How to Make a Plague Doctor Costume

Do you want to make a statement with your next costume? How about going all out and crafting an eerie Plague Doctor costume that will draw eager eyes wherever you go this Halloween season? It may sound like a daunting task but don’t worry. With just the right instructions and materials, anyone can make their personal Plague Doctor unique.

Whether you’re looking to make an authentic-looking Plague Doctor costume or just a fun Halloween ensemble, this guide will teach you the basics of how to craft your one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

In this blog post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about how to make a plague doctor costume. We’ll discuss the necessary materials, how to assemble the various elements of the costume, and even suggest fun accessories and props to help you get into character.

How to Make a Plague Doctor Costume

What Will You Need?

The first step in creating the perfect plague doctor costume is to assemble the necessary materials. Here’s a list of items you’ll need:

  • A long black robe
  • A Round Hat
  • Long Gloves
  • White Facepaint (or a white mask)
  • Dark Eyebrow Pencil

Once you’ve gathered all the essentials, it’s time to start putting your costume together.

8 Easy Steps on How to Make a Plague Doctor Costume

Step 1: The Robe

Start with the black robe, which forms the base of your costume. It should be long, reaching your ankles, and preferably made of heavy fabric to give an authentic feel. If you’re crafty, you can create your robe using a simple pattern and black fabric.

Alternatively, you can repurpose an existing black robe or purchase a pre-made one from a costume shop. The plague doctors of the past wore robes as a protective layer, so make sure your robe looks the part!

Create Your Robe
Using a Simple Pattern

Step 2: The Hat

After securing the robe, the hat is the next critical piece of your Plague Doctor costume. During the plague, doctors wore wide-brimmed, round hats, which signified their profession.

You can find a black felt hat at a hat shop or buy one online. If you’re feeling creative, you could also fashion your own hat from stiff black felt, using a hat pattern from a sewing store. Remember, the hat is not just a costume piece but a symbol of the Plague Doctor’s profession, so give it the attention it deserves!

Step 3: The Gloves

Next up in the creation of your Plague Doctor costume are the gloves. Choose gloves that are elbow-length for historical accuracy. Leather or faux leather would be ideal, but any black gloves will do in a pinch. You can find suitable gloves at a thrift store, or you can purchase them online. The gloves were thought to protect the Plague Doctors from contracting the disease, so they ensured they had a bold and sturdy appearance.

Step 4: The Mask

The mask is the most iconic part of the Plague Doctor costume and will truly make your ensemble stand out. The Plague Doctors used the long, beaked masks to fill with aromatic items believed to protect them from the plague. To create your mask, you will need white facepaint, a white mask, and a dark eyebrow pencil to draw the details. You can buy a ready-made beak mask online or create one yourself using papier-mache and paint.

The Mask is the 
Most Iconic Part

Step 5: The Accessories

The finishing touch to your Plague Doctor costume is the accessories. In the days of the plague, doctors would carry a cane to help them examine patients without direct contact. To create your own, simply find a long, sturdy stick and paint it black. Additionally, consider adding a pouch filled with dried herbs or flowers to represent the aromatic items doctors believed would protect them from the plague. Finally, a pair of round glasses or goggles could add authenticity to your costume.

Step 6: Putting it All Together

Now that you have all the elements, it’s time to assemble your Plague Doctor costume. Begin by putting on the black robe. Over this, wear your chosen gloves and affix your hat to your head. Next, apply the white face paint or put on your white mask if you’ve opted for one. Using your dark eyebrow pencil, draw the details on the mask to mimic the bird-like appearance of the Plague Doctor’s mask. Lastly, equip yourself with your homemade cane and other accessories.

Step 7: The Final Touches

With the main components of your Plague Doctor costume assembled it’s time to focus on the final details that will make you look the part. Consider adding a few optional touches to elevate the costume’s authenticity. For instance, you could include a leather pouch at your waist representing a medicine bag, a pair of old-fashioned spectacles, or even a scroll or a book to signify medical knowledge.

Step 8: Practice Your Character

You now have an impressive Plague Doctor costume, but the costume is just half the battle. To convince others and embrace the spirit of Halloween, you should embody the character of a Plague Doctor. Spend some time researching the role and era of the plague doctors. Learn about their mannerisms, way of speaking, and their beliefs. You might even develop a backstory for your character to make it more convincing.

Embody the Character 
Of a Plague Doctor

With these easy steps, you should have all the information you need to make a plague doctor costume. Now it’s time to get creative and use your imagination!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Use a face mask or scarf as an alternative to the plague doctor’s beak. A red fabric, such as velvet, can give your costume an edge of authenticity.
  2. If you plan on using a feathered hat for the top of your costume, try to find one with fluffs of black feathers around the brim and crown. This will help create the look of a traditional plague doctor hat.
  3. If you aim for a more theatrical look, consider adding pieces of fake fur or faux leather to your costume. This will give it an extra spooky and eerie feel that’s perfect for Halloween!
  4. Try using cardboard or paper mache when creating the actual beak for your costume. This will provide a sturdy foundation for your costume’s signature beak.
  5. To complete the look, use black eyeliner to draw long lines around your eyes to create a ghoulish effect. Be sure to blend it well and avoid any sensitive areas!

Adding these elements is the key to creating a realistic and unique plague doctor costume. Now you are ready to take on the night! With these tips and tricks, you’ll be sure to make a statement and stand out in any crowd. So get creative, have some fun, and enjoy your night!

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. While using real feathers for your plague doctor hat may be tempting, this is not recommended. Not only are real feathers expensive, but they can also cause an allergic reaction in some people.
  2. It’s important to avoid using sharp objects when crafting your costume. Razor blades and other sharp tools should be avoided as they can easily cause injury.
  3. To avoid any potential damage, use a non-toxic adhesive when attaching pieces of your costume.
  4. Avoid using too much eyeliner and makeup around the eyes, as this can be dangerous if it gets into your eyes or skin.
  5. Never wear a plague doctor costume with uncovered toes or sandals – if you have to walk outside, wear shoes!

By taking the time to consider these tips and tricks, you can ensure that your plague doctor costume will look amazing and stay safe. Now you are ready to make an impression on everyone around you with your unique and creative costume. So get ready for some spooky fun!

What are the Disadvantages of a Plague Doctor Costume?

The main disadvantage of a plague doctor costume is that they can be quite time consuming and detailed to make. The pieces required for the costume, such as an intricate beak or feathered hat, may require additional craftsmanship and skill to create. Additionally, depending on the materials used in creating the costume, it may not be suitable for long-term wear. Finally, using makeup and eyeliner can be dangerous if they come into contact with sensitive areas of your skin.

They Can Be Quite 
Time Consuming

To get around these issues, it’s best to take your time crafting a plague doctor costume to ensure that all pieces are made safely and securely. Additionally, using quality materials will help make your costume last longer and look more authentic. Finally, when applying makeup or eyeliner, do it safely and keep it away from any sensitive areas.


With some patience and dedication, you can make a great plague doctor costume that looks authentic and is sure to impress. Whether you search thrift stores for the perfect pieces or buy the materials from an online site, you can accurately represent the historical figure.

Better yet, if you have the time, make your own full-sized staff as part of the costume for a truly captivating effect! How to make a plague doctor costume will allow you to dress in character and experience what it would feel like to dress like someone from centuries ago while teaching others about history.

Make sure to take lots of pictures showing off your creation – people will be amazed at how awesome it turned out.

Photo of author

Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

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