Making a Homemade Punk Costume: Ideas and Instructions

Updated on September 25, 2015

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 out the Wikipedia article, 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! 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.

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

Images from this site are also on Flickr.

DIY Punk Costume: What You'll Need

Shoes 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.
Golf pants.
Slash it here and there for a "distressed" look!
Ear, nose, and lip piercings.

A Homemade Punk Costume

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). Camoflage 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!

A Studded Collar is Good as Well

Leather Mens Choker Necklaces Gothic Spiked D Ring Black Leather Choker Fantasy Black
Leather Mens Choker Necklaces Gothic Spiked D Ring Black Leather Choker Fantasy Black

A studded collar can be used with or without a belt necklace. This necklace is definitely an integral part of the punk costume. You can find necklaces like this at Hot Topic, Spencer's Gifts, or other similar stores.


What Is Your Favorite Part of the Punk Costume? - Vote Here!

The thing I like the best is...

See results

How to Create a Faux Mohawk Hairstyle

Want Spikes Instead?

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 form.

Head Out to the Party!

Punk Rock 101: Boot Camp—Music to Get You Into the Punk Mood

Are You Going to Try This Punk Costume? Can You Handle It?

Vote here! Anyone can say "Hell yeah!"

As far as punk costumes are concerned...

See results

Pictures of Punks: Find More Ideas Here

Two goth punks in Germany.
Two goth punks in Germany. | Source
Richie in the movie "Summer of Sam."
Richie in the movie "Summer of Sam."
The "Star Trek" punk.
The "Star Trek" punk.

Questions & Answers

    Thoughts on Making a Punk Costume? Share Them Here!

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      • dinolee profile image

        dinolee 4 years ago

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

      • emmaklarkins profile image

        emmaklarkins 6 years ago

        @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!

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

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

      • emmaklarkins profile image

        emmaklarkins 6 years ago

        @glodny: Thanks! Glad you like it :)

      • glodny profile image

        glodny 6 years ago

        I like Your "doing punk hair" tips :)

      • Srena44 profile image

        Srena44 6 years ago

        great lens

      • asiliveandbreathe profile image

        asiliveandbreathe 6 years ago

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

      • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

        ElizabethJeanAl 6 years ago

        Fun ideas. Thanks for sharing

      • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

        ElizabethJeanAl 6 years ago

        Fun ideas. Thanks for sharing

      • profile image

        JennySui 6 years ago

        Congrats on LOtD! Keep up the good work.

      • SandyMertens profile image

        Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Frozen Tundra

        Congrats on your LOTD! Such a fun lens.

      • profile image

        Tarra99 6 years ago

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

      • NightMagic profile image

        NightMagic 6 years ago

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

      • chezchazz profile image

        Chazz 6 years ago from New York

        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.

      • profile image

        AnnaleeBlysse 6 years ago

        Congrats on being a Halloween feature lens!

      • BunnyFabulous profile image

        BunnyFabulous 6 years ago from Central Florida

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

      • WindyWintersHubs profile image

        WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

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

      • PromptWriter profile image

        Moe Wood 6 years ago from Eastern Ontario

        Ok, you look simply awesome! :D

      • profile image

        DesignZeal 6 years ago

        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 profile image

        emmaklarkins 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

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

      • Vikk Simmons profile image

        'Vikk Simmons 6 years ago from Houston

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

      • JoyfulReviewer profile image

        JoyfulReviewer 6 years ago

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

      • Violin-Student profile image

        Violin-Student 6 years ago

        Cool lens. Very nicely done. Congratulations on LOTD.

        --Art Haule

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

        Congratz on you LOTD :)

      • ForestBear LM profile image

        ForestBear LM 6 years ago

        Congratulations! What a cool lens, well done

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

        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!

      • TheGutterMonkey profile image

        The Gutter Monkey 6 years ago

        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.

      • profile image

        GrowWear 6 years ago

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

      • lasertek lm profile image

        lasertek lm 6 years ago

        Cool costumes!

      • profile image

        hamshi5433 6 years ago

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

      • delia-delia profile image

        Delia 6 years ago

        Congratulations on LOTD! interesting lens...

      • Bercton1 profile image

        Bercton1 6 years ago

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

      • PurplePansy LM profile image

        PurplePansy LM 6 years ago

        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 profile image

        Frank Edens 6 years ago

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

      • elyria profile image

        elyria 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        mothersdayflowersmacon 6 years ago

        Great looking lens

      • plrsource profile image

        plrsource 6 years ago

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

      • juliannegentile profile image

        Julianne Gentile 6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

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

      • profile image

        JoshK47 6 years ago

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

      • youthministry profile image

        Paul Turner 6 years ago from Birmingham, Al.

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

      • Joan Haines profile image

        Joan Haines 6 years ago

        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 profile image

        talkies lm 6 years ago


      • profile image

        mrducksmrnot 6 years ago

        Congratulations on LOTD. Well done

      • Scarlettohairy profile image

        Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

        You made a great punk costume.

      • ajgodinho profile image

        Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        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! :)

      • joanhall profile image

        Joan Hall 6 years ago from Los Angeles

        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 profile image

        Fcuk Hub 6 years ago

        I love punk :)

      • Diana Wenzel profile image

        Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

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

      • agoofyidea profile image

        agoofyidea 6 years ago

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

      • ultimapalabra profile image

        ultimapalabra 6 years ago

        Hey, great idea and easy to make!

      • mich1908 profile image

        mich1908 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        miaponzo 6 years ago

        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 profile image

        boomerex 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Jellyrolldesigns 6 years ago

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

      • kislanyk profile image

        Marika 6 years ago from Cyprus

        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!

      • kerbev profile image

        kab 6 years ago from Upstate, NY

        Love the fashion shoot by the brick wall.

      • profile image

        BeyondRoses 6 years ago

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