DIY Daryl Dixon Costume

Well Halloween is upon us and I don’t know about you guys but I tend to kind of procrastinate costume planning.

Need a quick costume this year? Why not our favorite zombie killing biker?


For San Diego Comic Con this year I cosplayed Daryl Dixon so I thought I would show you guys how I made my vest! It was super easy, and super cheap!


First things first… you need a leather vest. I found mine at a Salvation Army. This was actually the most expensive thing (obviously) but I still got it for $20 which was way cheaper than I could’ve found online. You might be able to find something cheaper if you can find something faux leather.

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I washed my vest because it was real leather and I wanted it to look worn. This one was in damn near perfect condition and I needed it to look like it’d been through the apocalypse. So I washed it and it actually really helped. Im not sure faux leather would have the same results.

Next.. You need some sweet wings.. I used this template.

I used a sheet of chalk paper and a stylus to trace my template onto a square of muslin type fabric. I went with the darker because it was cheaper and I knew I was going to dye and distress it anyway.

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After that I used a sharpie to outline my chalk line so that once I dyed the fabric I wouldn’t lose my lines. I heat set the sharpie with an iron to stop any bleeding or washing out.

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After that? The fun part!! I got coffee grounds and spread them all over the wings. This was also probably the most time consuming part because I let them sit for around 6 hours.


However looking back, you could honestly skip that step unless you’re just really good at dying fabric. I am not. So I chose a new method. I diluted acrylic paint with water in a spray bottle and went to town!

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This gave me a great base. After that I started painting. I used very diluted paint at first because I just wanted it to be the correct color before I worked on mud streaks and super grossness.

(note : I didn’t MEASURE the wings the first round so I redid my wings as you can see in the next few photos they’re much larger.)

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Next step was attaching the wings TO the vest. My initial plan was to stitch them on but apparently I am no Jax Teller and hand stitching on leather is a son of a bitch so… Sewing glue it is! This stuff SAYS its waterproof but once I washed the vest to distress the leather, they totally came off and I had to re-glue them. I think you’d be fine in rain, but I wouldn’t run it through the washing machine.

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Last step? Make it look like it had really been worn. I used a sanding sponge and honestly just beat the hell out of it. I think it turned out mostly okay and probably smells a lot better.

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All you need for the rest of the costume?

I got a plaid button up, ripped off the sleeves and wore some older grey jeans I had with some $5 thrift store boots. I bought a crossbow also and I made an ear necklace with zombie ears I found at a party store!

I would HIGHLY recommend buying from Think Geek for your crossbow – they really helped me out after another site screwed me for SDCC.

Here was the finished product!

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2 thoughts on “DIY Daryl Dixon Costume

  1. Where do you buy the chalk paper and what kind of stylus are you talking about? Specific brand names would help me out greatly, apparently I’m helpless at tracing things!

    Liked by 1 person

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