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DIY Halloween Skeleton Costume

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This is a step-by-step guide that will teach you how to make your own Halloween skeleton costume using two different techniques: stencil paint and applique. A skeleton template is included here and can be downloaded for free.

how to make skeleton costume

Running out of time to sew a Halloween costume for your kid? Don’t worry, here is a quick way to transform a footed pajama into a Skeleton Costume. If you can get a black color footed long sleeve body-suit, it is even faster because you don’t have to dye it into black color as I did.

diy skeleton costume

Want to make Skeleton Costume spookier, add some glow-in-the-dark powder in the white acrylic and your kid will sure “boooo” in the dark!!!!

stencil skeleton costume

I even prepared the skeleton stencil artwork for you, just print it out onto sticker papers or freezer papers (the non-waxed side), cut it out and stick onto the black footed pajama, and you are ready to paint it up. If you are using freezer paper, you need to iron with the wax side down and stick it on the pajama. It is fast and easy to do! Get the how-to with photos for stenciling method after this jump.

halloween costume ideas

Also, if you wonder how to make the sock skeleton in the photo, click the link to find out.

skeleton costume


  • Start crafting and share your completed handmade on Facebook and/or Instagram. Remember to tag us, @craftpassion, so that we are able to see them.
  • Pin it to Pinterest for a future To-Do List.
  • Share with your DIY groups for a craft-along event.
  • Browse more craft ideas to make, particularly for Halloween crafts.
how to make skeleton costume

DIY Halloween Skeleton Costume

Yield: Skeleton Costume
Active Time: 1 day
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 2 days
Difficulty: Avid Beginner
Estimated Cost: $5 - $10

Running out of time to sew a Halloween costume for your kid? Don’t worry, here is a quick way to transform a footed pajama into a Skeleton Costume. If you can get a black color footed long sleeve body-suit, it is even faster because you don’t have to dye it into black color as I did! 😉 You can find more Halloween crafts to make.

Download: Skeleton Template

Enjoy making them!


  • Footed Pajama (preferably plain without any applique, printing, embroidery etc)
  • Dye, Black (I prefer cold dye + dye fix)
  • A4 /Letter size Sticker Paper or Freezer paper (6 pcs)
  • Acrylic Paint, White (thick type so that you can cover the black background)
  • Acrylic Paint, black for touch-up and cover the metal button to black
  • Fabric medium
  • Some card boards
  • Glow in the dark powder (optional)


  • Printer (inkjet or bubblejet or even dot matrix, but not laser printer please)
  • Craft Knife + Cutting Mat
  • Brush (about 1″ wide)
  • Small container
  • Spatula/spoon
  • Well ventilated room


Applique Technique

If you don’t like to paint, this skeleton costume is also perfect to be done in applique technique, here are the steps:

  1. Print it on the paper side of the fusible web or heat ‘n bond
  2. Fix the fusible web on a piece of white fabric (must be thick enough so that it can cover the black background) as per instructions
  3. Cut all the “bones” out from the white fabric
  4. Arrange the “bones” on the black pajama
  5. Iron to stick them on

    Stencil Technique

    1. Print the stencil artwork onto either sticker papers or freezer papers.
      Print only the 6 real-size pages, not the cover page.
      This original size is for 2-year-old toddler, resize it to suit if needed.Skeleton Printable

    2. a. Get ready the materials and tools. The photos didn’t show all the materials, please refer to the list above.
      b. Dye your footed pajama in black according to the instruction attached in the dye tin. I prefer to use cold dye, it is easy and hassles less, do remember to include the cold dye fix (2 sachets for black).
      c. Wash and dry the pajama.How to make a skeleton costume

    3. While waiting for the pajama to get ready (need at least 3 hours for the dye to set), print out the stencil artwork on the sticker papers or freezer papers.

