Creating your own superhero costume can be an adventure. Whether you’re preparing for Halloween, heading to Comic-Con, or just feeling creative, there are a variety of ways you can go about securing a costume for yourself without buying one from your local Halloween shop.
Mix and match costume elements, find comparable pieces in thrift stores, or make your own accessories from scratch; whatever you choose to do, you’ll come away from a DIY superhero costume creation process with an outfit that is entirely unique to you.
Picking Your Superhero Costume
Before you start cutting any fabric or exploring thrift stores, you need to determine who you want to emulate when you wear your costume.
Not only do different heroes have different aesthetic requirements, but some costumes can require more work than others.
The only thing you shouldn’t worry about when deciding on a heroic costume to make, is your body. It doesn’t matter if you look like Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman or Chris Hemsworth’s Thor.
What matters, when dressing up as a superhero, is that you are celebrating a hero who you admire, while also expanding your ability to create wonderful things.
Most of us out here making heroic costumes aren’t preparing to star in movies on a daily basis, nor do we have access to the kinds of gyms or physical trainers that movie stars embodying our favorite superheroes do.
As such, go to town on making the costume for the hero you admire most, and let yourself have fun dressing up as that character. Don’t worry about meeting a near-impossible physical standard.
Determining Your Workload
Once you’ve decided on the superhero costume you’ll be making, you’ll want to take into account how much work you’re prepared to do.
There are some easy superhero costumes that don’t require excessive amounts of sewing or even that much shopping. Homemade superhero costumes can be made out of clothes found in your closet, as opposed to clothing that you sew yourself.
However, if you’re feeling ambitious, or if you make your own costumes all the time, then you can go hard on your superhero costume and design it from the ground up.
What kind of approach you take depends on you and the skills that you have developed.
Getting to Work on Your Superhero Costume
Below are two DIY superhero costume ideas that you can explore and possibly emulate.
We will discuss what kind of materials you’ll need in order to make these heroes’ costumes, as well as the level of skill required to put them together.
Keep in mind that there are always easier or more difficult alternatives to the designs presented here. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, though, we have you covered.
Batman Superhero Costume
Who doesn’t want to dress up as Batman? There have been so many iterations of the Caped Crusader that your DIY superhero costume can vary without separating itself from comic or movie canon.
Whether you’re exploring thrift shops to make your Batman costume or creating the costume parts yourself, you’ll want to start your process by gathering darkly colored materials.
Search your local Halloween shops for black bodysuits or material that you can convert into a large cape. Take stock, too, of the essential elements that are a part of a Batman costume.
You’ll want to have everything on hand to make or represent the following:
- Mask – It may be easiest to purchase a cheaper Batman mask, either from a costume shop or from your local toy store. If you’re feeling ambitious, though, you can craft a personalized Batman mask out of craft foam. You’ll need to take accurate measurements of your face and set aside a significant amount of time for the shaping of the foam, but when you’re finished, you’ll have a Batman mask that’s unbeatable and entirely unique to you.
- Gauntlets – You can use any pair of dark motorcycle gloves to serve as Batman’s tricked out gauntlets. Feel free to leave them as they are, or hot glue on a few extra buckles, straps of leather, or sharp, would-be grips like those that appear on Batman’s gauntlets in The Dark Knight.
- Batman Symbol and Base Suit – If you feel like taking things easy, you can find simple Batman t-shirts at any clothing store. If you want your Batman suit to feel like one out of a movie, though, you’ll be in for a lot of sewing. Start with a basic bodysuit and customize your work from there, or head to the fabric store and purchase some faux leather that you can work into a custom jacket. Creating the iconic Bat logo across your chest will require that you determine which Batman you’re trying to embody. Go bright yellow, if you want an Adam West vibe, or go silver or gray if you want to look more like Christian Bale.
- Cape – Dark capes are available as part of your basic magician costume, but they are also relatively easy to make yourself. Take care, if you’re making your own cape out of a sheet or similar fabric, to cut it short enough that it doesn’t drag on the ground behind you, but also to leave it long enough that you can cover your cowl in the traditionally dramatic Batman manner.
- Pants – Any dark pair of pants can serve as part of your Batman costume. If you’re looking for something with more buckles, explore different pairs of fireman’s pants that are available for purchase. Alternatively, add a few accessories to a pair of dark wash jeans.
- Boots – Batman’s boots look almost like ski boots, except a little less awkward to stand in. While it would be much simpler for you to buy a pair of comparable boots from the thrift store or to modify a pair of boots you have around your home, you can – if you want – make your own pair of Batman boots. How you go about this is entirely up to you, and dependent on the amount of time you have available before wearing your costume out.
- Weapons – Batman’s weapons will likely be the easiest part of your costume to address. Batman’s Batarangs can be made from the same material as your mask, but it’s well known that the Caped Crusader tends to use his fists in battle.
All that remains, once you’ve fitted yourself out with a well-packed utility belt, is for you to perfect your scowl, and you’ll be set for a night on the town as the infamous Dark Knight.
Wonder Woman Superhero Costume
Female superhero costumes, DIY style, aren’t any more difficult to complete than their male counterparts. There’s even more opportunity for versatility, sometimes, when it comes to these sorts of costumes!
Wonder Woman, in particular, is an interesting superhero to dress up as. Her costume has been through a number of changes over the years, and while this guide focuses on her most recent 2017 iteration, you can alter it as you please.
Feeling more Linda Carter? Go stars and stripes all you like. The materials for your costume are out there and waiting for you to bring them home.
No matter which version of Wonder Woman you dress as, though, there are some essential parts of her costume that you’ll want to address.
- Corset – Now, whether or not you wear a legitimate corset as Wonder Woman is up to you, and can be based on which Wonder Woman, again, you want to emulate. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman wears a corset made of faux leather and which looks to Greco-Roman armor for its aesthetic inspiration. You can purchase corsets of this type online, or you can go a little easier and borrow the look with a modified tank or tube top. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, you can make a corset of your own out of faux leather, but be prepared for all the complexity that corset creation brings.
- Boots – Much like Batman, Wonder Woman wears rather imposing boots. Her boots, though, look less like ski boots than Batman’s and are, arguably, easier to emulate. You can find a comparable pair at any shoe store or costume shop. Alternatively, you can spray a layer of brown paint over a pair of boots that you’ve worn down a bit. While, again, we don’t discourage you from making your own boots from scratch, whether or not you want to put that much work into this costume depends on how much time you have.
- Skirt – Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, again, wears a skirt inspired by the armor worn by Greek and Roman warriors. This skirt is multi-layered and short. In order to emulate this skirt, you can layer faux leather on top of an already-existing skirt using fabric glue, or you can sew your own skirt from scratch. Costume versions of this skirt also already exist, but it will be harder to find in your average thrift store. As such, this element of the Wonder Woman costume will require some additional creativity on your part.
- Crown and Bracelets – Ah, Wonder Woman’s accessories! Her iconic crown and bracelets can be purchased relatively cheaply from your average costume shop, or you can make them with molding foam. Several tutorials exist for both of these accessories; it’s up to you to decide what details you want to add and how personalized you want these elements of your costume to be.
- Weapons – Finally, we come to Wonder Woman’s weaponry. She’s always had her Lasso of Truth at the ready, which can be integrated into your costume with the inclusion of any length of rope. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman also makes use of a sword and shield, both of which can be purchased or created. If you’re looking to create your own sword and shield, you can do so cheaply with a few pieces of wood, an automatic sander, some wood glue, primer, and paint. A plastic sword and shield, however, may be a touch safer, especially if you think your Wonder Woman will be challenged by any baddies in the middle of your night out.
Here’s a video showing an easy DIY Superman superhero costume.
Do you have any tips on creating a DIY superhero costume?