How to Make a Mad Scientist Costume

Three Parts:Gathering Pieces for Your OutfitFinishing the Look with Unique TouchesChoosing Your Accessories

If you’re looking for a fun, inexpensive costume idea for this Halloween season, do something different by dressing as the classic mad scientist. This wild-haired weirdo is instantly recognizable and will stand out among the swarms of new, trendy costumes. It’s simple: a couple items of clothing and a few appropriate props and you’ll look the part.

Part 1
Gathering Pieces for Your Outfit

  1. Image titled Make a Mad Scientist Costume Step 1
    Find a white lab coat. Get a white lab coat to use as the visual base for your costume. The lab coat is one of the staples of the mad scientist look and is one of the things that will make your costume identifiable to people right away. You can usually find lab coats and other medical garments for sale at thrift stores, or you may be able to buy one of a moderate quality new without dropping too much money.[1]
    • If you choose to wear the lab coat open, find a plain collared dress shirt to wear underneath. You can also button up the coat so that you don’t have to worry about showing off another layer.
    • Create a name tag prop to clip to the pocket of your lab coat and give your homemade mad scientist an inventive name.
  2. Image titled Make a Mad Scientist Costume Step 2
    Get a pair of plain dress pants. For your lower half, put on a pair of plain khakis or pleated dress pants to accompany the doctoral appearance. You’ll have a little freedom in this area in terms of color and style, but black, brown or another darker shade will probably work best to go along with the “mad” theme. Wash and press your pants for a clean lab-ready look, or cover them with weird stains to make it look like you’ve been performing experiments.[2]
    • Complete the scatter-brained appearance characteristic of the theme of the costume by wearing a pair of pants that are a few sizes too big.
    • Avoid wearing jeans. They’re a little too casual for the look you’re creating, and may end up making you look more like Doogie Howser than a mad scientist.
  3. Image titled Make a Mad Scientist Costume Step 3
    Don a frizzy white wig. Cover your own hair with a crazy gray or white wig: the more out of the control, the better. This is another part of the costume that will define your look and make it known to people what you are. Most costume stores sell ready-made wigs specifically for costumes like this, so pick one up and let everyone see just how mad your crazed projects have driven you.[3]
    • For best results, find a wig that’s bald on the top but has longer, unkempt hair on the back and sides.
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    Pull on some rubber gloves. A pair of rubber gloves will make a nice touch for your costume. Simply put on a pair of basic surgical latex gloves, or find a pair of heavy-duty rubber gloves that fit up to the elbow to make it look like your work is particularly dangerous or icky. The gloves will look great when paired with the right props and accessories later on.[4]
    • Be sure that you don’t have any allergies or irritations caused by latex before you wear gloves as part of your outfit.[5]
    • Rubber dish washing gloves that reach up to the elbow are inexpensive and would be a good fit for this costume.[6]
  5. Image titled Make a Mad Scientist Costume Step 5
    Wear glasses. No mad scientist look would be complete without a set of spectacles. For this part of the costume, snag a cheap pair of low-strength reading glasses, or, better yet, a prop pair with plain glass lenses. You could even check your local Halloween goods store to see if they sell a pair of costume glasses with comically oversized frames and lenses. Exaggerated is good with this costume![7]
    • Prescription glasses can strain your eyes if you don’t actually need them to see, so find another option first if you can. Otherwise, just push them to the tip of your nose and don’t look directly through them.[8]

Part 2
Finishing the Look with Unique Touches

  1. Image titled Make a Mad Scientist Costume Step 6
    Put on a brain cap. If a regular wig isn’t zany enough for what you have in mind for your costume, try out a brain cap or makeup prosthetic. This accessory will make it look like the top portion of your skull has been opened, exposing your evil genius brain. A brain cap will lend your costume a little extra over-the-top humor if you’re looking for something beyond the normal look.[9]
  2. Image titled Make a Mad Scientist Costume Step 7
    Stick on some bushy eyebrows. To really play up the wacky old lunatic angle, make your eyebrows match your hairdo. Purchase or make your own set of adhesive bushy white eyebrows and stick them on before you go out in your costume. Instantly add years of age and multiple degrees of insanity to your aesthetic![10]
    • To make your own fake eyebrows, cut a small faux-fur sample into strips or pull apart a couple of cotton balls and use eyelash adhesive to fix them to the skin around your own eyebrows.[11]
  3. Image titled Make a Mad Scientist Costume Step 8
    Wear goggles or googly-eye glasses. Instead of normal glasses, throw on a pair of lab goggles or some gag glasses that feature spiraling vortex lenses or eyeballs that pop out on springs. This will give your costume another little bit of eye-catching visual appeal—no pun intended. Alternately, you could rig up your own ocular contraption and tell people they’re your “X-ray specs.”[12][13]
  4. Image titled Make a Mad Scientist Costume Step 9
    Apply a little makeup. Use a small amount of makeup to enhance your look once your costume is complete. A light smudging of charcoal or black face paint can make you look like you’ve been working with dangerously combustible chemicals, or some fake blood splatter will hint at unspeakable surgeries if you’re not worried about ruining your clothes. Get creative and think of ways to use makeup effects to highlight the particular image you’re trying to achieve.[14]
    • Don’t go too crazy with the makeup. Makeup and face paint might run throughout the course of the night, which can stain your clothes and make a mess of your costume.

Part 3
Choosing Your Accessories

  1. Image titled Make a Mad Scientist Costume Step 10
    Carry a clipboard. Bring an old clipboard along and fill it with odd hand-drawn notes and sketches. Take it out and scribble on it frantically now and then like you’re recording your observations about the people and things around you. Now you’ll appear ready to conduct your experiments.[15]
    • Get other people involved by pretending to study them briefly, then writing down their costume name in a checklist like you intend to make them part of an experiment.
  2. Image titled Make a Mad Scientist Costume Step 11
    Fill your pockets with odds and ends. Stuff the pockets of your lab coat with whatever scientific implements you can find: pens and pencils, rulers, a calculator, a pocket protector, etc. Incorporate these tools into your costume’s theme by periodically taking them out and pretending to use them to write notes or take readings. This is a small touch but one that adds a lot of detail to the costume.
  3. Image titled Make a Mad Scientist Costume Step 12
    Create a glowing potion. Here’s a fun prop idea: take a laboratory flask, beaker or measuring cup and add a few ounces of a brightly colored flavored drink mix and water (or just food coloring), then place a glow stick in the center and watch the whole concoction light up. Your glowing serum will look great while trick-or-treating in a dark neighborhood or when you break it out at a party.[16]
    • Be careful about using breakable objects for your container, or potentially toxic substances like glow stick liquid. Do not drink the potion if you’ve used a glow stick in it.
  4. Image titled Make a Mad Scientist Costume Step 13
    Show off a specimen in a jar. As a creepy alternative to a glowing potion, buy a small rubber animal or monster figurine and put it in an ordinary mason jar, then fill the whole thing up with water to create a neat little specimen for display. A frog or spider would serve this purpose well, or you could even find a fake hand prop or some plastic eyeballs to really give people the heebie-jeebies.[17]

Things You'll Need

  • White lab coat
  • Basic pair of dress pants
  • Crazy white wig
  • Costume glasses
  • Rubber gloves
  • Costume accessories or homemade props (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Halloween Costumes