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Step-by-Step Homemade Dead Ballerina Costume

This Homemade Dead Ballerina costume idea came from me being a dancer for a ballet company and on competition dance teams. This costume can be changed into a performance ballerina or a warm up practice ballerina. If you decide to be a performance ballerina you can wear a big tutu, a tiara and sparkly clothes if wanted. If you decide to be a practice ballerina as if you were in class you can wear warm up wear like leg and arm warmers have your hair more simple and have a simpler tutu.

When I came up with this costume idea I was a practice ballerina. I wore socks as legwarmers and a long sleeve t-shirt as arm warmers. The only thing bad about this costume is that it isn’t the warmest!  It was very cold when we performed so as soon as we were done we came and got warm inside our studio. So if you plan to be outside and it’s cold then this is not the best costume because your legs are some what  bare and you usually have short sleeves on but you can wear long sleeves (your preference).

I used this costume as my costume for a team performance flash mob! We all got to act like a different character or themed zombie. Our dance was to “Thriller” and we performed it at two Halloween festivals. It was AMAZING! (Just saying).

Hope you have a fun and spooky time with this costume! Enjoy!




1st you need to find the base for your entire costume. I chose a leotard with a mesh top, a long sleeve black t-shirt, made my own tool skirt/tutu (instructions to follow), black tights, gray knee high socks, a hair ribbon, and last but not least a pair of old my old ballet pointe shoes!

You can use any type of Leo of even a long tight shirt that you can tuck in will do.


T-Shirt(long sleeve)

This can be of any material and is not necessarily needed if you do not want to use it.



You can buy one off line (might be more expensive) or you can buy a thick width elastic waistband and a couple spools of tool and make your own.



You can use a pair of dance tights which are thicker than nylons, leggings, or nylons



You can use a pair of socks or legwarmers or nothing at all around your ankles.


Hair Ribbon

You can just use any type of material that you would like for this.



You can use any type of flat ballet looking shoes, a pair of those ballet looking slippers, real ballet slippers as above you can use a pair of old toe shoes.



This is the main part of the costume you can choose as stated before to do a practice /warm-up ballerina tutu as if you were in class or you can do a performance ballerina tutu. I would use a picture of some kind to show as a guide if making your own or if you want to buy one that’s fine to.

How to make your own tutu:

  • Step 1: measure yourself around the area that you want your tutu to lay (make sure you are relaxed and not sucking it in!), then cut the elastic band about 1-2 inches shorter than that measurement.
  • Step 2: cut your all of the tool into ruff pieces in the length (plus ¾ “extra for sewing) that you want it to be. Then (you can either sew by hand or machine) stretch the elastic band out in little parts at a time as your working to sew on the pieces of tool overlapping them slightly. You can also sew on multiple layers (1 at a time) either making the bottom layers shorter to make the skirt poof out or doing them in long same length layers to make a romantic tutu style. To do this, sew on the first layer then right over top of that one sew the next layer. The way I did it was just 3 layers the bottom being the longest and the top the shortest I also used 2 different colors. Once you have all you layers overlap the 2 ends of elastic slightly and sew them together. You can also use Velcro, tacks, or clips to secure the two sides together if doing this make sure to overlap the elastic at least 1 ½ “.

How to ruin your costume

Cutting Holes:

Start with small holes in appropriate places less is always more believe me! You can start with a small hole then dry the costume and it might fray. Also you can crease the material and cut jaggedly to make it look ripped.

Staining your costume:

You will need to rub it in grass, dirt coffee, mud, and anything that will stain it into a nasty color. I used black, gray and brown so mine just discolored a little but if you use lighter colors you will need to do this for sure to make it look ugly. Also if you use dark colors combine some bleach and water and rub it in sparingly, let it set or dry then it will look weathered.

Warning: never dry your clothes in the dryer if you have placed it in mud or coffee grounds it will stain and ruin your dryer.

Blood: (! use sparingly!)

Only place blood around the holes you have cut or ripped out. You can use fake blood red (not recommended) and black nail polish mixed together or red and black paint mixed together. I say red and black because red on its own is too bright. Now fake blood is not recommended because it is runny and doesn’t dry all that well if you use paint for the costume then just touch up with fake blood here and there you can move around without staining things.


Making it fun :( not that it isn’t fun already!)

This sounds crazy but go all out make a day out of it!

  • You can run over you costume with a bike, car, stomp on it or anything!
  • To make lots of small scattered AWESOME holes you can stand far away and shoot the costume with birdshot! (Crazy but it seriously looks awesome!!!!!!) Try with a test piece of material to make sure the birdshot doesn’t blow a big hole because you’re too close.
  • Have other people be zombies and ruin the costumes all together.
  • If you have time you can “be a real zombie” and bury your clothes for a day or too just to get in the mood.
  • Just be creative and have fun!




How to do your makeup

You can buy a makeup kit at any costume store or look up recipes on line to make your own makeup.

Step 1:

Start with a light white coat on all parts of your body that are not covered by your costume. Make sure to get in all the holes, around you ears and on your hands. Next do a light gray coat on all the white spots. Next do blackish gray around your eyes to make them look sunken in. make sure you blend things very well as you continue.

Step 2:

You can add scrapes, burns, scars, and any type of open wound. Go all out but don’t do too much just pick one focal point then just do minor scrapes here and there. To add these things you can use a kit you have bought, I used a fake tattoo on my back then added Elmer’s glue and to some toilet paper to make it thin then put it around the scare then added fake blood to that. I highly suggest having some pictures near to look at while doing your makeup.


  • If you have an open back you can add a long scape like someone took a knife or sharp claws down your back.(this is what I did)
  • You can make a small gunshot wound on your forehead
  • You can do a bite mark on your neck
  • You can also do an acid burn anywhere on your body
  • Since you’re a ballerina… I added fake eyelashes and sparkles, red/blacked cracked lips, and black earrings.

How to do your hair

You can do your hair any way you like


  • Place you hair in a ballet bun then start pulling out pieces then tease them.
  • Crimp your hair then tease it
  • If you get a bottle of dry shampoo and spray it into your hair it makes it look gray and worn out but it will not ruin your hair.
  • If you decide to be a performance ballerina then you can wear a small round top tiara.



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