How To: Make a Menacing Kylo Ren 'Star Wars' Costume for Halloween

Make a Menacing Kylo Ren 'Star Wars' Costume for Halloween

Kylo Ren, conflicted villain of the new Star Wars trilogy, will surely be a major presence again this Halloween, with The Last Jedi fast approaching. His costume, all black and layered, complete with dark-side helmet and crossguard lightsaber, seems quite perfect for Oct. 31 — as well as your next DIY project.

Using supplies from around the house, CineFix's "Homemade How-To" team recreated Kylo Ren's costume and are convinced we can do the same. Sure, you can go out and purchase a ready-made outfit to become the master of the Knights of Ren, but to make it uniquely yours, why not try and build the costume at home yourself. There's still time!

Image by Star Wars/YouTube

Designing Kylo Ren's Look

At this year's NYCC, a bit more information was provided by Lucasfilm on Kylo Ren's helmet:

His helmet was crafted to mask his visage and voice, concealing his identity as he delves further into the power of the Dark Side of the Force.

So, Kylo's mask is meant to hide his past as Ben Solo. And what do we do with costumes at Halloween but conceal our true identities (for a few hours). This Star Wars costume truly was made for All Hallows' Eve, and as The Force Awakens costume designer Michael Kaplan explained to Clothes on Film, it was not a simple one to create:

You have no idea how many designs and concepts we came up with that were shot down. It's incredibly tough to come up with a mask that doesn't feel derivative of an existing superhero or to another iconic reference.

Can't help but think he's talking about Sith Lord Darth Vader here with the whole "iconic reference." Well, after all the back-and-forth, fortunately they did finalize a look for Kylo Ren, and that's the look we're going to make here, using supplies from our homes, the thrift shop, hardware store, and craft store.

"I feel it again... The pull to the light.". Image by Star Wars/YouTube

Things You Will Need for Kylo Ren's Helmet

Note that "homemade" doesn't necessarily mean fast and easy. Kylo Ren's helmet for instance will take some time to get right, as there is a lot of detail to try and match. This said, the materials you'll need are affordable, simple to obtain, and many are quite possibly already in your home somewhere (see scissors, glue, cardboard, spray paint, etc.). So let's begin. Here are the things you will need to make your very own Kylo Ren mask/helmet (voice-changer up to you):

Step 1: Build the Helmet Base

Starting with the little trash can, tape the swing lid shut from the inside. Cut the bottom off, and then the entire can in half. Next, put the lid on your head and measure from the bottom of the trash can's lip to your jaw.

Images by CineFix/YouTube

Take this measurement and cut the trash can to match. Place the trash can and lid back together, taping it temporarily from the inside. Place it back on your head and measure from temple to temple with chalk. Then once more, cut the trash can off at these points, and glue the lid and can together using a hot glue gun.

Image by CineFix/YouTube

Step 2: Add the Back Flaps

Once dried, place the helmet on a piece of cardboard and draw around it; then make an outer line about 1½" larger. This will be the outer ring found at the bottom of the helmet. Cut this out and glue it in place. Next, using the extra plastic cut in Step 1, cut an approximation of the angular embellishment found around Kylo Ren's helmet. Glue this along the helmet's bottom and add electrical tape to secure.

Images by CineFix/YouTube

Step 3: Create the Visor

Take a piece of craft paper and wrap it around the front of the helmet. Use the inside of the helmet to trace out the correct size; cut with scissors. Hold the paper up to the helmet again and sketch out the side shapes. Cut along these lines. Temporarily tape the paper onto the helmet.

Image by CineFix/YouTube

Put the helmet back on to mark out the bridge of the nose and the edge of the eyes. Referencing an image of Kylo Ren, sketch out the eye holes and with an X-Acto knife, cut this out. This is your template. Place it onto the craft foam and cut to match. Glue this onto the front of your helmet.

Images by CineFix/YouTube

Step 4: Get the Silver Details

Using the paper template and an image of Kylo Ren in costume, sketch out all the silver details of his helmet. There are a lot! Take your time, but note that you can sketch and cut out just one half, as it can be flipped over to use for the other side. Using your X-Acto knife, cut out the details and then as you did with the face plate, transfer these to the craft foam. Cut them out.

Image by CineFix/YouTube

Step 5: Craft the Mouthpiece

There are two layers for the mouthpiece. Lay the silver details you just made onto a piece of cardboard to sketch out where the lower mouthpiece will approximately be on your helmet. As with the silver detail, you can draw half of the mouthpiece, cut it and then fold it in half to create the other side. Symmetrical.

Image by CineFix/YouTube

Take this cardboard piece and trace it onto the milk jug. Cut it out and then again, draw on the design referencing a photo. With an X-Acto blade, remove the segments (there will be 11). Then glue the plastic plate onto the cardboard.

