Introduction: How to Make a DC: "Poison Ivy" Costume

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For the 2020 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), our friends wanted to go as a Batman themed cosplay group. We were trying to think of a few female characters and two of the ladies decided to go as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.

For those of you who are not aware of Poison Ivy's backstory, she is typically considered a super villain in the DC universe. She has different portrayals, some with her being a person who can control plants and other depictions have her as being a greenish plant human person who can control them. She typically is in favor of anything that is plant/nature related, and is willing to kill or punish anyone who threatens plants. She is also often portrayed as a seductive woman who will command others by kissing them with poisonous lipstick.

The traditional Poison Ivy costume is really a leafy leotard, green tights, and some boots and arm guards. It's not a difficult cosplay, but I was more focused on the comfort of the cosplayer with dressing in a revealing costume. Additionally, I was tasked with figuring out a way to hold the cosplayers small belongings. Luckily i figured i could make a prop carnivorous plant that functioned as a purse. For that instructable, please click here. Now then, Let's get started!


-Red nails

- Red Lipstick

-Red flower

-hair clip

-Red hair spray or chalk

-green tights

-green corsets

-scratch paper

-exacto knife


-EVA foam

-plastic buckles

-heat gun

- Shoes

- TONS of ivy leaves

Step 1: Reference Pictures

Before I ever start ANY costume, I look up a ton of reference photos from various sources and put it in a folder. The more pictures from different angles, the better. Look up:

1. Actual photos of the character from its source (movies, comics, action figure, etc)

2. Cosplay pictures. You can see what has been done, what you like, what you don't like, how to improve on a design. You can also start getting an idea of different poses you think you'd like to do.

3. I start looking at art work. I usually look up things via google images, deviant art, tumblr, etc. This way, you can see different renditions of a character through a new perspective and once again, start thinking about what you like, don't like, etc.

4. Use your own imagination. Think about what you want, how to make it your own original design, what are some tricks you think you'd like to incorporate.. perhaps you want to try out a new technique with this build, etc

5. If you can draw, I sometimes will take all my reference sources and start drawing out my own design.

Step 2: Leotard

1. First thing's first, You need to pull off ALL the plastic ivy leaves from the plastic stem and vines. I just put them all in a giant freezer bag. I went through 168 ft of plastic poison ivy vine. Just turn on a movie and go to town.Set aside when done. Here is the link to the Ivy vines i bought. (pic 1)

2. Here are the picture of the tights i used. The link is here. (pic 2)

3. Here is the picture of the corset we used. The link is here (pic 3). There is a metal wire in the bust area of the leotard. I sewed that together to make it a bit less revealing.

4.Wear a fitted tshirt and then put put the corset over it.

5.Glue the plastic leaves onto the suit, one-by-one. Put them on like a roof tile, starting at the crotch and work your way up towards the bust. (pic 4-9)

Step 3: Guantlets

1. Take your paper and wrap it around the person's forearm and mark where the wrist is, as well as mid forearm. Then draw a straight line from the middle of your wrist to the middle of your forearm. Remove the paper

2. The paper is thinner than your foam, so add about 1-2 inches to the perimeter to slightly increase the size.

3. Cut out your paper template and transfer to EVA foam

4. Use your heat gun to warm the foam and then place it on your arm to press it into the shape of a tube.

5. adjust the shape as needed so that it sits comfortably on your forearms.

6. Hot glue the clips all along the gauntlets.

7. When finished, paint a dark green on the foam. This is so that if there is any space seen in-between the ivy leaves, it gives off the illusion that it is all covered in leaves.

8. Once painted, start gluing in the leaves one-by-one, like roofing tile. Start around the wrist and work up towards the forearm. (pic 2-4)

9. Make sure you do not cover the clips, so that you can still clamp the gantlets closed.

Step 4: Boots

1. We used a pair of leather shoes. However, they were a brown color. I needed them a base coat of green. First, i sprayed them with a base layer of black plastidip. This way, they would flex and could be painted on. (pic 1)

2. Once dry, paint the boots green (pic 2)

3. Just like the corset and the gauntlets, start gluing the plastic ivy leaves to the shoes. Start at the bottom in a tile-like pattern (pic 3)

4. For the upper part of the boot, first put on the shoe. Then, take your paper and wrap around your person's calf. Draw on the shape of the top of the boot. (pic 4). cut out the pattern. Transfer pattern to foam and cut out

5. Similar to the gauntlets, paint green and attach the buckles in the back.

6. Glue the ivy leaves in a roofing tile pattern and start at the bottom of the top. (pic 5)

7. Try the gauntlets on with your shoes (pic 6-8)

Step 5: Makeup + Accessories

1. If you don't want to dye your hair, they make hair chalk or hair powder (pic 1 +2)

2. You can also put a red flower in your hair (pic 3)

3. Perhaps maybe even some ivy leaves to continue with the ivy theme (pic 4)

4. You can probably go with a red or even green lipstick (pic 5 +6)

5. Perhaps a green shade of green for the eye shadow (pic 7)

6. i also think maybe some red nails will add some color variation (pic 8)

Step 6: Finished

That should be a completed costume. Since the costume itself is fairly plain, consider making my carnivorous plant prop to give the overall look a little boost.

I also suggest working on your poses beforehand. Remember that Poison Ivy is a very seductive character so don't be afraid to play it up a bit. Lastly, Don't forget to find Batman or a few other DC villains to pose with!

Thank you for following the build. More of my projects can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Tumblr.

Find our group at 9:07 in the music video

Other costumes featured in this tutorial:

- Batman Thrasher suit

- Harley Quinn

-Harley Quinn mallet

-Poison Ivy Carnivorous Plant


-Mister Mxyzptlk


-Red Hood

-Gotham Swat

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