Mad Like Alyce

DIY Zombie Costume Tips & Tricks

There are may things to consider when creating your DIY zombie costume, but I wanted to round up with some not-so-obvious tips along with the basics.


Prepare for the mess

One thing that people often forget about is how messy a zombie costume is! While grease paint is it’s own beast to clean, fake blood, both store bought and home-made, leave terrible stains. Plan on throwing away EVERYTHING you wear, including undergarments… meaning don’t wear a nice Victoria’s Secret bra if you plan on adding any fake blood to your costume… it WILL get ruined.

Location, Location, Location

Think about the location you are applying said zombie blood… you don’t want to get it all over your nice concrete driveway and end up with permanently stained pink concrete… zombie gore doesn’t help resale value or assist in getting your deposit back. Ideally, applying on a lawn works well since it can be hosed down or left to soak into the soil.


If you plan to apply the blood prior to driving to a party, make sure to avoid applying blood to your backside, including the back and sides of your legs. Even if you are careful, invest in some cheap plastic painting dropcloths and line the seats of your car prior to getting your zombie on. I have a friend that still has “blood” stains on his upholstery… not to appealing even when you explain it.

Taking a taxi or Uber? The cheap 1 ply dropclothes cost $1 at Walmart are very compact and can fit in a pocket or purse, and can even be cut into shorter lengths and shared between 2-3 people. The driver will think the world of you.


Finally, think about what weather you might be out in. Here in the mid-west, October 31 can be a total crap-shoot for cold to borderline hot weather if we are having a fluke season. The year I was a Zombie Bride, the weather was in the mid 60s and totally comfortable to move around normally.

The following year, I did a zombie prom queen, and it was barely 40 degrees… and the plan was to be outdoors all night for zombie crawl in the cities. The day of, I made a last minute stop at a fabric store and bought 2 yards of a white furry fabric that I could don as a “fur shawl” over my strapless red dress and found elbow length white dress gloves to complete the look. Luckily, they showed off the zombie blood well, and the long formal gown hid thick leggings, so I made it through the night fairly well off. Others, however, were miserable after just an hour or two in the cold. If weather is a factor where you are, keep a backup plan in mind… you don’t want to ruin your nice jacket or get hypothermia.


Contacts really evolves the overall effect. I love it!

Zombie Contacts

Zombie contacts take the look to a hole new level!!! The major downside is that you really have to plan ahead. In the United States, contacts are considered a prescription, therefore you can only get them if prescribed by a doctor… which is why Halloween stores can’t sell them. I bought mine from


I call this “zombie discovers the selfie.” Haha!

To get them, you will have to order online from the UK, which takes about 2-3 weeks to be delivered. They are not the most comfortable to see through at first, but bear with it, you will gradually get used to them. That said, if you are not familiar with contacts or are going to be out and about for more than a few hours, bring a very small bottle of eye drops with you, and maybe even a few handwipes, just in case you need to take the contacts out and don’t have the best place to wash off… you don’t want makeup on your hands when you are touching your eyes.


DIY Zombie Costume

In this particular zombie manifestation, I was going for the “unsuccessful survivalist” zombie. The kind that tried to hack it in the new world but ended up as one of the un-dead. Regardless of what type of zombie you choose to be, you can always find clothing cheap at Goodwill that you can cup up without remorse. This total costume came to $12. Just $4 for each: the men’s pants and over-shirt and a white T.

Another reason to go cheap is that you really need to plan on throwing away EVERYTHING you wear, including undergarments… meaning don’t wear a nice Victoria’s Secret bra if you plan on adding any fake blood to your costume… it WILL get ruined. Depending on the outfit, sometimes you can salvage it for another wear, but it is honestly nice to just peel these off when you are done and toss them right in the trash before hitting the shower… just less mess overall.

Zombie Themes

This is possibly one of my favorite ways to do Zombies. As you could see in the brief history in my Top 5 Zombie Makeup Tools, I myself have done Shotgun Bride and Zombie Prom Queen. I have been accompanied by a Zombie Biker, a Zombie Dr. Heisenberg, Zombie mental patient, and even a Zombie Paul Bunyan & Babe the Blue Ox!

Zombie Paul Bunyan & Zombie Babe the Blue OxGaaaa, aren’t they cute? My favorite couple!

Check out my Zombie Board on Pintrest for some of my favorite Zombie Costume Ideas, from Pop Art Zombies (I soooo want to try this but think it requires a much finer skill than I can pull off) to movie characters… almost any recognizable figure, a flapper, a chef, even a dog can be made a zombie!


Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!


