How to Make a Zombie Costume For Halloween

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Things you will need for a homemade zombie costume:

An old out fit that can be torn up. The more ‘western’ it looks, the better.

Old shoes, preferably with holes and tattered laces

Old costume jewelry

(This simulates being in the grave for a long time)

Face makeup, including blood capsules

Terrifying zombie teeth

(Many of these are uncomfortable to wear. Trim them lightly with scissors where it is too hard or rough.)

Cowboy gear, such as fake guns in holsters and a bandana. 

A homemade Zombie costume is easy to create and also very cheap. It allows you to add your own touches and express yourself in a way that a store bought outfit can not. This is how to make a zombie costume for Halloween.

First. Clothes.

A dark colored suit works best for boys, while an older style dress is great for girls. Try to pick clothes that are at least a decade out of style. This adds a realistic feel. Goodwill and Salvation Army stores are perfect for this if you don’t have anything in a closet or attic and you will only spend about ten dollars. The outlaw effect comes at the end, with accessories.

Now you need to get the clothes ‘zombified’ by taking them outside and rubbing them in the dirt. Use a knife or scissors to tatter the hems and sleeves and rip long, shallow holes in a few places to appear they have rotted away. When you are done, the outfit should appear like it has been ‘buried’ for a long time. This includes shoes.

Next. Makeup.

Always read the entire makeup label for warnings and cautions. Also, test the makeup on the skin in a small area before using it all over. Allergic reactions develop even in those who have never had the problem before. Learning how to make a homemade zombie costume means being careful. Do not use anything that will catch fire easily, as many people use heat and lighting in the decorations.

Face and hand paint comes in many forms. I recommend using makeup specifically designed for doing a homemade zombie costume paint job. It will come with the correct colors and even better, with the detailed instructions for applying it.


Using the same tray of makeup for more than one person is not recommended. It is just too easy to pass things like eyes colds and pink eye.

Be careful when applying makeup around the eyes. If material gets into the eye, wash out with warm water immediately. 

Most of these products will stain clothing.

Now that you have the outfit and have a painted, zombie face, it is time for those little accents that set off a great homemade costume. For boys, cufflinks or a pocket watch pinned on are a nice touch, as are ties and old wrist watches. For girls, use handkerchiefs, fake pearl necklaces and earrings, along with tattered hair bows and glasses on chains. (Use spectacles with no glass in them. It is safer and adds to the impression.) Strap on the shooting irons, big hat, and bandana.

Last. Blood and teeth.

The scariest part of a homemade zombie costume is seeing the monster splattered with scarlet drops, knowing eating brains is how it got there, and then to watch the mouth open and reveal a set of terrifying fangs, also gore splattered. Use fake teeth that already have that look, as painted items should never be put in your mouth, and use the blood capsules to create the splattered effect around the chest, chin, and hands. Let it dry completely before touching.

Now, you know how to make a zombie costume for Halloween. A homemade costume is always better, not to mention, cheaper and you have the satisfaction of knowing you created it. 


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