Star Wars Force Awakens Kylo Ren - Mask & Garb




About: I am a graphic artist during the day and at night, I create soul food. Currently working on designing a fantasy world with a silent comic component online ( LOVE to illustrate and design. C...

Wanted something fairly easy that would take under week to complete. My original thoughts for a Victorian Toothless were out. The movie Star Wars VII is coming out and I thought this might be a good choice and a friend suggested that I could also wear it to the premiere. Victory!

I really thought this was going to take a while but in actuality it took about 3 full days to complete. Sooo pleased.

Side note : Please keep in mind that I put this costume together before the movie releases and there are reference images I used that may differ from the movie. Not much was available, only conceptual designs, some pre-movie exhibits and an action figure. I went with the conceptual design/ movie posters.

Step 1: Mask - Preparing/setup Surface

This mask is based on previous version of masks I made of Death Eaters to wear at the premiere of the last Harry Potter movie. So for this particular mask, instead of just fabric as the entire base, I needed it to keep its form and add depth by thickness provided by the craft foam sheets.

Surface Prep Supplies :

  • 1 thick and 1 thin craft foam sheet (letter size 8.5” X 11”)
  • 2 – 1 sq ft (1ft X 1ft) pieces of cheap, white to grey, cotton fabric. Used linen but muslin works too. (NO black – would be a an absolute beast to cover up back to a silver color)
  • Permanent adhesive/ glue. I used fabric glue. There is others, just make sure it is non-water-soluble after it dries and also needs to be malleable, not stiff.
  • Sharp scissors.


  • I cut 2 sheets of fabric that fit a little over the foam sheets.
  • Laid down a permanent glue on the foam, enough to squidgy a thin consistent layer. I used, specifically, a permanent fabric glue, to the adhere the fabric to. It need to be permanent so that your sweat of any other water like substance lift he fabric from the foam.
  • Lay the fabric on the foam with the glue, press and let it rest and set for at least 24 hours.
  • Trace out the mask are, both the main and second eye area, with a pen or something that you can see. I used a sharpie.
  • Cut out both mask parts with very sharp scissors. However if you need to you wait until after the first layer sets before cutting out, that works too. The surface will be crispy and stiff. may help.

Step 2: Mask - Painting

Painting Supplies :

  • Paint
    • White, black, silver acrylic (small bottles is fine)
    • Silver chrome (metallic) spray paint
    • Clear polyurethane spray paint
  • Cheap brush

First layer

  • Paint a semi generous layer of silver acrylic. Just enough to get it wet. Once it drys completely, 24 hours later, you will have let it set and seal the foam and fabric.

Second layer

  • Completely cover with the silver, chrome spray paint. This may take 3 layers. Let it set completely, again, 24 hours.

Foundation layers

  • Huge swatches of main colors such as the half black mouth piece and slightly dark silver (a mix of black with silver acrylic) sides. There is also a line the top with semi-dark silver.
  • Semi thin white strips in a "v" formation to accentuate the "reflective" quality of the mask.

Final layers

  • Mark first the defining detail with straight black acrylic.
  • Accent here and there with pure white.
  • Line foam edges. Make sure that the thick edges of the foam is painted pure black.


  • Spray 2-3 layers of clear high gloss polyurethane.

Step 3: Mask - Shaping and Finishing

Shaping Supplies :

  • A ball cap
  • 2 -> 1 ft pieces of string to tie off bottom mask with (used paracord. Shoelaces works too)
  • 1 -> 5 in strip (used to brace the bill shape)
  • Hot glue gun – high temp (no lower temp glue or gun)
  • Sharp scissors

Shaping Mask
Used high temp hot glue to attach everything that follows.

Attaching the ball cap and shaping the mask

  • Cut the bill from the cap part of the hat
  • Hot glue a line down the middle of the bill and attach it to the main mask part
  • Once that is done, guide the mask around the curve of the bill and attach the rest with hot glue
    • Note: the bill I used was not string enough to keep its shape, So I had to brace it with a strap. Glue one end to one side and vice versa with the other end never allowing the bill to pull apart.
    • Note note: I didn't do this initially but wait to attached the under eye piece (2nd mask part) until after you have curved the main mask part to the bill. So will keep it from buckling in weird places.
  • Attach cap rim to area of the mask just above rim of the backside of the mask eye piece.
  • The mask flares out when you wear it with the cap so I attached 2 strings near the bottom of the mask to help tie back and keep the mask in place with no flare. (paracord is last choice to use).

