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(This blog is a part of the MomsRising Early Learning Halloween Campaign. Budget numbers are flying around like bats on Halloween night right now--and we need to make sure Congress understands how important early childhood education is in their budgets. Visit our Congressional-Halloween-Costume-Creation-Station and create a card complete with a costume of your choice; then send your unique message to your Congressperson!)


My six year old, like most little boys, loves video games.  One of the games that he likes to play on the computer is Plants vs Zombies, where you save your house from a zombie invasion by planting different kinds of plants in your yard.  So this zombie costume is of a specific zombie from that game (the cone-head zombie), but of course can be modified to work for any generic zombie.   These instructions assume the costume is for a child, but this can be modified quite easily for an adult.


Either raid your closet for too small clothes, or hit the thrift store, for most of this costume.

You’ll need:

  • Blue pants or jeans (will be cut)
  • Tan blazer
  • White shirt
  • Red striped tie (a skinny adult tie will work)
  • Skeleton pajama pants (if you don’t have any, then you can paint bone shapes on some black pj pants or girls leggings.)
  • Kids soccer cone, the perfect size for a hat!
  • 2 feet or so of elastic.
  • Large fake sunflower (for munching!)
  • Makeup:  You can of course use Halloween makeup, but I went the simple and less messy route of using just some standard makeup I had on hand:  green eyeshadow, liquid eye liner, and some dark red lipstick.

How to:

The pants with the bone leg showing: Cut out a large, jagged hole in the knee area of one leg of your pants.  Leave the back attached.  Then just put on the PJ pants, and try on your cut up jeans.  Cut out more as needed so that the knee bones are visible.

Conehead hat: My soccer cone came with a small hole in each corner (if yours didn’t, you can use a hole punch or rotary tool to make a hole in opposite corners of the base.)   Run a piece of elastic through one hole and knot it.  Then put the ‘hat’ on the head and measure how much elastic you need to get a nice snug fit on the head.  Then knot on the other side.

Optional - If your shirt and jacket are old and worn-out anyway, feel free to cut them up a bit.  Add a jagged hold through both the shirt and jacket at one elbow, and cut some zigzags out of the bottom of the jacket for a more ‘fresh from the grave’ look.



Skin:  Our zombie has a lovely greenish hue.  Using a large powder brush, cover the face with green eye shadow.  Don’t worry if it’s a bit splotchy, zombies do not a good complexion.  You can mix the eye shadow with some baby powder for a whiter effect.

Eyes:  Draw/paint large circles around the eyes with eye liner, one larger than the other to simulate the big bulging zombie eyes.  Alternately, just add big dark undereye areas with charcoal eyeshadow.

Mouth: Our zombie mouth should be a little bloody from brain eating, right?  Just use a lipbrush to splotch a little dark red lipstick around the side of the mouth, dribbling a little down the chin.  If you have fake blood on hand, you can use that too.

Optional accessories:

If you have a herd of zombies, you can add more accessories, rather than just the conehead.

  • A small silver pail (or a plastic sand pail, painted silver) makes a nice buckethead zombie hat.
  • A flag with a pink brain painted on it for your flag bearing zombie
  • A ducky pool ring for your water going zombies.

All ready to go??

  • Dress your child in the shirt, tie, and blazer, pj pants, and pants.
  • Add the cone hat
  • Practice your zombie walk… don’t forget to drag that back foot a bit!
  • Hold the flower and munch on it a bit

For more craft and costume ideas from Nancy, visit!

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