They Call Her The Winter Soldier…

Halloween is almost upon us, and we all know what that means: COSTUMES! Costumes everywhere! I’m so hyped to see everyone’s creative ideas come to life on the 31st. I’ve always dressed up for Halloween, and a lot of times throughout the rest of the year as well; it’s something I find fun, and it only became more enjoyable when I discovered cosplaying in my early teenage years. Since then, most of my costumes for Halloween have been re-wearings of costumes from an anime convention earlier in the year. This year’s costume, however, is a bit different: it’s a cosplay that I plan on wearing again, certainly, but this Halloween will be its debut! I’ve been working on it for a decent amount of time, and it still has some tweaking to go through before it’s ready for the convention floor, but for the occasion at hand, it’s perfect.

This is basically the idea I was going for.

If you’ve read my previous post, then you may have already guessed what my mystery cosplay is: Bucky Barnes from Captain America: The Winter Soldier! I’m so excited to be able to cosplay this character. While the construction of the costume was easy enough, getting my initial idea through the steps of my usual cosplay-making method was a bit more difficult than I imagined it would be at first.

Basically, it all started after I saw the second Captain America movie in theaters last semester. I adored Bucky’s character and his design, and figured that was grounds enough to try and replicate his outfit and look for myself. However, as the Marvel movie costume designs aren’t exactly simple and my sewing skills are limited, I decided to try and invoke a general idea of the character with my costume rather than go for 100% accuracy. This was the first step in my process: picking a character and deciding on a design. Normally, this design would be an exact image of the character from a screenshot or concept art, but occasionally I’ll come up with my own original or altered design, as in this case.

Step number two went something like this: I’ve got an idea, now do I have anything in my closet or giant box of craft materials that I could use to make the idea happen, to avoid spending copious amounts of money on yet another costume? To my closet I went! My search proved fruitful, and I ended up finding most of the pieces and materials I would need in the construction of the main costume. Since most of my clothes were made with women’s sizes in mind and I had no access to safe chest-binding materials, it was at this point in the process that I decided to not play up the “male” angle of the character; I could easily convey the idea of “Winter Soldier”.

By the end of this step, I had secured:

  • a black leather jacket I hardly wore that I got for $8 on clearance
  • a black tank top (to wear under the jacket)
  • black skinny jeans
  • lace-up combat boots from another cosplay
  • fingerless gloves left over from my time on my high school color guard team


As far as I was concerned, the base of the costume was right there. In a stash of unused craft supplies, I found a can of silver spray paint that was going to be very helpful in making that metal arm. Leftover black acrylic paint from an older project would be used to paint the “ridges” onto the arm. As for non-clothing elements of the costume, I had access to dark grey stick eyeshadow that I could use to make Bucky’s eyeliner “mask”. Not a bad start.

The next step? Find whatever I didn’t have somewhere; currency was about to be expended, but it would be worth it as it always has been for me. Since the jacket sleeve I would be painting to look like Bucky’s metal arm only reached to my wrist, I ended up buying a cybernetic-printed glove from an online superhero costume store. I invested in red paint to put the red star on the shoulder of the “arm”. The last item I ended up actually buying for the costume was undoubtedly the most expensive: a black leather mask that covered the bottom half of my face only, just like the mask the Winter Soldier wears in the movie. I found it at an anime convention over the summer, and it put a good dent in my spending money for the weekend, but was so perfect for the costume that I couldn’t pass it up.


Spray paint. SO much spray paint.

Having found pieces I already owned that I could use and bought what other pieces that I was able to, only one step remained: do the actual crafting required to make the costume come together. Thankfully, this step in the process consisted only of me spray-painting the left sleeve of the leather jacket, and afterwards painting on the ridging detail and red star. With this done, the costume was nearly completed, and definitely completed enough for Halloween.

When the Winter Soldier makes its convention debut, it will have a few more details added – tactical belts, some prop weapons, and dark brown dyed hair, for instance. For now, though, this “casual-fied” Soldier is more than ready for a night of Halloween fun on campus. Stay tuned for pics to be uploaded on my blog’s cosplay page after the 31st!

Are any of my readers making or piecing together their own costumes for Halloween this year? Do any of you cosplay specific characters on a regular basis? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments!


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