If you want to get heads turning this Halloween, how about finding inspiration from these cool DIY Medusa costumes. The idea for this homemade costume came when I received something in the mail that was wrapped in a large piece of bubble wrap. It looked like snake skin and Medusa was born.
I don’t sew but I hot glue very well! I dry brushed the bubble wrap with metallic paint, cut the shapes I wanted and glued them to a black body suit. I pre-painted dollar store rubber snakes and glued them to the chest.
My 10 ft tail was non slip carpet padding stuffed with plastic bags. My “hair” was pipe insulation I melted to shape with a lighter, wired into a wig cap. I used the same method for the cobra head of my bow along with cut pieces of cardboard and ribbon.
I wore this for a non profit haunted woods attraction. At least a hundred kids and adults had their photo op with Medusa.
Contest Winning DIY Medusa Costume
After many searches for Halloween Medusa costumes on Google, I came across photos of Medusa. I didn’t realize there were so many options for Medusa! I decided to create my own costume instead of buying a commercialized costume that costs way too much for what you get.
My hat was made out of shaped copper wiring and felt hot glued to the wire to create a base. The snakes were created out of backer rod tube foam and tubular crinoline. I took 20 lb wiring and fed it down the tube foam to be able to shape the snake. I then took an Exacto knife to cut out the mouth and created the tongues out of thick red construction paper and the eyes were black beads. Once all was put together, I hot glued them to the hat base and spray painted it all black. I then added silver crinoline and intertwined it through the black snakes to emulate smaller snakes. The crown was created out of foam backing and gold table runner. I couldn’t find the fabric I liked that was thick enough to be shaped, so I found a table runner that was perfect. I cut out the shape needed and glued that to the foam backing. I then hot glued silver studs to the front to add contrast.
My body suit was created out of thin black thermal underwear, hand painted scales (used Grass Green, Metallic Green and white for highlighting). This was VERY time consuming and slightly difficult as I had to have the thermal underwear on to paint since the fabric stretches when wearing and wanted a realistic size scale. Yes, this was quite hilarious as I had paint all over my body when the suit was removed! Thank goodness for washable acrylic paint!
I then took two cheesecloths and dyed one green and one brown to drape across my shoulder for added coverage. That was held on by a black corset with hot glued silver studs down to front.
I added black gloves with long nails attached to them and outlined a skeleton look to the outside of the glove; added combat boots and toy shields to my hips for an added flare (found these at Dollar Tree).
My make up was created out of Halloween face paint and the eyes were reptile contacts to add that final touch.
This costume took approximately one month to create and during this time, my house was a true mess. My kitchen table was covered with snake material and hot glue and my living room was scattered with costume material. Yes, my husband was very happy to vacuum once my costume was finally complete! Hey, got to do what you got to do to get your husband to vacuum! haha.
When I went out, I got a ton of compliments and looks from people. They were so amazed at how elaborate my costume, said it was one of the best Medusa costumes they'd seen, and I had a lot of requests for pictures. I felt like a movie star and they were the paparazzi! I LOVED IT! I entered one contest and won $200 top prize. I entered another to win a big flat screen TV but couldn’t last all night in order to win that one. I was tired.
Cool DIY Medusa Costume
My inspiration for the Medusa costumes dress came to me when I was watching the cheesy 80’s movie Clash of the Titans. I had bought the dress from a yard sale earlier this summer.
The dress is actually an old wedding dress I found in a yard sale for $8.00, I then used eight cans of cheap green spray paint I bought at wal-mart, to paint the entire dress. I hand painted the front of the dress and added plastic snakes by gluing them onto the breast and then I sewed the snakes to safely secure them.
I then took black upholstery trim to outline the body shape to create the look of the belly of the snake. This will give yout the illusion that u are a lot more “shapely” and can deceive the eye and create a slimming look. My chest piece are latex glow in the dark worms that I picked up at a Halloween store. I painted my entire face and chest with a mixture of bright green and dark green body paint. I use the cheap stuff you can pick up at a drug store In tubes. I like it because it’s cheap and if you use good powders to seal the cheap face/body then it won’t crack or clump up.
I then created the scales effects on my face with highlights of green gold and black powder using fishnets. There are some great videos on YouTube that can show you some easy scale tricks.My head piece is made from a hulk wig with a forehead, rubber snakes, fake hair and LED lights – the dress also has LED lights w/ battery packs.
I just recently won first place at Wizard World Cosplay Costume contest in Louisville for best villain and I placed in 2nd place in two other Halloween Costume contest. I've also been told that this is one of the coolest Medusa costumes.
A Chic Named Bob Dresses As Medusa
I have to come right out and admit that I can’t take complete credit for this one. The design, styling, and sewing was all me, but the idea was from a little friend… literally.
I work at an elementary school and I’ve always enjoyed working with kids because there’s never a dull moment. I’m the adult that’s a little more informal- impromptu dancing, going down the slide, inside jokes, etc. Nicknames are also big. I’m known by many kids as “Bob.” (I’m female and my real name is Syreeta). When they write my name on drawings or cards, it says Bob. When they have a question, they call me Bob. When they ask of my whereabouts, they inquire about Bob. My boss and coworkers know this, some parents know this… I also answer to this. It started almost 3 years ago and there’s no use in shaking it now. “Bob the Builder” is my theme song and often sung by a small, casual children’s choir. Side note: I am the only adult there with a nickname.
But I wasn’t Bob the Builder for Halloween. (Almost, though!)
For elementary students, they’re a very intelligent bunch. One day, I wore my hair down and curly (I have locks so it looks especially coiled) and one kid took notice. He glances up and goes, “Bob, you look like Medusa.” The rest is history.
This was perfect! I’m a fashion designer and seamstress… I love Halloween (Last year, my friend and I went as Fred and Wilma Flintstone and I made both costumes), I specialize in custom garment design. This had to happen. Not to mention, I’m not the girliest of girls; I love a little grunge and edge. Medusa was just perfectly perfect.
As for design, I like being relatively comfortable (and warm in October) balanced with femininity. Medusa is often depicted as just a head, so I had a bit of freedom with the garments. I went through what I had on hand (budget!) and chose a spandex that was black with a gold sparkle. A maxi skirt with a little drape for Greek reference, a turtleneck because I love them, and arm sleeves for good measure. The sleeves are attached to two drapes that cross over top of the crop top and are removable.
Since I’m an independent designer, it was important that I could break this look down and still use it as wearable garments- a costume that could have more longevity. I grabbed the brooch from a local thrift store, along with the cuff. The cuff was originally silver so it was blasted gold along with some rubber snakes.
Ironically, the snakes were the most difficult part. I left them for last, thinking they’d be an easy find, but wound up driving around for 4ish hours to 8 or so stores before I found them. I passed a pet store in the midst of this and joked that I could have found real snakes before the fake ones.
My head piece was a cheap beauty supply store necklace (win!). As I worked, I dropped hints on snapchat and twitter since this was such a fun project!
My hair was curled and pinned up and around my gold snakes, a little makeup was added, and Medusa was alive! I wore her from the neck up to the school’s Halloween parade and it was a hit. (I credited my student each time, of course). Parents down to some 1st graders would run off shouting that they weren’t allowed to look into my eyes. This continued to Saturday night when I wore the entire costume out. This was mixed with compliments on my hair to inquiries on if I made the clothing.
Overall, Medusa was a monstrous success and people said it was one of the best Medusa costumes they'd seen! And... people wonder why I love working with kids. The fun never ends!
Like most sewing projects, I began this one late at night so I decided to do the easier part first. It all began with draping the skirt and the fabric went straight to the dress form. I added a bit of ruching to the front and kept the back clean because I was working with little fabric to spare.
I love sets so I knew I wanted to make a skirt and top (I tried to come up with an idea for pants because I’m definitely a pants girl, but I bit the bullet and made it a maxi skirt). The skirt was designed to be high-waisted to balance out the crop top and for a more flattering silhouette.
The crop top came next. Fabric began running low after this but I played with the idea of a criss-cross drape. This is when I decided to add them to the arm sleeves instead. This would not only hold the criss-cross down over my shoulder, but also add for a great removable dynamic! You can also see what it looks like without them in my mirror selfie (haha) as I try it on! The final asymmetrical skirt drape came at the very end. I had just enough fabric left once I finished the sleeves. I absolutely love that this is still something I can wear or put in a photoshoot after Halloween winds down!
As soon as I wrapped up the sewing and found those snakes, they received a coat of spray paint before being wound into my curls. I actually thought I would run into some challenges getting them to stay in but bobby pins did the trick, even if it meant using a trillion of them. Ironically, all portions of this project that I assumed would be easy were a bit harder and vice versa. Typical sewing… but always with a rewarding outcome!
Check out more of my work on Instagram @SyreetaCFashion.
More Medusa Costumes
Take a look at all the Medusa costumes on the site.