Edward Scissorhands is one of director Tim Burton’s most well-known and loved characters. His all black, gothic look makes for a classic Halloween ensemble, and it’s one that many people have adopted over the years.
So, to spice things up a bit, Costume SuperCenter teamed up with cosplayer YuffieBunny to create a female version of the famed Edward Scissorhands look, inspired by an incredible piece of fan artwork by Guillermo Meraz!
Female Edward Scissorhands
This cosplay tutorial will walk you through the steps it takes to make a costume of a female verison of the classic character Edward Scissorhands, inspired by the artwork below, done by Guillermo Meraz.
Materials you will need:
- 4 way stretch black pleather of your choice (a textured one adds a little depth to the costume, about 2-3 yards)
- 1 yard of untextured black pleather
- Legging pattern
- Bikini pattern
- A form fitting shirt pattern with a stand up collar
- 1-2 spools of black thread
- Black elastic
- Small amount of stiff sew down interfacing
- 9 small snaps
- Black corset
- Black Bra
- 1-2 11”x17” foamie sheets
- Woodweld glue
- White paint
- Black paint
- Silver metallic paint
- Mod Podge
- 20 1” o-rings (to save money you can also just buy a pack of 1” rings used for chainmail/jewelry)
- Fine chain (about 2-3 yards)
- Black Gauze
Optional but used in this tutorial:
- Garter elastic
- 1 small sheet of worbla
- Heat Gun
- Dremel tool
- Painter lifts
As a note, this cosplay used a pre-made corset and pre-made black bra to use, but adding details over it. The last part of this tutorial, her scissor hands, can be the most time consuming, if you wish to start that first and work on it as you make the rest of the cosplay, it’s a good way to go.
To start off, let’s make the thigh highs. Use a legging pattern with an inside leg seam. Lay your fabric down right side up and then fold over to be able to cut both legs at once. Use straight pins or weights to hold your pattern down and trace with chalk. Now you can either simply measure the length of your leg from your ankle up to about .5” inches higher than where you want the thigh highs to stop, or you can trace, cut and sew together the entire leggings using a zigzag stitch and decide on the height while you have them on.
Serge the tops of the thigh highs then turn them down and pind and stitch some garter elastic to help keep them in place on your legs. Don’t worry about the bottoms too much, as they are pleather and don’t really fray like other materials do, and they will be tucked into boots anyway.
For her bottoms, simply use a bikini bottom pattern and use the textured pleather as material. Follow the instructions on your pattern to cut, pin and sew these together. You can leave the sides unstitched and add some straps around the hips to give it a different look.
Next, make the shrug. Take the front and back top patterns, lay the fabric down right side up and fold it over to be able to cut 2 of each pattern at once. Instead of tracing the full top, stop a few inches under the armpits.
When it comes to tracing out the sleeve patterns, though, you may have to modify it a bit more. On the top rounded side of the shoulder, you can extend it out to a point, making sure it curved correctly to meet up with the side of the arm properly, like so. If you don’t cut the sleeve on the fold, you’ll have an easier time adding the pointed shoulders on. Which means now there are technically 4 sleeve patterns to sew, and 2 seams on each sleeve instead of 1.
After cutting these out, use that pattern to cut the 4 “triangles” out of the interfacing, so that you can get the points to stand up once they’re on.
Stitch the tops of the shoulders together first, then match the front seam of your top together and stitch that.
Measure around the entire neck area to make sure the length of your collar is right. If your shirt pattern did not come with a collar pattern, use the measurement you just took as how wide you will cut your fabric. Also measure about how tall up on your neck you would like your collar, keeping in mind you will eat about ¼” of it’s height when you sew it to your top. Plot these measurements on your fabric after folding it over to the wrong side up. Cut, pin and sew it to your top neckline now.
Next, follow the directions to add the zipper up the back. Do not worry if it’s too long right now. Leave the sides of the top open and try that on first, without the sleeves, so you can make sure it is on its way to a nice snug fit so far.
