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How to Make Cheap Homemade Ghillie Suits – A Step By Step Guide

Updated on August 16, 2012

It is iconic to see snipers in ghillie suits lurking in the shadows or concealed in the bushes. Well, if you actually see them they’re not doing a good job. But still, camouflage is synonymous with this special unit. This special cloak can be traced back to game wardens in early Europe. Slowly, it found its way in military operations. Now, even the private individuals utilize this essential tool.

From sniper schools to airsoft and war games and simulations to recreational hunting, concealment is important. But you don’t have to buy expensive suits just to operate at 100%. In fact, you can make homemade ghillie suits minus the heavy toll on your pocket. Here are simple steps to make your own sniper or hunting suits.

Step 1. Lay the net over your jumpsuit

Jumpsuits are nice base for your homemade ghillie suits as this one-piece overall can be easy to put on or remove when finished. However, you can make a 2-piece ghillie suit if you don’t have a jumpsuit. Secure the net over your base using dental floss, fishing line or regular nylon string. Regular thread may easily break. You can add glue to the knots to make it even stronger. Shoe glue can be used for this purpose.

Quick tips:

  • Choose light materials for your base. It will become heavier with all the burlap and jute strips afterwards.
  • Recycle old jumpsuits, pants or jackets. It’s cheaper this way.
  • You can sew in pads for the knees and elbows for additional comfort and protection.

Have you tried making your own airsoft ghillie suit?

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A brief History of the ghillie suit

Step 2. Tie the jute strips

Next, you need to secure the jute sack strips or burlap strips onto the net. This can be time consuming so prepare your self for the long haul. There are commercially available jute and burlap strips for this purpose. They come in different colors depending on your terrain. In the spirit of doing everything from scrap, you can simply dye the strips yourself. Of course this is additional work but it’s worth the effort to get the right shade that you want.

Quick tips:

  • Use 3 to 4 colors dominant in the terrain.
  • The longer the strips the less natural your suit will looks. Vary the lengths for a more natural look.
  • Survey the terrain before you make your suit

Step 3. Comb your jute and burlap strips

Combing is done to fray the strips. This allows your homemade ghillie suits to look more natural. Just remember that it has to look random. So don’t attempt to evenly comb your suit.

Quick tips:

  • A regular comb is good enough, but you can use a steel brush just to give it a more roughed up look

Step 4. Attach materials from your terrain

The last and most important step is to choose materials from your terrain and attach them onto your suit. Choosing the right foliage, twigs and branches is important. You need to blend in and not standout. It’s more of an art than an exact science. Moreover, you need to observe the natural environment and mimic it.

Quick tips:

  • For hunting, you need to eliminate human scent. Dragging your suit on the ground or even over animal manure can be a good way to do this.
  • For airsoft or war games, you need to consider how the terrain looks like from different places as you may need to move around.

Of course you can buy one ready-made online or from sports stores. But where’s the fun in that? Making your own homemade ghillie suits provides a certain level of achievement. Coupled with the savings, making one yourself can be an exciting and fulfilling activity on a weekend.


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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      What are you waiting for Laika? Suit up and shoot. :)

    • profile image

      Laika 4 years ago

      This is neat. You're starting to make me really miss my airsoft buddies.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello flacoinohio,

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing. Yes, pix would be a good addition.

    • flacoinohio profile image

      flacoinohio 5 years ago from Ohio

      I have made a few ghillie suits in my time. Love the written steps, some pics would be awesome.