How to make a SWAT costume

Table of contents:

How to make a SWAT costume
How to make a SWAT costume

Putting together a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) costume for an occasion like Halloween or a similar event can be an entertaining experience. Buying full SWAT costumes can cost $ 30, $ 50, or more. But you can assemble the elements at home and they will look reasonably good.


Part 1 of 3: Making the SWAT Headwear

Make a SWAT Costume Step 1
Make a SWAT Costume Step 1

Step 1. Put on a hat

In this case there are several options, including a cap or a helmet.

You can wear a regular baseball cap or construction helmet with the costume

Make a SWAT Costume Step 2
Make a SWAT Costume Step 2

Step 2. Paint the cap or helmet

If the cap or helmet you choose isn't black, paint it.

  • Get a can of black spray paint.
  • Wear a respiratory protection mask while applying it and let it dry for a few hours before using.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 3
Make a SWAT Costume Step 3

Step 3. Add a chin strap

If you wear a helmet, it will be better to add a chin strap at the bottom.

  • Cut a piece of black fabric long enough to stretch from ear to ear along the bottom of the helmet and the chin.
  • Glue both ends of the strip to the bottom of the helmet from about the point just in front of where the ears would go. Adjust the length if it is too loose or too tight.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 4
Make a SWAT Costume Step 4

Step 4. Use eye protectors that you have at home or buy them in a store

You can wear sunglasses, goggles, or a visor for this part of the SWAT costume. See the next step for ideas on goggles and visors if you prefer.

  • Get black-rimmed sunglasses at home or at a store instead of making them yourself.
  • Avoid prescription or designer glasses.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 5
Make a SWAT Costume Step 5

Step 5. Paint the sunglasses

If they are not totally black, you can paint the areas that are not black with spray paint or black markers.

Be careful not to apply paint or marker to the lenses, otherwise you run the risk of rendering them unusable. Try to cover them with masking tape while you paint the non-black surfaces

Make a SWAT Costume Step 6
Make a SWAT Costume Step 6

Step 6. Get goggles or a visor

You may have goggles or visors (like those a welder or mechanic might wear) around the house or garage.

  • If you don't have glasses or a visor, you may be able to borrow them from someone who has tools. You can ask something like, "I'd like to borrow your welding visor for a Halloween costume, but I'll give it back to you the next day."
  • Be sure to return any borrowed equipment in the same condition that you received it.
  • Goggles and visors are also relatively inexpensive at local stores or online.
  • Do not paint them especially if you intend to use them at some point.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 7
Make a SWAT Costume Step 7

Step 7. Adjust the glasses or visor correctly

This part of the SWAT costume should fit over the cap or helmet without falling off, but you should also be able to lower them relatively easily when you move them.

  • If your goggles, goggles, or visor don't come with some kind of fastener, you can tape a string to the terminals that go over your ears.
  • Cut a sturdy piece of string, or preferably a nylon string long enough to stretch between the back of the ends of your glasses of choice. It should be long enough to wrap around the back of the head and the cap or helmet.
  • Make sure you have enough string to tie both ends to the terminals and leave enough slack to freely move the glasses up and down. Ideally, you should be able to rest your glasses on your cap or helmet and move your head freely without slipping.
  • If the glasses slip, you may need to use a shorter cord. If it is too difficult for you to move them up and down, you will need a longer piece of string.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 8
Make a SWAT Costume Step 8

Step 8. Cover your ears

You could add a headset to simulate radio contact.

  • You can wear a pair of thin headphones or black earbuds under your hat or helmet.
  • Wind a black string or cable from the earpiece to the back of the vest that you will prepare later.
  • Twist the rope or cord so it looks like a corkscrew or spiral.
  • Use black electrical tape to bind both ends of the wire between the back of the vest and the plastic backing of the headset, respectively.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 9
Make a SWAT Costume Step 9

Step 9. Apply black anti-glare paint under your eyes

This step is optional, but it can improve the covert operational look.

  • This paint can simulate anti-glare protection.
  • You can get black eye at a sporting goods store.
  • Apply it with your fingers in the form of stripes just below both eyes.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 10
Make a SWAT Costume Step 10

Step 10. Apply camouflage face paint

This can also help achieve the undercover operative look, but is also optional.

  • Mix green and black paint all over your face to make it look like camouflage.
  • You can find this paint at a sporting goods store or department store.
  • Ask the seller for suggestions if you aren't sure how the paint will work on your skin.
  • Apply the paint liberally to the cheeks, forehead, and chin with a makeup applicator or with your hands.

Part 2 of 3: Assembling the SWAT Protective Gear

Make a SWAT Costume Step 11
Make a SWAT Costume Step 11

Step 1. Put on a shirt

It must be comfortable.

  • It can be a short-sleeved or long-sleeved shirt.
  • The shirt should be cotton or a cotton / polyester blend.
  • Try to choose something that you feel comfortable sweating in for an extended period of time.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 12
Make a SWAT Costume Step 12

Step 2. Choose a dark blue or black t-shirt

Sometimes you can wear a white shirt if you want a contrasting look instead of a mixed one.

  • Wear this shirt under any other gear on your torso.
  • The color of the shirt should match the vest or make the vest stand out.
  • The shirt should not be the thing that attracts attention.
  • Don't choose a shirt with a logo.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 13
Make a SWAT Costume Step 13

Step 3. Choose a vest

It can be a variety of zip-up or pullover vests.

