In early September 2009, my then 7-year-old son came up to me and announced that he wanted to be Gene Simmons for Halloween. As a longtime KISS fan, I was very proud of him for his excellent taste, and I immediately knew that of all the costumes that Gene has worn over the years, the 1976 Destroyer Tour costume is the most iconic look, and therefore the only choice for an awesome Halloween costume. Unfortunately, with its spiked armor, leather bat wings, studded codpiece and thigh-high scaly dragon-headed platform boots, it is also the most complicated to replicate on the shoestring budget I had at my disposal. Resolving to make as much of it as possible out of materials I had on hand or could find cheap or free, I set out to gather my materials.

First of all, let me apologize up front for the lack of in-process pictures. I totally spaced picture-taking in the mad rush to build this costume, so all of the shots are taken after the fact. I have tried to capture as much detail as possible in the pics, and to be extra desciptive in the text when necessary. I think the finished product is worth presenting anyway, and I promise to take more pics of any future builds I do.

That said, let's build a costume!

Step 1: You Will Need...


One set of football shoulder pads
3 or 4 five gallon plastic buckets (get gray or silver ones if you can) - food grade or unused is best
Sculpey or other oven-bake polymer clay
2 long black shoelaces
2 strips of black leather approx. 12" x 3"
Black nylon web strap - about 2 yds
Black industrial strength sticky-back Velcro- about a yard, 3/4" wide
Papier-mache (make your own, or buy pre-made from the craft store)
Plaster bandage - 2 rolls
1/2 yard of black vinyl or pleather
One yard black ripstop nylon
Approx. 120 Quilter's thumbtacks
Two packages of iron-on silver studs
scrap of corrugated cardboard about 5" square
Old pair of black jeans
Two black heavy-duty zippers about the same length as the legs of the jeans
Pair of thick-soled zip-up boots with heel (or real platform boots if you prefer)
4-6 large sheets of stiffened craft felt in black or gray
3 sheets of floppy craft felt in black
Small package of red sequins
2-3 empty plastic gallon-sized  milk jugs
Old clothesline, rope or cord - various thicknesses


One can flat black Krylon Fusion spray paint
Three cans silver (Hammered Metal) Krylon Fusion spray paint
One small can of silver shoe paint or vinyl paint
One jar black enamel model paint
One jar silver enamel model paint
One small jar red enamel model paint
Pop rivets and washers in Short, Medium and Long lengths
High-temp hot glue
Amazing Goop or Craft Goop
Super glue
Ten Phillips head wood screws - 1" long
14 machine screws - 1" long - and matching hex nuts
Fine grit wet/dry sandpaper
Medium grit sandpaper


Jig saw with fine-toothed blade
Pop rivet tool
Heat gun
High-temp glue gun
Sewing machine w/ black thread
Leather sewing awl w/mblack thread
Drill and assortment of bits
Phillips screwdriver or screw bit for the drill
Leather punch set
Grommet setter and black grommets
Paint brushes for enamel model paints
pure awsomeness! but what about the tongue?
I'm still perfecting the cow-tongue graft technology. Maybe next year....
i could see that happening! "hmmm... i see! lets put this nerve there and.. vuela!! a perfectly grafted cow tongue!"
Thank you! Keep an eye out for this year's LOTR Gimli costume (if I ever get it finished).
I'm going to take that as a compliment....
awesome! Very good job on this 5*
Thanks very much!
but the costume i awesome good job!
that almost looks like his make up
 saw Kiss at the Calgary saddledome on nov 12
sweet i saw them in saskatoon and got a drum stick too front row section be lol could see the sweat dripping on them only bad part were the drunks that kept falling on me and spilling on me<br />
i saw them on american idol<br />
yeah, but i bet you didnt have sick a costume luke<br />
&nbsp;At least i saw them unlike gypsy rock kid *cough, Neil!*
You get my vote for dad of the year. I can only hope my 2 year old will ask to be Gene Simmons. At the very least Vinnie Vincent...just kidding.<br />
It's never too early to start playing Alive! in their bedroom while they sleep. Worked for me, anyway.<br /> <br /> At my house, we do not speak of the &quot;Ankh Warrior&quot;. Ever. ;)
That kid is freakin awesome!<br />
Yeah, he's a keeper. Most of the time....
&nbsp;awesome! i like the boots.
Thanks, me too. I'm thinking about making a pair in my size to wear around the house. ;) I'm only half joking about that....
&nbsp;With gracious shout-outs like this, you can steal my stuff anytime.
You are truly a gentleman and a scholar. Thanks for letting me use the pic, and thanks again for the rockin' Thor 'ible.
Mr. RavingMadStudios,<br /> <br /> You rock!&nbsp; As a lifetime KISS&nbsp;fan, it always warms my heart when someone makes a costume that does KISS&nbsp;justice.&nbsp; I've seen a lot of KISS&nbsp;costumes over the years.&nbsp; Your Gene '76 is the best I've seen.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Thanks for sharing.<br />
Thanks very much. I've been wanting to make one of these since about 1977, and I&nbsp;finally got an excuse. It makes me very proud to know that other longtime KISS fans appreciate what I&nbsp;came up with.
I'm guessing one of the prouder moments of your life?<br /> <br /> When i have a child i pray to god they ask me to be Gene for Halloween just so i can cry tears of joy.<br /> <br /> Kudos my friend, kudos.<br />
Thanks very much. I&nbsp;will always remember September 05, 2009 at 10:33 am as the exact moment I&nbsp;realized that I&nbsp;was going a pretty good job as a Dad.

About This Instructable




Bio: Jack of all trades, master of a couple. Eclectic interests combined with a short attention span make me just knowledgeable enough to be really dangerous.
More by RavingMadStudios:How To Make The Totally RAWKIN' Guitar Strap of Epic Awesomeness (Out Of A Cheesy Old Poseur Belt from Goodwill) The Bundt Cake of Barad-Dur (A Lord of the Rings-themed Cake) Gimli the Dwarf - Lord of the Rings Halloween Costume 
Add instructable to: