Bipolar Swan Costume

The inspiration for this costume was not really the movie Black Swan, but rather the protagonist of my first book. She has a White Swan Black Swan personality that will be conflicting her decisions through the story.

I had a really fun time making this costume. This is not a costume you can whip up overnight though. I had to do spray painting and that takes a while to dry. The easiest part was sewing on the pearls and spikes. The hardest part was getting the thing to fit. I made a mistake when I sewed the fabric onto the leotard; the leotard stretches but that lace does not. Have someone pin the fabric on while you’re wearing it.


To make this costume:

  • One white leotard
  • One white tutu
  • White pair of wings
  • Glue gun with glue sticks
  • Ruler
  • Paint tape
  • Needle and white thread
  • Black fabric spray paint
  • Plastic wrap/alluminum foil
  • X-acto knife
  • Long black and white feathers
  • Fluffy black and white feathers
  • Flesh tone paint and paintbrush

Optional: It’s up to you whether you decide to sew fabric over the tutu and leotard. For decorating the leotard, I used spikes and pearls but you can use your imagination to try something new.


Draw line in middle of leotard and tutu

Divide the garments in half with the ruler and use the paint tape to protect the white side. Don’t just tape over the fabric, but tape around it as well so the black doesn’t leak through.

Save tape from the tutu by using plastic wrap or foil to cover it. Close those ends off with the tape.

Paint it black

For the wings, you don’t need to draw a line. However, you need to tape a plastic bag over the white side to protect it.

Spray the black parts. Be careful while using the fabric paint, as it is permanent. Try not to get any on yourself. Cover every untaped space with black. This may take up to three cans. Let them dry.

Paint the straps

To get a strapless look, take some paint the color of your skin and paint the straps of the leotard. Be careful not to get paint where it doesn’t belong.

Optional: Lace it up

This has to be the most diffucult step in the process. Take the black and white laces you bought and sew them onto their destined sides.

Have someone pin the fabric on you while you’re wearing the leotard. Lace doesn’t stretch!

If you did however make the same mistake that I did, cut a line down the back for a larger opening.

Use a needle on the machine that can withstand thick fabrics.

You may also glue the remaining fabric you have on the tutu.

Optional: Lace it up


With the hot glue gun, glue the long feathers against the tutu, covering the whole half. Take fluffier feathers and glue those on top to have a full feathered look.

Note: You’ll probably have to practice putting the tutu on after without anything falling off.

If the black wing looks a little ick on the top, glue fluffy feathers to it.

For the leotard, I put feathers on the top only. If you want to put them somewhere else, that’s fine.


Pearls and Spikes

If you plan to sew on any beads, have thread of the matching color. Simply sew the beads into the bust. If you want to use spikes, you’ll need an x-acto knife. Spikes work like tools; theres a screw where you wind the spike over.

You should be done! Pair your costume with tights, slippers, a hair clip and swan makeup.

Pearls and Spikes

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