How to Make a Vampire Costume

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Oh sure, don’t even consider the vampiric powers of Tweed.

Creating a vampire costume for Halloween, fancy dress, or a cosplay convention is easily done at home, with or without the help of a costume store or fancy dress retailer. There are different vampire costume possibilities, depending on how much effort and cost you’re willing to expend, but even the most basic costume can be effective with adequate attention to detail. Here are some suggestions for developing your vampire costume.


  1. The amount of effort is really up to you!

    The amount of effort is really up to you!

    Define the elements of the costume that matter most for you. Do you want to create an entire look from head to toe, or just a vampire face with perhaps a cape? The intensity of your costume will depend on the time you’ve got available, access to supplies, and your own level of creativity. The basics of a vampire costume involve:

    • A cape or a long, dark coat; capes are best if they have a high collar
    • Dark clothing, preferably of high quality, or with the appearance of high quality
    • Facial makeup, including pale skin, darkened eyes, and fangs; possibly the inclusion of contacts
    • Sleek hair or a wig
  2. Create a cape. A cape is a well-known part of the vampire costume. It usually has a high collar but that’s not essential if it’s too hard to fit. Shiny or glossy capes are great at night because they reflect light but again, go with whatever fabric you have. There are several ways to make your own cape:

    • Use an existing cape that you’ve already got for winter. The darker, the better. Can it be lined temporarily with a shiny red or black material?
    • Visit a thrift store and purchase a cape that is no longer wanted. Think outside the square when choosing an item – if there are no capes, are there items of clothing that could be turned into a cape shape?
    • Very simple cape - just tie the knot to put it in place

      Very simple cape – just tie the knot to put it in place

      Use a sheet. Look for a black or red sheet, or dye a sheet one of these colors. Curtains might work, but they are probably hard to cut into a decent shape and some are very heavy. Look in thrift stores, and don’t forget to look for silk or satin sheets – they can add a great touch. Cut into shape if needed (and hem to prevent fraying), or simply add a clasp a the neck and wear it as it is.

    • Wear a long, dark coat if you don’t want to wear a cape, or can’t find or make a cape. Add antique buttons and braiding to the coat if wished. Again, such coats can be found in thrift stores at good prices.

  3. Jeans and a dark top are fine

    Jeans and a dark top are fine

    Select appropriate under-clothing. The possibilities are endless, with the main emphasis being on quality, beautiful texture and dark colors.

    • A waistcoat is another fabulous addition for an old-fashioned vampire look

      A waistcoat is another fabulous addition for an old-fashioned vampire look

      For a male’s top, try a dinner shirt, with fancy neck ruffles or similar designs. This is good for a Victorian style vampire. Or, simply choose a funky, quality t-shirt, long-sleeved if it’s cold. Suit jackets can also work well.

    • For a female’s top, choose something elegant in red or black.
    • Contrasting colors work well

      Contrasting colors work well

      It’s good to contrast your top and cape colors do that your top isn’t completely lost under the cape.

    • Select dark trousers or jeans for the bottom wear. For girls, an ankle-length, black skirt is excellent, in velvet, satin, or similar glam fabric.
    • Sparkles and stripes are fine for clothes, provided they’re elegant.
  4. Prepare the face.

    • Buy white face paint and paint it on your face.
    • Add bright red lipstick to make it look like you’ve been drinking blood. Use a red makeup marker to draw blood down your chin.
  5. Wear fangs. Fangs can be made at home or purchased ready-made. There are cheap plastic fangs from party supplies, or more expensive higher quality fangs, including single stick-on fangs. Choose whatever you can afford.

    • Make fangs from citrus peel. Peel an organic, clean orange. Cut the peel into fang shapes with sharp teeth. Place the peel side toward your gums and the white pith facing out. This is a quick fix easy fang set. It can be a little strange to taste and even uncomfortable, so try not to wear this too long.
  6. Boots are good

    Boots are good

    Wear dark shoes or boots. Avoid wearing heels as these will slow you down and might catch on the cape.



  • If you make the orange peel teeth, the discarded peel can be tossed into the garden to break down when finished with; citrus peel deters pets from peeing on the garden, so you’ll be putting the orange to many uses!
  • If wished, wear cool sunglasses when wearing the costume during daylight.


  • Avoid pastels or pale, washed out clothing colors.
  • Always remove makeup before going to bed; it will stain your bed clothes and clog up your skin’s pores.
  • Planning a costume well in advance of an event will help prevent last-minute panicking.

Things You’ll Need

  • Cape materials or cape
  • Quality clothing, dark colors, some reds and whites; nice fabrics including silk, velvet, satin, lace, etc.
  • Face makeup
  • Freshly washed and groomed hair, or a sleek wig (you can make you hair longer with a wig)
  • Fangs, homemade or purchased
  • Contacts (optional)
  • Boots or shoes, preferably black or dark

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