Stitch the interfacing down to each sleeve pattern piece. If it helps, trim away some of the excess of the interfacing after sewing it down.
Once they’re all stitched, pin and stitched the sleeves around the point and down the outside arm seam only. This allows you to then pin and stitch down the underarm and the sides of your top in one smooth step.
Once everything is stitched together, carefully turn the shoulder points rightside out. You can also use the back side of a spoon or capped pen to try to push the very tip of the point out as much as you can.
Put the shrug on now to draw out the new bottom hem. Ask for help if you’re worried about getting even lines. Since the back of this costume doesn’t “exist” so to speak, you can simply have a straight line hem that just matches with the edge of the front hem. Once you have it marked off in chalk, take it off and fold the shrug in half. If you are sure this is where you want your hem then go ahead and cut off the extra fabric, pin and stitch the hem. (If you want to pin and stitch first and then try it on to make sure the hem is at an OK spot for you – use a baste stitch incase you have to seam rip anything. Adjust it if need be and stitch over it again to secure it in place.)
Now it’s time to make the gloves. We didn’t use a pattern for these, and this is not the most professional way to make gloves, but it works. Lay your fabric down right side up and fold over so the wrong side is up and you’re able to cut two pieces at once. Take some chalk and trace your hand with your fingers as wide apart as possible. (We usually extend the tips by ¼” to allow for more room in the webbed area between your fingers.)
Pin and stitch the gloves. Again, we left the wrists un-hemmed because it’s pleather and they will be hidden by the sleeves anyway.
This fan art has a fun bondage harness across her torso. You can make the straps out of another untextured pleather, as buying even pleather strapping from a store can be very expensive. Since pleather doesn’t really fray, you can take the easy way out by literally just cutting stripes of the pleather to use.
First, put the corset on and lace it up, ask for help if you need it. Measure down your torso from the top of the corset to just below it with a flexible measuring tape. Before going any further with the other straps cut this strap out and measure out where to place your 9 o-rings. Cut and hand stitch sections of the one strap to each o-ring, making a chain like this eventually.
Then get your corset on again (use painters tape to tape the top and bottom of the o-ring strap to the corset) and measure the different sections of your torso, using the o-rings as a guide and making sure to keep some slack in the measuring tape as the fan art harness drapes just a little. Make notes of the strap lengths as you measure. Number them, for example from 1-9, 1 being at the top of the corset.
Cut the straps and hand stitch only one end of each strap to the corresponding o-ring. On the other side of these straps hand stitch your snaps in place so you can put the harness on around you by snapping the straps around the o-rings. (as a side note, and you don’t have to do this, you can hand stitch the o-rings over the covered o-rings with clear thread to all but one of the straps connecting to the covered o-rings. You can leave the side with the snaps open so you can carefully slip that strap under the top o-ring and snap it shut. This creates the illusion of the o-rings not being covered by the pleather.) Simply stitch the top o-ring to one side of the corset to attach it.
Use this same basic straps and o-rings method when it comes to other areas of the cosplay. If you hand stitch on any extra detail straps to the shrug and gloves after they’re sewn together, it’s easier to measure in the end. Make two straps for each shoulder with o-rings on the center. The same with the straps across the gloves. Since it’s also a little hard to tell in the fan art exactly what is on her sleeves, take some creative liberty and hand stitch some black gauze and light weight silver chain to drape around her arms.
For the bra details, if you aren’t going to use this bra for anything but this cosplay, feel free to go crazy adding little things to it jazz it up.
Hand stitch an o-ring to the front of each cup. Next take some the chain and carefully pull it under and through the ring. Hand stitch one end to the inside edge of the cup while leaving the other end still attached to the spool. Gently pull the other end to create a ‘V’ shape with the looped chain and hand stitch it in place. Fine jewelry chain can usually just be twisted to break off the rest of the spool, doing this will help save your scissors blades from getting damaged too.
