Motherhood

Who’s ready to be the most powerful female political figure in ancient history?  Oh yes, baby!  Let’s make all your Cleopatra costume dreams come true!

How about no sewing required?  Yes!

How about being able to wear part of this costume year-round?  Double-yes!!

No one-wear-wonder here!  By making the collar and belt as separates, you can up-cycle any sheath dress you have on hand or have a pretty dandy excuse to go dress shopping right about now!  

Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra 1963 movie cleopatra costumeMy Cleopatra costume was inspired by the 1963 Elizabeth Taylor film Cleopatra

Frankly, I’m embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve seen this film, if only to oogle at the amazing sets, jewelry and costumes!  Oh and Richard Burton and Rex Harrison aren’t bad either!  

elizabeth taylor cleopatra costumeYeah, if you haven’t seen Cleopatra yet, get on that, like immediately! 

Before we get into the costume, let’s pause for a sec and talk about Cleopatra makeup…

elizabeth-taylor-cleopatra-make-up-tips-halloween-costume-ideaCleopatra Makeup Tips

Break out that blue eye shadow ladies!  It’s time to go a little bit cray-cray with some mega-60s inspired eyes!

That’s right, Cleopatra makeup is all about the eyes. 

To copy-cat Elizabeth Taylor’s look, I started with the brows.  I used a black eyeliner pencil and raised my arches.  Then I colored in, making sure they were full–no thin Betty Boop brows here!

After my brows were done, I lined around my eyes with the same black pencil. 

I did my best to draw wings out to the sides of my eyes about an inch out moving towards the ends of the brows. 

Finally, I used a brush for the blue shadow, filling in from the liner to the brow.  Absolute last thing on was a generous coat of mascara.

I wanted such a nude lip that I actually dabbed on a little bit of foundation to keep them nice and matte and minimal. 

No-Sew Cleopatra Costume

What I loved most about this Cleopatra costume is that it required no sewing!  And, even better–it gave me an excuse to wear my wedding dress again! 

That’s right, if you have a white, sheath-like dress hanging right now in your closet, then bust out some Steam-A-Seam and let’s make this costume!

Cause let’s face it: store-bought Cleopatra costume are just plain lame! 

The first thing you’ll want to do is find the right wig. 

To stay true to the Elizabeth Taylor version the head dress can’t look cheap!  In the end I decided to forgo a complicated head dress and opt for this simple bobbed braided wig.  I ended up cutting the wig’s bangs shorter so that my brows and eyes would be a bit more visible.

Okay, let’s get to the good stuff now, here’s how to make all your Cleopatra-costume-dreams come true…

CLEOPATRA COLLAR & BELT TUTORIAL by Kristen Hong

Materials Needed:

  • 2 yards felt in desired color (I used a turquoise, but black would look good too)
  • gold bias tape (about 6 packages, double-folded)
  • thin black bias tape (1 package)
  • gold trimming, thin (1/2 yard)
  • gold trimming, wide (3/4 yard)
  • cotton print (I found one that looked like stone)
  • gold cotton print (look in the Asian prints section of the fabric store)
  • Steam-A-Seam (for applique, heavy weight)
  • Fabric adhesive
  • Optional Beading work: needle, thread, beads of your choice
  • Velcro, for belt (you can go no-sew all the way and use sticky-back or sew-on)
  • iron (water for steaming)
TIP: Iron the bias tape first before adhering it to the felt, it helps to be able to easily go around the curved edges.

