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How to Make a Poison Ivy Costume
Stand Out From the Crowd With a DIY Costume
I know a lot of people don't want to make a costume and would rather buy it. I, on the other hand, dislike buying costumes. They are very expensive and the quality is horrible.
Also, wouldn't it be disappointing to buy a costume and then run into someone else wearing the exact same thing? The way I see it is: Why not make an easy costume and go out there and have people look at you, wondering where you got that or how you did it?
I designed this Poison Ivy costume to my liking, and it is one of the easiest costumes to make!
In this article you will find:
- Materials for a surprisingly easy Poison Ivy Costume
- Notes on materials
- Step-by-step instructions for putting it all together
Materials for a Surprisingly Easy Poison Ivy Costume
• Artificial ivy leaves
• Spirit gum (optional if you want to apply eyebrows)
• Glue gun with glue sticks
• Wig cap
Watch How to Put These Materials Together
Notes on Materials
The Corset and Bottom
It may be surprising, but even though Poison Ivy's costume looks like a one-piece, 90 percent of the time it isn't. Instead, you will want to buy a corset for the top and a bikini bottom.
There are several positives for this. A corset is stiff, unlike a leotard, so it's easier to cover with leaves (because it won't stretch and spread out the fabric) and more form-flattering. Also, using the restroom in a two-piece is infinitely easier.
"Tesa" is the corset I purchased for my costume. Every piece needed for the costume will be listed here—if you need a different size, you can select it on Amazon's page.
As for the bottom, it will stretch, so you need to choose a color that won't be distracting if the fabric is visible between the leaves. I'd recommend either black or a green that's similar to the color of leaves you will be using.
These are my favorite. They come in a darker green which is nice. The color doesn't really matter because you'll be covering them with leaves, but it is still nice to get the option to choose from.
Once you click on the link, it will give you the option for different sizes and colors.
These microfiber tights come in about three different choices of green. It is really your preference on which green to use. I went a little lighter because if you look at Poison Ivy pictures, her legs are usually a lighter shade of green than her body.
Artificial Ivy leaves
These are very, very important. The wrong leaves can change the whole look of the costume. Also, you need a lot of these because you will be using them to cover the entire corset, bottoms, boots, and headband. Don't forget a few extra to stick onto your body if you choose to.
If you choose to buy the leaves below, you will need two.
If you don't already have long red hair, you'll need a wig to complete your look. What type of wig is up to you, as Poison Ivy has had many different looks over the years. I preferred the wavy long hair, but that is just me. Choose one that works for you, but you should definitely get a wig cap—it will keep your hair contained so that the wig can go smoothly on top.
The Eyebrows (Optional)
Uma Thurman's Poison Ivy look featured ivy eyebrows. They look fabulous with the costume.
You don't have to do them. It is totally optional. I wanted to do it, but didn't have time to make the eyebrows, and didn't want to buy it, so I just got cream makeup and drew it on. Warning: It was itchy at times, and because I couldn't scratch the makeup, it kind of sucked.
If you do go for the eyebrows, you will need a few ivy leaves to cut and glue using spirit gum. Thurman uses both red and green ivy at different points in the movie, so you can opt for either.
Spirit gum is awesome. If you aren't familiar with it, it is a glue you can use to stick things to your body and it stays on as good as crazy glue (which you wouldn't put on your body of course). It comes with a special remover that you use to take it off.
If you choose to apply eyebrows or to stick the leaves on your arms, etc., spirit gum is what you need. If you use anything else, you will likely be falling apart as your costume party or event wears on.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Putting It All Together
No sewing necessary!
- Carefully cut the ivy leaves off the stems.
- Lay the corset out and begin hot gluing the leaves to the corset one at a time. If you have a dress form, fit the corset on there and start gluing. It will make things much easier, but is not necessary. I started attaching the leaves from the upper edge (at the bust), then around to the back and worked my way down. You will layer the leaves so that none of the corset is showing. When you get around to the back (near the lacing), position the leaves so they fit and cover around the lacing holes.
- Lay out the bikini bottom and begin gluing the leaves on. With the bottom, I started at the edges and then covered the rest. Layer the leaves closely, so they will still cover most of the bottoms even when the bottom stretches as you're wearing it. The bottom will become stiff. You will have to wiggle into it, unless you're good with sewing and add a zip to the side. Otherwise, nothing wrong with wiggling! Nothing broke apart for me when I did it. Also, if you decide to stretch your bottom while gluing, it will be stuck at the stretch size, and you will have to take it in. So it's better not to do it that way unless you are fine with taking it in.
- There are different ways of doing the boots. You can just put some leaves at the top, leave them completely plain, or cover them up entirely, which I did. It's simple: Just glue the leaves on. There isn't a way to mess this up (unless you glue the zipper shut, which I hope you know is a no no).
- Okay, so you have done the corset, the bottoms, the boots. You're all set! Just put on your tights and wig, and there you go!
Body Leaves and Eyebrows
So if you did choose to go with the leaves on the body and/or the eyebrows, you will be needing to work with spirit gum. When you put the glue on your body, what you want to do is use your finger to apply the glue on the part of your body you are using. Pat it a few times, until it becomes tacky, Then apply the leaf, press it down, and smooth it flat. You want to hold it in place for about 30 seconds just to make sure the glue has set. Be careful when applying and removing spirit gum around your eyes.
Okay, it is my pet peeve when people wear wigs without wig caps and then their strands of hair start to peek out. It looks so sloppy. When putting on your wig, please use a wig cap! It makes the wig looks smoother, neater, and more believable. So please, don't go out looking like a hot mess!
There are so many variations of Poison Ivy's makeup as there are her costumes. Despite being not so original with her costume, I kept her original makeup look. I used a red eyeliner pencil and penciled in/colored my brows to match my wig, bright red lip stick, and a combination of red and yellow eyeshadow for my eyes. It was very basic.
If you want to use makeup to emphasize her botanical nature, another look is to use green eyeliner to draw some vines along the sides of your face. You can extend the lines along your body, too.
The headband is simply a hot gluing process that takes about five minutes to complete. What you want to do is glue the leaves around the headband first to cover it up. Then use one big leaf from the bunch and glue it in the middle. Alternate between small leaves and large leaves for the rest of the headband. Glue each leaf pointing upwards so that they resemble a crown.
Cape and Gloves
It was my decision to go without the cape and gloves. I didn't forget them, I just did not want them.
Put It All Together
If you have followed my directions, you now have a successful Poison Ivy costume that you can go show off and look fabulous in. Simple, wasn't it? Now you can walk around with the confidence knowing you made your costume instead of buying it like most of the people around you. Indulge in your success. You have earned it, my friend. :D