How to Make Your Own Indiana Jones Costume (With Items You Might Already Have)

Indiana Jones

Paramount Pictures / Getty Images

Year after year, the Indiana Jones costume is one of the best easy costumes for anyone who want to make an impact without a lot of fuss. Indiana Jones is one of the easiest costumes to put together last-minute (or affordably) because it consists of only six elements, topped off by the right hair, makeup, and attitude.

What You Need for a DIY Indiana Jones Costume

Here's what you'll need to pull off the look:

  • The Hat: Take yourself over to the thrift store and pick up any fabric hat that has a brim. Don’t worry if the hat you find is the wrong color. You can pick up an inexpensive brown dye for a cheap fix. Because the hat is instrumental to the look, start looking for the hat first, in case you need to visit more than one thrift shop.
  • The Whip: Turn a jump rope into a whip. Pull off one handle of any jump rope. Spray paint the entire jump rope a dark brown color, and voila, you have a whip. Just be sure to carry your so-called whip safely, and if this is a costume for children, make sure they understand that they can't practice using their accessory indoors or near others.
  • The Shirt: Choose a beige or white button-down shirt. Button it only partway up the chest and make sure it's tucked into your pants. If you want to add some authenticity, try crumpling a clean shirt. To achieve this look, simply wash (or wet) the shirt and then hang dry without ironing.
  • The Pants: Any tan or brown cargo pants will work just fine, but they should not fit too tightly.
  • The Boots: Wear any pair of tall, brown work boots that you have in your closet. If you don’t own any, lots of thrift shops sell boots. The key is that the boots be brown, and here again, if you find your size in a light color, just dye them brown.
  • The Jacket: Indy wears a brown leather jacket, but it is also removed for plenty of scenes in the Indiana Jones movie, so don't fret. If you don't have a leather jacket, just go with the shirt instead.
  • The Face: You want to look like you've been dodging boulders in a cave, and that means foregoing the clean-shaven look. Use a rough sponge and brown makeup to recreate that stubble. Add a few streaks of ‘dirt’ around the temples, cheekbones, and just under the jawline. You can ask for a friend or family member to help with the makeup, or simply experiment a little on your own. 

Whether you want to channel Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom, or The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, as you can see, it's easy to look like this adventurous archaeologist with very little effort or expense.