Introduction: Ryuk Costume

Picture of Ryuk Costume

(Since I tend to get asked about selling the Shinigami, Rem and Ryuk have been sold. But hey, you can make your own!)

Everybody's favorite Shinigami.

Ryuk is a death god featured in the manga/anime/live-action-films called Death Note. Have no clue what I'm talking about? It's this guy right here! I based my costume mainly on an image from Takeshi Obata's Blanc et Noir (an art book by the artist of the Death Note manga. See previous link for the particular image I'm talking about).

This costume is made up of a long leather shirt, leather pants, leather boots, a pleather-and-leather belt, leather belt bag, leather notebook, 3 resin rings, 2 bracelets, earring, "arm skull", buckle, belt end, chain connector, pen, belt and notebook cross, shrink-plastic chain, staples and teeth, latex mask, resin eyes, "painted" and styled wig, and a whole lot of feathers. Everything was either made or heavily altered, including the boots.

The leather outfit was made of over 80 pieces of leather patch-worked together. I used an old ill-fitting trenchcoat, bought a few coats from Value Village and was given an old pair of pants from my brother in law. I took them all *completely* apart, so I was left with (mainly) rectangular pieces of leather. Individual pieces were drafted and cut out, given texture with a wood-burning tool and sewn to other pieces. Zippers, grommets, studs and cords adorned the pieces, along with kneepads and a spine (both of which were formed by soaking leather in water and leaving them around light bulbs and an ice cube tray). For the feather epaulettes, I pulled the tips of the feathers through fabric and dabbed a bit of hot glue on them to hold them in place. This feather-adorned fabric was sewing to giant shoulder-pads I had made (that were later sewn onto the shirt). There are over 350 feathers. I lost count.

I made a new head/upper-torso armature to sculpt on. Apparently I can no longer sit still, so when my husband was putting plaster of paris bandages on my back, then front, I kept jerking my head back, so the mold came out a little wonky. It was "good enough" for my purposes, so I cast a wonky copy of myself out of cement. I sculpted Ryuk's head over my armature using sulfur-free oil-based clay. I made a two-piece Ultra Cal 30 mold of the sculpt, then cast a latex positive. The mask was painted with acrylic paints mixed with a latex paint base.  The wig was "painted" black and glued to the mask. The eyes were made by cutting two ping-pong balls in half and pouring resin into the halves. The middle of the eyes were drilled out, then the entire inside of the eyeballs were dremelled down so the pupils would fit inside them. The pupils were from broken sunglasses that I cut and dremelled down to a circle-ish shape. You could see quite clearly out of them - when they didn't fog up. Almost the various accessories (belt parts, rings) were also sculpted out of clay, then cast in either resin or latex. For a complete step-by-step on how I make my latex/resin masks, please take a look at my Terminator and Donnie Darko instructables (for those curious about resin casting) and my Asari Headpiece and Princess Leia Bikini (if you want to know more about latex casting).

This costume would not have been possible without all the Ryuk cosplayers out there; I looked at many-a-photo before I even started mine, and was delighted to see a enthusiastic crowd of people making this costume. On, QueenToast, SuzzyToast and fly_aguilera have some of the best Ryuks I have ever seen. Ryuk could also not have been done without the help of my husband, who helped bandaged me up in plaster-of-paris, and who helped/was *needed* to help get me into costume. Thanks to Marmbo/Clint Hay for some of the photographs. And thanks to my friend Rachel; it took three of us to transport cement back and forth between locations to make my new head armature!

The entire costume took over 2 solid months to make. I'm still recovering.


Hello, I'm from México City, do you sell it? I'm interested...

Sorry, this one is already sold! (And I don't make new ones and sell them.)

Adddie (author)2017-03-10

I know I am hella late, but I am currenyly making a Ryuk cosplay (although not as awesome as yours), and I wanted to ask how you made your teeth. I am stuck between clay and Worbla thermoplastic. O_o

Tatterhood (author)Adddie2017-03-10

I made them with "Shrinky Dinks" - plastic that shrinks and thickens as it gets heated up. So following that vein, I would suggest making them out of Worbla (and craft foam)

Adddie (author)Tatterhood2017-03-10

Shrinky Dinks! Man, I miss those...nostalgia. Where does the craft foam come into play?

Tatterhood (author)Adddie2017-03-10

Craft foam helps strengthen (and bulk up) your Worbla - so you take a piece of thin foam and sandwich it between two pieces of Worbla. Now, since they are just teeth, you may be fine with just cutting them out of one piece of Worbla. Or you may find you have to fold and double-up your Worbla - or it may look best with the foam in the middle. Because Worbla is expensive stuff, I'd say just go for the one piece if it looks right!... actually, I'd probably end up cutting up like a yogurt lid or milk jug; save that precious pricey Worbla!

Tatterhood (author)Tatterhood2017-03-10

(or just skip the plastic stuff all together - get thee to a dollar store and grab a sheet of thin craft foam and cut the teeth straight out of that! In the end what counts for the teeth is how they're painted!)

LazaroCosplay (author)2017-01-20

I'm confused slightly of how you made the bust, and mask.

So you made a plaster cast bust of yourself (using bandage wrap? Then plastering it?), then put cement over or inside the plaster mold?

When you make negative, you line the interior of the cast with Latex? Or does the clay sculpt have to be inside it as well?

You may message me through email:

Tatterhood (author)LazaroCosplay2017-01-20

We made a two part plaster-bandage mold of my head - it's not bandages that later have plaster slathered over it, it's bandages that already have plaster embedded in them. Like what the doctors would use for putting a cast on a broken bone. Just using regular plaster can be dangerous.

Into that two-part plaster-bandage mold, you pour the Ultra Cal 30 (as a result, you get a "cement" head cast/bust).

On top of the bust, you sculpt a mask out of clay. Then you make a two-piece mold of the sculpture out of Ultra Cal 30 and cheesecloth/burlap.

You remove the two-piece mold from the clay sculpt/bust, clean out any remaining clay from the mold, then do a final positive cast of latex - and that's your mask.

For even more detailed steps, with pictures, please look at my other instructables that cover life-casting:

Liara Headpiece

(plaster-bandage head mold, ultra-cal 30 bust, clay sculpt, ultra-cal 30 mold, final latex headpiece)

Terminator Eyepiece

(plaster-bandage head mold, ultra-cal 30 bust, clay sculpt, silicone and plaster-bandage mold, final resin headpiece)

Horned King Mask

(alginate and plaster-bandage head mold, ultra-cal 30 bust, clay sculpt, ultra-cal 30 mold, final latex headpiece)

Hope that helps!

delfrez made it! (author)2017-01-12


JadeRobot (author)2016-11-13

But how do you sew everything together tho? :(

Tatterhood (author)JadeRobot2016-11-13

With a sewing machine! :D

I made a mockup of both the shirt and pants using Burda 7742 and McCall's M6173. You're supposed to use stretchy material for those patterns, but I used a non-stretch fabric for my mockups, and used less than 4 1/2 yards of fabric for that.

For the shirt (as an example) I put together a basic top using the pattern pieces provided - so you're sewing two arms, a front half and a back half together. Then I tested that on my body to see how that fit - keeping in mind that a zipper would be going on the back, so the shirt can fit tightly. Once pleased with the fit, I drew a patch-work pattern on the shirt, and cut out those pattern pieces, labeling them as I went (so you knew what would be sewn to what). Then, adding a seam allowance to all the pattern pieces, I cut them out of leather and then stitched them together!

If that all still has you going 'huh?' ... do a simple sewing project for practice (and there are lots of tutorials online/here that will get you started)

JadeRobot (author)Tatterhood2016-11-15

Thanks. Seems this is beyond me you. I haven't a clue about sewing, don't own a sewing machine, cant afford one.

Tatterhood (author)JadeRobot2016-11-15

Don't let that discourage you - there's youtube, the library, even classes on Instructables, that will teach you how to sew! Just think of how cool it is to learn how to do something new.

terrangray (author)2016-10-25

Hi, I was wandering about the feathers you used. Ive searched for feathers online and there are so many selling any different species of feathers. Did you use a specific feather from one animal or is there a specific "costume" feather you would recomend?

Tatterhood (author)terrangray2016-10-25

I ordered 200 (4 sets) of 6-8inch saddle rooster feathers (from here plus 100 of 12-14inch saddle feathers (the store I got them from is no longer up, but you should be able to find them on ebay)

BrettW61 (author)2016-10-12


You have the best Ryuk ever! I'm a noob at all this, and was wondering if you could give me some guidance on creating the shoulders. I was wondering if there's a specific type of shoulder pad I should buy? Or a specific type of fabric I should get that I would be able to pull feathers through?

For example, out of this list, is there a specific type of shoulder pad that you'd suggest?

Thanks a lot, and Happy Halloween!

Tatterhood (author)BrettW612016-10-12

The shoulder pads I made were soft - I'd actually recommend just buying some thick foam and shaping it! I think that'd be more comfortable and lighter than having rigid ones. For the fabric, you'll want something with a looser weave (or even visible tiny tiny holes) - something that you should be able to easily put the end of a feather through. Hope that helps!

Detective Gumshoe (author)2016-06-24

Excuse me, Tatterhood? I wanted to try to make this cosplay, and I had a couple of questions for you before I make my final decision on whether or not to make it.

Ok! Ask away :) (Feel free to send me a PM)

AlessandroC75 (author)2016-06-24

I want buy it!

Cdr BuffaloF (author)2016-01-20

Man seeing stuff like this makes me wish I was good at this. Cause I want to do Ryuk for Megacon

Tatterhood (author)Cdr BuffaloF2016-01-20

Why that's over 4 months away! Plenty of time to mess around, practice, pick up some skillz, and become 'good' and make one.

