How to Make a Riddler Costume

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The Riddler, a classic supervillain of DC comics and movies who is best known as an enemy of Batman, wears very distinctive outfits that can inspire fun Halloween costumes. Throughout decades of comic book, TV and movie appearances, the Riddler has been shown in a variety of get-ups, most with signature question-mark motifs and a color scheme of green, purple and black. This means you have plenty of clothing and crafting options to consider for a DIY Riddler costume. You could pick one particular version of the character to copy accurately or improvise and get creative with the supplies you have on hand. Both versions should be instantly recognizable as the Riddler.

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How to Create a Classic Riddler Costume

In the character's earliest comic book appearances, the Riddler wears a green unitard covered with black question marks, a wide purple belt and a purple domino mask (a mask that covers just the eyes). Other classic versions of the Riddler have him wear a green suit covered with question marks, a solid green blazer over a question-mark-covered shirt and tie and often a green or purple bowler hat. Any combination of these garments can make up an easy DIY Riddler costume, although it takes a little more effort to copy any of them with total precision.

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Things You'll Need

  • Solid green suit, blazer, pajamas or leggings and matching T-shirt

  • Black fabric paint

  • Cardstock (optional)

  • Scissors

  • Purple felt

  • Thin elastic

  • Needle and thread

  • Green or black bowler hat

  • Tape measure

  • Hot glue

Gather green garments

Garments in a bright, solid shade of green are key to copying any of the Riddler's signature outfits. Look in thrift stores for a green blazer or suit or shop for matching green pajamas or a leggings and T-shirt combo as a DIY unitard. If you have sewing skills and the time and budget, you can create these garments from scratch. Another option is to buy light-colored garments and dye them green.

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Add question mark motifs

Use black fabric paint to cover one or more of the green garments with question marks of different sizes. You can do this freehand or print question marks on cardstock and cut them out to use as templates. Some versions of Riddler costumes have the motifs in different sizes all over the suit or unitard, and others have them just over one garment, so take your pick.

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Make a mask

Cut out a domino mask—a mask in a figure-eight shape that covers just the eyes and temples—from purple felt. You can find printable templates online for this, or you can draw your own on paper. Sew a length of thin elastic at each side edge for attaching the mask around the head.

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Add a band to the bowler hat

The Riddler sometimes wears a green or black bowler hat with a purple band. You should be able to find a bowler hat in a costume store, and you can spray paint it green or black if necessary. Measure around the circumference of the hat just above the brim. Cut out a long rectangle of purple felt matching the circumference of the hat plus 1 inch and about 2 inches wide. Wrap it around the hat and overlap the ends at the back with hot glue.

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How to Make a Riddler Costume From “The Batman"

The Riddler character played by Paul Dano in the 2022 movie ​The Batman​ has a different look than previous versions of the character. Rather than appearing cartoonlike, this Riddler costume has a dark, militant vibe. It's still a relatively easy DIY, as the full-face hood is the only element of the costume you need to create from scratch. The others are items you should be able to find in a thrift store or military surplus store.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure

  • Paper

  • Pen

  • Army-green felt or canvas fabric

  • Scissors

  • Fabric glue or sewing supplies

  • Chalk

  • Army-green parka-style jacket

  • White fabric paint or paint marker

  • Army-green hoodie

  • Black cargo pants

  • Black work boots

  • Black gloves

  • Transparent-frame eyeglasses

Create a hood pattern

Measure the costume wearer's head circumference at the widest part. Divide this measurement in half and add 3 inches. This is the width of the hood pattern piece. Measure the length from the top of the head to the nape of the neck and add 1 inch. This is the height of the hood pattern piece. Draw a rectangle with those dimensions on paper and round it off at the upper corners. It should look like an upside-down letter "U" with the bottom legs connected. This is your hood pattern piece.

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Create the hood

Use the paper pattern to cut two identical hood pieces out of the army-green fabric. Sew or use fabric glue to join two pieces along the side edges and curved upper edge, leaving the straight bottom edge open. Turn the hood right sides out and make sure it fits over the costume wearer's head.

Cut the eye and nose holes

With the full-face hood over the costume wearer's head, use chalk to mark the positions of their eyes, nostrils and mouth and then remove the hood. Cut out eye holes and a hole at the nostril level, trying on and adjusting as necessary so that the costume wearer can see and breathe properly. For the mouth, cut a hole and cover it with a rectangle of felt, sewn or glued only along the top and side edges, creating a vent at the base.

Tip

Refer to screenshots of the Riddler character in the movie ​The Batman​ that show his hood. If you have the crafting skills, customize this simplified version of the hood to match the movie version.

Paint the question mark motif on the jacket

On the front right side of the jacket at chest level, use white fabric paint or a paint marker to add a hand-size question mark. At the north and south compass points around the question mark, draw vertical lines with two shorter perpendicular lines crossing each one. At the east and west compass points, draw horizontal lines with two shorter perpendicular lines across.

Complete the costume

Along with the hood and jacket, wear black cargo-style pants, black work boots, black gloves and an army-green hoodie under the jacket. The Riddler wears eyeglasses with transparent frames in ​The Batman​ movie, so find a pair as close to this style as you can to complete the costume.

Tip

The Riddler costume is a popular choice for group cosplay as well as group Halloween costumes. Other residents of Gotham who could accompany the Riddler include Batman, the Joker, Harley Quinn and Catwoman.

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