How To Make A Zombie Using Everyday Household Items!
I posted yesterday about what Halloween was like when my two eldest children were younger, before the days of the ready-to-wear scary outfits that are now so readily available in shops. We had to get creative and make our own if we wanted to celebrate Halloween in style. So feeling nostalgic, I decided that I would try to make a homemade Halloween outfit for my willing volunteer, my daughter's boyfriend Tom, using only stuff that we had around the house and nothing else. It was a challenge that we had a lot of fun with.
Inspired by some of our favourite horror films ...Day/ Dawn/ Land/ Night/ Shaun of the Dead... we decided to embrace the living dead genre and go down the zombie route! We decided that a relatively 'fresh' post-apocalyptic zombie would be the easiest look to achieve without having to resort to expensive, bought-in make-up, accessories or clothing.
Creating a Zombie costume starts with finding some old clothes...the kind of clothing hidden in the back of the wardrobe, unworn and unloved. Tom's old jeans and T-Shirt combo was perfect for ripping, shredding and distressing. (If you don't want to destroy any of your own clothes, a trip to the local charity shop will provide you with a suitable outfit for a couple of quid...plus you'll be helping raise money for a good cause!)
The real joy of creating a zombie is making the face look as gruesome as possible, without shelling out on expensive special effects kits. So I used porridge oats and a few drops of green and red food colouring from the store cupboard, a pot of vaseline along with a tube of fake blood I had (£1 from Poundworld) with some of the kids' face paints ( from a Union Jack set left over from the Olympics) and some purple shadow from an old make-up set.
With a white base on the face, I then built up disgustingly mouldy scabs using vaseline mixed with the coloured porridge oats. With an old sponge I daubed on the purple eye shadow. Fake blood squirted and smeared on the face, clothing and body adds a horrific touch. Using a new non-stick scourer from my kitchen (originally 20p as part of a multi-pack) I made some textured, conjealed blood mottling to complete the look. (But I had to be gentle so not to exfoliate Tom in the process!!)
The hair was made ghoulish by using a bar of hand soap to spike it as it makes really firm spikes and then sprinkling with some plain flour. The flour was also liberally patted into the clothes for a dusty look!
We had such fun creating a zombie just from things we had around the house. We bought nothing especially for the outfit, and enjoyed improvising with things to give the desired effect. The only purchased item was the £1 tube of fake blood. It shows what can be done with a bit of imagination, a willing volunteer, limited time, everyday household objects and no budget.
I love Halloween and I love the fact that it is an excuse to get dressed up and have some good old horror based fun. It needn't be an expensive time of year. A few cheap sweets for the trick or treaters, some themed Halloween baking, a pumpkin to carve and cook with and a costume to make you feel the part, is all you need to have a good time with your friends and family. Of course a good horror film goes down a treat too!!