiara. If you can't find a veil, use about a yard of tulle underneath the tiara. Secure with hair clips.

Apply white costume make-up to your face with blue around the eyes. Use black eyeliner around your eyes to further emphasise corpse eyes. Paint lips blue.

Bunch fake, dark-coloured roses as your bouquet, using a dark-coloured ribbon to secure.


Omitting the wig and bouquet would not make or break your costume. Using hair gel to make your hair stringy is an easier alternative to making a yarn wig.


Use caution when sewing with sharp needles. Take care when using scissors. Remember you are wearing a long dress with a veil when you go out so it doesn't get trapped in a door or underneath your foot.

Things You'll Need

  • White wedding dress
  • Scissors
  • Black fabric marker
  • White silky fabric
  • Sewing needle
  • White thread
  • Blue and white chunky yarn
  • Cardboard approximately 30 cm (12 inches) by 65 cm (26 inches)
  • Masking tape
  • Tissue paper
  • Ponytail holder
  • Hair clips
  • High heels
  • Veil or 1 metre (1 yard) square of tulle fabric
  • Jewelled tiara
  • Blue face paint
  • White face paint
  • Black eyeliner
  • Fake rose bouquet
  • Dark-coloured ribbon
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About the Author

Charong Chow has been writing professionally since 1995. Her work has appeared in magazines such as "Zing" and "Ocean Drive." Chow graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy. She also received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.