Beetlejuice: Beetlejuice's Wedding Tuxedo and Makeup

Introduction: Beetlejuice: Beetlejuice's Wedding Tuxedo and Makeup

In this instructable I will walk you through putting together Beetlejuice's amazing tuxedo look for his otherworldly nuptials. Much of this costume was purchased, but I will go over the steps for making the vest, bow tie and ruffled tuxedo shirts. I will also talk about makeup for Beetlejuice at the end.

Sewing machine
Small paintbrush
Serger (optional)

McCalls 4321 pattern
1 yard burgundy polyester fabric (try to match to jacket)
2 yards burgundy lining fabric
1 yard black or dark gray fusible interfacing
Six black buttons (1/2"-5/8")
1/2 yard black polyester fabric
Cream fabric paint
Off white cotton/poly fabric to match off white men's dress shirt
Threads to match
Burgundy carnation (real or fake)
Brown floral tape
Corsage pin

Purchased items:
Burgundy tuxedo jacket (I found this one from
Burgundy tuxedo or dress pants (I found these from a vintage store, note that tuxedo pants will often have clips at the waist that allow you to take in or out the pants without altering, so try the pants on before passing them over thinking they won't fit)
Off white men's dress shirt (a shirt with longer lapels would be more retro 70's style)
White dress shoes
White socks
Watches (fun fact: Beetlejuice wears several on the same arm in the movie)

Step 1: The Vest

Fuse interfacing to burgundy polyester. Cut out vest pieces. Cut out lining pieces. Follow directions from pattern on how to assemble. You may wish to lower the neckline and reshape the bottom to look closer to the vest he wears in the movie. Fit to body. Sew side seams, hand-stitch lining together at inside.

Mark places for 6 button holes. Sew button holes, cut open. Hand sew on buttons. Press vest.

Step 2: The Bowtie

In the movie, Beetlejuice's tie changes between the wedding scene (burgundy with dots) and the waiting room scene (black/gray). I used black fabric because that was what I had on hand. Use the bowtie pattern from the McCalls 4321 pattern. Fuse interfacing to wrong side of black fabric. Cut out pieces. Assemble according to pattern directions. Use paint brush to apply paint in small dots evenly on bowtie. Tie bowtie

Step 3: The Shirt

You can buy ruffled tuxedo shirts online, but they tend to be upwards of $40, so I chose to make one. The steps are very simple but can be quite time consuming.

If you have a serger:

Convert your serger to a rolled hem setting. Here is a video to help, and a blog entry to help too. Rip strips of the offwhite cotton/poly fabric to approximately 3" wide. Pull off any stray threads. You will need 5 ruffles total, depending on how long your strips are, you may want to join two together to have longer ruffles on your shirt. I used 60" fabric, so I didn't need to piece any strips together. Use your serger to make a neat rolled hem along each edge of the ruffle. I used white thread, but you can use a contrasting thread if you are making a ruffled shirt for a different costume. Once all 5 strips are finished on both long sides, use your sewing machine to sew a basting stitch up the center of the ruffle. Gather the ruffles, tie off the threads and trim the thread tails. 

Pin your ruffles to the front of your shirt. Start with the ruffle that will be on the top of the button placket. You will sew this one to the placket with the button holes. You will need to pin where the holes start and stop, you need to leave these parts unsewn so the buttons have somewhere to go once through the button hole. Turn the ends of the ruffle under slightly and sew the ruffle onto the shirt, skipping over the button holes. Pin on the ruffles to the left and right of this ruffle. The ruffles should start just under the collar. Sew these on with a continuous stitch, be sure not to catch other ruffles when placing and sewing ruffles. Pin on and sew the last two ruffles to the sides of the other three ruffles. 

Once all the ruffles are sewn on, go back and tack down any corners of ruffles that are hanging out. Rip off two 2" wide strips of fabric. Finish both edges of each strip with the rolled hem. Sew a basting stitch 1/4" from one edge. Gather. Sew these ruffles around the cuffs of the shirt.

If you do not have a serger:

Purchase wired satin ribbon to match your shirt, 3" wide is best, but 2" will work. Sew a basting stitch down the center and gather. One side of the ribbon is usually shinier than the other, you might consider using the less shiny side if it matches your shirt better. Follow the directions for attaching ruffles to your shirt.

Step 4: The Hair and Makeup

What we used:

From Kryolan:
Clown white
Zombie palette
Setting powder
Setting/fixing spray
Tooth enamel in black and nicotine
Spirit gum

From elsewhere:
Black pencil eyeliner
Fake moss (we used model train landscaping material)
Green hairspray
Regular hairspray


Mix a little clown white with the center taupe color of the zombie palette. Use a sponge to spread over the face and neck lightly. Use the maroon color from the zombie palette heavily around the eyes, extending up to eyebrow and down and around your eye. Mix the maroon with the navy blue for a darker purple for just around the eyes. Set with powder, brushing away excess. Fill in eyebrows heavily with black pencil liner, creating a peaked arch. Paint on a little spirit gum, allow to dry until tacky, then press in small amounts of fake moss. Continue this process in patches around the hairline and at the side of the mouth. The moss material we bought was quite a bright green, you can temper this by painting highlights/lowlights with the green and yellow sections of the zombie palette after moss is applied and dried. Set with spray to keep from rubbing on collar/tie. Dry off front teeth, dab black tooth enamel on tooth near gum line. Add spots of nicotine tooth enamel on teeth. Once dried (~30 seconds) gently scratch off any excess enamel.

Spray hairspray liberally to his hair section by section. Tease or backcomb sections until desired shape is attained. Finish with a coat of hairspray. Use the green hairspray sparingly near the hairline around the face. Please note: My fiance actually shaved back some of his hairline to achieve full Beetlejuice awesomeness. Not for the faint of heart!

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    8 years ago

    I'd like to stain my tuxedo shirt to get the aged yellowish look. Should I use tea? If so which tea would be most appropriate?


    Reply 8 years ago

    Tea would probably work. If your shirt is made of cotton you could try a quick dip in watered down brown dye. Always do a patch test first. I don't know about brands of tea and their effectiveness, maybe this tutorial will help more: