This is just my interpretation of it- your imagination is limitless!
See this Pinterest board for reference images of Lisbeth Salander.
Elements of this costume:
-Bleached Mohawk Skull Tshirt (steps 1-10)
-Leather or Faux Leather Motorcycle jacket
-Dark, distressed pants (step 12)
-Boots with duct tape on right toe (step 13)
Hair and Makeup:
-Dying your hair black (permanent or temporary)
-Hair cut and style
-Makeup: foundation, contouring your face, eyes, brows
-Temporary Dragon and Wasp Tattoos (steps 18-20)
-Leg Warmers (step 14)
Step 1: DIY Bleached Skull Stencil Tutorial - Materials
-black tshirt, preferably 100% cotton and pre-washed
-freezer paper- found at grocery stores
-1” foam brush
-disposable container like a yogurt cup
-pencil or [skinny] marker
-newspaper or cardboard
-large fabric scissors
-small fabric scissors or nail scissors
This is the image I traced for this stencil.
I put on the skull separate from the Mohawk bones because of the fragility of the Mohawk piece.
Step 2: Bleached Skull Stencil- tracing the image
Step 3: Bleached Skull Stencil - cutting out the design
Step 4: Bleached Skull Stencil - ironing the outline
Prepare your workspace by laying the tshirt directly on a hard surface such as a countertop. Place newspaper or cardboard between the two layers of the shirt to prevent the bleach from bleeding through.
Lay the outline of the skull centered on your shirt. Apply firm pressure in a circular motion with the iron to lightly adhere the freezer paper to the shirt.
Step 5: Bleached Skull Stencil - ironing the interior pieces
Then, carefully peel back the interior skull piece, leaving the accent pieces and outline intact and iron down the remaining pieces one more time.
Step 6: Bleached Skull Stencil - applying bleach
Step 7: Bleached Skull Stencil - removing the stencil
Rinse off the excess bleach in the sink. I also used a little laundry soap to clean off the bleach.
Pop it in the dryer to prepare it for the next part!
Step 8: Bleached Skull Stencil - mohawk piece
Step 9: Bleached Skull Stencil - applying the mohawk
Step 10: Cutting the Tshirt into a Tank Top
1. Use a seam ripper to remove the sleeves
2. Chalk out the lines on the back, creating thin tank top straps at the top
3. Connect the lines at the shoulder to the front
4. Cut along your chalk lines being careful to only cut through one layer of fabric
5. Seam rip most of the neckband seam and stretch it out a bit
6. Cut a scoop neck in the front of the shirt underneath the neckband
Step 11: Other Top Layers
She also wears a pair of black fingerless gloves. All you need to do is get a cheap pair of black knit gloves from the dollar store and chop off the fingers.
[first image from: target.com]
[second image from: tumblr]
[third image from: Movie Cultists]
Step 12: Pants
My pants already had some rips in them, but you can easily add more! I added some just below the knees using a cheese grater. Use a side with smaller holes and drag it back and forth across the spot you want a hole. This is usually easiest if you are wearing the pants. As you wear through the fabric be careful not to get your skin! When you start to wear a hole all the way through, you can just use your hands to enlarge the rip.
[first image from Pinterest]
[second image from Tumblr]
[third image from Summertime Shine]
Step 13: Boots
To get this look for your boots without permanently leaving duct tape gunk on it, first measure one piece of tape that is long enough to wrap all the way around the toe (top and bottom). Lay this flat on the floor with the sticky side up. Measure another piece of tape just long enough to wrap over the top of the toe. Lay this shorter piece, sticky side down, on top of the longer one. Then take the whole thing and wrap it around the toe so that the only sticky parts will adhere to the bottom of your boot, not to the leather on the top.
[first image from: Tumblr]
Step 14: Leg Warmers
Step 15: Hair
After the first night I re-dyed it with a permanent dye (Clairol Nice n’ Easy in #124 blue black) that stays stronger for longer. If you are only wearing this costume for one night, the demi-permanent dye would work just fine but my festivities were stretched out over a few weeks.
