How to Make a Lifeguard Costume

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

Things You'll Need

  • Trash bags or newspaper

  • Masking tape

  • Red swimsuit

  • Stencil

  • White spray paint

  • White flip-flops

  • Sunglasses

  • Silver whistle

  • Chain

  • White face paint

  • Paper

  • Cutting board

  • 9- by 12-inch stencil film

  • Craft knife

Be the lifesaver of your next Halloween party by dressing like a lifeguard.

Making your own Halloween costume is an inexpensive alternative to purchasing a costume at a Halloween supply store. The lifeguard costume idea uses things you probably have in your closet or can find at your local thrift store. These costumes require little more than a red swimsuit. The finished product requires little time and energy to create, making a homemade lifeguard costume a simple choice for your next Halloween or costume party.


The Costume

Prepare the Work area

Cover your work surface in plastic trash bags or newspaper. Use masking tape to secure the covering of your choice to the work surface, around the edges, to hold it in place. This protects the work surface from possible damage from decorating your costume.

Video of the Day

Spread Out the Swimsuit

Place a red swimsuit on your work surface. If you cannot find a red one, use a white swimsuit and dye it red using fabric dyes, which can be found at your local craft store. Different fabric dyes recommend different instructions for use. Follow the directions included with the dye you choose. Allow the dye to dry completely before proceeding. Choose either a one-piece women's swimsuit or a pair of men's swim trunks.


Label the Lifeguard Outfit

Tape a stencil spelling out the word "lifeguard" on the front of the swimsuit using masking tape. For a woman's lifeguard costume, place the letters across the swimsuit's chest, centered. For the man's costume, place the letters around the circumference of the left leg of the swim trunks.


Paint the Lettering

Spray paint the letters using white paint. Allow the paint to dry overnight.

Video of the Day

Accessorize the Costume

Image Credit: fotostorm/iStock/GettyImages

Wear the lifeguard costume with a pair of white flip-flops and sunglasses. Place a silver whistle on a chain and wear it around your neck. If you don't have a chain, you can also hang the whistle on an 18-inch piece of ribbon and tie it around your neck.


Apply the Sunscreen

Apply white face paint to your nose and cheekbones to simulate sunscreen.


Making Stencil Templates

Draw the Lettering

Draw the word "lifeguard" in block letters. Make each letter 2 inches tall and 1 inch wide. Alternatively, use a word processing program to write the word and print it out on your printer. If desired, add a "+" sign in between the "e" and "g" of lifeguard.


Secure the Image

Place the drawn or printed image on a cutting board. Tape the edges down using masking tape.

Tape the Stencil Film

Place a 9- by 12-inch piece of stencil film on top of the taped-down word. Tape the edges of the stencil down, as well. Look for stencil film at craft stores.


Trace the Letters

Image Credit: Stephen Frink/The Image Bank/GettyImages

Trace the outline of the block letters on the film using a craft knife or utility knife.


Finish the Lettering

Remove the tape from the film. Punch the letters out of the film and discard the punch-outs.


If possible, tan for several weeks prior to the costume party. The tan gives you a more authentic look.

For an added detail, carry a life preserver.


references & resources

Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...