Halloween costume tutorial for Red Death from Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death

So, you wanna be Red Death do ya? Well here’s how I did it. About 2 hours in all while taking pictures and admiring myself. Read about who Red Death is here on a previous post.

Red Death Costume Tutorial

sponging on white face paint

First sponge on the white paint all on your face, neck and chest making bone lines and leaving out where the black shadows will be like in your eyes, the hollows of your cheeks and around ribs and neck. If you make yourself all white, your black may go too gray when you sponge it on.

Here’s a tip: Brush your teeth before you start! You don’t want to wipe off your teeth!

sponging in the black shadows

Sponge in the black shadows in the hollows of your eyes and cheeks, all around your neck and hairline and fill in around your chest cavity if it will show with your costume. Don’t worry about making sharp lines with the sponge or even a brush. The shadowy eyes will look better that way.

adding defining lines

Next I drew in the defining lines and filled in spots with a small round painting brush (like one out of a watercolor set). You could use the face painting sticks they have if you would rather, I just like a brush. Turn is on it’s side to blend in better in downward strokes. Draw in cracks all around the skull and bones with a fine lined brush. This makes is look creepy… hahaha  Add in lines towards your nose to give yourself that evil frowning look. Also, draw in your vertebrae and don’t forget those teeth! (see below) It doesn’t have to be perfect… just have fun.

brushing out my hair to make it crazy scary

So I’ve got this crazy curly hair and I think it looks super scary when I brush it out and it adds to my whole effect. But do yours any which way you want. Remember there are no rules, just suggestions 🙂

making my hair red with hair spray paint

Of course my Red Death needs to have red hair! I used a full can of stuff you buy in the Halloween section at your local everything store.

So if you have sleeves on your costume you don’t need to paint your arms but don’t forget your hands which is next!

So by the time I got to putting my skeleton arms on I was already an hour late for my party I was attending so I didn’t get pics of them but they are super easy. (I always misjudge my time) Just sponge on the white first making your two bones on the forearms and the joints at the elbow and shoulder. Dont’ forget to go all the way down your fingertips and connect them to your collar bone if it will show with your costume. Then sponge on the black to fill in. Make sure you get all of your arm. You don’t want your arm pits peeking out white, brown, yellow or whatever color you are to ruin the effect.

Do the backs of your arms, too. People will see you from behind you know! Also, now is a good time to check to make sure you’ve gotten the back of your neck and ears and all around your hairline. If you have a short skirt do your legs! People will see the whole picture and not focus on your arms so spend the most time on your face.

Make sure to bring your black and white paint with you in your bag and a brush for touch ups after you eat or drink. Mine stayed on amazingly well, but I was very cautious and popped whole things in my mouth (crackers, snacks) but I did eat some chili… very carefully! Try not to lick your lips, yeah I know. Taste it and it will remind you, gag.

Now, take lots of pictures of yourself and have others take them of you, too! This is your moment of glory! See my play around pictures using PhotoBooth on my imac at the bottom of this post. If you would like to see how I made my actual costume, click here. It was easy, too!

I absolutely love Halloween and every year I try to out do myself and I think this year, I did. You can see more of my Halloween costumes along with tutorials on my blog, just type in the search box “Halloween”.

So that’s it! I hope you enjoyed it. I’d love to hear your comments. Also, if you enjoyed this please share  by using my social buttons with your friends. I’ve got Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus 1 and all kinds under “share”. Please Pin it to Pinterest!

Happy Halloween!!

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paintings by New Harmony, Indiana artist Jaime Haney



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