Thoughts from a (girl) Gamer

Tara Voelker's thoughts. A lot about video games, a little about life

How To: Making a Silent Hill Nurse Costume

Alright, so this was a really fun project. Here is how to make your own Silent Hill Nurse costume for cheap and with no sewing. Jump to the end for pictures of the whole process.

The first step is to go pick up the things you will need:

The base of my Silent Hill Nurse costume

The base of my Silent Hill Nurse costume

A “sexy” nurse costume – I bought one of the Leg Avenue costumes
A simple mask
Paint for the mask
Old make up, like eye shadow and foundation
Panty house
Shoes your willing to rough up
soy sauce

At the very bottom there is a photo gallery, click on each picture for a larger image and a visual record of making my costume!

Making the nurse dress and hat:

Take the nurse costume and soak it in a mixture of black tea and coffee.  I soaked mine in a giant pot for like a half hour.

Once it is done, hang it somewhere to dry. I hung mine up in my bathroom above the tub. As the costume dries, flick some water on it. This will create discolored spots. Only flick water on it. I mean small amounts.

Now because of the materials that costumes are made out of (you know, the kind of shiny material – maybe it’s polyester?) you can’t wash this, or get it wet. If you do, the color will run right out of it. That’s why you can only use flicks of water, don’t do any more than that.

Once the costume is dry, go through your old make up. You will be using this to dirty up the dress. I used old foundation, blush that was too dark for me, and eye shadows I was never going to use.

For powdered make up, scrape it with a fork or tweezers or something else, just to make it loose. Then spread it across the costume with just your hand or paper towel, working it into the fabric. For liquid make up just drip it on the cloth where ever you see fit, once again smearing it in .

Repeat this process for the front and back, including the hat that comes with the costume.

Now this part is going to sound a little weird, but trust me. Put the costume on some sort of incline, or you may want to hang it up. The take soy sauce a drip it on the costume. Let is run down naturally, and then dab off any extra that doesn’t soak into the costume. This gives the look of old, dried blood really nicely.

Once the make up and soy sauce have dried, take a pair of scissors and fray and rough up all of the edges of the costume.

Yay! The dress portion of your costume is now done!

The Mask

The mask really was a learning experience for me. I had no clue what I was doing when I started. It was still fun though.

Start by getting everything ready to paper mache. I would lay down some newspaper or trash bag to protect your surface. This can get messy. Once your area is set up, tear newspaper into strips, no more than an inch wide, and some pieces being smaller than that. For the paste mix I used a simple two part water to one part flour mixed that worked quite well.

You will need at least 3 layers of paper mache, so this will take some time. For the first layer, dip the newspaper in the glue mix and shake of any extra glue. Lay it across the mask. Repeat this process until the entire mask is covered. Once you’re done, let is dry. This can take up to 24 hours.

This is where things start getting hard. You have to get a idea of what you want your mask to look like now. I didn’t really do that, and as you can tell from the pictures. Mine sort of evolved over time. IF you already know what you want your mask to look like you would start laying down the ground work here on the second layer.

The one thing I can tell you is to get texture, it’s a nice idea to pinch together or lump newspaper where you want higher or raised portions now. It doesn’t matter how it looks, because you can smooth it out by adding paper on top of it with the next layer.

So, just keep repeating the add paper mache – let it dry sequence until you have something you like.

Once that is done you paint it. I just used some normal paint for crafts, acrylic paint. Now, my mask turned out really dark. I tried to paint it once with lighter colors, which are more accurate to the reference I was using, but looked horrible. I am not a painter by any means. I decided on going with a dark mask, not because it was accurate, but it looked better and was easier to do with my painting skills. Feel free to paint it whatever colors you see fit. It is your mask after all.

Now, Silent Hill nurses don’t have eyes. I do. To make my eyes little harder to see I hot glued panty hose on the inside of my mask over the eye holes. Simply cut a square piece of panty hose, stretch it, and hot glue it in place.

Now you’re mask is done.


Now shoes are really up to you. The nurses in the movie and Silent Hill: Homecoming both wear heels, which is what I chose to go with. I didn’t have a pair of white heels so I just spray painted a pair of black ones white. I then used a left over paint from the mask to rough them up a bit.


Now I haven’t done a full costume run yet. That means including make up. The nurses are covered with veins. I plan to have them all over my body, including legs.

Wanna see how I looked in my costume? You can do so here!

Hope you enjoy making your own costume!


