How to Make an Imperator Furiosa Costume




About: I am a former community manager here at Instructables. I'm interested in baking, crafty things, and learning new ways of making!

This costume is a fun, crafty challenge! The Mad Max saga emphasizes dystopian trash-to-treasure making, so you should not spend a lot of money on this costume. Use the junk you already have!

Full disclosure: I have no experience working with leather and I operate by the rule "don't measure at all, and cut 3 or 4 times, and maybe glue on an extra piece because you cut off too much!"

If you are more experienced than I am and are looking for patterns, etc. then you have come to the wrong place!

You've been warned :)

Step 1: Prep Work

With a costume like this one that requires a lot of detailed pieces that aren't really like anything that anybody else is wearing, you are going to need a lot of reference photos.

Look around online and find as many photos of the character from different angles as you can. I also looked at a lot of pictures and videos from cosplayers who had their own takes on the costume.

Step 2: "If You Can't Fix What's Broken, You'll Uh... You'll Go Insane."

Let's go through this in layers.

For Furiosa's underclothing you'll need a white-ish t-shirt, a black tank top, jeans or cargo pants and some boots.

For the Corset/Shoulder pad you'll need a lot of leather belts and straps. At least 4 whole leather belts and at least 3 more leather handbag straps. You'll also need some leather straps to add on to the screaming skull cod piece. And more leather or other material to make 2 cuffs for the robotic arm.

To make the shoulder pad you'll want to use an actual shoulder or knee pad. I also cut a piece off of the shoulder pad and adapted it to be my elbow cuff.

You'll need some sort of molding material to make the screaming skull piece (I used sculpey)and a lot of thin chains to hang off of the skull.

To make the robotic hand you'll want to start off with some sort of glove base and build off of that. I found a couple of ace wrist braces that were really helpful and I also used a couple of plain black gloves, cutting up one of them to make the fingers of my hand and wearing one so that my hand wouldn't be as visible under the robotic hand.

I used a plastic gardening fork that I broke the prongs off of to make the claw/fingers for my robotic hand, but you could use anything rigid and finger like to add on the claws.

On top of all of that you will also need a lot of random wires, tubes, hardware, gauges, buckles, buttons, etc. I found a nifty pressure gauge on an old fire extinguisher that was perfect for this project as well!

Additional necessary supplies are velcro strips, hot glue, duct tape, and paint.

Step 3: The Shirt

My T-shirt was bright white, so I dyed it with some black tea to make it look a little more lived in.

You'll want to cut off one of the sleeves of the T-shirt and cut off the bottom of the shirt to make it look more like a crop-top. Use the pieces that you cut off and wrap them around your bust to give it a bandaged look. I hand sewed this to keep it in place.

Step 4: The Corset/Shoulder Pad

Put your 3 belts on under your bust and mark where you need to punch any new holes in the belt.

Put on the shoulder pad and then run a hand bag strap from the shoulder pad across your chest to the top of the corset.

Run another strap from the shoulder pad across your back.

Have a friend help you mark where everything will line up and then take it off and sew/hot glue the straps into place.

I used the cross straps to connect all of the belts into one piece. This helped to keep the corset in place while I was wearing it.

The corset/shoulder piece has two more straps that run down from the shoulder to the corset right under your arm pit.

Step 5: The Screaming Skull Cod Piece

Look at a picture of the screaming skull and draw it out on paper or print it out. I traced the bottom of a glass to get the circles right.

Cut this out, it will be your stencil.

Roll out a thin piece of sculpey and then lay your stencil over it. Carve out the excess clay, remove the stencil and then shape the piece to your liking.

Bake according to your clay's directions.

You can paint the skull, but mine was already gray, so I just left it.

Hot glue a bunch of chains to the bottom of the screaming skull and then trim them so that they hang about to your knees.

Measure out some hand bag straps with clips that you can clip onto your belt loops and then hot glue them to the sides of the cod piece.

Step 6: Robot Hand: Base

I wanted to still be able to use my hand (to type on a keyboard, stay tuned for pictures of Furiosa at work!) while I was wearing the robotic arm and so this design rests on top of my hand and does not actually cover up my fingers.

I put the wrist brace on and then cut it shorter so that it just covered my wrist. I broke apart my plastic gardening fork and arranged the pieces into what I thought would look good as fingers and then glued them together.

Furiosa's thumb looks like a pliar or vice grip, so I took some actual pliars and traced out its shape onto styrofoam. I carved out the styrofoam and made a recess in the back of it for my thumb to rest in.

I hot glued all of the fingers onto the wrist brace and duct taped the styrofoam thumb onto the brace, leaving a duct tape loop that I could slip my thumb into.

One of the metal parts that I had previously removed from the wrist brace looked like it would be a good add-on to the index finger, so i bent it over and then glued it onto the gardening forks.

Furiosa's middle finger has two spiked hooks on it so I made those out of duct tape.

I bulked out the pinky finger by cutting a finger off of a glove, stuffing it with fabric and attaching it to the gardening fork prong. I cut off another glove finger and stretched it over the index finger.

To begin to make the robotic arm I cut a thin metal curtain rod into a few pieces and glued them into the arm brace. This will go up my arm to the elbow pad.

Step 7: Elbow and Upper Arm Cuffs

For the elbow cuff you want it be triangle shaped and coming up to cover your elbow. I used a piece of the shoulder pad that I had cut off and also attached a piece that I had cut off one of my wrist braces (velcro is your friend!).

For the bicep cuff I just attached some velcro to a leather strap.

Step 8: Paint

Everything should be metallic and dirty looking. The shoulder pad is black, the hand is mostly rusty metal, but has some black in it too.

Paint it all up!

Step 9: Add Your Hardware

Once everything is painted and dried, start adding on your hardware, especially tubing or wiring going from the hand up your arm. You'll want to glue these in place on all of the different cuffs and shoulder pieces.

Slap on any extra hardware you have that you think would look cool, especially rivets on the cuffs.

Step 10: Final Steps

When you put on all of the costume you'll want to have one more belt that you put on and wear around your hips like normal.

Slick back your hair, paint your forehead black, make it messy, and you are ready to go!

Halloween Costume Contest 2015

Participated in the
Halloween Costume Contest 2015



  • Games Contest

    Games Contest
  • Planter Challenge

    Planter Challenge
  • Sensors Contest

    Sensors Contest

10 Discussions


3 years ago

Paint your arm black!!! of course! brilliant solution. Beats really removing your arm.


3 years ago

Very cool!


3 years ago

Very cool! I love the makeshift method.


3 years ago

Going through this year's selection of costumes, I read your first paragraph. Realized I'm not the only one using the "looks about right" measuring method. Great job.


3 years ago

This is overwhelmingly cool. One hundred thumbs up!

Mary Suu

3 years ago

What a creative idea, I'm going to watch Mad Max again. :)


3 years ago

looks good on the bike.


3 years ago

Very cool. I love the gnarly homemade mechanical arm. Good work Amber!

1 reply