4 ways to make a Darth Vader costume

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4 ways to make a Darth Vader costume
4 ways to make a Darth Vader costume

In 1977, the Dark Lord of the Sith, also known as Darth Vader, was first introduced to the world. Since then, this galactic super villain (and father of Luke and Leia) has become a pop culture icon. A Darth Vader costume, whether it's for a costume party or Halloween, or to impress your friends, is always a hit. You can save money and have a unique design by making a costume with its accessories at home.


Method 1 of 4: Get Started

Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 1
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 1

Step 1. Search the internet for images of Darth Vader to serve as a guide

Use a search engine like Google or Bing to find images of this character that show him full-length, as well as close-ups of different parts of his outfit (for example, his mask, his cape, or his suit). Use them as a guide when shopping or looking for supplies.

Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 2
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 2

Step 2. Make a list of everything you will need

It is better to be sure that you are prepared and acquire all the necessary materials or implements that you might not have at home. Divide the costume into 6 sections: the helmet, dark clothing, dark boots, dark gloves, cape, and accessories.

  • Decide the type of costume you want: a 100% trustworthy one, a comfortable one, or a quick and easy one to make.
  • Determine which parts of the costume you can make at home and which parts to buy at a toy or costume store.
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 3
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 3

Step 3. Buy cheap black clothes

Black is characteristic of Darth Vader and the clothing of this color is key to the costume. You can save money by buying it from a thrift store. You will need a long-sleeved shirt or sweater, sweatpants or cargo pants, and a pair of socks.

  • When selecting clothing items, think about where you will wear the costume. Buy heavy, thick clothing if you plan to wear it outside for Halloween. For a costume party, look for cotton clothing that is thin and loose to keep you comfortable indoors.
  • If you plan to add some type of padding or pads (for example, football) under your clothes to give you a more muscular appearance, consider buying clothes one or two sizes larger than what you normally wear.
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 4
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 4

Step 4. Make or buy boots and gloves

You will need thick black gloves and boots. Because of his deformities, Darth Vader keeps his body covered at all times, including his hands and feet. Motorcycle gloves and boots work very well because they are large, thick, and usually black in color. Large artificial or genuine leather gloves and cheap black snow boots will also work. You can also make your own "boot" covers to put over your shoes. Here are the directions:

  • You can sew your own boot covers using an artificial leather material, a 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) wide piece of elastic, and a sewing machine. Create a design by drawing the silhouette of your shoes and pants from the sole to the knee. Do it with both legs.
  • Trace the pattern onto the material, making sure to include the width of the shoe at the toe and heel and adding any necessary fabric. Leave 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) of fabric to one side for sewing. Do it twice on each side and cut along the lines.
  • Gather two halves for each boot, sewing only the sides and leaving the top and bottom open.
  • Cut four pieces of elastic the same size as the bottom of your boot. Place one end of the elastic near the right seam and the other end next to the left. Secure with pins and machine sew to bottom of boot. Put on your boots by pulling them over your shoes and pants.

Method 2 of 4: Darth Vader's Helmet

Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 5
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 5

Step 1. Obtain or purchase materials for a papier-mâché helmet

This technique is great for crafting a three-dimensional, hollow, durable, and lightweight one. While buying a Darth Vader helmet from a toy or costume store is always an option, making one out of papier-mâché is easy and fun. You will need to:

  • News paper
  • Papier-mâché mixture (1 measure of flour and 5 of water)
  • A pan
  • A mixing bowl
  • A balloon
  • 3-4 empty cereal boxes
  • A masking tape
  • A recycled plastic container
  • Sticks of hot glue (or hot glue) and a hot glue gun
  • Black spray paint
  • High gloss spray varnish
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 6
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 6

Step 2. Make the papier-mâché paste

Mix in a saucepan a measure of flour and 5 of water. Boil for three minutes and cool. This method will produce a smooth, even paste.

  • You can also add the same amount of water and flour, and then mix them in a bowl.
  • Do not add salt to the mixture as it makes it difficult to shape the papier-mâché.
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 7
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 7

Step 3. Create a base for your papier-mâché helmet

You will use the balloon for this purpose. Inflate it and place it in a plastic bucket so it does not move. Add a single layer of papier-mâché to the balloon, dipping strips of newspaper into the paste and gluing them directly onto it. Let everything dry before moving on to the next step.

