Although traditional vampires are known for their fangs and creepy black attire, it can be a lot of fun to dress up in several of them. Find your favorite vampire character from a TV show, movie, anime, or book and brainstorm how you could recreate their outfit for a fun and compelling cosplay. Otherwise, you can invent your original vampire cosplay. Once you have a design in mind, determine a budget for your costume and come up with a plan on how to create it. Whether you're shopping for costume pieces or doing a “wardrobe cosplay,” get into character by mimicking the vampire's poses and facial expressions to make your cosplay compelling and fun.
Part 1 of 3: Choosing a Vampire to Cosplay
Step 1. Choose a specific character who is a vampire for cosplay
Think about the ones you've seen in movies, TV shows, books, and graphic novels. You can choose a vampire that you like a lot and whose personality you want to recreate in real life. Otherwise, personality aside, you can choose a cosplay based on the vampire costume and character design that you love.
- If you choose a specific character to inspire your cosplay, you can have a lot of fun recreating their costume, acting the same, and making people guess who you dressed up as.
- Remember that you can create a cosplay for any vampire! It doesn't matter what you look like or what gender you identify with.
Step 2. You can take inspiration from traditional vampires if you want to create your own character
If you don't want to cosplay a specific character, there are tons of possibilities for you to create your own vampire cosplay! Do some research on traditional vampires, like Dracula, to see what elements you want to include in your outfit. Then, look at more modern vampires, like the characters in Twilight, to see their appearance and clothing.
- This is an opportunity to use your imagination. You may want to wear long dark hair, deep red lipstick, and fangs for your cosplay but don a Victorian dress. This totally works!
- Traditional vampires often wear black, white, and red formal wear with antique, ornate details. You can wear a tuxedo-inspired suit or an embroidered corset and a long black skirt.
Step 3. Research the vampires that inspire you for costume ideas
If you're basing your cosplay on a specific character, take some time to reread the graphic novel or rewatch the movie or TV show in which it appears to see it in action. On the other hand, if you were to create your own character, gather inspirational images from other vampire characters and outfits to help you decide what you want to include in yours.
- Look for other people's vampire cosplays. Search for “[vampire's name] cosplay” to see how other people have approached the character. This will give you ideas on how to transform the items you have in your closet.
- Viewing other cosplays will show you which elements of the outfit are the most important to include in yours.
Step 4. Make a list of styles that you can recreate for your vampire cosplay
If you've chosen an anime vampire, they may only have one outfit. However, if you've picked one from a TV show, it might have hundreds of outfits to choose from! On the other hand, if you are creating your own outfit, think about what your vampire's style might be. Write down all the costumes that you like and that you can recreate for cosplay.
- Let's say you want to dress up as Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She always has quite a specific style with her modern outfits, but she also wears historical clothing in flashback episodes.
- For Drusilla's cosplay, you could choose a specific outfit that she wore in a memorable episode, or you could create one that represents her overall dressing style.
- If you want to have a cosplay that is very easy to recognize, you can recreate the outfit that appears in the promotional posters of the movie or the television show where the vampire appears.
Step 5. Choose a specific cosplay look and study its elements carefully
Look up photos of vampires on the internet so you can better see the outfit from all angles. Otherwise, gather reference images of various vampires and costumes to create an original design. Make a list of each item that you will need in your cosplay (this is what costume designers call a parts list.)
- In the parts list, identify each item of clothing and accessory you will need, from the wig to the shoelaces.
- Also, write down the hair care and makeup products you'll need to recreate the vampire's signature look.
- When developing your costume ideas and parts list, focus on aspects of the vampire's appearance that you can recreate. You don't have to grow or change your skin color or gender to exactly match your character's. However, you can change your hair with a wig and you can use makeup and clothes to get her look.
Part 2 of 3: Making your costume
Step 1. Make a budget for your costume
Cosplaying can be an expensive hobby, and sometimes overdoing it is a temptation. Whether you have a large or small budget to work with, assign a dollar amount to each item on the parts list. This will tell you how much you can spend on each one.
