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How to Create an epic upcycled superhero costume

· Fancy dress,superheroes,sustainability,recycling,upcycling

It’s very easy to pop down to a fancy dress shop and buy a shiny new costume. And it’s even easier to wear it once and then never use it again! That Batman outfit you spent £30 on might hide in a box under your bed for the next decade, or worse – you might just throw it away, sending it to rot in a landfill after only being worn once (sad face).

It doesn’t have to be this way. At Pier 2 Pier we’re all about cutting down on unnecessary waste, so we’ve compiled this handy guide to creating the perfect superhero costume by recycling and upcycling old items that you might otherwise throw away. It’ll be kinder to the environment, kinder to your wallet, and it might just win you a prize at our superhero beach clean on Saturday!

The cape

Not all heroes wear capes…but quite a few of them do.

Grab a pair of scissors and an old bed sheet, duvet cover – or pillow case if it’s for a child! If you need to change the colour, you can pick up fabric dyes pretty cheaply. There’s some great instructions for making a cape here.


Gotta keep that identity secret.

You can find some great templates for homemade superhero masks over at And while you could pick up some felt from a craft shop, you could have just as much success with a pair of scissors and some old t-shirts or tights. Attach some old elastic bands to keep it stuck to your face.

DIY Superhero Masks from

Image Credit: CutesyCrafts


If you’re not dressed in skin-tight lycra, are you even a superhero?

Don’t shell out. Recycle your old pairs of tights, those clothes you’ve outgrown, your skinniest pair of skinny jeans…Print off your superhero logo, tick it to your chest, but those boxers on inside out and voila! Authentically dressed superhero.


For all the Captain Americas and Wonder Women out there.

The lid of a bin, a Frisbee, a drinks tray or even just a cut-out piece of cardboard, then all you need is a bit of paint to finish it off. You could even get really creative and use glue and magazine cuttings or old bottle caps!

This blog has some handy instructions on making your superhero shield.

DIY Captain America shield

Image credit: Debs G

The jetpack

Ironman has a jetpack, right?! Well, your Ironman can have one.

Try making this epic jetpack from Doodlecraft using an old pair of empty 2-litre plastic bottles, spray paint them silver (or better yet, wrap them in old tinfoil so they can be recycled afterwards!), and cut out some coloured paper (or maybe old shopping bags) to create the flame. As with all of these ideas we ask you not to buy new plastic, but repurpose what you find at home or on your beach cleans!

DIY jetpack

Image credit: Doodle Craft

The cuffs

It’s the details that matter.

Found some old coffee cups on a beach clean? Cut the ends off, colour them up and slide over your wrists for easy superhero cuffs!

This would also work with the cardboard tubes from your loo or kitchen roll, just cut a slit down the side so that it fits around your arm. Watch this handy demonstration film for more instructions.

DIY superhero cuffs

Image credit: Kids Activities

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