  • Choose a polypropylene and polyester vest. This will ensure that it is sturdy and comfortable.
  • Choose a vest with lots of accessory pockets.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 14
Make a SWAT Costume Step 14

Step 4. Adjust the vest correctly

The vest could have more ways to fasten with hooks around the back.

  • The hooks on the vest should snap or slide into place and wrap around the back for a snug, comfortable fit.
  • The back strap should be adjustable. Position the strap so that the vest does not move freely, but also does not dig into the skin.
  • This is when you should also tape the other end of the earpiece from the previous section to the top back of the vest with black electrical tape. You can attach it to an area of the shoulder or a similar part that is not visible, leaving only the earpiece and the coiled black cord visible.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 15
Make a SWAT Costume Step 15

Step 5. Cover your elbows and knees

Depending on how the sleeves and pants fit, you have several options.

  • Neither of these covers are mandatory, but they add detail to the costume image.
  • For the elbows and knees, you could use rubber or hardened plastic pads.
  • You can improvise them with black bike or skateboard pads as long as they are a uniform color.
  • If the pads are not completely black, you can go over the areas that are a different color with black marker or electrical tape.
  • Make sure the knee pads can be easily adjusted for comfort by testing the straps.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 16
Make a SWAT Costume Step 16

Step 6. Wear wristbands and anklets

Wristbands and anklets must be cotton or a cotton-polyester blend.

  • They must be completely black like the rest of the team.
  • Make sure you can flex your wrists and walk easily with these covers on.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 17
Make a SWAT Costume Step 17

Step 7. Put on gloves

They must be made of black polyester.

  • You can wear normal or fingerless gloves.
  • Motorcycle gloves are an option if you can find ones without logos and that are completely black.
  • You can cover any non-black area with black electrical tape, but this can restrict movement too much for gloves.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 18
Make a SWAT Costume Step 18

Step 8. Put on the right pants

You can wear long pants or shorts, but either version must be black.

  • Compare the color of the pants to the vest to make sure you use the same shade of black on the top and bottom.
  • Select a pair with a decent number of pockets. While the vest will have many pockets, it is best to have more.
  • Choose pants with sturdy seams. Stronger seams will be more comfortable and help the pants contain additional accessories.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 19
Make a SWAT Costume Step 19

Step 9. Put on a sturdy belt

Some of the accessories will hang from the belt in addition to the belt that holds the pants.

  • Choose a leather belt in a color that suits the theme.
  • Select a brown or black belt.
  • He wears a belt with a metal buckle, but no other logos.
  • The plastic buckles can break and the logos had better not spoil the theme.

Part 3 of 3: Add accessories

Make a SWAT Costume Step 20
Make a SWAT Costume Step 20

Step 1. Put on matching shoes

They must be black and withstand long periods of use.

  • You can choose combat-style boots over shoes, but they can be more expensive and less comfortable.
  • Regular black athletic shoes are a cheaper way to comfortably handle this part of the costume.
  • Make sure what you choose is completely black and without logos.
  • You can put black tape over the logos temporarily if necessary.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 21
Make a SWAT Costume Step 21

Step 2. Wear a pair of black cotton dress socks

This will help maintain the color scheme and it will be comfortable.

  • Socks should be well padded for long walks, but not so thick that your feet sweat excessively.
  • Make sure the socks are high enough to tuck into the legs of your pants.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 22
Make a SWAT Costume Step 22

Step 3. Bring toy equipment

This could include toy guns, handcuffs, a SWAT shield, and a baton, for example.

  • If you don't have these toys, you could purchase them from a toy store, department store, or costume store individually at relatively low cost.
  • Make sure to buy toy versions of all of these items, and never bring a real thing to a costume party.
  • Costume pistols, like a toy AK-47, for example, are designed with a bright orange tip on the barrel.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 23
Make a SWAT Costume Step 23

Step 4. Write the correct logos

You can do this with a stencil and a white marker or spray paint. Or buy the logos.

  • You can copy the SWAT logo onto a template, such as one made of cardstock or cardboard. Draw with a pen or black marker that is easy to see so you can cut later.
  • Cut out the marked logo on the paper or cardboard. Make sure to cut only the letters.
  • Use masking tape to stick the template to the area where you want to place the logo. You should use a small insole in the right front pocket of the vest and a larger one in the upper back.
  • Use a white marker or spray paint to fill in the template and apply the logo to the area you want.
  • Some costume stores might sell logo stickers that you can stick on, or they might sell pre-made templates.
Make a SWAT Costume Step 24
Make a SWAT Costume Step 24

Step 5. Prepare the pockets

You will have at least half a dozen pockets between the vest and the pants.

  • The pockets will be needed for the usual items like a wallet, an ID card, keys, and so on.
  • You can use the other pockets for accessories like a flashlight, a toy radio, a notepad, a pen, a toy knife, etc.
  • Don't overload any pocket as you can use all the others.


  • Make sure all clothing fits you comfortably.
  • Some places may use other signs to help identify accessories like toy guns.
  • Wear reflective tape on your belt, vest, and accessories like toy guns if you walk late at night.
  • Check with the authorities at local venues to make sure you follow all guidelines with your equipment.
  • Go to costume parties in groups for more fun.
  • Carry a bag to carry the toy accessories, including the toy gun, to keep them out of sight when not in use.


  • Don't mix real guns with toy guns.
  • Wear proper eye and breath protection when using spray paint.
  • Posing as a police officer with the intention of using their authority is illegal.
  • Do not use real weapons with the costume.
  • Do not remove items that identify accessories as toys.

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