Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Avatar Halloween Costume {pictures & detailed tutorial}

I love the thought of getting dressed up for Halloween. Unfortunately, I pretty much rarely do it. This year my sister & I wanted to be something really awesome, creative, & fun for Halloween. She came up with the idea of being Avatar based on the fact that  we both love the movie & the costume had such potential for awesome-ness. We got our other friends Charlene & Megan to join in & planned, created, & tested our costumes.

The planning was a little time intensive. We saw lots of cool pictures but only a handful of good tutorials.  We scoured Google for paint brands, tips, video tutorials, & pictures of Avatars from the movie. We even took an evening to test paint my sister so we knew everything would turn out right. In the end, it was definitely worth all the work; we look really really really cool & even won a little bit of $$. (Helpful Tip: If you ever do this costume & want to enter in contests, plan for time. Even with the test night, we definitely did not anticipate the time it would take to get ready. It took us about 5 hours from start to finish and we definitely did not give ourselves ample time to make the other costume contests. *insert sad face here*)

I'm going to write up a detailed tutorial in this post just in case someone ever wants to do this costume and runs across the same problem of not being able to find a good tutorial online. I might be a little wordy. Before I do though; let me go ahead & share some pictures with you.

Look closely. Note how I appear to have no legs. I'm just floating there.

  • Teal
  • Avatar Rainbow Cake
  • Sponges
  • Assorted small & larger craft paintbrushes
  • Glow in the Dark cream paint (purchased in a small tube at a local Halloween store)
  • Yard of Fabric of your choice
  • Craft store feathers, wooden pony beads, hemp string
  • Fake eyelashes (optional)
  • Temporary black hair spray paint (optional)
  • Elf ears prosthetic (optional)

Body Paint
You have multiple options of paint (or pre-made bodysuits but I didn't feel like there was much creativity there. Plus, who actually looks good in a bodysuit?) You can use latex, you could use liquid/cream body paint, or you can use a semi-soft cake makeup. My sister has a latex allergy so that ruled that out, we tested our faces one night using a liquid/cream paint but it started cracking after awhile, so we decided to use the semi-soft cake makeup. One of my biggest confusions was that I could NOT figure out how much one cake was supposed to cover. Did we need just one for a person or several per person? I mean, they looked really small. You only need one per Avatar Rainbow Cake per person (and you'll have leftover paint) plus around half of the Paradise teal 90gm.

Step 1. The paint works by taking a small spritz bottle of water & spraying the top of the cake. You then rub your sponge across the top of the cake & then apply to your body. We would rub it around the top of the Avatar Rainbow Cake & then across the teal to create the more blended color we wanted. (Helpful Tip: You'll want to spray it very frequently..probably almost every time. If the top gets dry, the paint doesn't spread.)

Step 2. Once you have applied the base blue coat to your body, use the dark side of the Avatar Rainbow Cake and a flat craft paint brush to create the stripes on your body. There is no rule to this; we all looked different.

Step 3. Use the glow in the dark cream makeup & a small craft paintbrush to apply dots. I applied a pattern onto my face & did random dots on my body. We also added a few gems here & there for emphasis. (Helpful Tip: If your not going anywhere dark, use white paint for the dots. We used the glow in the dark because we thought it would be cool to recreate the glow of theirs in the dark. We did notice that the glow in the dark kind of absorbed the blue color & dissipated after awhile.)

 Step 4: Much facial makeup is obviously not required. We were all a little different but I used a plum color lipstick/eyeshadow over the blue for my lips & the tip of my nose. I penciled in my eyebrows, used a brighter teal eyeshadow on my lids, & applied fake eyelashes.

Clothing & Accessories

As you can see, we all had some variations in our outfits so I'll just run down the basics.
  • A simple way to create a "loincloth" type skirt is to purchase a yard of fabric (or less depending on your needs). Use a belt of your choice & trim to pieces to the length & width you desire. From here, you can either hot glue or sew the fabric pieces onto the belt by folding the fabric over the top. (Helpful Tip: Use a belt with a smaller buckle.)
  • You can make a top a variety of ways. If your daring (and probably if you've never had children), you could just use pasties & paint. You can use leftover fabric to create a matching top by tying it in the back, buy a braided bikini top, use a cut up tank top. It's kind of preference at this point.
  • Hair options: A pre-made Avatar wig, spraying your own hair with temporary black haircolor, or synthetic hair. We all did something different:
    • Sarah - used the avatar wig & sprayed her hair black to make it fuller looking
    • Charlene - used the avatar wig & also purchased synthetic hair that she braided to make it look fuller (Helpful Tip: Do not use the temporary hair spray color on bleached hair. They advised her that it would turn her hair gray.)
    • Megan - She sprayed her hair black & had her hairdresser braid & feather it. 
    • Me - I bought synthetic hair from Sally's & sewed weave clips on it. I cut the hair into various sizes & braided some parts and my sister clipped it in my hair. (Helpful Tip: If you want to dye your hair to match, don't do it 2.5 weeks before. My color was faded & didn't match the hair I had bought.)
  •  Jewelry was a combination of jewelry we already had laying around, strips of fabric from our skirt making, and wooden pony beds & feathers on hemp string.
  • Ears have two options. You can either cut them out of construction paper & use a bobby pin to clip them in your hair or buy prosthetic elf ears & apply them. I used elf ears and I wish I had thought to take a good picture of how it turned out. You can barely see them poking out in the picture below.
That's about it folks. If you have any questions, e-mail me & I would be happy to answer. We ended up winning 2nd place where we went. (many people told us we should have won first place but we we're happy either way!) I feel confident that we would have won at other places too if we had realized how much time we really needed to get ready.

Helpful Tip: Use soap, water, & a washcloth to get the paint off. Using a loofah left us all blue in spots but Charlene used a washcloth later & her residual blue came off completely.

The real question is: How will we ever top this next year?!

Linking up several places like:
Home Stories A2Z


  1. Wow! You guys look amazing!
    Hope you had fun....

    hugs (but don't get blue paint all over me..... heeheehee) ~ Crystelle

    1. Thanks! The blue paint got everywhere...especially in my car! :p


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