wikiHow to Make a Captain America Costume

Three Parts:The JumpsuitThe Helmet, Boots, and GlovesThe Shield

There are a number of methods you can use to create your own Captain America costume, and you do not need to be a crafting genius or have a lot of money to recreate the look. For a costume based more on the newest look of Captain America, opt for tougher military-style options like chest pads and real helmets. For a simplified costume that mimics the old-fashioned comic look, you can use simpler materials like t-shirts and rubber gloves.

Part 1
The Jumpsuit

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    Find a long-sleeve white t-shirt. This shirt will form the base of your costume. It does not need to be fancy. If anything, simpler is better. It should neither be taut nor baggy. Comfortably snug is best.
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    Spray paint a football chest pad blue.[1] A football chest pad is about the right length for the top part of the costume and it mimics the armor look of the newest Captain America costume.
    • Use a bright blue spray paint approved for use with fabrics. Do not use baby blues or near-black dark blues. You may want to do one layer, let dry, and assess the color. If it's not rich enough, spray on another coat.
      • If you have a limited budget (of money or time), it might be easier for you to create the top blue portion of the costume with a blue t-shirt. The shirt should be loose enough to wear over the white shirt but not so loose that it can be seen flapping or blowing around in the breeze. Cut the bottom of the shirt off, starting at the mid-chest area, and hem it up with a needle and thread or by tacking it together with fabric glue or fabric tape. (Captain America's abs are red and white -- that's why you'll only need half a t-shirt.)
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    Cut out red stripes for the bottom of the shirt. Measure the distance between the cut bottom of your blue shirt or the bottom of your football chest pad to the bottom of your white shirt. Cut out several strips of red felt or red duct tape -- each strip should be about 2 inches (5 cm) wide.
    • Depending on the illustration, Captain America has somewhere between 3 and 5 red stripes vertically placed on his waistline. Use the size of your stomach to determine how many stripes you need and how wide they should be.
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    Attach the red stripes to the bottom of the white shirt. The bottom of each stripe should start at the bottom hem of your white shirt and should extend up to the bottom of the blue shirt or blue painted chest pad. Space the stripes about 2 inches (5 cm) apart (depending on your size).
    • If you're using tape, no further adhesive is required. If you're using felt, use fabric craft glue or sew the strips on with needle and thread.
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    Find or create a white star. The white star can be made of any felt or fabric and should be about 6 inches (15 cm) tall and wide.
    • The star could also be made out of thin white cardboard or silver metallic poster-board. Alternatively, you might be able to find an iron-on star patch if you do not want to create one.
    • Adhere the star to the front of the blue top. It should be centered on your sternum, not overlapping onto the white t-shirt portion. Glue, sew, or iron-on the star to the blue shirt or blue chest pad.
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    Find blue pants in the same shade of blue as the t-shirt or chest pad. The blues need to match or be very close to matching; if not, the costume will look disjointed. You could use blue football pants, but if you cannot find these, use sweatpants (tight sweatpants) or leggings.
    • If you can't find a pair that match, look into dyes. They're widely available at fabric or craft supply stores and aren't very expensive.
      • And if you can pull off spandex, by all means.
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    Strap a belt around your waist. A plain brown or black leather belt will work, or you could find a combat-style belt with various pouches hanging off of it. Either way, a belt is necessary to complete the outfit and to cover up the elastic band of your pants.
    • Captain America only sometimes wears the pouches on his belt. That being said, it will cover up where the two pieces of your outfit meet -- typically the hardest area to make look professional.

Part 2
The Helmet, Boots, and Gloves

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    Use an actual helmet. While the old Captain America from the comic books had a face mask, the newer version of the costume uses an actual helmet. A simple army-style helmet will work best, but if you want to get picky, look for one that is specifically in the style of a 1940s M-1 fixed bale helmet. Spray paint the helmet the same shade of blue as your chest pad or t-shirt.
    • If it's near Halloween, you're in luck. If it's not, find an army supply store or a vintage reproduction shop. But the easiest option is definitely online.
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    Add an eye mask. Captain America's outfit includes a face mask as well as a helmet. Select a short mask that only covers the eyes and spray paint it the same shade of blue as the helmet. This could be as simple as a sleep mask or a sash of fabric. Nothing fancy is needed.
    • Alternatively, use a blue ski mask or blue swim cap. For a simplified, cheaper version of the mask, a blue ski mask that stops above the nose will also work and does not require the addition of a separate eye mask. You could also use a blue swim cap paired with swimming goggles.
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    Attach an "A" to the helmet. You could cut an "A" out of felt or make one out of silver or white duct tape. You might also be able to find a pre-made "A" as an iron-on patch or sticker. Adhere the "A" using glue or a needle and thread to the front center of your helmet, ski mask, or swim cap.
    • The "A" should be rather geometric-looking; no soft curves and curly-cues. It should resemble an 8 on a digital clock, but with a wider base.
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    Tug red gloves over your hands. The gloves can be standard rubber kitchen gloves, or you can get use leather gloves for an "updated" or well-polished look. Either way, they should extend somewhere between your mid-forearm and elbow.
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    Wear tall boots. If you went with leather gloves, leather combat boots are in order. If you went with rubber gloves, red rain boots or red sneakers paired with tall red socks might work better.
    • Whatever the overall look of your Captain America, keep it coordinated. If he's more like Captain America's poorer, shabbier-looking twin, make it work. As long as every piece is on the same level, your costume will look as one.

Part 3
The Shield

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    Select one of numerous shield materials. For ease, consider a round saucer sled, large stockpot lid, or round metal garbage can lid. If none of these are available, you could also cut out a large circle from a thick piece of cardboard.[2]
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    Paint the shield. Start by spray painting the shield white. The white paint acts as a primer and can also be used for the white stripe on the shield.
    • Paint the center blue. At the center of the shield, there should be a medium blue circle. The circle should take up about 1/3 of the total diameter of the shield.
    • Add two red stripes. Each one should be about 2 inches (5 cm) wide. The first stripe should encircle the center blue circle. The second stripe should border the edge of the shield. A large white stripe should be in between them both, but you may need to widen the red stripes if the white stripe is twice the size as either red stripe or larger. The red stripes can be created with paint or with colored duct tape (but tape is harder to make circular).
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    Place a white star in the center of the shield. The star should cover the entire area of the center blue circle but should not extend past the blue circle and into the red. It can be created with paint, decals, or white duct tape. Use whatever medium you've been using or match the star that's on your sternum.

Things You’ll Need

  • Long-sleeve white t-shirt
  • Blue spray paint
  • Football chest pad
  • Blue t-shirt
  • Red duct tape or paint
  • White or silver duct tape
  • Red and white felt
  • Fabric glue or needle and thread
  • Blue elastic pants
  • Leather belt
  • Red gloves
  • Red boots
  • Helmet, ski mask, or swim cap
  • Star and “A” decals
  • Round sled, garbage can lid, or cardboard

Article Info

Categories: Cartoon and Comic Character Costumes | Superhero Costumes