21M.715 | Fall 2009 | Undergraduate

The Craft of Costume Design


This page describes the activities worked on during the semester, including materials and sources. Some activities have photos of student work available on the Image Galleries page.


Demo of different materials used to form hats including wool felt, buckram and wire, and Fosshape. You will be designing and then creating a formed hat from craft felt.

Materials: craft felt, embellishments, forms.


Student Work Photos

Painting, dyeing, and distressing

We will learn how to think through and create distressed costumes appropriate for various situations. Demo of dye/print techniques used to change fabric surfaces. You will design and transform a thrift store jacket.

Materials: Light colored jacket from the thrift store, stamps, stencils, paints, embellishments.


Distressing Fabric. Alley Cat Scratch, April 22, 2008.

Student Work Photos


A quick and easy way to pattern a perfectly fitting corset from almost any period. Demo, and then you will develop your own pattern.

Materials: a disposable t shirt, duct tape.


Discussion of various techniques for creating either leather- or metal-looking armor. We will design and construct gauntlets from craft foam.

Materials: craft foam (5 or more sheets), metallic paints, talons, jewels or other embellishments.


Pollack, Rachel E. “Classwork: Final Armor Projects.” La Bricoleuse, December 4, 2007.

Faking Leather.” Alley Cat Scratch, April 22, 2008.

Student Work Photos


We will either use Fosshape or baseball caps as bases for period styled wigs that use everything and anything but hair.

Materials: “hair”, appropriate adhesive, bias tape.


Pollack, Rachel E. “Project(s): Wig/Hat Hybrids!La Bricoleuse, October 21, 2008. (scroll to student projects at the end)

Student Work Photos


We will be creating masks that you have designed using Variform (a mesh thermoplastic). We will discuss the process of creating life masks to use as forms, but will use purchased forms to build our masks. Masks will then be finished in one of several methods which we will discuss.

Materials: paints, embellishments, fabrics.


Concepts for Masks (PDF)

Becker, Jonathan. Custom Theater Masks.

Empire, Maxx. Mansour Designs.

Student Work Photos


We will discuss techniques for creating jewelry pieces and then you will recreate a period piece from examples found in historical sources.


Examples of Period Jewelry (PDF)

Student Work Photos

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2009
Learning Resource Types
Image Gallery
Projects with Examples
Design Assignments with Examples