How to look like a dead school girl with a fancy dress for Halloween

Updated April 17, 2017

If you have a fancy dress that you'd like to be caught dead in on Halloween, you can make it happen with some simple household items. But it does require some preplanning. The well-dressed zombie schoolgirl is dried up, decaying and dirty or, in other words, charmingly gruesome. It's all just a matter of making yourself look like you crawled out from under a rock--namely, a tombstone.

Brew a pot of coffee from used grounds. Stain the dress by either dipping it in a coffee-filled basin or laying it in a bathtub and pouring coffee over the dress as desired. Twist the dress and allow it to air dry, wrinkled with the coffee stains.

Tear and mangle the dress. Cut and poke holes in it with scissors then add some tears by hand. Lay the dress in your driveway and back your car over it a few times, if you'd like it really soiled and wrinkled.

Add more soiling to your dress. Use a moist sponge or brush to stipple on dark watercolours or acrylic paints and/or brush dark eye shadows on to the dress to add finishing touches. Take the dress outdoors and spray the painted areas with a light coating of fixative to help keep the colour from rubbing off.

Tease your hair or the wig and apply texturizer to it to make it appear matted and stringy.

Apply powder lightly to your hair or the wig with a powder or blush brush. This will make your hair appear dusty and soiled.

Attach a worn and dirty bow, if your hair is short. Style your hair into tangled pigtails tied with rotten-looking ribbon, if your hair is long. Insert dried leaves and/or plastic insects for effect.

Spray your hairdo--bugs and all--with hairspray to keep it in place.

Apply pale or ashen foundation to every part of your body that's showing, including the back of your neck and your ears. Set the foundation with powder using the puff. Brush off excess powder with your make-up brush.

Contour your face and body with smoky and earth tone-coloured eye shadows. Brush dark circles around your eyes and below your cheek bones so that they appear sunken. Leave your lips pale.

Apply brown smudges to various parts of your body so that it appears as though you've crawled out of a hole. Using the eyebrow pencil, draw under and around your fingernails to make them look dirty.

Powder and reapply colour as necessary until the desired level of grunge and creepiness is reached. If they're showing, brush some blue eye shadow on your elbows and knees.


All clothing and accessories should be treated to appear aged and soiled, as if they've been buried. Use earth tones for creating the appearance of soiling and deterioration on garments. The ground is from where the undead crawl. Make-up every part of your body that's showing. Corpses are rotten all over. The best deals on do-it-yourself zombie attire can be found at thrift shops, garage sales and auction sites.


Do not get foundation inside your ear canal. Watch where you sit when you're wearing your dead schoolgirl costume. The living don't like their furniture soiled.

Things You'll Need

  • Coffee grounds
  • Basin (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Car (optional)
  • Dark eye shadow assortment
  • Make-up brush assortment
  • Artist paint brush assortment
  • Earth tone watercolour or acrylic paints
  • Make-up sponges
  • Household sponge
  • Spray fixative
  • Wig (optional)
  • Hair ribbon or bow
  • Hair texturizer
  • Teasing brush
  • Finishing powder or talc
  • Dried leaves
  • Plastic insects
  • Hairspray
  • Pale or ashen cream or stick foundation
  • Powder puff
  • Dark brown eyebrow pencil
  • Blue eye shadow
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Izzy Moon brings to her craft more than 25 years of experience as a writer in the fields of broadcasting, advertising, entertainment, education, physical fitness and journalism. She has written stories, scripts and materials for radio, TV, The Autry Museum of the American West, Universal Studios and other companies. Her articles have appeared in publications throughout the United States.