15 responses to “How To: Making a Silent Hill Nurse Costume

  1. Pingback: My Easy Little Sister Costume « Thoughts from a (girl) Gamer

  2. Cyn October 20, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    I have a question, I’m doing the same costume this year by following your tutorial. I was wondering how you dried the costume and when you dyed the material. Doesn’t it start to smell after some time? I am going to dye it with the tea bags but is it possible to put it in the drier? or should I use a hair dryer?

    • Tara October 21, 2011 at 8:35 am

      I actually air dried my costume. I hung it in my bathtub from my shower head and left it there. The nice ting about doing it this way is the tea/coffee will leaves streaks in the fabric as it runs down the cloth and leave the bottom a little dark than the top. It creates a little more character. I wouldn’t put it in the dryer (mostly because I think you’d get your dryer filthy) but I guess using a hair dryer would be fine if you don’t have enough time to let it air dry.

      • Tara October 21, 2011 at 8:36 am

        Oh, and my entire apartment smelled like tea while it was drying. So while the dress is drying, yes it does smell, but it smells like whatever tea you’re dying it with. Once it was dry the smell went away, and the dress never smelled gross.

  3. Rebekah Newell October 25, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Im going to do this for halloween, where did you get the mask? I looked online at but they didnt have any.

    • Tara October 25, 2011 at 11:09 am

      I got mine at a generic Halloween store that open up seasonally. I think mine was at a “Spirit Halloween” but I have seen them at pretty much all of those Halloween stores that pop up just for September/October.

  4. Elizabeth Kistner January 24, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I made my own Silent Hill nurse costume in 2010 for about 23 bucks altogether. The dress I got was about 7 dollars. It was long and white and had push buttons to hold it together. It kinda looked like a Brittney Spears dress. I soaked it in coffee and tea to stain it. Then, I burnt it with a lighter and burnt holes in it. I cut it up and I splattered mud/ash/blood colored paints onto it. I made a hat on a headband with the fabric from the sleeve. The mask took a long while to make- about 2 weeks. I used a wig head, covered it in plastic, took Hodgepodge glue and water and made a paste. Then I dipped in pieces of newspaper and tissue paper and layered them on the head. I made a little room in the eye area because I wear glasses. Then, after the face had dried, I peeled it off and strung stretchy string around the back. I had silverish tan shoes I got from goodwill along with the dress for about 3 bucks that I smeared with dirt to dirty them. And, last, to add the creepy factor of the veins, I used a red and blue sharpie together to make evil veins on tan stockings. 2 for my legs and 2 for my arms. Then, I cut some holes in the ones for the arms for my fingers and put all the pieces together. Below is the link to what the finished costume looked like:

  5. Eby October 9, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I believe I have the same type of costume(leg avenue) and I let it soak as long as you said too… But the color didn’t get the dress as dark as the hat. I mean it is a little dark but not as dark…. Did you wring the tea out by Any. Chance? Or did you just leave excess tea in the dress?

    • Tara Lynn October 10, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      I left the excess tea in the dress and let it air dry by hanging it up in my bathroom above the tub. That might be why yours wasn’t as dark.

  6. Danielle October 14, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Hey there. Nice tut you have. Just wondered for the powdered makeup–is that supposed to represent dirt? I’m not sure what the purpose of it is. Is the cheap ‘makeup’ you see at halloween stores good enough for the blood or would u recommend actual makeup as you used? And how much tea/coffee did you have to make to have enough to soak the dress?

    • Tara Lynn October 14, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      The powdered make is is for dirt/ general dinginess ness. You don’t have to use the powdered make-up, I just did because I had a ton of it that I knew I was never going to use, and it was a good enough reason to get rid of it.

      As for the blood, I chose to use cheap make up because it comes out more of a dark brown or burnt red then primary red. If you’re cool with the blood being bright red and less “old, dirty blood stain red” than go for it. It’s really your preference.

      As for tea/coffee – I took a big soup kettle and filled it with enough water that the dress would be submerged. I then threw in the coffee we had left over from that day (2 cups?) and then probably 5 tea bags. Really, as long as it’s dark brown, however you make it will probably fine.

  7. Krissy October 15, 2013 at 8:59 am

    hi there, i wanted to view the picture of you in the costume to see what it looked like but the link didn’t work. have you got the picture still? it would be nice to see it all together. I ma currently in the process of dying the dress!

  8. Eby October 15, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Thank you, I’ll let my friend know. We are doing the same costume and maybe she won’t do the same mistake ^^… I added the make-up though an it seemed to make up for the light color. Thanks you again ^^, this helped me a lot.

  9. Sarai Sauceda October 18, 2013 at 2:22 am

    I made mine already thanks to you. Really helped alot.. I was thinking about just using bandages but saw this and well much better. Thanks alot!

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