Poison Ivy Costume From Scratch




Introduction: Poison Ivy Costume From Scratch

About: I am a seed saver, graphic designer, artist, parrot rescuer, and bulldog lover. Project collaborations welcome.

This Poison Ivy costume was inspired by this image. It has been my background on my phone for maybe two years and I've been wanting to dress up for Halloween as Ivy for some time. Finally just did it, it took me a couple sessions of cutting leaves and one long night of gluing and I was done.

Ivy was a great character on account of her viewpoints about earth and human's abuse of it and love for nature and plants.

Read more about Poison Ivy (comic) on Wikipedia.

Step 1: Material List

Step one, collect materials.

Materials List:

  1. Fabric Leaves (Print them on fabric like I did or buy garland and tear the leaves from the plastic)
  2. Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks (I got lucky, The dollar store had the gun and 50 sticks for $1 each)
  3. Black / Dk Green Tank Top
  4. Bra
  5. Black / Dk Green Underwear with elastic top
  6. Two pins (needles)
  7. Needle-Nose Pliers
  8. Scissors
  9. Black / Dk Green Sewing thread
  10. Sewing Needle
  11. Knee High Socks (Purple, Dark Green, etc.)
  12. High Heels in Dark Green
  13. Red Wig (eBay $9)
  14. Red lip liner to match wig (used as eyebrow pencil, worked fine, or use pigment and hairspray)
  15. Black mascara
  16. Green Fishnet Hose

Optional items:
Bust / Form / Mannequin
Heat bond material & iron

Step 2: The Design

Here is the original rough design inspired by the picture on the internet.

Since the initial draw out, I changed the stomach to be covered; The original design would simply have been cut out from the shirt; then I would have sewn hooks and eyes to the bottom of the shirt and top of the underwear (it will keep them together, but will allow easy removal.

Step 3: Modifying the Base of the Costume

Pull a bra and then tank-top shirt over a mannequin or bust.

Cut off the bra straps and shirt straps and pin the top and bra together.

Stick a pin on the inside of the bra that connects the top of the shirt to the bra.
Using needle nose pliers, clip the end of the needle off and dispose of it. Use the tip of the needle nose pliers and twist the cut end into a loop so it doesn't bother your skin.

Pinch the center of the chest and pin the center of the bow together. Using a threaded needle with knot at the end, sew a couple loops around the center of the bow to keep it together.

I used iron-on glue strips to keep the bra attached to the top; that is optional.
I also sewed the top to the bra to the shirt using a simple backstitch.

Step 4: Cut the Leaves, or Pull the Leaves From Garland

I found a couple ivy leaf pictures on google images and printed them on fabric then cut them out, this was cost effective and create a great varied look, but took a lot of time to manually cut out, I would look into the use of a fabric plotter if I did it again.

My favorite leaf design was this one.

Step 5: Hot Glue Leaves to the Top and Underwear of Cosume

Hookup and heat your hot glue gun and ready your glue tips. I separated my leaves into piles in plates that i grabbed from at will.

Starting at the top (or if looking at the diagram I made, the end of the arrow- backwards), hot glue the leaves on to the bodice.

I tried to keep the leaves going in different immediate directions, but similar overall direction like they were growing on a vine.

Optional variant: If you're going to cut out the stomach to match the initial pattern, do that before gluing the leaves on.

Step 6: Red Wig and Acessories

Order a red wig from off Amazon or Ebay- I got mine for about $9 at it was perfect for a one time use. I chose a wavy maroon red. I glued some leaves back to back, then glued them in the wig.

Before putting the wig on, I first dutch braided my hair then pinned it up across my head. Then I put the wig on, clipped it down [wig feature], then used bobby pins to secure it.

I found some cheap fishnet stockings in green for about $5, they got holes in them immediately and ultimately were torn up by a rampant dog paw.

I bought knee-high socks last minute as an add-on to the costume to make me look less naked [might be cold out.] Found a great soccer sock pair from the $.99 store and glued the last of my large leaves to the tops of the socks. This old place is local and sells super nice long socks for $20ish, they had dark green; I chose purple socks since they were comically colored, but considering the design, dark green might have fit nicer.

Make up:
There were two versions i tried... The Green Ivy and then the normal, flush ivy.

For the green Ivy I used green pigmented makeup eyeshadow to color my face and any exposed body.

For the normal flush ivy, i just used the green pigment on my eyes as the original image suggested.

Step 7: Complete the Look... Go to Parties!

I added a dark green purse that was super small to the wardrobe and my glasses in green that are rhinestoned.

At this party i handed out a couple cards for a seed trade that ive been playing with, thought it was super relevant. :) It was a hit.

Things I would add to the costume if i was to create it again:
- Add coconut rope vines around my arms and legs, glue leaves every so often like picture.
- Get greener fishnet hose
- Green Gloves covered with ivy
- Dark green socks covered with ivy
- Ivy covered Coat
- Ivy Flower covered purse with monster flower pet inside

Any questions about the costume construction, post below and I will answer.

Poison Ivy Costume from Scratchby Chelsea Lee Gilbert in 2014 for instructables :).

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Superheroes and Supervillains Contest

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    8 years ago

    Great job! It looks fantastic!


    Question 3 years ago on Step 5

    Was dots from glueing the leave on with hot glue itchy on the inside of the costume?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    It's funny you should use the word 'scratch' when referring to a Poison Ivy costume.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Never heard of Poison Ivy? Her band The Cramps just about invented psychobilly music. But I suppose they are a thing of the past now.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Googled a video for psychobilly, pretty neat- i like it.

    But yea, never heard of it! :)