Last Updated on January 18, 2023 by Kimberlee Johnson
The dead are honored on Mexico’s Day of the Dead, a national festival commemorating their lives even after death.
It’s a time to remember and honor our loved ones and a great opportunity to show off our creativity by making our costumes.
If you’re looking for homemade Day of the Dead costume ideas, you’ve landed at the right place.
So, get ready to get creative, and let’s get started.
8 Handcrafted Costume Ideas For The Day Of The Dead
1. Skeleton Bride
Skeleton bride costumes are easy to create with basic materials and a few fun accessories.
You will need a white or black long-sleeved shirt and pants to start. Black fabric paint is then used to draw on the skeleton features such as rib cages and bones.
To complete the look, you can add accessories such as a veil, a bouquet of skeleton flowers, and a skeletal mask.
Add a white or black lace dress or skirt to make it more authentic.
And if you want to make it even more eye-catching, you can add colorful skulls, glitter, and tulle to your ensemble.
2. Sugar Skull Warrior
You can easily make the sugar skull warrior costume with only a few inexpensive items. To recreate the look of a Sugar Skull Warrior:
- Start by painting a white face mask with dark purple, pink, and black paint.
- Once the paint has dried, add details to the mask with black glitter and colorful gems.
- For the rest of the costume, pair a black long-sleeved shirt and pants with a white sash and a purple cape.
- Accessorize with a sparkly silver and purple headband, silver jewelry , and plenty of colorful, sparkly face paint.
- Finish your look with a pair of black boots and a large feathered headdress.
Check out some cute little pumpkin baby shower ideas for the autumn season here.
3. Rainbow Calavera
This costume combines the traditional Mexican holiday of Dia de Los Muertos with a splash of vibrant colors.
To start, you will need to purchase a white Calavera mask, colorful face paint, and a variety of colorful fabric scraps. Begin by painting your mask with face paint in various colors.
“How people die remains in the memory of those who live on.”– Dame Cicely Saunders, English Nurse
Once the mask is dry, attach the fabric scraps with hot glue. You can create a colorful border around the edge of the mask or add unique designs, such as flowers.
Finish the look with a colorful dress and a pair of festive shoes.
4. Dia de Los Muertos Catrina
The Dia de Los Muertos Catrina is an iconic symbol of Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebration.
Its bright and colorful costume can easily be constructed home with simple materials and a few work hours.
To make a Catrina costume, you’ll need a white face mask, gloves, a black dress, a colorful scarf, and a pair of large paper mache skulls.
Then follow these steps to have the best Dia de Los Muertos Catrina costume:
- Paint the face mask and gloves white, and decorate the skulls with vibrant colors and patterns.
- Take the black dress and wrap the colorful scarf around the waist to create a skirt. Paint the skulls to match the scarf, then attach them to the dress with safety pins.
- Put on the face mask, gloves, and dress, and you’re ready to go.
5. Aztec Warrior
To make the Aztec warrior costume, start with an off-white or light brown tunic and use fabric paints or markers to draw intricate Aztec warrior designs on the fabric.
Next, add a feathered headdress and a pair of sandals. Use brown and black fabric to make a belt and arm cuffs. Use a long cloth or rope to make a sash for the waist.
Finally, accessorize with jewelry and a shield. To complete the look, use face paints or makeup to make a traditional Aztec warrior face.
Use gold, black, and brown face paints and draw a tribal pattern around the eyes, nose, and mouth.
6. Marigold Angel
As marigolds are traditionally used to decorate shrines of the dead, dressing up as a marigold angel is a beautiful way to pay homage to the Day of the Dead.
To create the look and costume, you must have a long white  dress, a colorful headpiece made of marigolds, and a pair of wings.
The dress can be found at any thrift store or costume shop, and the headpiece and wings can be crafted with fake marigolds and cardboard.
Add some face paint and colorful accessories like feathers, jewelry, and a sash to complete the look.
7. Skeleton Mariachi
Skeleton Mariachi is an excellent choice as it is easy to assemble with a few basic items, such as black pants and a white shirt.
A sombrero and a black bow tie will complete the look. For the skeleton effect, you can use black face paint to create the skull shape and white paint to accentuate the facial features.
To accessorize the look, consider adding a guitar and a mariachi hat for a more authentic costume.
Of course, we cannot forget one of the greatest costumes that most people wear during Halloween or the Day of the dead, the luchador.
To make the costume, you will need a few basic materials, including spandex fabric, scissors, glue, and a needle and thread.
Start by cutting the spandex into the shape of a bodysuit and then sew the pieces together.
Glue on any embellishments you would like and attach straps to the back of the bodysuit to make it easier to put on and take off.
Finally, make the mask. You can find plenty of tutorials online to help you make a luchador mask.
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What color do you typically wear for the Day of the Dead?
People typically wear bright colors, such as red, yellow, and orange, representing marigolds, to celebrate the Day of the Dead.
Marigolds are often seen as a prominent color during the Day of the Dead festivities, representing the cycle of life and death.
What is the most inappropriate Day of the Dead costume?
Wearing a costume that mocks or trivializes the Day of the Dead is highly inappropriate and disrespectful.
Some examples are those that portray negative stereotypes of Mexican culture or make light of the holiday’s traditions.
Don’t be scared to get creative with your costume this Day of the Dead.
Whether you’re in the mood for something scary or sweet, you may find lots of handmade costume inspiration to get you into the holiday spirit.
With just a few easy and inexpensive supplies, you can create a unique and memorable costume that everyone will love.
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