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Corpse Bride Costume 2

by KC
(Spanish Fork, Utah)

Corpse Bride Costume

Corpse Bride Costume

I am constantly on the lookout for costume ideas so I pick up pieces and bits at yard sales and thrift stores in hopes that I can use them one day.

This Corpse Bride costume started with the wig which I found at a yard sale for $1, and a boy's skeleton costume that I found for 50 cents at another yard sale. I decided Corpse Bride was my next costume re-adventure. I was lucky enough to have a friend who had an old 1980's wedding dress lying around that she had picked up at a thrift store, she was nice enough to just give to me. It fit me like it was made for me, so it must have been fate.

I used some puff paints that I had lying around in blues and silver and bought some cheap spray paint: blue, light blue and black. I also purchased $3 worth of sheer material off the dollar rack, and 2 bouquets of blue flowers at the dollar store.

The dress had a high lace neckline and a choker collar, and it had long puffy sleeves. I removed the lace and the choker so it had a low cut heart-shaped neckline, and cut the sleeves at the shoulder. The movie dress was sleeveless but I knew I would be wearing this to work so I had to keep a bit of modesty, so I kept the top of the sleeves. I could have cute the sleeves off completely for more accuracy. I re-purposed both sleeves into the tattered half-sleeved gloves and added some lace applique pieces I had lying around to make them pointed. I cut every edge, including the sleeve edges with scissors to form the ragged edges, and cut a few holes here and there in the train. I burned some of the edges with a lighter to add more age and texture.

The real transformation was from the cheap spray paint which I layered lightly switching colors each time, spraying the edges darker and blending into the interior of the dress. I sprayed all the edges: hem, train, sleeves, and around the waist. I followed that with some swirls with the puff paint.

It isn't visible in the picture, but I cut out a triangular portion of the rib-cage of the dress and replaced it with the ribcage section cut from the boy's skeleton costume. This is much more effective than trying to add plastic or stuffed bones, it looked completely real at night because I was able to line the ribs up perfectly with where they should be, and the black of the skeleton costume looked like it had depth in the dark.

I made one of the flower stems into a bouquet by wraping it in tattered fabric leftovers and accenting the flowers with some black spray paint. I made the crown/veil using a metal clothes hanger, shaped into a circle, and attached the flowers from the other stem using craft wire. I sprayed some black onto that so it matched the bouquet. The veil is the cheap sheer fabric that cut with scissors again to form the ratty edges and spray painted to match. it is attached with just safety pins to the crown.

I sewed a total of maybe 8 minutes just to make the gloves pointed and to add the skeleton ribs to the dress. Otherwise, this is actually a hand-UN-made costume - most of the work was in destroying the dress!

Total paid = $12

Corpse Bride Costume

Corpse Bride Costume

Corpse Bride Costume

Comments for Corpse Bride Costume 2

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So clever!
by: Anonymous

Love this costume; definitely one of a kind and you put so much work into it! What a terrific job!

Corpse Bride = most awesome movie ever.
by: Anonymous

Amazing work, I'm shocked it was so cheap-this looks better than the $200 rental costume X_X

by: emcox1

WOW!! Very impressive. I was the Corpse Bride 2 years ago. I made my own costume as well. I thought I did a pretty good job, until I wish I would have seen your version first. I may revise mine, and wear it again. Excellent job!!

by: jessie

costume is fab
do you wanna sell it. I am going to a party and been looking everywhere

Well done!
by: Anonymous

I'm going for corpse bride this year and it all started because I have a blue wig. You look great. I love the attention to detail!

Adams Family Values
by: Lyn

Another great idea would be to make the wedding dress from the Adams Family Values Debra "Joan Kusack" wore in the movie where the dress is long in back but short in the front. i have been looking for something like that but have been unsuccessful in finding it.

Would you by any chance know where I might find such a costume? Any help would be appreciated.


by: Anonymous

I'm going as the corpse bride this year and bought a wedding dress at a garage sale and am so excited I found a picture of yours so I know where to go with it! LOVE IT!!

by: Anonymous

You rock =D I was super excited about making my corpse bride costume, but then I ended up spending $40 in materials (mostly fabric) and it's not so much fun now. Great job thrifting! I think I'll have to get back into thrift stores.)

You are so very thrifty and clever!
by: Brenda

Well, my comment title says it all, but again, you're so clever! I am also another Emily wannabe for Halloween this year and I've been working on my costume for a few months now. I've put in quite a bit more money unfortunately, but I pay WAY too much attention to the details! haha!

Your costume is GORGEOUS and it really makes me proud of my own creation as well as gets me revved up for the haunting season.

Congrats on such a fab job and I really hope you're ecstatic about the fruits of you labor. You should be proud.


Question about the spray paint
by: Anonymous

I love this costume and your instructions are very helpful! Thank you for the post. I was curious to know if the spray paint caused the dress to become stiff or scratchy? And was there a particular type of spray paint that you used? Thanks for any information you can provide! And again, GREAT JOB!!!

by: Anonymous

Felicidades!!! Esta muy ingenioso!!!

Reply to question
by: KC

The spray paint didn't do anything to the fabric. It isn't drenched in spray paint, though - it is all done in very light "misted" layers. If you drowned it in paint, it might get stiff. It doesn't take a ton of paint to stand out against white, though.

by: Anna

Wow, the costume is awesome!! I am in the middle of making my own and the tips you put have been a HUGE help.

Can i ask where you got your wig from?!

I am really hoping that mine turns out as well as yours :-)


Reply to question
by: KC

I found the wig at a yard sale, but I was lucky. It is the licensed CB wig from Disney, so I guess... Disney Store or eBay?

by: rose

i am trying to make my own corpse bride costume and i have all the materials. i do not know how to do the spry painting on the dress, can you help? btw i LOVE what you did for the costume!!!! much better than the junk you get at party city!!!

by: KC

ROSE: Start at the edges and work your way inward using a very light spray from a couple of feet away. It takes many light coats to get the faded look. You'll get the feel of it pretty quick after you see how your paint is going to spray. I hung my dress from a tree in the yard so I could paint freely and not get it on anything but grass.

by: Anonymous

thats really awesome, i don't know where you find this stuff.....will have to try the thrift store.....maybe. i decided to be a corpse bride, and my friend was gonna be dead anyways, so she decided to be my all i need is a groom!.....hehe i wish.... but im glad i found this....thatnx a buch!

Can I buy your wig?? lol
by: Anonymous

Great job on the costume!! I am going as the corpse bride this year! I bought a wig on line and it turned out to be horrible. I was trying to get the wig you have but there is another version of it (which I ended up with) Now I am scared to buy another one. I can't find any stores that carry them in my city and I can't trust the pictures online anymore :( I was totally going to use my own hair but then I ordered a wig so I gut eight inches off! Now it's too short. Any interest in selling me your wig?

by: Alba

This is truly amazing my little pomerainian is gonna be a skeleton dog we might as well match HAHA!! and did this take any sewing for the whole costume not the gloves because my sewing machine is out and I don't have the patience to sew bye hand.

by: Alba

Is this to heavy to walk during Halloween I'm 12 so yea I don't really stand anything for too long

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