21M.715 | Fall 2009 | Undergraduate

The Craft of Costume Design


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Description

An overview of some of the techniques used in creating costume pieces that are crafted rather than sewn. We will use a variety of materials and techniques to create specific costume pieces while at the same time exploring alternative applications possible for each material/technique.

Students should come to class prepared to be painted, dyed, gilded, dusted and dirtied. In other words, bring a cover-up that can be left in the shop. There will not be a textbook for this class, but students will be expected to purchase supplies for class projects as well as for final projects.

There is a certain amount of research/design work inherent in any costume class and this class is no exception. Resources will be provided both in hard copy and web sites. Topics will be discussed at the first class so that you can get a head start.

All projects require a sketch and/or schematic of the design you will be building. Sketches are in color unless otherwise specified. Either wet or dry medium is fine. Having a completed sketch to work from is essential and is figured into the grade for each project.


Grades are broken down as follows:

Class work 70% (based on average of grades of all in class projects)
Final project 30%

Grades are based on design, problem solving and execution. I am interested in creativity as well as elegance of execution and design. In general I am more interested in a committed process that is full of discovery and challenge than in a perfect product; although the quality of the end product will also be considered.

The work we do in class is the bulk of the class; this is not to say that there will not be additional work involved in order to complete each project. Through projects you will learn to work with materials both standard and bizarre! These class projects will give you the skills needed to do your final project. See Projects for more information.

Suggested Field Trips for Materials and Inspiration

Home Depot

Recycle Store @ the Children’s Museum

Artist Supply Store

A. C. Moore or Michael’s

I Party

Large grocery store

Large office supply store

Dollar Store

Thrift store

Fishing supply store

Course Info

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