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Turn a Prom Dress into a Halloween Costume

Updated on September 15, 2016

Prom Dresses Make Great Halloween or Fancy Dress Costumes

Don't let that prom dress, bridesmaid dress or cocktail dress languish in the back of the closet. Pull it out and use it as the base for a fabulous, unique Halloween costume.

Depending on the style of the dress, you have a variety of costumes you can create. I'll get your imagination started with some prom dress Halloween costume ideas here.

All you need are a few props and the prom dress or bridesmaid dress and you are off to the Halloween party or the fancy dress ball. Have a great time.

(Photo shows me in a bridesmaid dress turned into Little Bo Peep and a friend in a wedding gown turned into Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz)

First Step - Take a Look at the Style of Your Prom Dress or Bridesmaid Dress

Is it more traditional or more modern?

Check the categories below for ideas to work with each style of dress. You can even get out the wedding dress for some costumes (if you don't think it would be disrespectful). If you are divorced, then you may no longer have sentimental attachments to the expensive dress going to waste in storage.

Graphic Credit: from Zazzle, Fashion / Seamstress Card

What Style of Dress Do You Have?

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Vote in the poll

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How to Makeup Like a Beauty Queen

Make a Sash for Your Beauty Queen Costume

Buy extra-wide white ribbon at a discount store. Add press-on letters (look in the scrapbooking supply section of Wal-Mart) to make the sash say whatever you want. Why not be Miss Universe or Miss America? You can camp it up and put your local town name on it or a humorous one like "Peach Harvest Queen."

20 Inches Rose Wedding Bouquet
20 Inches Rose Wedding Bouquet

You can put together an armload of silk roses for Miss America to carry or buy a bouquet like this. Hold it draped in her arm, not held in front like a bride.

 

Humorous Scarlett O'Hara Costume

Source

Scarlett O'Hara Costume from a Prom Dress or Bridesmaid Dress

You can go campy like this (Scarlett made a ball gown after the war from some green velvet curtains) or more traditional southern belle. Usually the skirt would be quite full, rather than form-fitting like this sketch.

Graphic Credit:


Curtains-Poster from Zazzle by 3coolechix

Arrange Your Hair Like Scarlett O'Hara - Video Tutorial

Make a Zombie Bride Costume from a Wedding Gown or Prom Dress

Check for an inexpensive or shabby wedding gown at Goodwill to repurpose for this costume, as you probably won't want to distress your own wedding gown for it. Get some make-up and gory looking accessories.

Check out the videos which give some tips for a great corpse bride look. Don't forget the dead flowers for a bridal bouquet. You could get some plastic flowers at the dollar store and spray paint them black.

Odd Colored Contact Lenses for the Corpse Bride Costume

American DJ Z-CL100 Color Lenses Pack for PAR 36 Pinspot Green 4-Pack
American DJ Z-CL100 Color Lenses Pack for PAR 36 Pinspot Green 4-Pack

Wouldn't purple or pink or green eyes really give you a great zombie look!

 

Video Tutorials for a Corpse Bride or a Zombie Bride

Tips from the videos: use a sheer curtain or a lace curtain for the veil. You can probably find some lace curtains fairly cheaply at Goodwill.

Strange contact lenses can help give the properly dead look to the wearer. Be sure not to wear these for too long each time. You don't want to hurt your eyes just for a costume.

Watch the movie, Bride of Frankenstein, so you'll know the moves to go with the wig shown above and the make-up demonstrated in the video tutorial.

Transform Yourself with Makeup into the Monster's Bride (tutorial)

Chose a Character to Go with a Full-Skirted Prom Dress or Bridesmaid Dress - Angel, Fairy, Butterfly, or Bride of Frankenstein

The suggestions below work well with a white or pastel dress or one that has ruffles.

To carry through on the fairy theme, make a wand with a painted dowel and attach a dollar store butterfly and some ribbons.

Add Wings to Become a Fairy

Fairy Chiffon Wings
Fairy Chiffon Wings

For a fairy, you'll need fairy wings and a fairy wand. This look works well with the sweet bridesmaid dress that you have.

 

Look in Children's Storybooks or Online for Pictures of Fairies

Graphic from an out-of-copyright book.  Lots of children's stories have fairies and good illustrations to give you ideas to make your own costume.
Graphic from an out-of-copyright book. Lots of children's stories have fairies and good illustrations to give you ideas to make your own costume. | Source
Good Fairy Crown 54209
Good Fairy Crown 54209

Here's the crown for the Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz. Talk your fellow into going as the Scarecrow or the TinMan.

 

Go for the Bond Girl Look - If Your Dress Is Modern

Remember all the glamorous women in the James Bond movies? Get your fellow to dress up as James Bond to complete your look.

You can get a temporary tattoo (click through to Amazon on one of these photos). How about an Asian dragon tattoo? Perhaps a mysterious tattoo will tip James Bond off to your affiliation with the bad guy. Maybe the tattoo is really a map to the secret headquarters for CRUSH.

A Temporary Dragon Tattoo for a Bond Girl Costume

Zokey Original Design Waterproof Temporary Tattoo Stickers Dragons Sexy Flower
Zokey Original Design Waterproof Temporary Tattoo Stickers Dragons Sexy Flower

Don't worry, it's not permanent. What an exotic look this gives you.

Get fancy with make-up and nails. The Bond women are drop dead glamorous.

 

Bond Girls over the Years - Choose One for Your Costume

Check out Holly Golightly's Style in This Opening Scene from the Movie

The Holly Golightly Look (Audrey Hepburn) - for a long, black prom dress

Check out the ways to get this look on the Audrey Hepburn Costume site. You'll want the long, black cigarette holder (you don't actually have to smoke it.)

You'll want the right hair style to finish the look. I've found a great video, featured below, to help you with this.

Don't forget the tiara. Check out the lovely gloves I'm featuring here for your costume. While you are at Amazon, take a look at the wigs, tiara and cigarette holder.


Any sleek black dress can serve as the base for this look.

Video Tutorial for Audrey Hepburn's French Twist Hair Style

Examples of Venetian Costumes (Video)

Don't Have a Prom Dress? Find a Bargain One on eBay

You can also check the local thrift shop or Goodwill store. If you are ripping it up for a zombie look or doing some alterations to the dress, look for damaged ones that you can get dirt cheap.

There are more costume ideas to be added, so check back to see what I come up with...

Have I Inspired You? - What's the look you are planning for Halloween with your prom or bridesmaid dress?

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    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 2 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I'd probably go with a fairy godmother costume with a prom dress from a thrift store. Prom days are long long gone. ;)

    • vetochemicals profile image

      Cindy 3 years ago from Pittsburgh Pa

      What a great way to reuse those old prom dresses! Love your ideas, especially the Bond Girl and Holly Go Lightly:) xoxo

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 3 years ago

      Definitely a zombie theme for this year ~ it seems to be all the rage! lol

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 3 years ago from Texas

      These are some great ideas. My prom dress is long gone. ha ha ha.

    • profile image

      MaggiePowell 3 years ago

      I've made some fantastic Bride of Frankenstein costumes out of prom dresses and an old wedding dress I found at a thrift store.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: Good idea! Not sure if it would work, but then again, I still have lots of fake blood around, so perhaps a combination ;)

      Incase you're curious, the dress is from Davids Bridal, style# F13185, in Truffle, the link wouldn't go, thinks its spam lol

      Thanks Vallain, and Happy Halloween!

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @anonymous: How would it look to add a beaded headband with some trailing feathers. Carry a tomahawk, wear mocassins and be Pocahantas?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      hrm, I have a one-shoulder floor-length jersey (except the shiny rouching around/on the bust) dress in a darker brown, without any slits etc... I was joking about chocolated-covered bridesmaids, but realistically we'd have to paint our skin which isn't a fun idea...

      I like your ideas, especially the bond-girls (zombies and dead-ppl are over-done these days)..

      Do you have any suggestions? I think my biggest hurdle is the colour :(

      Thanks!

    • Emma4u profile image

      Emma4u 4 years ago

      Good ideas. Love them all, thx

    • profile image

      johnsja 4 years ago

      What a fantastic idea! Very creative and a money saver.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      LOVED THE IDEAS - THANK YOU!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Unique idea for Halloween costumes. Very nice! :)

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 4 years ago from Royalton

      Great idea! So much better than to have those old prom dresses just disintegrating in the closet.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @evelynsaenz1: I agree. Even if you don't have one, you can find one cheaply at Goodwill.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @marigoldina: The alternate option is to buy a prom dress at a thrift store. If it's a little bedraggled to start, then it would be cheap and you wouldn't mind turning it into a zombie dress.

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 4 years ago

      Oooo, I wouldn't have the heart to ruin my prom dress for Halloween. Good ideas, though!

    • profile image

      mothersdayflowersmacon 5 years ago

      Nice, these prome dresses for Halloween are an awesome idea

    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 5 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      I'd love to be a zombie princess for Halloween. Good ideas for those ugly old bridesmaid dresses.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      @anonymous: brilliant idea. You are very inventive.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      A Titanic Victim- prom dress with christmas icicles handing around neck and in hair. And an orange life vest with duct tape across the back with the "Property of Titanic" or just "Titanic"

    • AudioHead profile image

      AudioHead 5 years ago

      Great way to have FUN and reuse that dusty dress you may have sitting in the closet. Great idea..............Way to GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Monika Weise profile image

      Monika Weise 5 years ago from Indianapolis, IN USA

      Yes, you've inspired me!

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      I think being an overdone "bridezilla" might work. you'd have to have a little spiel to go with it, practicing to order people around. Maybe mascara tears down the cheeks?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have actually Turned a Prom Dress into a Halloween Costume before and an old wedding dress.

    • Showpup LM profile image

      Showpup LM 5 years ago

      I don't do Halloween but I do plan to wear my black cocktail dress with odd coonhunting accessories for a photo for my coonhound website just for fun so yes, you gave me some inspiration ideas on things I could add to mix elegant with redneck fashion to make a fun statement.

      Zombie bride would be an awesome idea to make use of a stained but otherwise nice wedding gown.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 5 years ago from Canada

      Great idea, repurposing a dress.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 5 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Great idea for a costume! I don't think mine will work though. I don't like big skirts so mine is more sleek and straight....will have to think on this.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      @Diane Cass: Thanks, Diane, I'm going to add that look. Great suggestion. Just have to figure it out. Would your friend like her photo featured here, by any chance?

    • Diane Cass profile image

      Diane Cass 5 years ago from New York

      Old fancy dresses are great starting points for great costumes. I gave an old wedding dress (not mine) to a friend and she turned it into a Zombie Bride. She sent me pictures. It was awesome!

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      Neat idea, indeed. I'm not a big Halloween fan but like this!

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 5 years ago from McLaughlin

      What a creative way to reuse, repurpose and create new things from old! Clever article!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 5 years ago

      There's never a bad day to wear a tiara. We have a sparkly Happy Birthday tiara that Mom wears at her birthday party every year but, this year, we're having a birthday Halloween party. She's going to be a very wise wizard. Great ideas for prom dress use.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 5 years ago from So Cal

      I can see squeezing this "mature" body into a Bond Girl outfit. Still, this was fun and maybe I can share my dresses with others for costumes.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 5 years ago

      I actually did do that one year.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Scarlett O'Hairy you say?! Can't wait to see that! ;o)

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