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  • Writer's pictureJenny Penland

Oogie Boogie Costume Tutorials ‣ Fill your dreams to the brim with this frightfully fun cosplay!

When we decided to do Oogie Boogie Bash this year, the costume choice was easy - Oogie Boogie or bust! Only problem is, he's an oversized burlap sack of vermin - so creating an "attractive," ride-friendly version took a bit of creative liberty. Luckily, Kennedy was Oogie Boogie for the inaugural run of Villains After Hours, so I already had a few tricks up my sleeve (and plenty of leftover fake bugs).

My version ended up being much more intricate than K's, but depending on your time constraints (and painting skills), both can be finished in a weekend, and modified for adults or children of any gender.

Hand Painted and Stiched Ooogie Boogie Costume
Step One - Find Your Base

Find a mini dress and boots of similar beige/light brown shade. I came across Fashion Nova's Late Night Thoughts Suede Mini Dress which came out to about twenty dollars with shipping, and found that it was a super easy medium to paint on. For sizing reference, I'm 5'4, 115lbs and the small was a bit big on me in the waist, but I was able to cinch it in a few inches when I sewed the stitching down the sides.

I linked a bunch other options I came across on Amazon that would also work great for different ages and body types, but here are a few of my favorites:

And how perfect would this duo be for a mama/daughter matching set?!

For my costume, I chose the Shoe'N Tale Women Stretch Suede Chunky Heel Thigh High Over The Knee Boots but I found loads of other cheaper options and linked them all on our Twin Air Signs Affiliate Page. Really, any beige/tan/light brown style shoe will do, and you don't even have to paint them - But I think it does give the costume a much more cohesive look.

If you choose to customize them, the next several steps will be done on both your dress and shoes. Some of these steps are out of order from how I actually did my costume, because I was creating as I go - but doing all of the base painting makes much more sense than doing the stitching in the middle of the project.)

Step Two - Window Pane

To make the fabric resemble burlap (much preferred in my opinion to the scratchy, stiff, authentic alternative --- especially for little kids!) use a rigger brush burnt ember paint to create a window pane pattern all over the dress and boots.

Step Three - Ombre the Sides

Going in with the lime green first, then the black, ombre the sides of the dress and boots. This gives more of the billowed look of Oogie Boogie's depth, while also creating a more flattering silouette. On the microsuede, I went in afterwards and white washed in a little of the nutmeg brown then coated the whole sides in the glow in the dark (which doesn't add a visible color) so that it would flow nicely outwards and really pop under the black lights at the event. I first pulled the green in a striping motion using a glaze/wash brush, then applied the black, nutmeg, and glow in the dark by swirling my natural mop brush in a fast, circular motion.

Step Four - Cross Hatch

Sporadically, over the entire base of the dress and boots, go back in again with your rigger brush and create a cross hatch pattern in lime green. This provides a glowing illusion, similar to when Oogie Boogie transforms from the brown burlap to lime green in the movie.

Step Five - Gaping Holes

Using a firm, square flat tip brush, create thick black faux stitching lines, in an "S" pattern down the front of dress and boots. Then add a few marquise shapes on the stitch line, which will be the gaping holes his bugs come out of.

Step Six - Stitching

Using thick black yarn, create stitching throughout the dress and shoes.

I used a whip stitch on the bottom of dress and top of the boots, a running stitch throughout the S pattern, and a MESSY cross stitch down the sides. - I did some extra crosses to cinch the sides in and make the dress look a little more like a messy sack.

You can either do the stitching using a large eye needle, or you can cut 1cm slits, about an inch and a half apart down the sides, top, and bottom of the dress, along the faux stitching "S" line you painted down the front, and down the sides and tops of the boots. Then go back in with the yarn and thread through by hand.

Step Seven - Add the bugs!

I really wanted the whole ensemble to have that Tim Burton feel, so I threw different colored blobs of neon paint on the fake bugs. This is a step you literally could have a two year old do because the imperfection of it all better grasps the whimsy of stop-motion animation.

After they were dry, I hot glued them only the dress and shoes - but if I had more time, I think I would have made a few stitches using fishing line, as I did lose a few throughout the night (though, I suppose that's true to form).

Step Eight - Create your Hat

I kept things pretty simple and used a scarecrow hat, which I painted with the same colors used on my dress and shoes. At Kennedy's ill-fated suggestion, she told me to cut it down to make it shorter, but obviously, cutting a cone at the widest point does not make it shorter, it makes it smaller..... So don't be like me, don't listen to K. (I cut a slit up the back and bobby-pinned it to my hair, in a last minute attempt to salvage, it worked out fine).

Step Nine - Accessorize

I finished my costume off with lime green fishnets, colored hair extensions and a dice necklace - I also found a cute crop jacket, but decided against wearing it since it was so hot out. Still, would be a cute addition to punk the look up a bit, or for those who prefer to cover their arms.

And that's it! Honestly, for as simple of a costume as this was for me, I love how it turned out. Wearing a stretchy dress was so much more comfortable than the corsets and gowns of year's past and I really love gender-bending less popular costumes and putting a fun, feminine twist on the character. As always, if you decide to make one of your own - please tag or email us your finished look! We'd love to see them!


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