Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Poison Ivy Halloween Costume

I love any excuse to get crafty and dress up, so it goes without saying that Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. Every year I spend the entire month of October working on my costume, because it feels incredibly dull to buy something pre-packaged. Last year I went as a Splicer from Bioshock and painstakingly made a bloodied masquerade rabbit mask. All things considered, that was a relatively cheap costume. This year, I went a bit more extravagant.

I've wanted to make a Poison Ivy costume for a long time -- she's my favorite villain, after all. However, I've put it off because I wasn't entirely satisfied with my body and didn't think I'd be able to pull it off. After losing 30 pounds, I decided I may as well finally go for it. (Though truth be told, I'm still not entirely satisfied with how I look in it. Oh well, we'll stick to the positives today.)

I didn't have a specific version of Poison Ivy in mind when I started fleshing out the costume. One of the cool things about her character is that the costume is pretty open to interpretation while still being easily recognizable. I knew I really liked the way Kim Kardashian wore it, so my silhouette was heavily inspired by her. I also knew I wanted to add a dash of my own personality, so I decided to go with a burlesque/showgirl inspiration for the details... which of course, meant lots of glitter. 

The skirt portion, admittedly, was thrown together rather quickly. I realized I didn't have the time I needed to make exactly what I had pictured, but I suppose it will do for Halloween purposes.

I would like to wear this costume to a convention at some point though, in which case I will definitely revise the skirt. I think a green bustle skirt in the same kind of fabric paired with a garter belt would look really interesting and add to the burlesque inspiration of the costume. And of course, more leaves!

The pieces that required the most work were the corset and the eye masks.

For the corset, I bought two branches of faux leaves, snipped them off into individual pieces and then used glitter spray paint on them. After they had dried, I hand sewed every single one onto the corset, taking extra special care with placement and to try to keep the colors contrasting against each other as much as I could. I've seen a lot of versions online where the leaves look plastered onto a body suit, and I wanted to avoid that as much as possible and allow for a more organic look.

I practically had a heart attack the first time I sat down with needle in hand ready to attach the first leaf to my brand-new $110 corset. Everything went much better than expected though, and I'm actually extremely satisfied with how that portion of the costume turned out.

For the eye masks, I followed this tutorial via The Deadly Garden. I had initially intended to attach them using spirit gum, but upon considering the possible (and likely) consequences that would have on my eyebrows I decided that eyelash glue would be a safer bet.

Total, I'm estimating that the costume cost me about $250 to complete. Though a large chunk of that was just the corset. The wig is this one from Gothic Lolita Wigs. It was actually my second choice wig, but I like the vintage feel of the one I ended up with a well. I also want to mention that I highly recommend Gothic Lolita Wigs -- this is the third wig I've ordered from them and they always have great service and insanely fast shipping. I got this one in two days!

If there is one thing I've learned from going all-in for Halloween this year, it's that as stressful as it can be sometimes I really love making costumes and I'd like to start being crafty all-year. I'm a cosplay admirer, but rarely ever actually participate outside of Halloween. I've been throwing around the idea of making a Qarth costume for Daenerys from Game of Thrones since I saw the perfect fabric at the store while shopping for this one!

What were you for Halloween this year? Have you ever made your own Halloween costume? Tell me in the comments!

This post was created as a submission for the IFB Project #70: Halloween Costume Challenge. Please take a look and give your support to the other entries! 


  1. I found your blog from the IFB Halloween Costume Challenge, and I just have to say I LOVE your DIY Poison Ivy costume! She's one of my favorite villains (as Batman is my favorite superhero) :) Good luck with the contest! I posted a Minnie Mouse costume. :)

    <3, Nina


    1. Thanks, I'm really glad you liked it! Batman is my favorite super hero too :)

      PS. I followed you on Bloglovin', I'm always on the look out for fellow fashion bloggers with a nerdy streak.

  2. Whoa girl! You look HOT! If this is your version of nerdy, I'm all kinds of embarrassed - I was Yoda. Costume from the infant section, check! ;)

    Samantha @ Sam ipsa loquitur

  3. You have a nice costume here and you look absolutely pretty..:)


  4. Hi, your version of the Poison Ivy costume is incredible!!!
    Im currently in the process of making my own costume and was wondering if it were possible for you to upload your eye mask template because i cant seem to get the link that you provided to work and the jpeg files wont load :(
    It would be a great help and you would be a lifesaver!!
    Your costume is one of the best i have seen! Excellent job!
    Thank you for your time :) Maria


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