Whether you call them the living dead, the walking dead, or just walkers, zombies are thriving on TV shows and in films. If your affection for "The Walking Dead," "Shaun of the Dead" or "World War Z" has inspired you to dress up like one of the undead, give your costume a darkly humorous twist. Use second-hand clothes, inexpensive accessories and fake dirt and blood to transform yourself into a beautifully gruesome zombie prom queen.
Create Your Prom Dress
If you're a zombie prom queen, you've probably been wearing the same dress since you joined the ranks of the undead. To create a costume that's realistically tattered, buy a gown at a thrift store and give it the zombie treatment. Black and gray are obvious zombie wardrobe colors, but bright colors look even creepier when they're splattered with fake blood. Cut slashes into the fabric and pull the loose threads to fray the edges. Tear the dress along the seams and hems. Use red acrylic paint to add smears of blood to the fabric. To make the dress look dirty, apply streaks of gray, brown and black acrylic paint with a wide paintbrush. Zombies aren't very coordinated, so ballet flats make safer zombie footwear than heels.
Do Your Hair and Makeup
Zombies don't get to the salon often, so your zombie prom queen costume should include a messy hairstyle. If you prefer not to forgo shampooing in the days before your costume event, use conditioner to make your hair look greasy. Apply conditioner to dry hair and use your fingers to tangle the hair as you go. To mimic the zombie's characteristic pallor, apply white and gray makeup to your face, arms and other exposed skin. Use black eyeliner and shadow to give your eyes and cheeks a sunken appearance. Smear red lipstick or fake blood from a party store around your mouth. To avoid adverse reactions, look for hypoallergenic products, read the manufacturer's directions, and test the makeup on a small area several days before the event.
Add Zombie Accessories
Without accessories, a zombie prom queen is just another pretty undead face. Start with a plastic jeweled tiara from a party-goods store and make it look as decrepit as your dress. Break off a few of the tips and remove some jewels. Use black, gray and red acrylic paint to give the tiara a dingy, bloodied appearance. Buy an inexpensive prom queen sash from a party store or make your own from wide ribbon and glitter pens. To make the sash worthy of a zombie prom queen, tear and tatter the edges and add smears of red acrylic paint. Complete the look with jewelry that shows evidence of your undead adventures. Wear one "bloodied" earring and a strand of tangled plastic beads.
Act Like a Zombie
If you really want to make your zombie prom queen costume convincing, master some undead behaviors. Zombies can't talk, so you should communicate only by moaning and groaning when you're in costume. Zombies aren't very graceful -- they're dead, after all -- so when you walk, drag your feet and lumber awkwardly. Hunch your shoulders and jerk your arms and head around. If your costume event includes dancing, adapt your zombie movements to the dance floor. Check out Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video if you need some inspiration. When you interact with other party-goers, don't show any emotion. Zombies can't recognize faces, so maintain a blank stare -- even if you run into your zombie prom king.