Creative Burlesque Costumes

These Creative Burlesque Costumes By Ottawa Burlesque Performers Are Brilliant and Made Out Of…Not What You Think!

Written By Mistress Mae

Performing can be stressful, especially when it comes to figuring out your costume.  Burlesque costumes can be expensive to buy, and complicated/time consuming to make.  I personally enjoy creating costumes! It allows me to be creative through clothing. It is a stressful, and lengthy process. However, it is worth it in the end when you are back stage and can show off your hand made costume to your friends and fellow performers.

If you have never made a costume before, don’t feel limited in the materials you can use. You don’t have to be a seamstress to make beautiful outfits (I can barely sew myself!).  Burlesque costumes can be made of almost anything!  Some of Ottawa’s biggest and brightest burlesque stars have made their costumes out of some pretty unusual items.  The following is a list of crazy items performers have used to make their gorgeous costumes!

Mistress Mae

Instagram: mmaexoxo

Photo Credit – Viktor S. DeVice

“I made my ‘Happy Birthday’ costume out of a table cloth, stretchy elastic and some fabric… the cupcake on my head is an ice cream container, foam and more of the table cloth!”


Victoria Vermouth

Instagram: victoriavermouth

“I have a rhinestoned Star Fleet uniform (extra rhinestoned on the crotch)”

Koston Kreme

Instagram: kostonkreme

“A hula hoop? … a coat rack, a box full of alarm clocks, plastic wrap and a full sized cardboard refrigerator…”

Betty's Beaver

Betty Bright-Eyes

Instagram: bettybrighteyes

Photo Credit – Betty Bright-Eyes

“I sewed a stuffed beaver to a pair of panties once…”






burlesque costumesLucky Dubloon

Photo Credit – Viktor S. DeVice

“I tend to work outside the traditional thought process for a lot of my costuming. One larger prop build I’m particularly proud of are: my 2 pretty incredible light boxes for my Assassin’s Creed routine, which are made out of cardboard boxes and small closet lights that open up to do a personal light show partway through my routine.”

Kandy’s Secret

Instagram: kandy_secret

“My cape for my Garden of Spells Routine is a shower curtain”


weird burlesque costumesRockabella Hart

Instagram: MissRockabellaHart

Photo Credit – Viktor S. DeVice

“I made fake blood out of jello for a gorelesque number”

This list is only the tip of the iceberg.  Other performers have used children’s toys, electrical tape, pillows, and fake beards.  All in all, it is safe to say that no matter your budget, and skill level there is always a way to make crazy costumes.

Don’t be intimidated by the process! There will be times when you get frustrated (or when you burn your fingers on a hot glue gun). If this happens, invite a friend over to help you and have a costuming party; just don’t give up on your dreams!  Finally, never forget that the biggest star should not be the costume, but the performer inside the costume! Have an amazing time making your new masterpieces, and I hope to see you on stage soon!