Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Vampire costume in coffin with stake through heart!

Published by Manning on June 21st, 2015

Vampire in coffin Halloween costume.

Oh how I wish I had better pics of this costume! It’s my favorite Halloween costume I ever made, probably around 2002 or so.

I made the coffin out of foam board and packing tape, covered with shiny black paper. There were velcro straps that went over my shoulders. The bottom edge of the coffin was near my knees, and cut with a jagged edge, like it broke while I was climbing out of my grave.

The stake was a piece of real wood from Home Depot, cut and whittled and sanded into a stake shape. It was mounted with heavy duty glue on a thick cardboard base that sat under my clothes, and the whole thing was hanging on a string around my neck. A surprisingly stable setup.

I wore red sclera lenses; they cover just about your whole eyeball and they make for a really freaky effect! It’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror when you’re wearing these things. I also had black ones that I used for a few costumes. Sclera lenses are great but they’re crazy expensive. They’re also very hard to put in and take out at first, but it gets much easier with practice.

The only part of this costume that didn’t work out was the blood; I bought a jar of fancy “stage blood” from a theatrical supply store, and it was just awful. It was transparent reddish-pink instead of solid red, and it was oil-based so it never dried! Why?! Talk about terrible. I learned later on that acrylic paint — lots of red mixed with a little bit of black, and slightly watered down — is your best bet for fake blood. Splatter it on, let it dry, and it becomes a flexible plastic-like surface that won’t budge and it’ll even (usually) survive the washing machine!

The one big downside with this costume is that I had no peripheral vision at all! It’s very strange to not be able to see what’s next to you, even when you turn your head. In a dark, crowded party this can be very confusing and even downright dangerous. Fortunately I had no problems at all and had a great time wearing this get-up all night. I’d really love to do this one again someday.

Incidentally, I make pixel art (and occasionally games) as a hobby, and I used this vampire-in-a-coffin idea for an enemy in a Castlevania-style game I was working on a while back, called Curses!; I made tons of monsters but we ended up only ever making one demo level of the game, so this Nosferatu-like vampire guy was never used.

8-bit vampire pixel art

Look at ‘im go! You can see more of my pixel monsters here.

Interested in commissioning a piece from me? Please see my page about custom paper maché pieces. Please email me; don't put your request in a comment below.

Leave a comment