How to Make Stranger Things DIY Costumes

How to Make Stranger Things DIY Costumes

If you follow pop culture, you'll surely have watched - and loved! - Netflix's Stranger Things. This eerie, slightly scary homage to 1980s movies became wildly popular as soon as it came out, and it's no wonder. It's fun and engaging, and the characters have very defined looks, which makes them perfect choices for Halloween or fancy dress parties.

Stranger Things is set in Indiana, in 1983. The costumes are very suburban-looking, with subdued colors and nothing very flashy; they're perfect to make your own version! Stay with us at OneHowTo to learn how to make Stranger Things DIY costumes to wear with your friends and explore the Upside Down.

How to dress like the Stranger Things kids

The foursome of pre-teens from Stranger Things are the obvious choice for any group of four friends - five, if you have an Eleven. The kids are the most direct homage to movies like E.T. or The Goonies, so you can pull from your nostalgia - or maybe from clothes you've kept from your teens, if they still fit - to make these Stranger Things costumes.

The four kids from Stranger Things wear standard 80s clothes, like jeans, corduroy jackets and striped polos and rugby shirts; this makes the costumes much easier to make at home. Since the characters are identifiable by details, that's what you should focus on. For an extra touch, carry your bikes, backpacks or even a Dungeons & Dragons game.

How to make a DIY Dustin from Stranger Things costume

Dustin Henderson is a fan favorite, with his baseball cap and big un-toothed smile. To dress like him, wear:

  • A red, white and blue baseball cap
  • Curly brown hair
  • A bright t-shirt and plain jeans
  • A denim jacket
  • To make it complete, carry a compass

How to make a DIY Lucas from Stranger Things costume

Lucas Sinclair is the voice of reason within the group, and he wears more practical clothing. Wear:

  • A bandana with a camouflage print
  • A sensible polo or t-shirt and plain jeans
  • A red corduroy shearling jacket
  • To make it complete, carry binoculars

How to make a DIY Mike from Stranger Things costume

Mike Wheeler is the leader of the group, and he wears slightly more formal clothes. To get his look, wear:

  • Floppy brown hair
  • Striped polos - in deep colors like burgundy or navy - or a rugby shirt and plain jeans
  • A beige coat or windbreaker
  • To look even more like Mike, use some makeup to make your face paler and your eyes look bigger.

How to make a DIY Will from Stranger Things costume

Will Byers is smaller than the rest, and he's the one with the more 80s look of them all.

  • Brown hair in a longish bowl cut
  • Plaid shirt and light-colored jeans
  • A red puff vest with yellow stripes

How to dress like Eleven from Stranger Things

Eleven wears very different costumes throughout the course Stranger Things, so you can choose your favorite. In all her versions, however, she has very pale skin, big brown eyes and an "11" tattoo on her wrist. Some fake blood around your nose will make all the difference - as will a box of Eggos, which you can make with cardboard and paint.

Out of all the possible Eleven costumes, the easiest to make yourself is the classic Eleven outfit. Throughout the show, she mostly wears a light pink dress with a Peter Pan collar, embroidery and ruffles, although it's so faded you can use an apricot one, and a navy blue jacket.

Wear white Converse shoes and tall white sports socks with yellow and green stripes. If you don't want to shave your head, wear a very obviously fake blonde wig.

Of course, there are many other cool costumes that Eleven wears throughout the show. Take a look at our article on how to make all the possible Eleven from Stranger Things DIY costumes for more details.

How to dress like the teens from Stranger Things

How to make a DIY Barb from Stranger Things costume

Barbara Holland, or Barb, has become a huge fan favorite as well. One of the reasons is her glaringly retro look and stunning height. To look like Barb from Stranger Things, wear:

  • Short red curly hair
  • Big plastic glasses
  • A ruffled shirt: Barb wears a pink frilly sweater and a checked blouse in different scenes, but they all have very 80s ruffles
  • Mom jeans
  • For the final touch, carry a binder

How to make a DIY Jonathan from Stranger Things costume

Jonathan Byers wears clothes that any teen would wear nowadays, so it might be hard to identify you if you're not dressing up as a group. To make a Jonathan Byers costume, you'll only need:

  • A neutral plain t-shirt and jeans
  • Long-ish shaggy hair - it should look like it was a bowl cut at some point
  • A camera
  • To really make him identifiable, try to look as if you haven't slept since 1981

How to make a DIY Nancy from Stranger Things costume

Nancy Wheeler, Mike's sister, has two very different looks. In one of them, she's a sensible, good all-American high school student; in the other, she's ready to explore the woods and face all kinds of creepy creatures.

To look like Nancy, high schooler, you'll need:

  • Long, brown hair, wavy and pinned back in a loose way
  • A tight pastel sweater
  • A striped, high-waisted beige skirt
  • A messenger bag

To look like Nancy, intrepid explorer, you'll need:

  • A tall, long ponytail
  • A deep red corduroy shearling jacket
  • High-waisted jeans
  • A spiked bat or a bunch of hunting equipment

How to make a DIY Steve from Stranger Things costume

Steve Harrington looks exactly like the mean boyfriend from all 1980s movies, which can be a bit hard to achieve. To get that look, try:

  • A striped polo or a plain, sporty sweater
  • Khakis
  • Loafers or tennis shoes
  • Very tall hair
  • Nancy's spiked bat

How to dress like the adults from Stranger Things

While Jim Hopper the policeman only requires a standard khaki cop costume and the doctors only need white lab coats and ID badges, it's Joyce Byers - Jonathan and Will's mother, played by Winona Ryder - who makes the best costume.

To look like Joyce Byers from Stranger Things, you'll need:

  • A big dark green jacket
  • A dark striped sweater
  • Shaggy hair with thin bangs
  • To make the character more obvious, carry a white wall phone and/or a string of Christmas lights

However, none of these characters are the most popular choice for Stranger Things cosplay: Fans are actually dressing up as the wall from the Byers' house. There are many ways to make your own costume, but the easiest DIY version is to simply wear a patterned blouse or shirt that looks a bit like wallpaper and to paint the letters of the alphabet on it - with Christmas lights, of course.

These are our easy and affordable tips on how to make Stranger Things DIY costumes - if you have any ideas (or how to make the Upside Down monster instructions), please tell us in the comments section.

Don't miss the following articles if you're looking for more ideas for costumes:

  • How to make a Handmaid's Tale costume
  • How to make a werewolf costume
  • How to make a Grease costume
  • How to make a 1980s costume
  • How to make a DIY Moana costume

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