How to Make a Vampire Costume

On Halloween night, all kinds of vampires roam the streets. Kids slung in white sheets with fangs and dripping blood can be found on trick-or-treat doorsteps. And, adult renditions of Dracula stop most partygoers in their tracks. By using varied elements, vampire costumes can either look classic or modern. So before you pull together the makings for a scary ensemble, decide what type of vampire you want to be. Then, make sure to gather the perfect ingredients, including proper attire, makeup, blood recipes, fake fangs, and classy accessories.

  • 01 of 05

    A Traditional Dracula Vampire

    Child wearing dracula vampire costume
    Des / Getty Images

    The old-school Dracula vampire never goes out of style. This immediately recognizable character sports a traditional white face and a draping cape. This costume is always a hit with the kids and the materials are easy to find.

    For a female Dracula, pair a formfitting white dress shirt (or a corset, if you can find one) with a black skirt—long or short. Then, make a long hooded cape out of black fabric and style your hair with a straitening iron. A pair of knee-high boots or heels and black tights round out the look. 

    Male Draculas can wear a white shirt with a black or red vest and black dress pants. Or, if you have a throwback black tux, toss it on. The small tie at Dracula's neck can be imitated with a simple piece of black ribbon tied under the collar. Slick back your hair with hair gel and make a "widow's peak" or a use a black makeup pencil to doctor one up in the middle of your forehead. 

  • 02 of 05

    A Gothic Vampire

    Gothic vampire
      Dutko / Getty Images

    Since goth fashion is a style of its own, it is easy to source the makings of a gothic vampire costume. You can save some money with this look, too, as any almost black attire and corpse-like makeup will do.  

    Ladies can wear black leather skirts with a bikini top or a flowy black prom dress. Chunky, lace-up platform boots and fishnet stockings complete the outfit from the waist down. And, black fingerless gloves round out the ensemble. 

    Long black cargo shorts and a sleeveless black vest make any male gothic vampire stand out. Combat boots and leather pants also work well on a cooler night. Of course, gothic fashion can't really be pulled off without tattoos or arm sleeves, so purchase temporary tattoos for one-time use, if need be.

  • 03 of 05

    A Classy Victorian Vampire

    Victorian vampire
      Simon Podgorsek / Getty Images

    Successfully recreating a Victorian-era vampire—like in Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire—can be expensive. However, hitting up your local thrift store for sophisticated items can land you a great costume on the cheap. Wear clothing made of lace and leather to mimic this blood-sucking persona. Ladies can source period-style attire like corsets and Victorian-era hats. And guys should try to find an old suit that fits comfortably. Mini top hats, ribbon chokers, and costume jewelry pendants all complete the look. 

  • 04 of 05

    Vampire Makeup

    vampire makeup
      fotostorm / Getty Images 

    Any style of vamp costume needs a proper makeup job. And you don't have to be a professional artist to pull it off, either. Powder your entire face or blot on white cream makeup (applied sparingly and blended well) for a pale undertone. A little bit of purple and red under the eyes gives a good "undead" impression. Whip up a batch of fake blood and add drips to the corners of your lips. Then, add dots on your neck to simulate a bite.

    Ladies can apply a generous amount of mascara and black eyeliner to their eyes. Then, skip the blush to maintain the deathly look and apply a dark lip color, instead.

    Guys can add dark circles under their eyes and create a slightly hollow facial appearance by sponging black makeup just under the cheekbones. But don't overdo it.

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  • 05 of 05

    Vampire Accessories

    Vampire teeth
      Rob Melnychuk / Getty Images 

    Let's face it. One vampire accessory that is hard to go without is vampire teeth. Luckily, inexpensive fangs, with our without blood, are easy to find and come in adult and kids sizes, too.

    A truly great costume needs lots of details. Goth vampires can complete their look with chains and handcuffs. Glow-in-the-dark necklaces, bracelets, and headwear will suit Dracula perfectly. And, bat or spider earrings look great on a Victorian-era vampiress.