      Tip: if you intend to do it for toddle other than 2-year-old, I would suggest that you print on the plain papers to check for the correct size that able to fit into your pajama.How to make a skeleton costume

    4. Cut the outlines with a sharp craft knife (use a new blade). This is the most time consuming because you have to do it slowly to get the perfect outlines.Skeleton Costume

    5. a. Cut some cardboard and insert them into the pajama. This will not only smooth out the fabric but also prevent staining the back of the pajama when you paint.
      b. If your buttons are not in black color, paint it with black acrylic to cover.
      c. Arrange the stencils on the pajama, stick the stencil artwork if you are absolutely satisfied with the position.
      d. Raise a corner of the sticker and peel off the backing slowly. Don’t take the whole sticker up, maintain it in the correct position while you peel and stick portion by portion.
      If you are using freezer paper, just iron them (with the wax side down) to the pajama to stick it.How to make a skeleton costume

    6. a. Make sure all edges at the outline have adhered properly, otherwise the white paint will leak out and stained outside the intended area.
      b. Use a heavy body white acrylic paint. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of acrylic paint to a small container, add in glow-in-the-dark powder if you have, stir evenly.
      c. Apply the paint to the pajama by using a stippling or dabbing method with a dry brush.How to make a skeleton costume

    7. a. Start with a small amount of paint for the first layer, just dab all over the stencil area. It won’t make the whole area white immediately, the whiteness will increase gradually, layer by layer.
      Take note on the button area, leave the buttons open so that you can paint the inside.
      b. Wait for the first layer to dry, take about 30 minutes. Touch the painted area lightly to check if it has dried.
      c. Scoop and mix fresh acrylic paint for each layer.
      For the second layer onwards, you can put more paint on it because the first layer already sealed the edges of the stencil to prevent any smearing or paint leaking out.How to make a skeleton costume

    8. Always remember to wait for the paint to dry before stippling the next layer.
      After 4-5 layers, you should be able to get a satisfactory whiteness.
      Wait for it to dry before stripping off the stencil sticker.
      Acrylic paint is rubbery when dry, so when you remove the sticker do it slowly to prevent tearing off the edges of the paint.
      Apply touch-up if needed.How to make a skeleton costume

    stencil skeleton costume

    Did you make this project?

    Please leave a comment below or share a photo on Instagram. Don't forget to tag @craftpassion so that we can see it.

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    Nicole Pittaluga

    Thursday 12th of September 2019

    Any guidelines for glow in the dark powder? There are so many kinds. What did you use? Thanks


    Saturday 15th of September 2018

    Hello! I want to make this for my 4 1/2 year old son. How do you "enlarge" the PDF template to fit a 4 year old?

    Craft Passion

    Saturday 15th of September 2018

    Good question, Cris. You can try to enlarge it with your printer setting, depending on how much you would like to enlarge, just scale up the printing scale %. By doing this, you will need to print the pattern by sectioning the document, quite troublesome but it is do-able. Another option is to print with bigger paper if your printer is able to take in different paper size.


    Saturday 13th of September 2014

    Am I missing something? I cannot find the actual template for cutting out the bones.

    Craft Passion

    Saturday 13th of September 2014

    Hi kristiB, I have just added a new template link which is more noticeable. You may find in on the tutorial page. Thanks for commenting :)


    Wednesday 9th of October 2013

    This is so great! I need to make this costume for myself haha, I just bought a skeleton costume for my 1 year old son and I wanted to match with him :). Thank you.

    Craft Passion

    Wednesday 9th of October 2013

    Sounds great, Angelina, all you need to do it enlarge the pattern of the skeleton template to suit adult size :) Happy Halloween!!!


    Wednesday 31st of October 2012

    I used your tutorial and my 18 month old son's costume turned out so cute! I ended up using a black turtle neck and black sweatpants as I couldn't find non-embellished zip up jammies. I cut the bones out of white fabric and used fusible backing to iron them onto the clothing. The bones were exactly right for his size and I love how it looks! Thanks for the great pattern!

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