Captain America Halloween Costume




About: I'm a beginning German teacher who is really getting into crocheting. I also knit (a little bit), sew, and bake. I'm a regular domestic! While I'm crocheting, you can find me watching the Office, the Ve...

True Believers! You know that America needs a real hero, and next year for Halloween, you, too, can be that hero! With just a few easy steps, you can become Captain America and impress your family, friends, neighbors, and local Legion members. (Our Cap ended up saying the pledge at the local legion as part of a scavenger hunt, and it went over extremely well.) Be a hit at conventions and use it to demonstrate your patriotism to young and old alike.

Let's get you on your way to your service as a super soldier, citizen!

Step 1: Materials

You will need the following:

A white long-sleeved athletic shirt
If no vertically-striped shirt can be found, red fabric (preferably with the same amount of stretchines as the shirt) (not pictured here)
A blue athletic t-shirt
Blue running tights (or sweatpants if suitable ones can be found) (not pictured here)
Red vinyl (we ended up using about 2 1/2 yards or so) (not pictured here)
Blue vinyl (about 2 yards total) (not pictured here)
White vinyl (about 1/2 yard) (not pictured here)
Blue fabric (if you choose to make the cowl out of fabric)
Wide black belt (not pictured here)
Red gloves (we used fleece ones, but anything red would be good) (not pictured here)
Stitch witchery
White thread
Tape measure
Rotary cutter and/or scissors
Heavy-duty blue thread
Super glue
Tons of pins, both safety and straight
A small quantity of stuffing (not pictured here)
Velcro (not pictured)
Red duct tape (not pictured)
Blue duct tape (not pictured)

Step 2: Making the Undershirt

Because we couldn't find a shirt with vertical red stripes, we had to make one. If you can find one, skip this step!

First, measure your subject and shirt. Divide that number by 12 (we figured Cap should have 13 stripes like the flag...but that made two stripes of the same color end up next to each other, and that definitely didn't work). I ended up cutting my strips at about 3". I cut the red first, then cut the bottom of the shirt off and cut white strips.

*This is where I would like to make sure that you're aware of the difficulties of trying to sew together two fabrics of vastly different stretchiness. Don't do it! I basically just ended up stretching the white as far as it would go and had to pin down both ends fully extended in order to pin the red to it. It worked, and we were pretty happy with the results, but I wouldn't recommend it. I am including my pictures, however, to help out anyone who, like me, couldn't find suitable red fabric.*

Then pin and sew your strips to one another, then back to the bottom of the shirt.

Step 3: The Cowl

Or hood...or helmet...or whatever you want to call it! In our first draft, we made the cowl out of the extra t-shirt we bought. After mis-placing the eye- and ear-holes, we scrapped it and went with the vinyl, which was difficult to sew, but I think it was a better-looking choice in the end.

Our cowl consisted of a long rectangle for the middle and two side pieces that started in a semi-circle then transitioned into flaps that cover the neck. I can't really give much more exact instructions, and I'll let the pattern pieces speak for themselves. Measurements will vary according to the head size of your model.

Once the pieces are cut, pinned, and sewn, (carefully) cut the eye- and ear-holes. Carefully check your sizes and spacing. Cut the "A" out of white vinyl and superglue it to the cowl. I cut the little wings out of white vinyl and sewed them inside out by hand then turned them right side out and stuffed them with poly filling. I sewed them to the hood as well.

We used velcro inside the cowl to keep the flaps together.

Step 4: The Gloves

First, cut vinyl to serve as gauntlets. Use red duct tape to attach it to the gloves. Tape around the edges for stability. Be careful to leave a big enough slit to allow for getting the gloves on and off. Cap also wrapped tape around the fingers for a more even shiny red look.

Step 5: Boots

Of course, this would have been easier with red boots, but without, Cap wrapped his shoes in red vinyl and attached it all together with red duct tape. He then made cuffs out of red vinyl and the pattern for that is pictured.

Step 6: The Armor

Here comes the tough part...the armor!

First, cut the bottom off the blue t-shirt. Then, use the stitch witchery to fuse the middle of the star to the shirt. You'll want the points of the stars to be loose so that you can sew scales under them. The star pattern came from When printed with Windows as a fax print, it's just about the perfect size and shape.

Then cut scales. Cap estimates that he and his friend Dan cut about 200 scales total. They are around 2" x 2". After the scales were cut, Cap creased each of them down the middle with an iron to prevent them from curling.

We then painstakingly pinned each scale down and sewed them on in rows. I had the best luck on my machine with the tension turned all the way up, but it really could have gone higher because I kept having tension issues. Once the scales were all sewed on, the tips of the star were glued down and then we sewed a long piece of vinyl around the neck and pinned the back down with safety pins.

Step 7: The Whole Shebang

First, put on your pants. Cap recommends long underwear underneath. Then put on the boots, then the pants. Follow those by the striped undershirt and the armor, then the cowl and the gloves last.

Our Cap didn't make his own shield; he got it on E-Bay, but there's a great instructable for how to make your own Captain American shield.

Wear it with pride, Citizen, and make your country proud!

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    20 Discussions


    4 years ago on Step 7

    This is a great idea. I'm going to use a lot of your methods this Halloween.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hey thanks for this instructional guide! I want to make a Spaceman Spiff costume (from Calvin and Hobbes) but this is the closest guide I could find. It actually seems like it will be very similar, all I have to do is substitute red vinyl with yellow vinyl and a lightning bolt instead of a star. Just need to figure out the shoulder pads. Let me know if you have any tips and I'll let you know how it goes! Happy Halloween!

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I suppose I'd go the lazy way and find a garment at Goodwill with shoulder pads in it and either wear that under the costume or cut them out and attach them to your costume :)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Hi there. I know it's been a while, but I'm trying to construct my own Cap costume, and I'm a little hung up on the belt. This is a great costume, and I was wondering: how did you make the belt for this costume? (the one in the convention picture) Any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks!

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Cap bought those pouches on eBay. If I remember correctly, they are actual WWII era gear. You may be able to find something suitable at an army surplus store. He just strung them on a regular leather belt. He also has a canteen on the back of the belt, not shown in the picture.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hey thanks! I appreciate that. I'll definitely have to check out the surplus store near me. Thanks for the info!


    Reply 10 years ago on Step 7

    Our local sports store. They're just running tights...the kind that are generally meant to be worn in cold weather (although as a non-runner, I'd think you'd still freeze to death in the things).


    Reply 10 years ago on Step 6

    Sure...but that would've made it even more exhausting and time-consuming to make. We cross-referenced a bunch of pictures of Cap's various different costumes and found one that looked like it had scales about our size...don't ask me which particular incarnation that one was :). At any rate, if you choose to make it, you can make your scales as tiny as you want :)


    Reply 10 years ago on Step 6

    True, scales are not fast. But I'm afraid I'm not a big enough fan to make the costume myself.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    first off id like to say I LOVE this. I tried making my own once for comicon but my cowl didn't turn out as nice. on the two side L shaped peaces, are they sewn together in front of your neck? its a bit hard to tell from the picture

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    No, they've got lots of velcro on them, so they attach under the neck, but the cowl is easier to remove that way :)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Nice Job! This is an awesome costume now I have my next 6 halloween costumes. *ROLLS EYES*