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Making a Homemade Punk Costume: Ideas and Instructions

I have had some fun experiments putting together my own punk ensembles... you can check out the photos I've included here.

Channel your inner rebel with these DIY Punk Rocker costume ideas.

Channel your inner rebel with these DIY Punk Rocker costume ideas.

What Does a Punk Costume Look Like?

Before making a punk costume, you should know that it's kind of hard to define what "punk" is. Of course, you can always check Wikipedia, but that only scratches the surface. The main thing about punk: It's about breaking rules and not letting "The Man" tie you down.

With that in mind, use my examples as guidelines! And don't be afraid to take the costume in your own direction. A true punk would never worry about the details, and neither should you.

Another thing to remember is that contrast is good. Hard and soft, bright and dark, playful and angry—the more, the merrier.

DIY Punk Costume: What You'll Need

HairPantsShirtShoes and Accessories

Big, messy, and colorful (instructions below).

Tight jeans.

Old band/concert T-shirt.

Combat boots!

Faux-hawk (see instructions below).

Leather pants.

Tight fitting, bright colors.

Belt necklace (see instructions below).

Spikes (see instructions below).

Plaid or any strong graphic pattern.

Clashing patterns, odd or random images and text.

Safety pins and studs.

Hairspray or gel.

Golf pants.

Slash it here and there for a "distressed" look!

Ear, nose, and lip piercings.

The Punk Costume Shirt

Show your punk pride! You have a lot of options when choosing a shirt. Band and concert T-shirts are always a good choice, as is any shirt with bright colors. It's best if the shirt is really tight on you.

If you don't already have the right shirt at home, head to your local thrift store. Look for anything with strong patterns that contrast with other parts of your costume (such as the pants). If you see anything that makes you scratch your head, like a shirt with a beheaded doll or a dead chicken, it is probably perfect.

Don't be afraid of modification! I cut slits in the sides and top of the shirt in the video above and tied up the sides to give it a "distressed" look. It's a great way to add your own personality to an outfit.

Punk Pants and Shoes

Put your crazy pants on! If you have tight jeans or leather pants, these can work well. Alternately, scour the thrift store or other local low-cost clothing store for pants with a strong graphic pattern. Plaid is a good choice along with anything labeled "golf pants" (dorky multi-colored pants that flare at the ankles). Camouflage pants also work. The more they contrast with your shirt, the better!

As for the shoes, black combat boots are a good choice. You can also wear statement sneakers such as Converse. Eh, take that back: Converse are a little too in right now and punks never go with the flow!

Make your own belt necklace for a true punk look.

Make your own belt necklace for a true punk look.

Punk hair is easy to accomplish at home.

Punk hair is easy to accomplish at home.


Earrings and Other Accessories

The icing on the punk cake: If you have piercings in your ears or elsewhere, simply find some large, dramatic jewelry to fill them with. Safety pins and other graphic items are good. I wouldn't want to stick an actual safety pin in my ear, but you can find safety pin jewelry, or simply put safety pins in your clothes.

Nose, eyebrow, lip, and other piercings are very punk. If you're not up to getting a piercing just to suit your costume, consider some fake piercing jewelry. You can find these in both magnetic and flexible forms.

Head out to the party!

Head out to the party!

Pictures of Punks: Find More Ideas Here

Two goth punks in Germany

Two goth punks in Germany

Richie in the movie "Summer of Sam"

Richie in the movie "Summer of Sam"

The "Star Trek" punk

The "Star Trek" punk

Thoughts on Making a Punk Costume? Share Them Here!

The good doctor on September 23, 2018:

We are not jokes or costume ideas for people to mock us. If you don’t like our music or culture stay away. How would you like my dorky rich housewife costume. It comes with wine and OxyContin.

dinolee on June 20, 2013:

Awesome! I like the hair style, great lens you made!

emmaklarkins (author) on April 17, 2012:

@anonymous: Sorry you didn't find what you were looking for! Don't worry, there are a wide range of "punk" looks to choose from. If you're looking for different top ideas, a military/leather jacket (often found in surplus or thrift stores) can go over just about any sort of interesting t-shirt you can imagine. For the bottoms, you have a lot of options: anything from faded/torn jeans to even dark tights and a plaid skirt. You can do an internet search for images of "punks" or "punk clothes" to get more ideas. Hope this helps!

anonymous on April 17, 2012:

My daughter is having a dance recital. We have to make a punk costume, but I don't like these ideas!!!!!!!

emmaklarkins (author) on February 25, 2012:

@glodny: Thanks! Glad you like it :)

glodny on February 25, 2012:

I like Your "doing punk hair" tips :)

Srena44 on November 17, 2011:

great lens

asiliveandbreathe on November 13, 2011:

I tend to go for pink rather than punk, but love the wheels.

ElizabethJeanAl on November 08, 2011:

Fun ideas. Thanks for sharing

ElizabethJeanAl on November 08, 2011:

Fun ideas. Thanks for sharing

JennySui on November 05, 2011:

Congrats on LOtD! Keep up the good work.

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on November 02, 2011:

Congrats on your LOTD! Such a fun lens.

Tarra99 on November 01, 2011:

Missed your LOTD...but better late than never...I bit the big one on that quiz but love those wheels! Sweeeeeeet!

NightMagic on October 31, 2011:

Congrats on Lot D. I liked your finished costumes and videos --- good job.

Chazz from New York on October 31, 2011:

Great job and congratulations on being a featured Halloween lens. It seems oxymoronic to bless a halloween lens, but I just did. This lens is now featured on "Wing-ing it on Squidoo," our tribute page to some of the best lenses we've found since donning our wings.

