Those of you who remember my article about the Krampus might recall that people dressing up as the character is a holiday tradition in several European countries. Naturally, those living in countries without that tradition will recognize the inherent coolness of the Krampus and will be tempted to introduce others to the concept. And what better way to do that than to construct your own Krampus costume and bust it out at your next holiday gathering. Come to think of it, you can even reuse it as your next Halloween costume!
You might have noticed that I chose the word “Build” instead of “Make” in this article’s title. That’s because this is more of a general guideline on assembling a costume from preexisting materials rather than a step-by-step tutorial on making a costume from scratch. That’s because I want to make this as easy to do as possible. But if you have any sewing skills (or know someone who does that would be willing to help you out), then heading down to a fabric store to see if they have any costume patterns that go well with fake fur (gorilla, bear, etc.) would most likely be the most cost-effective option. The patterns for basic coveralls or a bodysuit could also work in a pinch, but be sure to pick up the patterns for gloves if you can. Just keep in mind that you have to be mindful of certain things when sewing fake fur. Hot gluing strips of fake fur to some old coveralls can make a quick ‘n dirty costume, but you have to be sure to brush the hair carefully in order to cover the seams. But if you want step-by-step directions on making a furry costume, these links can help you. While it’s also possible to mold your own masks and chest pieces, it’s much easier just to buy them. Even if you make your own gloves, you’re probably still going to need to buy some fake fingernails or claws to make them seem scarier.
As I touched on earlier, you’re going to need a furry costume as your base. Buying a complete costume is your best bet, but can also be quite expensive. Just be sure to make sure whether or not the costume comes with gloves and feet before purchasing. Buying separate furry “shirts” and leg pants can be cheaper, but then you have to be careful to make sure that the fake fur’s coloration on both pieces matches. This would also apply to any fur on the monster gloves, feet, and/or mask you purchase as well. However, you can avoid such problems if you use accessories that are completely hairless but have the same color as each other. If that isn’t possible and you don’t mind a little extra work, you can find resources on repainting your accessories on websites like the Halloweenforum. Alternately, you can visit your local costume or magic store to compare the fur colors and types in person (which is more accurate than trying to do so online).
If you look at pictures of Krampus costumes online, you’ll notice that many of them use regular footwear covered by the costume’s long fur. This is presumably done to make it easier for the performer(s) to run around through the streets. You can do the same with your costume if you want, but you can use more decorative feet if you’re just going to stroll around inside at a Christmas party. In addition to the types of feet that I linked to previously in the article, even hooves or black pointy elf shoes would work for a Krampus costume, as evidence here. Assuming the costume you’re using doesn’t have one, you could also invest in a chest piece if you want to. However, as you can see in these pictures, this accessory is completely optional.
Once you have the body squared away, you’re going to need the most important part: the mask. As finding Krampus masks in America is very difficult, you’re going to want to buy a “Devil” or “demon” mask. However, just any old mask of that type won’t work. Using one of these masks simply wouldn’t look right on a Krampus costume. These masks, on the other hand would be perfect. This one even has a Krampus-like extended tongue! Once you have that picked out, you’re all set! Although, you can also add some chains, cowbells, sacks and/or a big stick to the costume if you want to.
If you make your own Krampus costume, please feel free to send Gravedigger’s Local 16 any pictures or video of you in action!