  • How appropriate that I dressed up as Sally at the haunted house last night, because I was featured as Sally on @liquidcosplay in the same day... Halloween no less! I love love love this costume, and it’s the one that got me started in cosplay and makeup. #halloween #cosplay

#Repost @liquidcosplay with @get_repost
If you've got it, haunt it. Here's @madlikealyce as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. 🎃 Visit her page for more great cosplay!
🌟 Tag and Follow to be featured.
Follow: @liquidcosplay
#nightmarebeforechristmas #nightmarebeforechristmascosplay #sallyandjack #sallystitches #sallyragdoll #halloween #halloweencosplay #halloween2018 #happyhalloween #EverydayIsHalloween #CreepItReal #repost #cosplay #cosplays #cosplayer #cosplayers #cosplaying #cospositive #cosplaylife #cosplaygirl #cosplaygirls #girlswhocosplay #cosplaybabe #sexycosplay #cutecosplay #womenofcosplay #girlsofcosplay #curvycosplay
  • You would think that I would have done makeup on all of my family at this point, but sadly that is not the case, however, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do my brother's makeup after the haunt had opened Saturday night! He managed to pull together an incredible maroon clown outfit, and I am really pleased how the makeup looks! I personally like the messier clowns, and it worked well to have brighter pink-ish hues toned down by smudges of black and watering down the paint overall. 
#clown #clownmakeup #hauntlife #hauntedhouse #halloween
  • My first ever zombie for Halloween was a shotgun bride, and although it was a real bridal gown with real shotgun damage, I just used 3 or 4 latex bullet wounds. It was fun, and a great introduction to using prosthetics, but it wasn't really accurate to what I would have had for damage with an actual shotgun wound. So years later, I made up for it by re-creating a more realistic wound of where the shoulder and partial face would have been torn up by the blast. Personally, this is my favorite zombie creation to date! #zombie #zombiemakeup #zombiebride #shotgunbride #zombiecrawl #woundmakeup
  • Ready for my closeup!!! Getting ready for Sioux Falls Zombie Crawl tomorrow!!! #zombie #zombiemakeup #zombiecrawl
  • OK you guys, this is where I love the internet. I created this zombie 2 years ago and had (kind of) forgotten about it until just this week when someone re-created it... and she is on the other side of the globe! Seriously, it made my my entire day/week/month, and reminds me why I love doing this. <3 <3 <3
#zombie #zombiemakeup #zombiecrawl #halloween2018
  • Its GO TIME PEOPLE! T-Minus 7 days to HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEN. Im running on fumes and caffeine, but it is 100% worth it. I love working at the haunted house, and am beyond thrilled about this coming weekend. I still have 2 costumes to finish and 2 zombies to do, plus some donut deliveries (a great fundraiser... friends scared of clowns? Send them donuts a-la-clowns). One more look at this first clown because I was obsessed with this wig from Rockstar wigs... I WILL find a way to use it again in the near future. #hauntlife #hauntedhouse #clowns #halloween2018
  • I had a request to recreate a clown mask as a makeup so it wouldn’t be as hot to wear in the house (swipe to see said mask), and it was quite the learning experience. I made this about a month ago when I was still trying to use the cream paints that the haunt had, though I’ve since decided to buy more of my own water paint to use on my actors. The base here was the basic white clown grease paint, and while I loved the coverage, it felt awful to wear, and it was incredibly difficult to add fine details with cream paint or shadows. So my first and last grease paint clown! 🤡 I still think it’s important to share our failures as well as the successes... this is still far better than what I might have created even just a year ago! #clowns #hauntedhouse #halloween
  • Hey Guys! I've been quiet on Insta so far this October, but its because IM SO BUSY and i'm pretty much in Halloween Heaven. Between finishing my first commissioned costume (its super simple, but I completed foam armor for the first time!!!) and doing makeup at the haunted house, i've hardly had time for sleep... and I wouldn't have it any other way. 
This is one of my first clown practice runs. I tried doing 30 minutes or less, and initially I wasn't planning on posting. Having a few days of the crazed makeup chaos that is getting ready for house open under my belt, I have a new appreciation for what details you can and simply cannot complete in such a short time period, and kind of like the grunge this clown pulled off. Not everything you will create is perfect, but thats how we all learn! #clowns #hauntedhouse #halloweenmakeup #halloween2018
  • I think this barrel look could make a great clown character.... am I going over to the dark side and starting to like clowns?!?! Only time will tell, and there are still 20 days until Halloween! #nightmarebeforechristmas #halloweentown #lockshockandbarrel


Costume & Makeup Tutorials

Follow Me