- For example, if you have a budget of $ 100 and 10 items on your parts list, you can start by dividing $ 100 by 10. The result will be $ 10 per item. However, if you plan to use 3 or 4 items from your closet, you will have about $ 15 per item.
- You can move the money so that there is less budgeted for less expensive items and more for 1 or 2 pieces that could be more expensive. For example, you might want to buy a jacket and shoes that match your character, but style your hair without a wig.
- A budget will keep you in check and help you be sure to finish all aspects of the outfit.
Step 2. Make a plan on how you will build your outfit
You can do a "wardrobe cosplay", which means that you will use pieces that you already have in it. Another option is to buy an entire outfit, which will cost you a few hundred dollars, or buy a few specific pieces. Lastly, you can cosplay from scratch. The base can be a commercial sewing pattern or one that you have invented yourself.
- Feel free to mix up the strategies to put together your outfit! For example, you could sew some decorative scraps onto your clothing and top off the look with a character-specific wig you order online.
- If you're wondering if a purchased or handmade costume is better, know that it doesn't really matter. Choose the method that feels the most manageable and fun for you.
Step 3. Think about what accessories your vampire might need
Do you wear a particular necklace or charm? Do you carry a specific backpack or a shocking cane? See if you have items on hand that you can use for cosplay. If not, think about buying or making something that looks a lot like the vampire accessories you chose.
- Craft materials like clay, papier-mâché, cardboard, and a paint splash can be helpful for making jewelry and accessories.
- Traditional vampires often wear antique decorated jewelry. Find costume jewelry to add dazzling red hoops and ornate chains to your ensemble.
- Modern vampires often wear large glasses and wide-brimmed hats to protect themselves from direct sunlight.
Step 4. Gather all the supplies you need for the outfit based on the parts list
Whether you are wearing clothes from your closet, ordering costume pieces online, or borrowing some items from your friends, you should gather all the items on the pieces list. You'll also need to gather basic supplies like fabric, thread, paint, and glue for custom projects, as well as makeup and styling products.
- Thrift stores can be great for finding affordable clothes that you can alter.
- Review each item on the parts list as you get them.
- If you are shopping for clothing or fabric, focus on the colors, textures, and shapes of the clothing and fabric. It is often important to use a specific color so that people can recognize your cosplay.
Step 5. Make or modify any piece of crafts you need for your cosplay
If you're making clothes or accessories from scratch, this is your chance to get creative! You most likely require sewing skills, or you can ask an adult you trust to help you sew an outfit for you. Otherwise, you could modify clothes that you already have to create a new cosplay.
For example, you can sew a top to a skirt and add a metallic patch to create a vampire dress
Step 6. Create a hairstyle with your natural hair or a wig
You can order a wig specific to your character or one that is the right length and color to style yourself. Otherwise, you can play with your natural hair (even if it is not the exact color and cut of the vampire you chose) to create a look reminiscent of the character's.
- Long black hair is one of the most widely recognized characteristics of a traditional vampire. You can use a spray coloring product to darken your hair for the day to achieve this style.
- However, some modern vampires have a short bob! For example, if you have short hair, you can use a straightening iron and volumizing mousse to recreate Twilight Alice's spiky bob. Another option is to wear a wig, as the actress did in the film series.
Step 7. Design a makeup style for your vampire cosplay
Virtually all vampires have fangs, and a little fake blood around the lips can go a long way in communicating the status of yours to observers. Traditional vampires are known for wearing deep red lips and dark smoky eye makeup. Some modern vampires wear contemporary and trendy makeup while other fantasy characters have specific facial features that you may want to recreate. Study the reference images and write a list of makeup products that you will need to transform your face.
- You can use powder or face paint to give your skin a pale, sallow, or gray tint. Wear cool colors like deep purple on your cheekbones and put dark circles under your eyes.
- Try adding flashes of white highlighter to signal pale, bloodless skin. This trick works even if you have a darker skin tone.
- For ideas, watch video makeup tutorials of people who have already done a vampire cosplay similar to yours.