Images by CineFix/YouTube

For the top layer of the mouthpiece, use the serving bowl. Trace the lower part of the mouthpiece onto the bowl and then, using reference photos, draw on the outer piece, which will fit inside of the shape you just traced. Add the details. Cut out this new piece (the team used a Dremel tool, but you can use a pair of scissors or a blade as the bowl should be pretty thin). Scuff it up with a blade.

Images by CineFix/YouTube

Because the outer plate sits up slightly from the lower plate, use a few pieces of cardboard to create a division. Then glue the pieces together.

Image by CineFix/YouTube

Step 6: Spray Paint & Assemble

Next, spray paint the helmet. The base will be black, as well as the mouthpiece. The details will be metallic silver. Once dried, glue the mouthpiece to the helmet. Also, there are two pieces on either side of the helmet that fit on the inside. Simply draw this onto cardboard, cut, paint it black, and glue into place. For the silver details, wedge the foam between the top of the mouthpiece and the helmet. Glue down, starting at the center.

Images by CineFix/YouTube

And finally, cover up the eye hole with black sheer fabric. Attach it to the inside of the helmet, and you're done. To paraphrase Kylo Ren: "Your trash can is gone."

"Show me again... the power of the darkness.". Image by CineFix/YouTube

While you can certainly pair this homemade helmet with any outfit (e.g. Star Wars T-shirt and jeans) and still pass as Kylo Ren, why not go that extra step and DIY the outfit, too. If you were able to make the helmet, putting together Ben Solo's new all-black look should be a snap.

Things You Will Need for Kylo Ren's Outfit

  • black pants (faux leather if possible)
  • black coat (straight style, like a trench coat)
  • black dress (chemise style)
  • black fabric: sleeves (satin-y), hood/cape (burlap), belt (pleather)
  • black boots (team found theirs at a discount store for $7)
  • black gloves
  • glue, hot glue gun
  • cardboard
  • a fastener (e.g. luggage strap)
  • electrical tape

Note that because the outfit is completely black, it uses texture to create contrast. Designer Michael Kaplan to Tyranny of Style:

The hood fabric has a foiled finish for sheen; because he's in all shades of black, I was worried about losing definition in dark lighting situations. His sleeves were made of heavy canvas, which was dyed and intentionally unevenly pleated, then waxed.

This CineFix DIY uses different types of fabric to similar effect. Putting this outfit together will take much less time than the helmet as several pieces are ready-made, e.g. his pants and boots. For savings, check out thrift shops and clearance racks for any and all black garments. Now, onto the outfit!

Step 1: Tailor the Tunic

To create Kylo Ren's tunic, cut the dress down the center, from the bottom to the waist. Also, cut slits on each side of the hip. If your dress has sleeves, cut them off.

Images by CineFix/YouTube

Step 2: Pleat the Sleeves

For the sleeves, lay your black (satin-y) fabric down flat. Fold a bit of fabric over and secure in place with a hot glue gun. Keep going down the extent of the fabric. The resultant design will wrap around your jacket's sleeves from the shoulder to the wrist cuff. To add, start at the shoulder and hot glue the pleated fabric onto the coat; then wrap the fabric around the arm and hot glue it together at the seam. Any excess fabric, cut it off after the glue has dried.

Image by CineFix/YouTube

Step 3: Create the Cape & Hood

For these two pieces, you'll need about two yards of burlap fabric. First, cut the cape, which will fall at the bottom of your back. This is just a rectangular piece of cloth, cinched at the neck.

Image by CineFix/YouTube

For the hood, cut a wide, rectangle of fabric and glue together the shorter ends, making a circle. To create Kylo Ren's hooded look, simply put the fabric over your head and wear it like a hoodie, twist the rest of the fabric into a figure eight, and then drape the bottom circle over your neck.

Image by CineFix/YouTube

Step 4: Make the Belt

Measure out the belt with a piece of cardboard, then cover with pleather material. For the buckle, create the detail out of craft foam (again using a photo of Kyle Ren). Glue the buckle to the belt. For the fastener, whatever you use, attach it to the inside of the belt to hide it from view. The CineFix team used clips from an old luggage strap to create the closing mechanism.

Images by CineFix/YouTube

Step 5: Put Everything Together

With your individual pieces done, it's time to put Kylo Ren's whole look together. To do so, do so in layers. First the pants, then the coat. Next the dress, and then the boots. Clasp on the belt, then the cape. Lastly, put on your hood, gloves... and helmet. And you're done!

"I'll show you the Dark Side.". Image by CineFix/YouTube

Now Finish What You Started

As you can see, your Kylo Ren Halloween costume is pretty much complete. All that's missing is his weapon, that crossguard lightsaber, which as luck would have it the CineFix team also create. For this how-to, check out their full tutorial below and while it loads, start looking for some of the materials you'll need. Among them, a plastic toy golf club, headphones, red jump rope, clothespins, and a light wand.

Cover image via Walt Disney Studios

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