Homemade Joker Costume – Best Night of My Life!
So here it is… The Joker. For starters, I look nothing like him, other then having a narrow face. I am in the Canadian military, so no long hair for this guy. Also, did this all by myself, no woman or someone else knowledgeable with makeup helped me out.
I got an amazing reception for my costume. Countless random people wanted pics with me, won best costume at a club with hundreds of other competitors. Many drinks were bought for me (drink responsibly and only if you are of age). It was an amazing night. There was even a Batman that wanted a pic so bad that he agreed to get on his knees in a ‘defeated’ pose, haha, for the pics.
I’ll start with the clothes. I wanted a completely homemade costume, no ordering off the internet.
The Coat: Local thrift shop, value village, salvation army, etc, should definitely have trench coats for around $20 or less. Mine was a little more but meh. Also, you may have to go get it tailored like I did. It was huge. Your major concerns should be that it is plain, double breasted, and grey or another very light color. Next, go to a craft shop (Micheal’s here in Canada) and get some purple dye. Don’t be shy with the stuff. Fill a big Tupperware bin quarter way with water, dump a bunch of dye, stir, and let sit for a day. Hang to dry over the tub (no mess that way). Coat is done!
The Vest: Same as coat, get at bargain shop. Keep it plain, keep it light colored. Get green dye from craft shop, follow steps from the coat for dying. Taa daa, vest is done!
Tie and Button Up Shirt: Honestly, its night, it doesn’t need to be perfect. I got a light blue shirt with a grey design throughout. Found it on a rack and got it. The tie, yellow with a crappy 80’s style design works well.
The Pants: I could not find pinstripe anywhere, even looked at woman’s stuff. No deal. So I just bought a pair of regular grey dress pants and dyed them a lighter purple following the steps stated above.
The blazer: I did not wear a blazer, but look around a bargain shop, tons there.
The Shoes: Woman do pay attention to shoes, lol. Don’t understand why, but they do. Go get a pair of cheap black or dark brown loafers.
That’s it for clothes. It can be as cheap as $50 or as expensive as $250, your choice. Word of advice, wash anything from a bargain bin, lol.
Now for the Joker face. Like I said before, I do not have long hair so a wig was a must. Lets just say the choice was limited. And again, all make-up and scars was done with no help. Here’s how…
The Wig: Prep this before you do final make up! I got this BROWN long hippie wig that came to my waist, lol. Obviously, it needed a trim. Now this isn’t as easy as it sounds, nor is trying to mold a wig to a shape you want. After cutting it, put handful’s of gel in it. Cheap gel, you will go through lots while trying to shape it. Gel also gives it the greasy look! At any Dollar store you can get spray hair dye for Halloween. Get the bright green. its important its bright. Once sprayed in and more gel is mixed in it will dull out. Trust me.
So now for the make up. I advise doing a test run, alone, a couple days before. Gives you the experience and needed trial and error. I also mention alone because you might end up giving the old lady a heart attack as she is bringing in the groceries and sees this painted maniac asking if she remembered the KD, lol. I will do this in the steps I took.
Step 1: Apply Scars. This will take a min to explain. One of the hardest things about this costume is trying to find fake skin. I found this stuff called Creepy Skin at a Halloween shop. It’s not the greatest but with a lil patience it worked. It is sticky and stringy. Also you will need Spirit Gum. That you can find anywhere. Get a butter knife and some soap or Vaseline.
How to do it: Generously apply spirit gum along the path you want the scars to go on your cheeks. Use a lot. Give it one minute to start to get sticky. Start plucking out your fake skin and spreading it along the gum path. Don’t be meticulous at this point. Just spread it generally. Use more spirit gum around the edges. That butter knife I mentioned, and Vaseline, it’s time for that now. Coat the knife in Vaseline, this stops the knife from sticking to the ‘scars’. Use it to flatten the edges and fine tune the shape of your scars. Apply another generous portion of gum over everything! While it is drying, use the butter knife to then create the crevices in the middle of the scars. Make it look real. By clumping the fake skin, you can create deeper crevices. Let sit, add another layer of spirit gum. Done!
Next is make up. You need either red lipstick or red paint. Black paint, and white paint. If you can find a powdered white that is the best. I couldn’t, but managed. You should also get some sponges and rip into small pieces and a fine paint brush.
Apply the white first. All over face and neck except for scars and eyes. Leave it thick for now. Second, the eyes. Use black paint in ovals on both eyes.
Now its time to blend. Use the ripped sponges to smear and dab and all that to blend everything in and give it the ‘worn’ look you want. Using the brush, paint squiggly black lines away from eyes. Again, use sponges to smear.
All that is left is the scars. Using the red, cover the scars completely and a wide base around lips. Use sponges to smear in and meld. Next mix black and red, creating a very dark red. Using the paintbrush, delicately fill in crevices. This gives them depth.
Do face, put on clothes, then wig, touch up, in that order. It will save you frustration, trust me.
Total cost: anywhere between $60 – $300. Up to you.
Hope my explanation was detailed enough and you find it helpful. This is what I did through trial and error. I suggest you do the same. If it doesn’t work out for you, “Why so serious?”… there is always next year.