Materials Needed:

  • 2 yards felt in desired color (I used a turquoise, but black would look good too)
  • gold bias tape (about 6 packages, double-folded)
  • thin black bias tape (1 package)
  • gold trimming, 1/2 yard
  • jewel-tone cotton print (I found one that looked like stone)
  • gold cotton print (look in the Asian prints section of the fabric store)
  • Steam-A-Seam (for applique, heavy weight)
  • Fabric adhesive
  • Optional Beading work: needle, thread, beads of your choice
  • Velcro, for belt (you can go no-sew all the way and use sticky-back or sew-on)
  • iron (water for steaming)

Directions for Collar:

  1. Draw your collar shape.  I drew mine straight onto my felt, but you might want to sketch out the shape first.  Cut two pieces.
  2. Using the Steam-A-Seam, add your gold cotton print fabric first, according to the directions on the pack.
  3. Add your “stones.”  Cut out strips of your stone-like cotton fabric and position it so that it creates a pattern around your collar.  Add your thin black bias tape to the stone cutouts before appliqueing them to the collar.  Using the Steam-A-Seam, according to the directions on the pack, iron on the black-outlined stone inserts to your front felt collar.  To make the inserts “pop” and have more dimension, add strips of the gold trimming on both sides.
  4. Trim with the gold bias tape.  Use your fabric adhesive to “glue” on the gold bias tape trimming around the whole perimeter of your collar.  Repeat this process for the back collar piece that will be showing. 
  5. Embellish the collar by adding beads as desired by hand with needle and thread. 
  6. Now place the collar with right sides together and either machine stitch closed or use more fabric adhesive.  Open the collar right side out and iron the seams down.
  7. Optional: Add two strips of the gold bias tape at the seam of the collar.

NOTE: When “trimming” with the double-folded bias tapes, simply open the bias tape and insert the cotton fabric or felt so it’s sandwiched in the middle and adhere on both the front and back.

Directions for Belt:

  1. Cut a long strip of felt about 4 1/2 inches wide.  Measure your waist so you know how long to make it and add 4 inches to that.  Also, keep in mind where you want the belt to be, my dress had an empire waist so the measurement was different from my true waist. 
  2. Using your felt piece as a pattern, cut out a corresponding strip (less 4 inches–2 inches on each end of the belt) and adhere it to the felt with the Steam-A-Seam, same as above.  
  3. Add your wide gold trimming by using the fabric adhesive, position it so that it will easily be covered by your thin gold trimming after adding on your belt buckle.
  4. Make a belt “buckle” in the same fashion as you made the stone insets for your collar.  Make sure you outline the piece with the thin black bias tape before adhering it to the belt. 
  5. Trim the entire belt with the gold double-folded bias tape and fabric adhesive, remembering to leave 2 inches for your Velcro.  
  6. Adhere or sew on the Velcro on both sides going in at least the full 2 inches.
  7. Optional: hand-sew embellishments as desired.

I finished the ensemble with black gladiator sandals and a black tulle sash from my Wicked Witch of the West costume from the year before.

diy no sew cleopatra costume halloween costume

Here we are trick-or-treating!

Two things:  One, Cleopatra would have rather been fatally stung by a snake than be caught dead trick-or-treating with a plastic bag.

And two: My son was supposed to be Julius Caesar with me, but he had no intention of even trying on the costume I so painstakingly made for him!  

Is your toddler the demanding, dictator-ish type? Type cast them in this Julius Caesar Halloween costume!I snapped this shot of his cousin wearing the costume instead. 

Point here–Cleopatra and Julius Caesar = best mom and son costume idea ever!  But alas, not for me!


If you need any help with this project at all, please leave a comment below!

Wishing you a very Happy Halloween!

xo, Kristen

wicked-witch-button-small-high-qualityCheck out my Wicked Witch of the West costume & makeup tutorial here!

follow-pinterest-buttonAnd be sure to follow MMTM on Pinterest, I have some awesome Halloween boards for you to check out! 

xo, Kristen
Kristen Hong of Hello Nutritarian

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Discussion

  • Anonymous says:

    Happy Halloween you looked great last year do not worry you have the rest of your life to dress up in costumes fyi I took a page from your book and ma dressing up like wicked witch

    • Kristen says:

      I’m going to make up for this lame Halloween and go all out next year! Stay tuned!

  • Kristen says:

    Thanks!!