DIY Pin-Up Girl Costume


Pin up art is known for capturing and embracing the classic beauty of a woman. The golden age of the pin-up began during World War II and remains timeless. This year, channel your inner vixen and celebrate Halloween as classic pin up girl.

(Image: Nichole Walla)

Things You'll Need

  • 2" elastic
  • Measuring tape
  • Pattern paper or poster board
  • Woven poplin fabric
  • Sewing machine or sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Fabric scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Velcro
  • Iron
  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Barrettes
  • Fabric flower
  • Felt

Create a Pattern for Your Circle Skirt

Step 1:

Wrap your tape measure around your true waist, which is your skinniest area of your waist. Take this measurement and divide by 6.28. The final number is your waist measurement. (For example, 29"/6.28= 4.62)

(Image: Create a Pattern For A Circle Skirt- Step 1)

Step 2:

Place your tape measure at your belly button and measure the desired length of your skirt. (For example my desired length is 15")

(Image: Create a Pattern For A Circle Skirt- Step 2)

Step 3:

Lay your pattern paper or poster board onto a flat surface. Starting at the corner, place your tape measure to reflect your waist measurement. Use the tape measure to trace and create a 1/4 circle.

(Image: Create a Pattern For A Circle Skirt- Step 3)

Step 4:

Place your tape measure at the new 1/4 circle (that you created in step 3) and measure your desired length. Repeat the same tracing method used in Step 3.

(Image: Create a Pattern For A Circle Skirt- Step 4)

Step 5:

Cut out your pattern piece.

(Image: Create a Pattern For A Circle Skirt- Step 5)

Assemble Your Circle Skirt

Step 1: Choose Your Fabric

You can create your personalized pin-up skirt with a knit or woven fabric. I favor working with a woven poplin for this project because it will give your skirt more shape, and most stores carry this fabric in a wide variety of prints. When choosing your material, be sure to stay true to your theme. Think classic pin-up prints such as polka dots, gingham, or cherries.


  • Once you find your dream fabric, be sure to purchase enough fabric for your project. If you are new to sewing, you can always bring your pattern with you and most cut counters will be happy to assist you.


(Image: Assemble Your Circle Skirt- Step 1- Choose Your Fabric)

Step 2:

Fold your fabric in half and pin your pattern piece in place. Once your pattern is secure you can begin to cut your fabric. This will give you one side of your skirt

Step 2- Pin Pattern in Place
Step 2- Pin Pattern in Place (Image: Assemble Your Circle Skirt- Step 2)

Step 3:

Repeat Step 2 for the other side of the skirt.

(Image: Assemble Your Circle Skirt- Step 3)

Step 4:

Lay your cut pieces together, face to face, and pin one side seam together.

(Image: Assemble Your Circle Skirt- Step 4)

Step 5:

Sew your side seam. If you do not have a sewing machine, you can always hand-stitch.


  • For a no-sew option, use fusible webbing, such as Stitch Witchery, which adheres to fabric using a hot iron.

(Image: Assemble Your Circle Skirt- Step 5)

Once your seam is sewn, lightly press open with an iron. Use pinking shears to prevent fraying. You do not need to open the seam if you used the glue gun or stitch witchery method.

(Image: Assemble Your Circle Skirt- Step 5- iron)

Step 6:

Pin your elastic in place along the waist, on the inside of the skirt. Once you have pinned the waistband in place, trim any excess elastic.

(Image: Assemble Your Circle Skirt- Step 6)

Step 7:

Sew or glue your elastic waistband in place.

(Image: Assemble Your Circle Skirt- Step 7)

Step 8:

Fold the edges of the fabric to create a clean finish and pin in place. Sew or glue on the velcro closure, leaving room for the hem.

(Image: Assemble Your Circle Skirt- Step 8-b)

Keep in mind the top piece of velcro should be glued to the backside of the fabric and the bottom piece of velcro will be glued to the face of the fabric.

(Image: Assemble Your Circle Skirt- Step 8)

Step 9:

Pin and hem skirt either with a sewing machine, hand stitching or fusible webbing.

(Image: Assemble Your Circle Skirt- Step 9)

Create Your Hair Flower

You might be lucky enough to find an already made hair flower, but if not you can create your own in just a few easy steps.

Step 1:

Choose a bouquet of fabric flowers and cut off the stems.

(Image: Create Your Hairflower- Step 1)

Step 2:

Cut a small piece of felt to use as backing.

(Image: Create Your Hairflower- Step 2)

Step 3:

Add glue to felt backing and flower and press firmly until dry.

(Image: Create Your Hairflower- Step 3)
(Image: Create Your Hairflower- Step 4)

Step 4:

Glue on hair clips. Press firmly and be careful not to burn yourself.

(Image: Create Your Hairflower- Step 4)

Completing Your Pin-Up Look

Now that you have created all of your essentials, it is time to pull your pin-up look together.

(Image: Complete Your Pinup Look)

Step 1: Create Your Outfit

Wear a button down shirt that is tied at the waist. Add a little extra volume to your circle skirt by adding a crinoline underneath. Pair your outfit with a peep toe heel, or wedges for a more modern pin-up look.

(Image: Nichole Walla)

Step 2: Style Your Hair

Pin curls are a pin-up gal's staple. There are so many wonderful tutorials that will teach you how to recreate this look. You can always curl your hair and pin one side behind your ear with your hair flower.

Step 3: Makeup

Red lips and nails are must. I also recommend adding lashes and creating a cat's eye. Because of the bold lip and defined eye makeup, you will want to keep the rest of your look understated.

(Image: Nichole Walla)

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