Step 8. Try on the cosplay to make sure the clothes, hair and makeup are fixed
A few days before going to a cosplay convention or dressing up with your friends, make sure that each piece of the outfit fits you comfortably and that you can put it on and take it off comfortably. If you plan to drive or walk around for hours cosplaying, make sure the costume will withstand these types of activities.
- Gather your cosmetics and practice doing your makeup, combing your hair, and putting on your wig.
- See how long it takes you to get ready so that you can give yourself plenty of time to prepare before heading out for the convention.
- During a test, make sure all the pieces look and feel great. If they still require a bit of work, you will have a little time to make minor adjustments to the outfit.
Part 3 of 3: Acting the Role
Step 1. Practice the poses and facial expressions of the vampire
Look at the character's source, be it a movie, TV show, or graphic novel, to see how the character moves his body. Practice striking distinctive poses and recreating their facial expressions.
- For a traditional vampire, you can wrap the cape around your face and hide everything else. Focus on shooting a penetrating look at the observers.
- For a credible performance, try to mimic as much of the vampire's movements as you can!
Step 2. Stay in the shadows and avoid sunlight just like a real vampire
Most vampires choose to avoid the light. Maybe you decide to act like a modern vampire who can get away with taking his precautions. Wear sunglasses or even a wide-brimmed hat if you plan to go out. Another alternative is to represent the old vampire tradition of turning to dust in sunlight.
Practice how you would act if you were exposed to direct sunlight. Perhaps your character screams in pain or collapses on the ground in weakness. This will definitely increase the drama of your cosplay
Step 3. Prepare a vampire accent and a few phrases to say
Consider what your chosen vampire says and how he speaks in the movie, television show, or book in which he appears. Memorize his characteristic phrases and try to imitate his voice. Practice the old Transylvanian accent to be a more believable vampire.
- You can scare people by saying I want to drink your blood Dracula-style.
- Otherwise, if you are a modern vampire, you can say phrases in conversation that reveal your real nature. If someone asks you out, you can answer Sure, but I can't go out until after dark.
Step 4. Play morose music wherever you go
Vampires are gloomy and melancholic. Make a playlist of classical music from Mozart or Beethoven. Otherwise, you can go for shady rock bands like Muse, Paramore, Evanescence, Flyleaf, Nightwish, Shinedown, Black Veil Brides, or Metallica. Make a playlist that gets you in the right mood.
You can also play the theme song or soundtrack to the vampire movie or TV show
Step 5. Take pictures of yourself at your cosplay
Once you've got the outfit on and you're acting like a vampire, don't forget to take multiple photos to document your amazing cosplay! Find a cool location that looks like a place your vampire would go, get in the proper pose, and show off all sides of your outfit for the camera.
- It can be fun to gather multiple cosplaying friends to recreate an entire community of vampires.
- Another option is to do it yourself and use a friend or a camera tripod to take pictures of your cosplay.
- Make sure your outfit is secure, especially if you are adding weapons to it. Be careful not to make an outfit with items that could pose a slip hazard or restrict your vision.
- When you are making a costume, ask an adult to help you with tools that you are inexperienced with, such as a sewing machine or box cutter.
- If you have a bigger budget and want to achieve a very specific look, you can have an outfit made for you based on your measurements and design preferences.
- If you're cosplaying a vampire for a convention, set a timeline. Give yourself plenty of time to do your research, gather all your supplies, and create your outfit before convention day.
- Pack a costume repair kit for when you go out to cosplay. Includes tools such as pins, tape, touch-up makeup, hair clips or hairspray, and a box to store your fangs. It's also a good idea to bring plenty of water and snacks so you don't get dehydrated or hungry.
- If you receive unwanted attention, are bullied, or harassed while cosplaying, do your best to ignore the person and walk away from them, whether in person or online. For example, you could block someone who is bullying you on social media. Tell a trusted adult, like a parent or even a security guard, right away if you don't feel safe. On the other hand, you should know that your cosplay is excellent no matter what some people say!