[all images from Tumblr]
Step 16: Makeup
1. Start off with a clean face. Apply a base of white costume makeup to your face to lighten it before putting a foundation on.
2. After the base has dried, apply a very light shade of liquid foundation with a makeup sponge. I used Covergirl Clean foundation in #110 Classic Ivory.
3. Next use a foundation quite a few shades darker than the liquid foundation you just applied to contour your face to make it look a bit more sunken-in like hers. You can find a great tutorial for contouring your face here. I sucked my cheeks in to more clearly see where the lines of my cheekbones should go. Using the tip of the sponge applicator apply the dark foundation along this diagonal line and blend.
I did not want to mess with bleaching my eyebrows and risking a skin reaction to the harsh chemicals so I trimmed my eyebrows back (there may be other better ways to just cover up your eyebrows—there are many tutorials online).
For your lips use a nude lipstick. Or mix a little bit of pale foundation with some Vaseline. This will give you an even creepier pale look.
Lisbeth’s eye makeup changes throughout the film depending on her mood and how she wants others to perceive her. If you want to go with one of her lighter looks like I did, apply a thin line of black eyeliner to your upper lid. Apply the liner also to your water line.
Next take eyeliner or black eyeshadow (either creme or powder) on a small angle brush and apply it to your lower lid. Smudge the eyeliner down and out to capture her ‘slept-in’ look.
In my photos above the first one is an example of the lighter look and the second one is the more aggressive, darker look.
[Second to last photo from Time.]
[Last photo from The New York Times.]
[All other images from Tumblr.]
Step 17: Jewelry
For the lip ring I purchased a pair of 5/16” spring hoops for non-pierced ears.
To create the look of the eyebrow piercing I got some stick-on crystals from my local craft store and spray-painted them metallic silver. I used some eyelash glue to adhere them. I would recommend doing it this way instead.
Another one of Lisbeth’s most prominent facial ornaments is her gauged earrings. There are lots of options out there for people whose ears aren’t gauged—I got both my pairs of fake gauge earrings on Etsy.
The first set of earrings I'm wearing are the most similar to those worn by Lisbeth throughout the movie. The pair in the photo after that were worn in some promo shots for the movie.
Lisbeth also has a second set of piercings in her ears and wears small hoops in them.
Another staple of Lisbeth's look is her razor blade necklace. There's a multitude of razor blade pendants on ebay. The necklace is easy to make yourself with a chain, jump ring, and clasp from your local craft store.
Lisbeth also wears a variety of cuffs and rings throughout the film. Anything that's dark and edgy-looking will work just great.
[first image from Tumblr]
Step 18: Tattoos - intro and materials
-stencil sheets from local craft store
-stencil cutting tool
-temporary tattoo spray - available at your local craft store
-spray liquid bandage
-a friend to help with the application
Step 19: Tattoos - tracing the image and cutting out the stencil
Tape the stencil sheet over the image and trace with a sharpie onto the plastic. I chose to further divide the top section into two sections so that the stencil could lay flat over the curve of my back.
With a piece of wood as your surface, use the stencil cutting tool to cut out your shape. I trimmed any extra melted pieces with a pair of small scissors afterwards.
The first image above is the original tattoo, and the second image is the stencil I created based off the original tattoo.
[Image originally found here]
Step 20: Tattoos - applying the tattoo
Once your design is cut out, spray a little bit of craft bond onto the back side of the plastic. Allow it to dry for a minute so that it lightly adheres to your skin. Lay the stencil onto your skin and pat down creating a good seal between your skin and the stencil.
Spray the temporary tattoo ink from about 6 inches away at a 90 degree angle to the stencil, coating evenly. As I mentioned previously I did mine in three separate segments, carefully lining up each successive piece.
Allow the ink to dry and then slowly peel back the stencil. Brush on some transluscent powder, and then spray on some liquid bandage. This will keep the tattoo on longer and make it more water resistent.
And the photo above is how mine came out!