Ever since Michael Jackson’s groundbreaking Thriller appeared on MTV, the zombie has been a permanent fixture at Halloween parties all over the world. Whether the character comes with a soundtrack or not, its trademark worn-out clothing and tattered shoes definitely add an element of mystery to the character. You don’t need to splurge on a killer zombie costume. A homemade one can actually be scarier than those bought in stores. If you're looking for a scary Halloween costume, follow these eight simple steps to create a very convincing zombie - a character that you can bring to life with a touch of imagination. Here's how to make a zombie costume.
- Select a zombie persona. Do you want to be a zombie, basketball player, nun or a living dead girl? These characters are easily recognizable because of their costumes. You just need to make their persona messier and channel in that never gonna stop “I will scare you to death” attitude to make them pass as zombies. Once you decide which persona you want to project, stick to it no matter what.
- Raid your closets at home. Where else can you find free stuff around? Look for old clothes that resemble your ideal persona. Start from clothes that don’t fit you anymore and proceed with those that you can live without. After all, you need to destroy them, in the most literal sense, later on.
- Use scissors and blades to make the clothes look all worn-out. Be creative! To make your costume cutting edge, rub scissor blades against the collars, sleeve edges and hemlines to produce a frayed, modern look. Use the same technique in tearing holes, or in cutting pieces of fabrics.
- Dab soot and spatter in a little mud here and there for that “I have come out of the grave” effect. Don’t forget the leaves and twigs! Glue them on the pants, pockets, etc.
- Use textile paint on the clothing to make your bloodstains. Use a number of techniques ranging from dabbing to brushing to splattering in order to create a believable set of bloodstains as red as cranberries. Focus on the collars, cuffs, edges and hemlines. Make sure that your clothing has enough red and brown paint. Let them dry before putting in some additional details. Tweak on the designs if necessary.
- Choose the right shoes that represent your zombie persona. You don’t need to destroy them. Smudge some dirt and textile paint on them and you’re ready to go!
- When it comes to make-up, the right application is everything. Go for a grayish skin tone by mixing the right amounts of white and black face paint. Apply the grayish “skin foundation” on the neck, arms and hands. To make your skin more sallow looking, dab in streaks of white paint by means of a cotton swab or tissue paper. Put black makeup under each eye to achieve that trademark zombie look in the Thriller video. Remember -less is more!
- To complete the movie-star zombie look, mess up your hair! No need to argue. Although you made promises to yourself not to go towards that direction, how else can you scare people? Make your hair as creepy as you can to fit your costume. Smother in pomade, and lots of it too for that stiff “I haven’t washed my hair for a thousand years” effect. Add in some mud, leaves and twigs too!
Now you know how to make a zombie costume. The zombie, a character immortalized in that famous music video, is now within reach, thanks to some used clothes, gory make-up and a spark of ingenuity!