Paper mache can end in disaster. Use a flat work surface, such as a table or kitchen floor, and cover it completely with newspaper before you begin

Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 8
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 8

Step 4. Cut shapes from the cardboard of the cereal boxes to make Darth Vader's face

Build the face by cutting geometric shapes (squares, rectangles, triangles and circles) and gluing them to the papier-mâché base with masking tape or thermo glue. Once you're done modeling Darth Vader's features with the cardboard pieces, add another layer of papier-mâché and let it dry.

  • Don't forget to create a visor that rises above the eyes and protrudes from the sides of the face.
  • Darth Vader breathes through a triangular-shaped artificial respiration device that protrudes from his face and covers his nose and mouth.
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 9
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 9

Step 5. Deflate the balloon and make holes for the eyes and mouth

Gently remove the bottom and back of the mask and use a pin to pop the balloon. Add more papier-mâché to smooth out any uneven edges or fill in any gaps. Let it dry before cutting two large oval-shaped holes for the eyes and one more triangle-shaped hole in the artificial respirator for the mouth.

Cut strips of plastic from a recycled container and glue them over the mouth to create the ventilation slots

Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 10
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 10

Step 6. Spray paint the helmet and add the final details

Spray the entire helmet with black spray paint, then apply a coat of high-gloss varnish. Punch a hole on both sides of the helmet, at the back, and thread a piece of elastic through them to secure the mask in place.

After finishing painting, use thermoglue to glue the lenses of some vintage sunglasses over the eyes

Method 3 of 4: Darth Vader's Cloak

Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 11
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 11

Step 1. Take some basic measurements

Take three measurements. Wearing a pair of shoes or boots, measure the distance between your neck and the ground; stretch your arms out to the sides and measure the distance between your fingertips; And finally, measure the circumference of the base of your neck. Take these numbers with you when you go to the fabric store and ask someone to help you determine how much you need to buy.

  • Leave some extra fabric, 2.5 to 3 inches (6.30 to 7.6 cm) on each side, for the hems.
  • Fabrics are generally sold by the meter.
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 12
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 12

Step 2. Choose a pattern and buy the necessary materials

You can find patterns for making a basic superhero cape online or at a fabric store. If you don't know how to use a sewing machine, there are several layer designs available for different skill levels. In addition, Darth Vader's cape is different from the traditional superhero in that it does not emit "sounds." It is better to use a heavy cloth in order to make it fall. To create a basic design, you will need:

  • At least 0.9m (1 yard) of heavy black fabric (measured for a children's costume; for an adult, more will be needed based on their size and weight)
  • At least 0.9 m (1 yard) of extra fabric if you want to lining it
  • Pattern paper
  • Multipurpose black thread
  • 2-3 inches (5-7.6 cm) Velcro
  • Washable markers for fabric or chalk
  • A sewing machine
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 13
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 13

Step 3. Draw the pattern on the cape and cut it out

Using a chalk or washable fabric marker, transfer the mold from the paper to the fabric. Modify the pattern to suit your measurements (height from neck to floor and length of arms extended). Measure the width of the base of your neck to determine the measurement of this part of the cape and add a few extra inches to make it comfortable. When you're done, cut the fabric.

  • Repeat this step if you want to lining the cape.
  • As an alternative, you can draw, cut, and then sew two semi-circles. Fold the fabric in two and pin it down. Double your neck-to-neck measurement and mark it on the fabric, leaving about 2 inches (5.1 cm) between the base of the semicircle and the edge of the material. With a piece of chalk held up by a string, draw a perfect arc. Cut the fabric. In the center, trace and cut a smaller semicircle for your neck. With a sewing machine, join the two halves.
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 14
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 14

Step 4. Hem the neck and the bottom of the cape; then add the velcro

Using a sewing machine, hem a single double fabric hem at the neck and bottom edge of the cape. Fold the edge of the fabric up by 1/2 inch, and then fold it back another 1/2 inch. Secure the fold with straight pins. Sew the hem 1/8 inch (0.3 cm) away from the folded edge. When you're done, smooth it out with an iron.

  • When you take your initial measurements of the cape, it is recommended that you add several more inches for the hems. Sewing them together will make it last longer and prevent the edges from fraying.
  • To secure the neck, sew or glue a 2- to 3-inch (5-7.6 cm) piece of velcro on each side. If your cape is heavy, you may need slightly larger pieces.

Method 4 of 4: Putting the Costume Together

Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 15
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 15

Step 1. Allow 10-15 minutes to put on the costume

Try on each piece separately first to make sure they fit. Make any necessary modifications before wearing it complete. Make sure you have all the necessary elements to become Darth Vader; that is, the pads (optional), the helmet, the black long-sleeved shirt and pants, the black cape, the black gloves and the black boots.

Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 16
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 16

Step 2. To get started, put on the ear pads (optional)

Although they are not necessary, they provide more padding and appear many muscles. You can use old football or hockey equipment, such as chest pads, shoulder pads, shin pads, and padded covers. If you wear an outfit, put on the cover or girdle first. Then, put your shoulder pads on so they are comfortable and have someone help you secure them in the front and back. Lastly, strap on or secure your shin guards.

  • The pads can be bulky and thus make your movements more difficult or uncomfortable. If you are not used to them, practice using them at home for a few hours for several days.
  • Use electrical tape (put on clothing, not skin) to secure pads that feel loose or move around a lot.
  • Sports equipment is expensive. So if you don't have pads of your own, borrow them from a friend or look at a thrift store to see if they have clean used items.
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 17
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 17

Step 3. Put on the black pants and long-sleeved shirt

These clothes should fit snugly but not too tight. If you decide not to use pads, but want to create a bulky look anyway, consider layering a thick sweater or multiple T-shirts on top of each other. You can do the same with pants: wear two jumpsuits or one of them over a pair of regular jeans.

Layering is also a good idea if you are wearing the costume outside in cold weather

Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 18
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 18

Step 4. Tuck your pants under your boots and put on your gloves

Pull your boots over your pants or tuck them inside. If this is the case, tie your shoelaces before putting on the gloves. If you made boot covers, just pull them over your sneakers. Try walking from one side to the other. Stomp when walking to appear more intimidating.

Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 19
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 19

Step 5. Add the cape and helmet

Tie or glue the velcro of your cape and place it around your neck. Adjust it so that it is comfortable and not too tight. To add the finishing touch, put on your helmet. Make sure it fits you well and that you can see and breathe comfortably. Try pacing around your house to get used to the costume before you go out.

Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 20
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 20

Step 6. Add a lightsaber or make your own

If you have one, put it on your leash and take it with you. Otherwise, you can make your own with a swimming foam tube. Cut it in half with a knife. Wrap a quarter of the tube, starting at one end, with silver electrical tape. Finally, with a black electrical tape, make three horizontal rings on top of the silver part. Add two black vertical strips between the horizontal rings and the bottom of the silver part.

Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 21
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 21

Step 7. Make your own dashboard

Darth Vader wears one on his chest that is used to monitor his vital signs and body functions. You can complete your costume by spraying black paint or spray on a cardboard square. Next, create buttons and switches by drawing them with different colored metallic pens, or by gluing buttons, beads, game pieces, or toothpaste caps to the front of the square. Use black electrical tape to attach the control panel to your shirt, or tie a piece of wool or black string to each side to hang around your neck.

Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 22
Make a Darth Vader Costume Step 22

Step 8. Take a deep breath and make hoarse sounds

After his near-fatal battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader had to use mechanical lungs and a ventilator. Consequently, their breaths are loud and hoarse. In Episodes IV, V and VI, actor James Earle Jones voiced this villain. Despite his heavy breathing, his voice is deep and commanding. Prepare yourself by watching the movies in which this character appears; ie Star Wars episodes III, IV, V and VI. Record yourself speaking as Darth Vader. When you're in full costume, practice walking, talking, and moving like him in front of a mirror.


  • Make sure you have enough time to put your costume on before going somewhere or doing any activities.
  • If you can't find a part in the store, get creative and make it yourself. Making sections of your costume will make it more personalized and differentiate it from the rest.
  • Make sure you have all of your costume pieces in one safe place so you don't miss any.
  • Work in a deep voice, or if you can't pull it off, keep quiet. Vader only speaks when necessary.
  • Move with conviction by making movements that are slow and easy to control; avoid those who seem brusque or very enthusiastic.
  • Have a partner by your side. This costume may have vision or movement limitations. Having someone silently point you to a step you haven't seen or a car approaching you will be a huge help. They could even coordinate their costumes, your partner could dress up as a soldier or an officer of the empire.
  • The most important thing is that you have fun and not be in danger!
  • A helmet that has a built-in voice modifier can be fun. You could also download an app to your phone that makes your voice look like Darth Vader's.


  • The helmet you wear could affect your vision. Make sure you know where you are walking and please do not drive while you are wearing it.
  • Be aware that you could be scary to young children. If you are around them, try not to act so serious, or do something funny like sing or dance.
  • Keep hydrated. Unless you have some kind of ventilation system, your suit will start to get very hot very quickly. Don't forget to drink plenty of water and if you start to feel dizzy, take off your helmet and cool off.
  • If you have a lightsaber, do not use it to hit other people or damage other people's property; not only is it annoying, it could be dangerous.

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