This Halloween, skip the predictable gauzy princess or charming prince and head for the dark side. Disney villains are deliciously wicked bad boys and evil divas, as recognizable as tabloid celebrities. Add some spice to your treat bag of sweets with the perfect scalawag or scoundrel costume.
DIY Evil Queen From Snow White
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the foulest one of all? You, of course, or your precious offspring, who secretly always loved the Evil Queen in Snow White best. Make her a stand-up collar, an essential Evil Queen signature accessory.
Cape Collar Supplies
- Tape measure
- Scrap paper
- Two sheets of thin white craft foam, 11" x 17"
- Crafter's fabric-and-paper glue
- Strip of Velcro
- Measure the neck of the Queen's cape.
- Mark the length on a large piece of scrap paper.
- Sketch half a tall stand-up collar shape with pointed tips, like the one in the Disney film, using the line you drew as the base.
- Fold the collar sketch over so the paper is doubled and cut the template out.
- Unfold the template and place it on two stacked pieces of the white craft foam.
- Cut around the template to make two identical foam "collars."
- Discard the paper template and glue the collars together.
- Glue one strip of the velcro to the outside neckline of the Queen's cape.
- Glue the other Velcro strip to the base of the foam stand-up collar.
- Match the two Velcro strips to attach the stand-up collar to the cape.
The Queen's Full Costume
Give that bad girl a long purple dress; check thrift stores for inexpensive dresses and substitute black if you can't find purple. The cape and the crown are two other essential costume pieces.
- She'll need a cape, which can be a simple long rectangle of black or dark purple fabric, gathered at the top and fastened at the neck with tacked-on ribbons. Or re-purpose an old winter cape of your own by adding a fancy frog closure from the fabric trimmings department. Attach the cape to your homemade collar for a memorable look.
- A spiky gold crown sits on her hair or on a stretchy black balaclava -- if you opt for the balaclava, fasten the inside of the crown to it with double-stick tape.
If desired, add a few more iconic touches for fun. Slip a bright red apple in her bag for anyone stingy enough not to hand up their best-looking Halloween treats. Add a hand mirror to that poison-apple goody bag for a bit of preening when the evening gets dull.
Create Your Own Cruella
Ah, Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmations. Such a nasty piece of work! And so popular! She's a vile and fascinating puppy predator and you can ham it up to your heart's content in Cruella's trademark black and white. The piece de resistance is the theatrical cigarette holder; one trip to the craft store gives you all the raw material you need.
Cigarette Holder Supplies
- 18-inch long wood dowel, 1/4-inch diameter
- Red hobby paint
- Painters tape
- 1-inch wide strips of white rice paper
- School glue
- 1/2-inch strip of metallic gold paper
- Measure the dowel and place a piece of tape around the dowel at the 14-inch mark.
- Paint the first 14 inches of the dowel red. Give the wood two coats if the color isn't solid once the dowel dries.
- Remove the tape and allow the dowel to dry thoroughly.
- Squeeze white or clear school glue on the unpainted section of dowel.
- Begin wrapping strips of white rice paper around the glued section of dowel, overlapping them so no wood shows through. Cover the entire unpainted end of the dowel.
- Keep winding paper around for about an extra half-inch, extending past the end of the dowel. Dab a little glue on this extension as you go so the paper sticks together.
- Let the paper dry completely.
- Glue a single 1/2-inch strip of gold foil paper around the rod where the red paint meets the white rice paper. Allow the strip to dry.
- Dab a smudge of red paint on the extended tip of the rolled paper to simulate the burning end of a cigarette.
Put Together the Costume
A long black dress, above-the-elbow red evening gloves from a costume shop and a stole of fake white fur, cut from fake fur fabric and decorated with black pasted-on paper or permanent black laundry marker Dalmatian spots, is almost all she needs to make an entrance. A cheap white wig, half-sprayed black and teased out to slightly mad volume is so Cruella. Add your new "cigarette" holder and you're ready to go get those puppies!
Make an Incredible Syndrome Costume
The Incredibles' Syndrome was just a fanboy with a big dream. But when it went bad, so did he. The final touch is a pair of white boots. No super-baddie should be without them.
White Boot Supplies
- White sneakers
- Fabric marker or soft colored chalk
- Heavy white knee socks
- Put the sneakers on the person who is dressing as Syndrome.
- Snip the toes off the knee socks and pull the socks over the sneakers until the heel is roughly where the heel of the shoe is.
