How to Make a Morticia Addams Costume

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Complete your costume with a Morticia-style manicure.
Complete your costume with a Morticia-style manicure. (Image: Ysign/iStock/Getty Images)

Morticia Addams is the matriarch of the creepy, kooky Addams family. Wife of the adoring Gomez and mother of weird Wednesday and Pugsley, Morticia was created by cartoonist Charles Addams in the 1930s. Morticia was one of the unnamed characters that appeared in the "Addams Family" cartoons that Addams drew for "The New Yorker." The characters inspired a TV series in the 1960s and two movies in the '90s. In each portrayal, Morticia wears an all-black wardrobe that you can easily adapt to make a sexy, spooky costume.

Things You'll Need

  • Long black dress with long sleeves
  • Straight pins
  • Black sewing thread
  • Sewing needle or sewing machine
  • White dressmaker's chalk
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Black organza
  • Black pumps or ballet flats
  • White or light makeup
  • Black eyebrow pencil
  • Black eyeliner
  • Gray eye shadow
  • Black mascara
  • Red lipstick
  • Gray powder
  • Makeup brush
  • Long black wig
  • Curling iron
  • Red nail polish
  • Artificial fingernails
  • Gemstone pendant
  • Gemstone ring

Make the Dress

Put the dress on inside-out with the shoes you plan to wear. Adjust the hem so it falls to your ankles. Fold up the hem and pin it in place. If the bodice of the dress fits loosely, take it in at the sides. Adjust the sides of the bodice to the desired fit and pin them. Remove the dress carefully.

Use black thread to hand- or machine-stitch the hem in place. Draw a stitching line with white dressmaker's chalk on each side seam, using the pins as a guide. Sew along the line with black sewing thread, and then trim away the excess fabric, about 3/8 inch from the stitching. Set the iron to the appropriate setting for the dress's fabric and press the hem. Press the side seams open.

Measure the circumference of the sleeves about 3 inches from the cuff. Cut a piece of organza that's double that measurement by approximately 12 inches. Fold each piece of organza in half width-wise and sew the 12-inch edges together, 1/2 inch from the edge. Slip the organza cuffs onto the dress sleeves and pin them 3 inches from the bottom edge of the sleeve, gathering as necessary. Sew the organza cuffs in place with black thread.

Measure the circumference of the skirt about 8 inches from the hem. Cut a piece of organza that's double that measurement by approximately 10 inches. Fold the organza in half width-wise and sew the short edges together, 1/2 inch from the edge, to form a tube. Slip the organza tube on the skirt of the dress and pin it 8 inches from the hem, gathering as necessary. Sew the organza ruffle in place with black sewing thread. To give the cuffs and ruffle a tattered look, cut slashes into the organza with scissors.

Assemble the Costume

Put on the dress and shoes, choosing footwear that suits your needs. Wear black pumps to add height or ballet flats for comfort and ease of movement. Make adjustments to the organza cuffs and train, if necessary. Pay special attention to the front hem, which may require additional trimming.

Apply white or light makeup to your face and neck. Accent eyebrows with black eyebrow pencil to create a dramatic arch shape. Use black eyeliner and gray eye shadow to give your eyes a smoky look. Apply black mascara to your eyelashes and red lipstick to your mouth. Brush gray powder under your cheekbones to contour the shape of your face.

Wear a long, black wig with a center part. Use a curling iron to style the hair into loose waves, if necessary. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and test the curling iron on a small section of the wig first. The heat of the curling iron may melt some synthetic fibers.

Paint your fingernails with bright red nail polish. If your fingernails are short, apply artificial nails and shape them to the desired length before applying red nail polish. Apply white or light makeup to your hands and any other exposed skin. Accessorize your costume with a gemstone pendant and a large gemstone ring.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your hair is long, color it with temporary black hair coloring instead of wearing a wig.
  • Morticia likes to cut the heads off roses and keep the stems. Carry a bunch of rose stems as a prop, removing any thorns first.
  • Copy Morticia's elegant speaking voice and incorporate "mon cherie" -- one of her pet names for Gomez -- into your conversation.
  • Make sure the hem of your dress isn't so long or tight that it could cause you to trip.
  • Before applying makeup, read manufacturer's instructions and test it on a small area of skin to avoid allergic reactions.

References

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