Yesterday I dressed up for a “Zombie Prom” on campus. It is essentially a Zombie themed dance. There are lots of Zombie-themed events these days, and with Halloween only a week away we all have yet another reason to look like a Zombie! In this post, I am going to tell you how I made this hypo-allergenic zombie costume.
What you’ll need…
- old jeans,
- old shirt
- black eye shadow
- black lipstick and red lipstick
- spirit gum
- tea leaves, dirt, tree leaves, etc. (optional)
- corn-syrup +red food coloring or store-bought fake blood
To Make Wounds…..
- One box of clear, unflavored Gelatin.
- 3/4 cup of water.
- A pot and stove, or crock pot in which to heat gelatin and water.
- Wax paper or cling wrap
- A spoon
- A coffee stirrer
- Food Coloring, red, brown, blue, black
First, you’ll want to make your fake wounds the day before. Follow the instructions in this post to learn how to make these edible wounds. If you are going to be sticking them to your body, and not eating them, you don’t need to add any flavors like fruit or cookie crumbs. Just stick to the gelatin, food coloring, and tea leaves. Let your wounds harden over night so that they solidify. If you make them thin, they may become hard and brittle. This is totally okay to stick to your skin, you’ll just need to trim off any shriveled edges. If you make them thicker, they’ll remain more flexible. Either one is fine.
While your wounds are solidifying, we can work on the rest of the costume. Next you want to prepare your clothing. Whatever you choose, it should be old or something that you don’t care much about. The best way to make clothing look tattered is not to use scissors, but to use sandpaper and a cheese grater. Scrunch up small sections of your shirt and your pants, and run them over the sand paper or cheese grater. The cheese grater will make big holes and tares that look totally natural, and the sand paper will cause small abrasions, pilling, loose threads, and small holes. Play around until you are happy with the results.
For realistic wear and tear, you want to focus on the high-points, joints, and cuffs. So on your shirt, you want to wear down the elbows a lot, the cuffs a lot, and the bottom of the shirt a lot. Then wear down the shoulders, chest upper back, and kidney-area to a slightly lessor degree. On your pants, you can do ahead and destroy the knees, give the cuffs a good run through the cheese grater, and sandpaper away at the thighs and seat of the pants.
Next, you’ll want to stain your clothes. I used natural sponges (which you can get at any art supply store) and acrylic liquid inks because they are fast-drying. First I mixed up some light-brown ink, like the color of tea (you can also use tea and coffee to stain your clothes) and dipped in my damp sponge. Then I blotted the stains on my shirt. I didn’t stain my pants, but that’s because I may still wear them for not-zombie things…. but you can go right ahead.
Now its time for blood on your clothes! Yay! Mix up a batch of ink that is half brown, half red. Maybe a little more brown if needed. You don’t want your blood to be bright red, especially on you’re clothes because that looks totally fake. Blood dries brown, so you want yours to be a rusty color. Take your sponge, and go to town! But don’t do TOO much blood because that looks tacky. Try adding one or two big splotches, and have the rest be small. And definitely leave some areas clean from blood so that there’s some contrast in the costume.
Okay! Let those dry. If you used acrylic inks it should only take 10-20 minutes to be completely dry. The nice think about the inks is they will not wash out or run onto your skin.
Now time for your makeup! Yay! I started with the eyes. Take your black eyeliner and line your whole eye. Then use black eye shadow to fill in your whole eye-socket with black. You’re eye socket extends farther under your eye than it does above it. Use your fingers to feel where the socket begins and ends. You shouldn’t have eye shadow all the way up to your brow. It you have a hight-light color (a shade of makeup lighter than your skin ton) you should highlight around the outside of your eye socket to set that black bat, and pull the bone forward. Essentially, put highlighter under your eyebrow and on your cheek bone under you’re eye.
Now for the lips. I used two different shades of lipstick here. First, I applied a red, extremely moist lip stick by Avon to the whole lip, top and bottom. Then, I took my black lip-stick, which is normally dry (I use Barry M), and lined my lips with it. I worked right from the bullet, but you may need a brush to help you. Once you’re lips are lined thickly, just smooth them together to blend the two colors! Easy!
Now its time to stick on your wounds. Once they have had plenty of time to solidify, peel them off of the wax paper or cling wrap carefully. Trim any crinkly edges, and put a healthy amount of spirit gum on the back. Then press into your skin and hold until it sets. Use a little foundation around the edges of the wounds to blend with your skin, or just cover the edges in blood. 😀
Time for dirt: you can use real dirt, or eyeshadow and tea leaves. Take your black eye shadow, and use a brush, a sponge, or you’re fingers, and smear it on your arms and chest for a dirty appearance. You can spirit gum tea leaves or dirt to your body by spreading a layer of gum over the skin, then sprinkle on the leaves or dirt and let set. You may want to overlap the two.
And finally, everyone’s favorite part: the blood. You can either use store-bought blood or make your own with corn starch and food coloring. Remember, if your red is to bright, add a little brown. Then, using a Q-tip, dribble it around your wounds, and mouth. Then put fake blood on each of your fingers and smear on neck, arms and chest. You can be a fresh, slightly bloodied zombie, or an ancient, decaying, brain eating machine. It’s up to you!