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How to Make a Card Costume

Updated April 17, 2017

Playing card costumes are unexpected choices for Halloween and work especially well as costume choices for a couple or a group. A couple can go as a king and queen of hearts, and a family can go as a full house or royal flush. You can base your card design on a traditional deck of cards, or put your own Halloween spin on your card by creating skeleton kings and queens. Card costumes only require a few basic supplies, making them an inexpensive choice, and because they simply rest on your shoulders, they are appropriate for all body shapes and sizes.

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  1. Decide what playing card you would like to create. You can use a basic deck of cards for inspiration, or look online for ideas. Consider replacing traditional face cards with skeleton, vampire or zombie faces for a fun Halloween spin. If drawing is not your strong suit, consider choosing easier-to-draw cards like the Ace or number cards.

  2. Sketch the design you want onto one sheet of poster board in pencil. Once you get the design right, colour it in with markers or crayons.

  3. Sketch the same design on the other sheet of poster board if you want the front and back cards to look the same. If you want the card on your back to look more like the back of a traditional card, create a subtle graphic pattern like a grid or repeating circles in shades of blue or red.

  4. Staple one end of each elastic piece to the inside top of one piece of poster board, then staple the other end to the other piece of poster board in the same position. The elastic pieces will work as shoulder straps, holding one piece of poster board in front of your chest and another against your back.

  5. Put on any black shirt and trousers and place the card costume over your shoulders. If you like, add complementary face make-up like hearts or diamonds on your cheeks, or a joker hat.

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Things You'll Need

  • Two sheets of white poster board
  • Two 6-inch pieces of 1-inch-wide black elastic
  • Stapler
  • Pencil
  • Markers or crayons
  • Black shirt and trousers

About the Author

Betsy Morgan

Betsy Morgan has been writing and editing professionally since 1995. She has written for publications like "Wired" magazine, "Paper" magazine and Vault.com. She has a Bachelor of Arts in history from Columbia University.

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