How to Make a DC: "Zatanna" Costume

Introduction: How to Make a DC: "Zatanna" Costume

About: I'm a kid in a candy store when it comes to creating things. I love learning different versions of art, whatever medium it may be. Feel free to like the official site on Facebook to keep up with past, presen…

For the 2020 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, our friends wanted to go as a Batman Themed group. One of the ladies is a huge Zatanna fan, so she opted to go as that character as she is often associated to the Batman family.

Zatanna is one of the most powerful magicians in the DC universe. She's appeared in many of the animated movies, and also the shows such as Young Justice and also Justice league She actually casts her spells by saying the words backwards. She's definitely a crowd favorite from the Justice League and can hold her own when it comes to casting magic spells. Now, in the backwards spells of Zatanna, "S'tel Teg Detrats!"


-Top Hat

-white shirt/ tuxedo shirt

-black tuxedo coat with tails

-women's vest (white, black, or yellow)

-black bottoms

-fishnet stockings

-black shoes

-bow tie



-white gloves

-plastic rose + floral tape + Pin

-acrylic paint

-flashing light

-iridescent wrapping paper

-spray adhesive

-dowel rod

Step 1: Reference Pics

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: Clothes

Here are the items we purchased for this costume build. Zatanna has different variations of suits, but for the most part, the pieces are fairly consistent.

1. Tuxedo Shirt - You can use a white button down shirt, but a Tuxedo shirt would be ideal. The reason is that a tuxedo shirt has a few different things about it like a shorter color, ruffles on the front, and there are slots for button inserts. It shirt just adds a little something.

2. Tuxedo Jacket with Tails - The tuxedo jacket needs to be black, short front, but also long tails. That is the classic look, but feel free to adjust as needed. Our tuxedo jacket was that, but had sequence on it.

3. Vest - Get a vest, but make sure it's for a woman so that it hugs a woman's figure. I've seen Zatanna in white, black, and yellow vests.

4. Bow Tie - Zatanna wears a bow tie. I've seen her in plain white and also plain black bow ties

5. White Gloves - Zatanna always wears white gloves

6. Black Bottoms - Make sure your cosplayer feels comfortable with what they're wearing. Zatanna's outfit can be somewhat revealing and you want your cosplayer to be present instead of worrying what they're wearing. Our cosplayer felt more comfortable wear black shorts

7. Fishnet Stockings - Zatanna always wears a pair of fishnet stockings. I personally have a preference for a smaller mesh design

8. Black shoes- Same premise as the bottoms: Make sure your cosplayer feels comfortable with what they're
wearing. I've known plenty of cosplayers who want out of their cosplay after only a short amount of time because their feet hurt. Zatanna's shoes are often high heels, but our cosplayer was going to be hauling around her baby all day. No need to put extra stress on our momma's feet. We went with her comfortable Doc Martin boots that also happened to have rose designs on them.

9. Top Hat- Last piece of the puzzle is the top hat.

Step 3: Props


1. I lined the inside of the top hat with Iridescent wrapping by spraying it first with adhesive spray.

2. I then took apart a color changing light and glued it into the center of the top hat.

3. I didn't do this, but actually wish i had. I would have gotten a fake stuffed bunny and kept it tucked under the hat. When someone wanted a picture, I'd turn the hat upside down, turn on the light, and have the rabbit stick out.


4. Take your fake flowers and cut them to size.

5. Take your wire and wire the stems together

6. Wrap in floral tape and pin to the lapel of the tuxedo jacket


7. Take your dowel rod and cut to size

8. Paint the entire thing black and paint the end white.


9. I think the floating card prop is such a cool idea. I think you an easily keep this in your coat pocket. Video link is attached.

10. Essentially take some invisible thread and string it through middle of a few cards. Use some hot glue to attach it to the cards as needed.

Step 4: Finished

That should be it for this simple costume. Just a few suggestions of doing your hair and make up. Practice your poses so that you know how you want to look in your photographs. I personally am a fan of the rabbit out of the hat, the floating cards, and maybe messing with your gloves.

Thanks for following this simple Zatanna costume build. More of my work can be found on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Find us at 9:07 in the music video

Other Costumes/ Props mentioned within this Instructable:

- Batman Thrasher suit


-Mister Mxyzptlk

-Poison Ivy

-Harley Quinn

-Harley Quinn Mallet Carrying Case

-Poison Ivy Carnivorous Plant

-Red Hood

-Gotham Swat


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