Freezer Paper Skeleton Costume




Make a skeleton costume using freezer paper and paint.

black long sleeve shirt
leggings or long johns
white fabric paint
freezer paper
glow-in-the-dark fabric paint (optional)

Step 1: Draw the Bones

Draw some basic bone shapes on the papery (not plastic-y) side of the freezer paper.

This really doesn't take artistic skill. There are lots of sites online that have anatomy graphics, and you can use these as a guide. Simple is really just fine. (Check out the skeletons in the daft punk Around the World video if you want to see what I mean.)

What you do want to know is about how big the costume wearer's bones are, you wouldn't want your skeleton's knee to bend mid- hip, for example. Have the person who will wear the costume try on the black shirt and leggings. Measure how wide and long the hips, upper leg, lower leg, torso, and arms are. Mark the wearer's knees and elbows with safety pins. Use these measurements to create your bones.

For bones that have a separate right and left pieces (arms, legs) you might want to draw one bone, then flip it over and use it as a symmetrical template for the opposite side of the body.

Step 2: Cut Out Bones

Cut out the bones from the freezer paper.

Step 3: Lay Out Bone Templates

Lay out the bone templates on the front of the shirt and pants. Make sure that you can see all the bones and that no part of the bones is covered with overlapping freezer paper.

Make sure the plastic side of the freezer paper is facing the fabric!

Step 4: Iron the Freezer Paper to the Clothing

Using an iron set on medium, iron over the freezer paper so it sticks to the clothing. Make sure to iron right around the edges and make a nice seal so no paint seeps through.

Step 5: Paint!

Using a flat, stiff-bristled brush, "tap" the fabric paint onto the fabric inside the bone stencil.

Step 6: Peel Paper to Reveal the Bones

Once the paint has dried, gently peel back the freezer paper stencil to reveal the bones.

Step 7: Optional Glow

If you'd like, trace around the bone edges with glow-in-the-dark fabric paint.



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17 Discussions


3 years ago

Where do you find the white powder fabric dye?


3 years ago

Thanks so much! I now love freezer paper!


7 years ago on Step 7

After you remove the stencils, does the wax paper leave a residue? Do I have to wash the piece after painting?

1 reply

8 years ago on Introduction

Just finished mine for this year (10/28/10) Unreal idea but a lot more work than i thought. however being 6'6" means i needed more ribs and dang they are hard to cut. Also my stencils would not adhere te the waffle fabric i was using but the product is still great. can't wait to put this on!!

Rockin' Instructable!! Way to go. Thanks for sharing! BTW, can you please tell me, is "freezer paper" labeled as that or is it also referred to by another name?


8 years ago on Step 4

I had no idea freezer paper stuck to fabric when ironed, how amazing! This would have cut hours and hours of t-shirt stenciling work for me!

I love this idea. I'm studying to be an x-ray tech, and this would be a fun costume for work on Halloween (if costumes are allowed). I especially like the glow in the dark paint idea.


Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

you can find it at the grocery. It will be in the same aisle as aluminum foil and plastic baggies.


11 years ago on Introduction

The costume has scoliosis, but way to be there for your childrenses.