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How to Make a Masked Vigilante Costume

The first masked superhero to appear in American comics was The Clock in 1936.
Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Things You'll Need:

  • Ankle length boots
  • A plain t-shirt
  • A bulky jacket
  • A tape measure
  • A strip of single color fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • Boot polish

Masked vigilantes, superheroes, menaces to society or heroes to the people -- the world of the superhero is a complex, nuanced one made all the more complex by the gradual advent of "real life" superheroes across America such as Phoenix Jones and Mr Silence. However, whatever you think of the masked vigilante, you can't deny his sense of style. After all, if you're going to strike fear into the hearts of superstitious and cowardly criminals, you should at least look the part.

Design your symbol. Sketch it out on art paper and experiment with variants of it until you find something you're happy with, both in terms of design and color. Take your time with this as it's important for your heroic identity. When you have something you're happy with, clear a work space and lay the coat or jacket on it so the back is facing up towards you.

Use a fabric pen or thin brush to outline your design on the jacket and when you're happy with it, add in the colors. Regardless of your design, leave it overnight once completed to make sure the paint has dried. Clear the jacket away and place the t-shirt on your work space. Again, sketch the design out in fabric pen and shade it in once you're happy with it. Once again, leave it to dry over night before trying it on.

Run the tape measure around the widest part of your head and note the length. Cut a strip of fabric 3 inches wide and the length of your head measurement long. Tie it around your head and carefully mark the areas over your eyes with tailor's chalk. Remove the strip and cut these out using fabric scissors then try the mask on again. You may need to extend the eye holes or adjust how you wear the mask before it's comfortable enough to wear.


Make multiple t-shirts with your logo on it just in case one gets damaged. Mixed Martial Arts gloves are a particularly good choice for gloves as they are padded but also open fingered and light, making sure you don't cut down your mobility. They also look distinctly superheroic. Likewise, sport kneepads, especially painted in your colors, will enhance the costume. If you have a wig stand or something similar, tie the fabric around that and mark the eye holes on it. If you don't want to use a strip of fabric for your mask, use camouflage paint around your eyes. This will serve as a mask just as well.

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