- Mark a rough semi-circle across the back of the sock heel, about an inch up from the sole, slanting down each side of the heel to the instep.
- Remove the socks and cut along the lines. You now have two knee socks with stirrups where the feet would be.
- Slip the knee socks on over the white sneakers when it's time for trick or treating, and pull the socks up so they bunch slightly just under the knees -- instant white boots!
Create the Costume
A young evildoer turns into a big challenge for superheroes when you get out the hairspray and rummage through the closet. A pair of heavy black leggings and a black long-sleeved turtleneck or t-shirt are the basic costume, and the rest you add with more creativity than effort.
- Plain white gloves become gauntlets with white felt "cuffs," rectangles glued shut along one side to form cylinders. Attach the felt cylinders to the gloves with a strip of Velcro on the outside edge of each glove and an inside edge of each cylinder -- easy on, easy off.
- Gather a long rectangle of shiny blue fabric at one end (the length depends on the height of the villain) and pin the gathered edge to the shoulders of the turtleneck as a cape.
- Cut a big white "S" from white felt or iron-on fabric -- check pictures of Syndrome to see the shape of the "S," if you want to be precise. It should cover the whole front of the shirt once it's glued or ironed on. You can also pick up a shirt from Amazon in sizes Small through XX-Large for about $20 if you want to make this step easy.
- Small kids won't mind wearing a pair of white briefs over their leggings to complete Syndrome's inelegant style, but ask your bigger kid first -- he might decided to skip that detail.
- Spray hair into stiff stick-up peaks, add a plain black eye mask and slip on the white boots to head out the door in Syndrome style!
Crafty Captain Hook, the Scourge of Neverland
Tic-toc, the terrible Hook has left the croc and his pirate ship in the harbor and he's gathering sugary booty. Without the hook, the murderous captain is just another neighborhood buccaneer. A cardboard hook, painted to look lethal, won't risk dismemberment when the blackguard is grabbing for treats or maybe a cold thirst-slaker at the party onshore.
- Clean cardboard pint ice cream container
- 6-inch strip of 1/2-inch wide elastic or grosgrain ribbon
- Silver metallic paint (spray, or hobby paint with brush)
- Brass metallic paint (spray, or hobby paint with brush)
- 12-inch piece of plain heavy corrugated cardboard
- Craft knife
- Glue gun
- Spray or paint the ice cream container metallic brass, inside and out. Let it dry.
- Punch two small holes in the bottom of the cardboard container and thread the ribbon or elastic through them.
- Tie the ribbon or elastic on the inside to make a loop. (Hook can use this to hold onto his arm-piece if he wants to.)
- Fold or cut the flat piece of corrugated cardboard in half.
- Trace a hook shape on one half, leaving about 1.5 inches extra at the bottom of the hook.
- Cut out the hook, cutting through both layers or pieces of stacked cardboard.
- Glue the cardboard hook shapes together, leaving the extra 1.5 inches at the bottom free. Bend these two pieces outward to make flaps.
- Spray or paint the hook silver. Let it dry.
- Glue the hook to the cuff - the ice cream container - by pasting the two flaps to the flat bottom of the cuff.
Create the Captain's Entire Costume
To create the entire costume for Captain Hook:
- Cut off an old pair of pants just below the knee and cuff or elasticize them for breeches.
- Re-purpose a large, full-sleeved, solid color woman's blouse as Hook's shirt -- red is a nice bloody hue if you can find one at a thrift shop or the back of the closet.
- A black jacket with the collar and sleeves cut off and silver braid trim and buttons stitched or pasted down the front is piratical -- even better if you have a long black vest to sacrifice for the cause.
- A cowboy hat, spray-painted black with a pasted-on silver paper buckle and a big, fluffy feather plume, passes for pirate gear.
- Add the hook for your hand as you head out the door and you're set for a night of villainous fun.
Mail Order Infamy
No time to whip up the ideal evildoer for your Halloween festivities? No problem. Order your dark-side alter ego online to save standing in line. Reveal your true colors one night a year by clicking on the villain du jour at an Internet retail outlet.
Queen of Hearts - and Bane of Alice
There's no love in the flinty heart of the Red Queen from Wonderland but she's covered in more hearts than a valentine. Costume Discounters has a memorable, full-length black and red gown with fitted satin bodice, heart-printed skirt inset and yards of gathered net and tulle. Kill it with a cloud of bright red hair in a heart-shaped wig that makes your identity clear to the most casual observer.
