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Homemade Undead Zombie Costumes - Gruesome Halloween Fancy Dress for Adults

Updated on August 9, 2017

DIY Zombie Costumes & Gory Makeup Tutorials

Zombies are a costume theme that has become very popular over recent years, and it's really easy to make a costume yourself because basically all if really needs is shredded clothes and fake blood. It's also a suitable theme for men, women and children, although certainly tone down the blood and gore for the kiddies!

If you want to make something a bit more creative or impressive instead of the generic zombie costume, or you really want to go to town with special effects makeup, you've come to the right place. I've listed how-tos for putting together an outfit from scratch, plus tips and ideas for alternative themes. There are also loads of suggestions for the best products and props too, and video lessons in achieving the most realistic gore!

I hope you find this page fun and useful :)

Mass Zombie Walks - Shock Your Neighborhood!

Zombie walks are where a large group of people meet up in central public places and walk through the streets dressed as zombies and acting like zombies. Zombies should keep in character at all times…you could describe the events as a piece of performance art in fact!

These walks have gained popularity in recent years (the first one was in year 2000), and the record for the most people attending a single event is currently 30,000! A spate of zombie themed movies in the last few years has also led to a rise in popularity of the walks.

The great thing about the walks, apart from the fun and silly element, is that most raise money for charity, raise awareness of world hunger issues and/or collect canned foods too.

World Zombie day is usually October 14th. If you want to take part yourself, have a look online for any forums/message boards/websites about events in your local area.


Please note that this page contains lots of BLOOD and please do not scroll down if you are squeamish or have just eaten, thanks :)

Zombie Girl

Complete with staring eyes and scary contact lenses!
Complete with staring eyes and scary contact lenses! | Source

Realistic Blood & Wounds

Zombie fancy dress requires a whole load of fake blood, and buying latex scars means that you don't need to make them from scratch, and it lets you build up your makeup much quicker.

Rubie's Costume Reel F/X Chomped Bite Wound Kit
Rubie's Costume Reel F/X Chomped Bite Wound Kit

If you want to freak people out, you need some realistic gore, and this latex scar will do the trick! Made to look like a bloody bite wound, it looks great on the neck, and is perfect for a freshly-made zombie. The packet also includes the adhesive and a solution to help you remove the scar from the skin after use.


Costume Advice, Tips & Ideas

Zombie costumes rely heavily on make-up and fake blood, but the basis of the costume is really easy. All you need to do is take regular cheap clothes and rip, shred, tear and dirty them up to make it look like you've been attacked (lots of fun!) And then you can add splatters of blood - I particularly like a bloody handprint! - and gross additions like fake intestines hanging from your t-shirt. Props are great too, such as fake plastic organs (especially brains). As a tip, it's best to go with a light colored outfit so the blood shows up well. Your mission is to gross people out.

- Masks mean that you don't have to put much time into the face makeup so is a good idea for last-minute plans. However, using special effects makeup like latex, you can create some impressive wounds, and even really simple things like tissue paper can create a brilliant/disgusting look for your skin.

- Your hair style should be as messy as possible, preferably with a head wound included.

- With regards to kids - I definitely wouldn't go down the gory route with their costumes and would only use a little fake blood, if any. With kids, getting them to act the part is more important for their entertainment, so paint their face white, give them ragged clothes and get them to stagger about with their arms out in front of them - easy! If you are going as a zombie yourself, it's best not to go full-on with the gore if you know kids may be around, as it will give them nightmares.

- When deciding the theme of your costume, you can choose to go as a different character to the usual plain-clothed zombie idea if you prefer. I have seen amazing costumes for zombie clowns, Elvis, Audrey Hepburn, bishop, pirate and Disney princesses, and you can literally 'zombie-fy' anyone - from Winston Churchill to John Travolta, and from Elizabeth I to Jack Sparrow. Just try not to do 'bad taste' if you're choosing an actual dead person.

- General themes can be things like tourist zombies, surfer zombies, golfer zombies, bride zombies, ballerina zombies, cheerleader zombies, jock zombies, punk zombies, old-fashioned film star zombies, gangster zombies, superhero zombies, fairytale zombies etc. or people from a certain job (businessmen, mechanics or lumberjacks). Michael Jackson from the 'Thriller' video is a popular choice as an alternative zombie - you just need a black curly wig, a red and black jacket, and yellow contact lenses.

- Zombie films that you can choose characters from include Dawn of the Dead, Walking Dead, Zombie Land, 28 Days Later or, my favourite, Shaun of the Dead.

Undead Clown


Zombie DIY Nails & Costumes

Smurf Zombies

Taking famous characters and turning them into zombies is a brilliant idea!
Taking famous characters and turning them into zombies is a brilliant idea! | Source

Rotten Tooth Paint

Teeth Paint -Zombie Rot
Teeth Paint -Zombie Rot

The extra detail of rotting teeth will just add to the overall ugly effect of your costume.

The paint is non toxic and dries quickly onto your teeth, yet cleans off easily when you want to remove it.


Zombie Face Painting & Simple Makeup Lessons

Special Effects & Super Gory Makeup Tutorials

Zombie Makeup


Zombies...yay or nay?

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