DIY, Travel

Disney DIY: Haunted Mansion Butler Costume

I spent the better part of yesterday working on Lil’ Man’s costume for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.  I used a DIY from Disney’s costume department.  The problem with the video is that it traded actually teaching people how to do the project for brevity.  I’m here to fill in the missing steps, so that you do not have to figure it out like I did.  Now this costume will not be an exact replica of what the Haunted Mansion cast members wear, but it is a close approximation.  If you want something authentic then you will need to go pay a small fortune over on Etsy for something custom made.

I had originally planned to do a video walking you through all of the steps, but even as I type this, there are workers just behind my house cutting down the beautiful woods.  Not only is it tragic to see the gorgeous trees cut down, but every morning I now wake up to chainsaws and the constant beeping that signals a vehicle backing up.  This lasts well into the late afternoon.  I can’t complain though.  One poor family has to deal with the Porta Potty being only 20 feet away from their house.

My beautiful view just last week. 😦


I did substitute some of the materials used in the video.  I opted not to use a purple permanent marker as I have not had good luck with heat setting the markers in the past.  I used upholstery vinyl instead of faux suede for the bat tie because I already had the material.  I also had to find a tux in my son’s size (4/XS) at a time of year when they are not exactly easy to find.  The jacket on his tux is a little too short, but I’m assuming he won’t be wearing it much in the Florida heat.

I found many of the materials on sale or used coupons from my local craft stores to keep cost down.  After purchasing all the materials, including some black dress shoes that my son will also use for future piano recitals, this project cost around $75 (USD).  The biggest costs were the suit, shoes, and the vest with tie.

*These items are optional and not necessary for completing the project.  If you opt to not use the Fray Check then know that your vest will not hold up in the washing machine.

I do not recommend seeking assistance from four-legged family members.


If you have not already watched Disney’s DIY, please watch it now to see the overall process.  I will be providing all of the steps that were left out.

Making the Vest

  1. Follow the steps shown in the video to make a template of your vest.  My vest was not perfectly symmetrical on both sides as the video suggested, so be prepared to make 2 separate templates.  Make sure to have your cardboard placed underneath to protect your work surface.
  2. I used one of my son’s purple Crayola Washable Markers to outline each side of the vest onto the black and white striped fabric.
  3. Optional:  I spread the Fray Check on the outline, (marker will run a little), and let it dry for 30 minutes.  This will prevent the fabric from fraying as you cut or wash the costume.  The video should have warned viewers about the fabric fraying.
  4. Cut along the outline once the Fray Check has dried.
  5. Now for the painful part.  By painful, I don’t mean difficult.  This is just time consuming, and I did enlist Lil’ Man for help.  Time to color your white stripes purple.  Take your fabric paint markers and try to stay in the lines.  The fabric paint markers will need to dry for 24 hours before you can wash the fabric, but the color will be permanent without heat setting. It wasn’t long before our markers started to dry up, so I recommended using at least two.  For larger vests you will need to use more.
  6. Now for the tricky part that the video skipped over.  Not only do you need to glue the fabric on your vest as instructed in the video, but you need to make holes for the buttons as well as slits for the buttonholes.  Here is how I did it.
    1. For the side with buttonholes, I glued around the outside edges of the vest as well as around the buttonholes.  I carefully placed my fabric on top, pressed down on the glued areas, and then I let it dry for 30 minutes.20180809_131553
    2. Once dry, I used my embroidery scissors to cut the slits for the buttonholes.  I did this by turning to the inside of the vest and cutting through the preexisting holes.  You’ll want to check that the buttons can fit through the new holes.  Once you have done this, apply some fray check to prevent the fabric from tearing.
    3. Now for the side of the vest with buttons.  Line up your stripe fabric with the vest and use a marker to mark on your fabric where the buttons are.
    4. Use the scissors to cut a small opening in your fabric.  You want the opening to just be big enough for the button to fit through.
    5. Slip your fabric on over the buttons.  Apply the fabric glue around the buttons and to the edges of your vest (lifting the stripe fabric up as you do this).
    6. Press down firmly on glued edges and allow vest to dry for at least 30 minutes.

The Suit

I promise this part is easier than the vest!

  1.  Get your seam ripper to distress the suit as shown in the video.  I added distressed areas to the collar and the shoulders.  For the holes made in the shoulders, I glued the ripped fabric back together to prevent the suit from falling apart.  Note:  Lil’ Man did not want the faux worm shown in the video, so that step is not included here.20180809_153649
  2. Grab your fabric paint, tie, and suit.  You’ll also want to put on your mask and gloves.  For this part, you will need to go outside and find a place to hang your items.  I used one of our trees.
  3. Shake your fabric spray paint well and then try to evenly spray the suit and tie.  I used an entire 3 oz. can on Lil’ Man’s size 4 suit and tie.  You’ll want to purchase more paint for larger sizes.
  4. Let the suit and tie dry outside for at least 30 minutes.20180809_171618
  5. Once dry, add a small amount of faux spider webs and clip on your spiders.

Optional Bat Tie

The video did not explain how to make the bat tie.  I found this bat bow tie template from DIY Enthusiasts to make all of our lives a little easier.  Here is how I modified their instructions for this project.

  1. Print and cut out the provided template from DIY Enthusiasts.
  2. Place the bat template on top of your faux suede or vinyl and hold in place as you cut around the template with your fabric scissors.
  3. I had some purple crushed velvet fabric from a previous project that I used as the wraparound piece.  I only cut out one bat instead of two as stated in the original instructions.
  4. Optional:  I already had a purple can of ColorShot spray paint, so I lightly coated the black vinyl with purple paint.
  5. Once my paint dried, I used my fabric glue to adhere the purple crushed velvet in place.20180809_165239
  6. I used the hot glue gun to glue the bat in place on the tie.  You’ll want to glue the center of the bat down as well as part of the wings to add stability.Disney Haunted Mansion Butler Costume DIY.png

Congratulations!  You have your very own Haunted Mansion Butler Suit (a ghostly version).  I’ll be applying a light amount of make up to Lil’ Man’s face to make him look like he has joined the 999 Happy Haunts to make it an even 1,000.

Are you attending your first Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party?  Check out our tips and avoid the mistakes we made at our first party.


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