A superhero spin on vintage to vanquish the costume blues

By Ellie Rulon-Miller

Halloween is the best holiday for DIY. No other day of the year allows for the infinite amount of creativity that Halloween does. You can be anything you want, an idea that too many people take for granted (i.e., when every girl you know decides to take the easy way out and be the hottie counterpart to a generic, everyday character, such as a police officer).

As a DIY maniac, there are few things that I appreciate more than when someone I know goes all-out in making their own Halloween costume, even if the idea of their costume has been done before. The fact that they took the time out of their lives to put their own personal touches on the outfit almost always bears amazing results.

Such is the case with Sami Webber. She has been spending the last several months accumulating the raw materials for her Wonder Woman costume. Everything she used to make it was bought either from a thrift store or a craft store.

“The biggest piece that I actually had to construct was the red strapless top of the costume,” Webber said, which was made out of disassembled parts of a red bridesmaid’s dress she purchased for $7 at a thrift store.

To make the top, Webber took apart the bridesmaid’s dress and completely reworked it. After removing the zipper, skirt, sleeves and other smaller elements of the dress, she was left with “the base of a simple red corset-style top,” she said. She then took it in to fit her body better and added hook-and-eye fasteners to the back so it would close. She used a poster board to create stencils for the design on Wonder Woman’s chest, which she used to cut out pieces of gold fabric. She then spray painted over it with gold paint to accentuate it.

For the bottom of the costume, Webber stuck a couple of white felt stars where she wanted them to go using a needle and thread. Webber, a former cheerleader, already had the blue spandex bottoms from her high school cheer squad, so the last major piece of the costume she needed to buy were a pair of black high-heeled boots, which she later found for $6. She spray painted the boots red and added a white stripe using strips of white fabric and a little hot glue.

The rest of the supplies Webber bought were from a craft store and included spray paint, a tiara, a bed sheet, white ribbon and pieces of fabric in gold, silver and white. She used the silver fabric and velcro strips she bought to make the wrist gauntlets. The bed sheet was used as her cape.

She will also be wearing a pair of “nude-colored tights to keep myself from freezing,” said Webber.

“Collectively, [the costume] probably took me a total of about 30 hours to complete,” she said. She began working on it in the middle of September.

Webber’s costume was mostly inspired by the Wonder Woman in the more recent Justice League cartoons, she said.

For her hair and makeup, she said she plans “to straighten it and add a little bit of curl at the ends for some volume” and that she wants to “keep the makeup fairly classic, with smokey eyes and red lipstick.”

With such a time-consuming, intricate costume to make, Webber ran into a surprisingly small number of problems in constructing the outfit, saying that her only real problems were having to sew parts of the cape at home on weekends and “finding the exact metallic fabrics I wanted without using certain fabrics, because I wanted the gold and silver pieces to be really shiny but [certain] fabrics cannot be hot glued.”

If you’ve got the time before this Saturday, be sure to add a few personal effects to your costume. Even those clichéd “insert slutty costume here” outfits could be altered into a DIY masterpiece that nobody has every seen before. Take this once-a-year opportunity to impress your friends and fellow partygoers with your skills.

Ellie Rulon-Miller can be reached at [email protected]