Continue this shape once again on the top edge of the bra and then repeat twice towards the bottom edge. Do this for both cups.
Now for the actual scissor hands! Take your 11”x17” foamie sheet and measure off 10 separate ¼” strips. Mark the middle of each of these strips and using a hard edge ruler draw a line down the length of the foamie sheet. Next draw lines connecting the edges of the strips to the far center mark so you create 10 very elongated triangles.
These are going to be the bases for your scissor hand “nail blades”, as they appear to be in the fan art. These are extremely floppy though, so what you can use the same method on worbla next and heat each worbla nail blade up with a heat gun and stick it onto its foamie counterpart. If worbla and a heat gun is out of your price range and you need something super cheap to help stiffen the blades, a thin cardboard or stiff card stock works wonders.
For the handles of the scissors, grab some clipart from the Internet of scissors you like and use a photo editing program to make sure the blade-to-handle area is about the same width of the nail blades. Print, cut and trace and cut either of the handles (or a mix of the two) 20 times, because you’re going to sandwich the nail blades between two of these. You can also cut a few small circles to look like screws on a few of the handles.
Next, take your elastic and wrap it around the middle sections of your fingers to find a good length that won’t cut off your circulation when the ends meet to create a full circle. You may have to lay out all of your nail blade pieces and cut and pair up the elastics with each nail as you go.
Use your woodweld glue with a mask, the fumes are very strong. Paint the glue to the insides of the scissor handles and each side of the tops of the nail blades. Let them dry for at least 15 minutes and then carefully press down the edges of the elastic to make a loop that sticks up.
Be very careful with the next part because this glue holds STRONG after it’s set for 15 mins. Carefully slip the top of the nail blades into your elastic loops and press in place. Do the same with the other side of your scissor handle to create that sandwich and the circles you cut for screws. Press in place firmly for a super strong hold on these. Repeat for each nail blade.
To create a slightly stronger hold, take some scraps of worbla and carefully heat them with a heat gun and press them over the seams of the scissor handles and nails blades.
After everything is dry, take a dremel tool to help even out the edges. This is totally optional, as not everyone can get a hold of a dremel. If you choose to do this, please use proper eyewear and a face mask to protect yourself from debris. Carefully use the tool around the handles to even out and rounded off edges. For the blades, just carefully use it on the foam side to shave off the edges to look more like a knife edge. Again though, this isn’t totally necessary for you to do, as the illusion of scissor blades will still be there.
Use your Mod Podge to help seal the foam now. Dothe handles first and then let them dry for a full day, before repeating this on the nail blades. Painter lifts also help elevate the sections so you can seal both sides without glueing them accidentally to anything else.
After that, carefully take some painters tape and tape off the elastic. You don’t have to use Plastidip if you would rather just put a base coat of white spray paint down, as the mod podge has already helped to seal your foam.
After both sides have been sprayed and dried blast the nail blades with your silver metallic paint. Let dry. Then hand paint the black handles and the silver screws to get nice hard edges.
For her boots, since this is fan art you can use some creative liberty with the kinds of boots you wear.
Lastly for her hair, you can use a wig if your hair isn’t that long and full. Once you get the wig bobby pinned into place, flip it, pin it, tease it, and pin it some more!
Go crazy with your makeup for this one. A tip to get the scars though, take a squeeze tube of eyelash glue and carefully paint lines where you’d like your scars. Let this fully dry. Gently cover in your foundation and let set for a moment before gently brushing some colored eyeshadow over them. For a “just healed” look, use a darker rust-red.
That’s it! Now you’re ready to rock your Female Edward Scissorhands cosplay! If you have any questions at all feel free to contact YuffieBunny via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To see more horror and gothic type looks, be sure to check out the selection that Costume SuperCenter has to offer! And make sure you follow Yuffie Bunny on Facebook, on Twitter, her YouTube channel, and on Instagram.