Carved pumpkin next to candles and bones shrouded in smoke

Halloween: DIY Skeleton Costume

Ready to add some skeletons to your closet? With the excitement of Halloween chilling us to the bone, we’re focusing this week’s DIY costume guide on the symbolic reminder of the otherworld: skeletons. Create your own Day of the Dead look with our makeup tutorial, follow our step-by-step skeleton T-shirt guide and learn all about the history of the Day of the Dead.

shop adult fancy dressshop kids’ fancy dress

DIY George skeleton Halloween costume and yellow skull covered in flowers, all shrouded in smoke

Product image of long sleeved black T-shirt

Skeleton decoration

Product image of 3 white vests

George Day of the Dead floral skeleton headband

makeup tutorial
the day of the dead look

You will need: white and black face paint, a clean makeup sponge, paint brush and black eye pencil to get the look!

tricks and tips
DIY skeleton T-shirt

Follow our step-by-step tutorial to create your own skeleton T-shirt as featured above. You will need our A4 stencil, a white vest, black top, black marker and a pair of scissors.

Bird's-eye view of person cutting out rib shapes from stencil

Download and print out the stencil provided, then cut out all the ribs shapes

Bird's-eye view of person aligning stencil over folded white vest

Fold the vest in half and place the stencil in position along the fold

Bird's-eye view of person drawing the outline of the rib shapes onto a folded white vest

Using the black marker, draw the shapes on to the vest. Repeat on the other side

Bird's-eye view of white vest with black ribs drawn on

As shown above, try to place the stencil in the same place on either side

Bird's-eye view of person cutting out rib shapes from white vest

Cut out the shapes making sure to cut on the outside of the black marker lines

Bird's-eye view of white vest with rib shapes cut out over a black top

Wear over a black top for the ultimate DIY skeleton look


The Day of the Dead (also known as Día de los Muertos) is an annual three-day public holiday celebrated in Mexico. Every year on November 2nd, people of Mexican heritage get together with family and friends to invite their loved ones who have passed, to come back and visit and help them complete their spiritual journey.

During the Day of the Dead celebrations, it’s also tradition for families to go to the cemetery to decorate the graves of their relatives. Bright marigolds (the flowers of the dead) are used to decorate altars, alongside muertos (the bread of the dead), sugar skulls, cardboard skeletons, tissue paper decorations, incense and other traditional foods.