Cdr BuffaloF (author)Tatterhood2016-01-20

Yeah I may try. Just might need someone good it next to me so I don't mess up. XD

ekiriwey (author)2015-12-09

Hello, would you sell me your costume ryuk? I like a lot :(

Tatterhood (author)ekiriwey2015-12-09

It was sold (a while ago).

mrowell2 made it! (author)2015-11-29

Hi there! I just wanted to say a huge thank you for posting all the details of your cosplay process. After falling in love with your cosplay a few years ago I was utterly inspired and decided to follow in your foot steps. I finished my cosplay this week and it was 90% thanks to this instructables post, haha. I absolutely love my cosplay and would just like to thank you so much for sharing all your wisdom and making my dream a reality.

StuckintheUS90s (author)2015-10-31

Hey! I'm super impressed by your cosplay ^^. I'd like to make my own but I don't clearly see how you made the actual costume, I've understood how to make the mask but I don't really know how to do it.

For example: The leather pants is also made with several pieces of leather or is it a basic leather pants?

What about the leather shirt? Several pieces or a leather shirt with several pieces on it?

I'd be really glade if you answer me thanks ;) You rock!

I know there's a lot there, but my description does go over how things were made and provides links to related tutorials (like mask-making) so give all that a solid read-through. If you're still scratching your head after that, message me and I shall try to help.

Big_happy6 (author)2015-08-17

Thank you so much and I hope I may contact you if I have further questions again Thank you very much

Domguevara (author)2015-07-27

If you can privately message me when ever you get a chance I would like to know if you would be willing to make another one and how much it would cost, I would just be interested in body suit, not the head piece, I love your work and how you made this it's incredible, I'm just not skilled in this art lol

Tatterhood (author)Domguevara2015-07-27

Alas, I have no time to commit to making another suit! You can make one with just a little bit of sewing knowledge (you're essentially sewing patches together/onto clothing) but it takes *a lot* of time to do everything involved (supply run, cutting patches, designing patch elements, sewing patches, etc). Sorry.

Big_happy6 (author)Tatterhood2015-08-17

Hey tatterhood i am really intrested in making this costume yp the details are kind of vague like on what wlyou used to make the designs and the materials you used to make the head i really hope you can PM me the details asap thank you

Tatterhood (author)Big_happy6 2015-08-17

"I sculpted Ryuk's head over my armature using sulfur-free oil-based
clay. I made a two-piece Ultra Cal 30 mold of the sculpt, then cast a
latex positive..." and so on. If you read the full description above it states what I used for the head. I also talk about using leather for the suit and using a wood-burning tool on it (the pics I feel do a decent job of showing the designs I did - a lot of dots and swirls).

My other instructables (Terminator, Frank the Bunnie, Princess Leia and Asari) go over how to make a mold of your head, scuplting masks, making molds of your sculpt and casting a final piece in latex.

Domguevara (author)Tatterhood2015-07-27

Of course I understand! I'm sure YouTube can help with sewing skills, anyway it was worth a shot, but thanks again for putting this istrucatble up! You have a cool talent! And maybe I can make this myself before Halloween that's the hope at least!

olaw101 (author)2015-06-15


megan.barnes.5095 (author)2015-04-07

Hi, how do I PM you? Id be interested in buying just the mask/head part of this costume if you'd be willing to sell it.

kenshin-kun (author)2015-04-03

i want it~does it fits me?i'm like 153cm tall and i dunno my friends call me bones.

Tatterhood (author)kenshin-kun2015-04-03

I dunno, that's like 5'1"

guccibatman (author)2014-10-01

I'm interested in knowing if you'd be willing to sell a Ryuk costume

Tatterhood (author)guccibatman2014-10-02

I'm not making any additional Ryuk costumes or masks, but I wouldn't
mind selling my current Ryuk. However it's probably not going to fit
most people - it was made for an xxs 5'11" woman. If that describes you and you're still interested,
PM me about it :)

kenshin-kun (author)Tatterhood2015-04-03

can i? i'm 153 cm does it fit?

BeastandEpicProductions (author)2015-01-11

It's amazing how accurate it is to the anime. I just started watching it and Ryuk is already my favorite character! I would like to know how to make the latex mask, that's the best part of all this!

jin1g (author)2015-01-10

That's hella amazing hella love it

fkumpusch (author)2014-09-14

Can I order a Costume of Ryuk ? I'm very interested. My Email adress:

Tatterhood (author)fkumpusch2014-10-02

Sorry! This slipped off of my radar until now.

I'm not making any additional Ryuk costumes or masks, but I wouldn't
mind selling my current Ryuk. However it's probably not going to fit
most people - it was made for an xxs 5'11" woman. If that describes you and you're still interested,
PM me about it :)

guccibatman (author)2014-10-01

I'm interested in knowing if you'd be willing to sell a Ryuk costume

DelaneyP (author)2014-08-19

What kind of wig did you use? I'm currently in the process of making a Ryuk cosplay and I'm making the mask out of paper mache then just going to paint my neck and chest the same color as the mask.

Tatterhood (author)DelaneyP2014-08-19

This is the wig I got

I styled it and (gasp) spray painted it black (which worked for Ryuk, but I don't recommend doing that for any other character!)

Jolly Mic (author)2014-08-16

Absolutely fantastic work!

About This Instructable



Bio: I'm an indie game developer who enjoys making costumes, comics and cupcakes. I like video and board games, halloween, and laser dolphins.
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