Step 4: Garb - Undershirt W/ Ridged Sleeves

Fabric Used for all of garb

  • 6 yards - semi-thick black weave fabric (main pull over and full hood)
  • 2 yards - black jean fabric (to line part of the hood and belt)
  • 2 yards - thin-ish black striped cotton light fabric (under shirt with layered shirt)
  • 1/3 - 1/2 yard - canvas, duck or course (coffee) sack fabric; basically it needs to be very stiff and thick. (brace the inside of belt)


  • Used a shirt pattern I found under Butterrick for the under shirt.


  • Prepared the fabric for the sleeve by sewing together 2 inches of fabric every 3 inches. This will leave an inch between every 1 inch "flap/ridge"
  • Iron down the ridges to lay them as flat as possible.
  • Cut sleeves from layered part of fabric.


  • Cut the rest of the shirt from the non layered fabric. (Unless you want this part to be layered then I suggest twice amount of fabric).
  • Sew all parts together

Step 5: Costume - Main Over Shirt

Fabric Used for all of garb

  • 6 yards - semi-thick black weave fabric (main pull over and full hood)
  • 2 yards - black jean fabric (to line part of the hood and belt)
  • 2 yards - thin-ish black striped cotton light fabric (under shirt with layered shirt)
  • 1/3 - 1/2 yard - canvas, duck or course (coffee) sack fabric; basically it needs to be very stiff and thick. (brace the inside of belt)

Other supplies

  • Interfacing - 1 yard (black would be best)
    Side note: I used a black material that is similar to an under fabric used for coats as the interfacing. Whichever you think is best - something I had on hand)


  • Took the shirt as the base, lengthen the sleeve hole and lengthen the the shirt itself.
    Note: Might consider finding a monk or Crusades pattern, which ever works best.

Over robe:

  • I divided the front and back of shirt into 2 sections so when I sew up the over shirt, I stop sewing at the waist letting it separate out into 4 flares.
  • Now, I am short and I was able to use the 60" width of fabric to use as the length of the robe. For people that are taller just connect 2 pieces as the waist or cut down the length on the fabric to where you need it.
  • Since this was made out of the thick weave fabric, it was a little fragile around the sewn edges. To help, I braced it with a interfacing or another stronger fabric to do the same.

Step 6: Costume - Simple Tie Belt (a Mini Faux Obi)

Real quick: This is my preference but if your prefer something else, go to town. Simple faux obi like belt is fast to make, easy to wear, looks good and cuts down on search time for the "perfect" belt.

Fabric Used for all of garb

  • 6 yards - semi-thick black weave fabric (main pull over and full hood)
  • 2 yards - black jean fabric (to line part of the hood and belt)
  • 2 yards - thin-ish black striped cotton light fabric (under shirt with layered shirt)
  • 1/3 - 1/2 yard - canvas, duck or course (coffee) sack fabric; basically it needs to be very stiff and thick. (brace the inside of belt)

Other supplies

  • Iron
  • Starch


  • Cut 1 of the jean fabric (OUTSIDE of belt)
    • width : 10 inches
    • length : at least 45 inches - 60 inches
      HOWEVER, If your waist is past 36", cut 2 and connect short in width ends to make a longer piece. At least 14 inches beyond your waist measurement.
  • Cut 1 of the stiff fabric (duck, canvas or course sack fabric) (INSIDE of belt)
    • width : 8.25 inches
    • length : 3 inches shorter than the entire length on the main belt piece
  • Cut 4 - 3 inch X 1.5 ft strips of the thin black fabric used for the sleeve



  • Fold stripes in half length-wise
  • sew edges together long ways and pull inside out to make tie strips
    Side note: I fasten a safety pin on the outside edge and slip inside and slowly move it to the other end invert the tie as it goes.

Both main and inside belt pieces:

  • Fold in half and sew, separately, both fabrics length about .25 inch at the edge.
  • (main belt) Turn inside out the jean fabric and iron flat
  • (inside belt) leave the course material as is (do not turn inside out) and iron flat
  • Pull the "inside belt" part through the inside of the "main belt" piece.
  • Fold in edges of jean fabric inside about 1.5 inches on both ends.
  • iron down edges
  • Place tie strips at each corner/edges of the "belt" ends. That makes 2 at each end of the belt. The strips 2 inches inside and the rest falling out to tie off with
  • Sew shut the belt ends. Use a sturdy stitch or just sew over 3 X

Step 7: Changing Boot Color If Needed


  • Boots
  • black acrylic
  • black shoe polish
  • paper towel or something you don't care to ruin
  • little water


  • wipe down and remove any dust or other from the boots
  • mix a "little" water to your black acrylic so it is not thick but enough to stain with
  • wipe every part down with the black acrylic
  • when satisfied with black apply black shoe polish
  • shine up with shoe brush or what is available.

Step 8: Costume - Hood

This way is only slightly different than what I did. It's the way I will do when I remake it. It's less complicated.

Fabric and other supplies

  • 6 yards - semi-thick black weave fabric (main pull over and full hood)
  • 2 yards - black jean fabric (to line part of the hood and belt)
  • 1 1/2 yards of iron on medium interfacing (not thin, I used jean fabric for this but iron on interfacing is easier but may not be sturdy enough)
  • Iron
  • Starch


  • 6 X - black weave material - 16 inches width X height 45 or 60 inches (depends on the width of the fabric)
  • 1 X - interfacing or jean material - 16 inches X 1 1/2 yards
    side note: if you want your hood to hold its form fairly well, cut 2 and iron on twice

Part 1:

  • iron the interface to 1 of the 6 weave fabric cuts
  • sew together 3 => 16" ends creating 2 VERY long pieces
    • piece 1 - weave to interface/weave to weave
    • piece 2 - weave to weave to weave. see image 1

Part 2

  • fold long piece in half with interface on the outside
  • sew curved corner of hood down 18 inches and stop. see image 2
  • repeat with piece 2

Part 3

  • flip one of the pieces inside out. Put both hood piece together. If interface is facing outside, make sure it is the inside piece.
  • sew up the 2 "flares to the end of the where you stopped the first (18" mark) and sew down the other side of the flare.
  • sew up the other side of the flares to the bill and around and down the other side. see image 3
  • Up to you but after inverting the hood, re iron it out and sew again the edge down. Up to you. Makes the bill a nice edge.

Part 4

  • There are many ways to do this. Essentially you are gathering in some of the fabric at the back of the hood at the 18" mark and sew. Help with the "hood" effect. see image 4

Part 5 - finishing out the hood

  • In the front, down 18 inches or where ever you think is, attach both sides in one place so that the hood falls correctly when you put it on. See image 5

Part 6 - attaching the wrap arounds of the 2 "flares"

  • On the robe on "your" right shoulder, behind I attached a "strip" to tie off both flares so that they could hang correctly.


Step 9:



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19 Discussions


2 years ago

Fantastic! How much, approzimately did the process cost?


3 years ago

I don't know if you'll see this in time(as I'm starting the foam prep process now and need to work on this tomorrow), but I'm going to ask a really dumb question: How do you know how to trace the mask? Do you just print out an image or do you guesstimate? I really need some help, I'm just lost on how everyone is just magically knowing how to trace the mask and everyone is just saying "trace the mask!" and I have no clue what that means! please help


3 years ago

Ooh, very nice tutorial! Thank you so much for posting this. :)


3 years ago

In the end, approximately how much did it cost to make the entire costume? I am making the costume for a convention and would like to know how much it will end up being


3 years ago

Interesting approach to making the costume. I just posted my son's Kylo Ren costume, check it out on my page.

2 replies

Reply 3 years ago

Beautiful work. I bet your kid had a grand o' time this year. How long did it take you?


Reply 3 years ago

Thank you. He was pretty happy and the costume was low maintenance. He could see well, the helmet was lightweight and he was able to run in it.
I started working on it at the beginning of October. Picked at it when I could, until it got closer to Halloween, then I had to turn on the jets.


Reply 3 years ago

So glad. Hope my co-workers even know what I am dressing up as.


Reply 3 years ago

Thank you so much. I really had a great time making it. Can't wait to see the premiere.