AnnaleeBlysse on October 31, 2011:

Congrats on being a Halloween feature lens!

Erin Hardison from Memphis, TN on October 31, 2011:

Love your costume and all the tips! Congrats on LOTD and being a Halloween Finalist!

WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on October 31, 2011:

BOO! Wow! You have some amazing photos of you in your costume. Congratulations on being a finalist in the Happy Halloween SquidQuest! ^^..^^

Moe Wood from Eastern Ontario on October 31, 2011:

Ok, you look simply awesome! :D

DesignZeal on October 31, 2011:

great look Emma, looks terrific on you (I'd probably look like a stuffed turkey, which doesn't mean I'm not ready to try :)

emmaklarkins (author) on October 31, 2011:

Thanks so much to everyone for the awesome comments! You ALL rock!!!

anonymous on October 31, 2011:

You look terrific!!!!!! Great lens on how to put this all together. Angel blessed

Vikk Simmons from Houston on October 31, 2011:

You got me with the collar. :) Great idea for a costume and terrific final photo of it.

JoyfulReviewer on October 31, 2011:

Fun and informative lens. Congratulations on being a Happy Halloween Contest finalist (and for winning LOTD)!

Violin-Student on October 31, 2011:

Cool lens. Very nicely done. Congratulations on LOTD.

--Art Haule

anonymous on October 31, 2011:

LOVE the "doing the punk costume hair" photo gallery. This is a perfect addition to help readers think, "I really can do this!"

anonymous on October 31, 2011:

Congratz on you LOTD :)

ForestBear LM on October 31, 2011:

Congratulations! What a cool lens, well done

anonymous on October 30, 2011:

Emma, I am so very pleased for you in being honored with LotD for this delight, congratulations and enjoy that cloud you are sitting on!

The Gutter Monkey on October 30, 2011:

You know, if you add a little zombie makeup to the punk rock mix, you'd have Trash from Return of the Living Dead. And no one is more awesome that her. No one.

GrowWear on October 30, 2011:

Wonderful LOTD. Congratulations. And... Rock on!

lasertek lm on October 30, 2011:

Cool costumes!

hamshi5433 on October 30, 2011:

Congratulation on Lotd dear, Im very happy for you! Awesome costume ideas.

Delia on October 30, 2011:

Congratulations on LOTD! interesting lens...

Bercton1 on October 30, 2011:

Love the rolled- pant leg look ..Congratulations on LOTD!

PurplePansy LM on October 30, 2011:

This was such a popular costume when I was a kid in the 80's. In particular a certain variation on it was all the rage: baby punk rocker. Thanks for bringing back the memories. By the way, I love the way you did your hair up in pink.

Frank Edens on October 30, 2011:

amazingggggggg...........great transformation....

elyria on October 30, 2011:

I've never thought about being a punk for Halloween, but it surely looks like a fun idea!

mothersdayflowersmacon on October 30, 2011:

Great looking lens

plrsource on October 30, 2011:

Great Lens.....Very Creative.....

Julianne Gentile from Cleveland, Ohio, US on October 30, 2011:

Hehe, that was my favorite costume as a teen in the 70s. Happy Halloween!

JoshK47 on October 30, 2011:

Congratulation on LotD! I'll give you a tiny bit more of a boost with Blessings, because I love the punk aesthetic. :)

Paul Turner from Birmingham, Al. on October 30, 2011:

Love it! What module did you use to create the progressive hair photo's?

Joan Haines on October 30, 2011:

OK. Now i know I'm old. I used to really dress punk back in the 80's with safety pins through my ears!

talkies lm on October 30, 2011:


mrducksmrnot on October 30, 2011:

Congratulations on LOTD. Well done

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on October 30, 2011:

You made a great punk costume.

Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on October 30, 2011:

Wonderfully done, top to bottom. All the pictures make a big difference as well. And loved the short intro vid with the punk! ;) Congrats on LOTD...blessings! :)

Joan Hall from Los Angeles on October 30, 2011:

I quite surprised myself by getting 80% on a quiz about punk rock. Anyway, this is some awesome lensmaking. Glad that the LOTD powers-that-be shared it with us.

Fcuk Hub on October 30, 2011:

I love punk :)

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on October 30, 2011:

You really got it right. Great look. Congrats on LotD!

agoofyidea on October 30, 2011:

Congratulations on LOTD! Your outfit was great, but the hair really makes the costume work. Great lens.

ultimapalabra on October 30, 2011:

Hey, great idea and easy to make!

mich1908 on October 30, 2011:

Great job! But being a mom to kids, grey strands and crow feet just kind of took away my punky mood!

anonymous on October 29, 2011:

fun lens, i like the hair demo! and yay, i only got one wrong on the quiz, haha :-) great job!

miaponzo on October 29, 2011:

Cute.. punk costume.. my inner punk was left out, done already, and out of my system more than 30 years ago! :) Great lens.. very personal!!! and congrats on the LOTD!

boomerex on October 26, 2011:

Ha, you really do put a lot of effort into your lenses, impressive stuff! Loved the video!

Jellyrolldesigns on October 19, 2011:

Hee, hee, I am ready to let my inner punk out! Thanks for the fun and informative lens.

Marika from Cyprus on October 17, 2011:

Awesome lens! And finally a lens where I can see and read about the step by step instructions. So many 'how to' lenses these days are nothing but a collection of links to Amazon instead of really teaching something. Thumbs up!

Kerri Bee from Upstate, NY on October 16, 2011:

Love the fashion shoot by the brick wall.

BeyondRoses on October 16, 2011:

Very original, and creative of you. Delightful punk costume!