The Catwoman costume is a popular costume at Halloween. While it is possible to order a costume online, it may be difficult to take body type and sizes into account when buying the costume. Making your own can be a bit messy, but the result is an eye-catching costume that literally fits you like a second skin. All of the items needed to make this costume can be ordered on the Internet through a simple search engine search, or depending on your area, can be bought at local shops.
Things You'll Need
- For the Accessories:
- Cat ears headband
- Black boots or high heels
- Faux black fur
- Craft glue
- Long, thin pieces of cardboard (to make the tail)
- Black spandex material (roughly 1 foot)
- Black thread and needle (optional)
- Long black gloves
- For the Suit:
- Zippered unitard (any color but black)
- Drop cloth
- Plastic wrap
- Several 2" polyfoam brushes (at least 4, possibly up to 6, depending on body type)
- Permanent marker
- 1 quart liquid latex
- Silicone lubricant
- Small hairdryer
- Someone to help with the latex painting
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Making the Cat Accessories
Cut small, triangular pieces of fur for the cat ears. Often, cat ears bought at a costume store will have a lot of extra material added. Depending on the look you're going for, you'll need to trim the size of the ears. Glue the fur to the back of the ears. Set the headband aside to dry.
Cut two two-inch strips of fur that are long enough to go around the tops of your boots. Glue them to the tops of the boots. This is just for effect, so if you do not wish to glue anything to your favorite pair of boots, this step can be eliminated.
Glue the cardboard together until it is the desired length of the tail. You might have to cut the ends, or fold over the cardboard to get the desired thickness. Set it aside so that it dries completely. Once dried, glue the spandex to the cardboard, folding the ends over so that they are not visible. This will be later covered with latex so it doesn't have to look perfect. The size of the tail depends on how tall you are. The tail should end at around the back of your calves or ankles.
Making a Catsuit
Spread out the drop cloth and stand in the middle. Use the plastic wrap to cover your torso and stomach. Liquid latex will go through the unitard, so the more you cover your body with plastic wrap, the less pain you'll have when you take the costume off.
Put on the spandex unitard. It will feel a little odd, depending on how much plastic you're wrapped around you. Mark a circle for the tail to be attached to. Do not paint this part of the unitard. Be sure not to paint over the teeth of the zipper.
Paint the unitard with the latex. You will have to stay still while the latex is being painted on so that it doesn't bubble up. This step will be done by your helper. Be sure to have her use even strokes as you paint the unitard with the latex. Once the latex begins to harden, you will have to use a new brush. It is almost impossible to rinse the brush once the latex hardens.
Wait for the first coat to completely dry. It will be hard to the touch when dried. It will also stick to everything, so be SURE not to move or you will rip the latex and have to start over. This process can take up to 45 minutes, depending on the amount of latex used. If you use a hair dryer, be sure that it's on the cold air setting. Use it far enough away from your body so that it doesn't cause the latex to bubble up.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the second layer of latex.
Apply the silicone lubricant to the latex. This is what makes it shiny. It also allows you to remove the body suit without sticking to another part, so be sure that the lubricant is spread over the entire outfit.
Remove the unitard. The latex will not interfere with the zipper. If it seems more difficult to unzip than it should be, apply more lubricant. The latex should come off easily on the parts that had plastic wrap, but if there were bits of your skin that did not have the plastic covering, it will stick and pull. Just be patient and careful.
Place the suit on the drop cloth and touch up any areas that need it. You will have to be careful when hiding the zipper. Use the hair dryer on the layer of lubricant so that it is less awkward to work with. When it dries, it will have a patent-leather look.
Finishing the Costume
Paint the tail with the latex, leaving both ends free. Allow to dry, apply the lubricant and allow to dry again.
Glue the tail to the catsuit. Most craft glues will have no issues with adhering to spandex material, but you might have to double-check the manufacturer label to be sure. If you feel that the glue will hold, (you can tell with a sharp tug or two) then apply more of the faux black fur to the area to hide the glue, and to the end of the tail for a more realistic look.
Stitch the tail to the unlatexed part of the unitard for added strength. If you are not an accomplished tailor, you can always hide the stitches with the faux black fur.
Apply the latex to the gloves and boots, if desired. A thin layer should suffice.