The costume comes in sizes from 4-6 through 18-20. It costs less than $100 and the wig is about $23. With a special shipping code on the website, you get free shipping when you buy both. You can also pick it up from Amazon.
Darth Vader - Star Wars
Make sure no one who sees your impersonation of Darth Vader forgets about you this Halloween. Kids' Darth Vader get-ups include lots of detail and even more accessories. The basic bad guy comes in Small, Medium and Large child sizes at Buy Costumes, for about $38. That gets you a black jumpsuit, cape, molded face mask and chest piece, space-age belt with silver buckle and molded silver collar, plus knee-high boot covers.
You can purchase a red light saber, gauntlet gloves and a Darth Vader heavy-breathing device (fits under the mask) for another $35 total; just check the recommended accessory section. Each accessory is sold separately and an order of $75 gets you free shipping.
Ursula - The Little Mermaid
No-neck Ursula is repellant, an oafish square stump of a villainess you love to hate. Costume Express has an Ursula dress in sizes Small, Medium, and Large (up to size 14) for $47. It's actually far more attractive than ugly Ursula, with a tiered gauze skirt in ombre purples, overlaid by a shiny black fitted top complete with jagged tentacles. You can pick up the same costume from Amazon, too.
If you add a pair of black baby doll shoes (sizes 7 through 10) for $35 at Costume Express, you'll qualify for the $75 and up free shipping. Grab a cheap gray wig at a local big box discount store and take your not-so-bad Ursula beneath the waves where it's always party-time!
Gaston - Beauty and the Beast
Gaston, that arrogant small-town Casanova whose obsession with Belle turns to murderous rage, doesn't meet a very good end in Beauty and the Beast. Revive him for a night of swaggering and braggadocio with a collared red shirt, yellow gloves and curly black wig from Amazon for about $40. The tunic-style T-shirt has a painted-on black belt with gold buckle - slip the shirt over a plain long sleeved turtleneck if you'll be out on a brisk night. Gaston's costume comes in sizes Small to XX-Large and you can add your own black leggings or a slim pair of black jeans.
Spring for the knee-high black vinyl boot tops to finish the look. Also from Amazon, the one-size-fits-all boot tops fit over your own shoes and cost about $14. Since you get free shipping on orders over $49, you're ready for a night out hunting Belle and her Beast - or just a big bagful of consolation Halloween candy.
Lady Tremaine - Cinderella's Evil Stepmother
Cinderella had her hands full keeping track of her chores and her slippers, but without Lady Tremaine there would have been no story for generations to love and sigh over. She's a major character, if a universally despised one, and you probably won't meet yourself coming and going when you head for the ball in her threads this Halloween.
Try a shiny emerald-green taffeta gathered and fitted ankle-length ball gown with a high collar and an attached train, lined in red and gold. The iridescent gown comes in sizes 4 to 14 for a discounted $80 at Amazon. Add your own bling, and use the online code to get free shipping.
Captain Barbossa - Pirates of the Caribbean
If you like your seafaring villains authentic, invest in a Captain Hector Barbossa costume from Pirates of the Caribbean. The wily pirate is well-dressed in his signature gray long coat and a paisley vest. His shirt sleeves are suitably ruffled and the knee pants, boot covers and leather-looking sword set are all in the deal from Oasis Costume. Costumes come in Men's Small all the way to 3XL for the heartiest brigands on the high seas. Depending on size, the complete get-up costs about $200 to $300 and, shipping is $35. Bring your own parrot.
Mother Gothel - Tangled
That witchy mom who locked Rapunzel in the tower in Tangled was a sharp dresser with a dark heart. Mother Gothel's ruby medieval-style dress with long sleeves and black cape is available in sizes Small through X-Large from eFunLive. Order it early for less than $130 and choose the shipping method that fits your budget.
Curl your own long dark hair or pick up a Siren Long Curly Wig for about $15 through Amazon. To really nail the look, be sure to pull a couple of spit curls down over your forehead.
Advice for the Blackest Hearts
There's something sort of lunatic about a classic villain. Their appeal is in their very badness, characters in the grip of unspeakable impulses toward murder and mayhem. Kids love villains because they get the best reactions on Halloween. Grownups love them because when else can you be completely horrible and still keep all your friends? So give a thought to going dark this All Hallow's Eve, and look to Disney, purveyor of memorable evil, for your inspiration.