How To Make a DIY Cop Costume for Halloween

How to make a DIY cop costume

Dressing up as a police officer for Halloween or dress-up parties is a great idea.

It is fun, comfy, and you can create your own costume with things you already have at home. Just use your imagination to make it more real or add a fun twist!

Take a good look at real police officers in your area for inspiration. They wear different uniforms in different countries, so you have lots of options to choose from.

In London, the police wear a hat with white and black squares above the visor. Meanwhile, the Australian Federal Police opts for a dark blue baseball cap with similar squares and a shield.

Some police forces worldwide have a red or white stripe on the hat, and others go for a completely white hat.

The Belgian Federal Police has hats like plane stewardesses, and different security forces may choose beret-style hats.

In the UK, bowler hats and tall constable hats are quite common.

Materials Needed:

  • Dark blue pants or skirt
  • Long sleeve white T-shirt
  • Tight-fitting black or dark blue T-shirt
  • White fabric paint
  • Empty six-pack ring
  • Belt
  • Empty paper towel tube
  • Grey duct tape
  • Aluminum foil
  • Glue
  • Dark shoes
  • Plain dark ball cap
  • Cardboard
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Sunglasses
  • Toy accessories (badge, gun, handcuffs, baton)


Crafting your own police costume is a straightforward endeavor, particularly with the shirt—a fundamental component worn by police forces globally. Most individuals already possess a shirt or can easily borrow one.

Police shirts commonly come in navy or LAPD blue (NYPD, US forces, Australian Federal Police), light blue (Irish Garda, German Bundespolizei, Chinese People’s Armed Police Force), khaki (Indian Police Service, some US sheriff’s departments), or white (Florida Police Department, London Metropolitan Police). Occasionally, the shirt color may denote the officer’s rank.

Select between long or short sleeves based on weather and specific uniform requirements.

Many police costumes feature external shoulder pads or epaulettes, typically in black with stripes, braids, or embroidery. The shield may also be presented as an embroidered patch on the sleeve.

Depending on the police force you aim to replicate, officers wear a brass badge indicating force initials, precinct number, unit number, and sometimes name tags.

The star-shaped badge, popular among American sheriffs, is a common choice for DIY police costumes. Decorative metal ribbons, similar to military awards, may be carried by accomplished police officers.

Some police forces, like the London Metropolitan Police, pair a black vest with a contrasting tie. Others opt for a tie alone.

Police officer ties are usually clip-on for safety but any tie can achieve the desired effect. Various uniforms cater to different formality levels.

In the UK, police officers have ceremonial, formal (or “no. 1 dress”), and working uniforms.

On duty, police officers, regardless of gender, typically don black, navy, or khaki pleated trousers. Skirts are less practical and uncommon for daily wear but may be part of formal uniforms for events like parades and funerals.

Since crafting a police costume doesn’t require actual pursuit—in theory—black dress shoes add a distinguished touch.

For a realistic touch, focus on details and don’t forget accessories: the police shield on the vest, sleeve, and/or peaked cap, a pair of handcuffs dangling from your pocket, a walkie-talkie, and perhaps a baton.

While perfection isn’t necessary, everyone will recognize your DIY police officer look, appreciating the touch of authenticity.

Here’s what to do:

Part 1: Crafting the Bulletproof Vest

Creating a cop’s bulletproof vest can be done in various ways, depending on the tools available. For a simple, no-sew approach, follow these steps:

1. Carefully cut the sleeves away from the small dark T-shirt.

2. Set up a workspace and use a white fabric marker to paint the word “POLICE” in large block letters across the front of the vest.

3. Set the vest aside to dry.

Part 2: Making the Police Hat

Materials needed:

– 1/2-yard black felt
– 12-inch square yellow felt
– 18-inch square blue felt
– Scissors
– Ruler
– Marker
– Needle
– Yellow thread
– Pins
– Blue thread
– Black thread


Step 1: Cut a 3-inch-wide by 24-inch-long band of black felt.

Step 2: Cut a 4-inch square of yellow felt.

Step 3: Measure across the “police officer’s” head and cut a square piece of blue felt, 4 1/2 inches on all sides.

Step 4: Cut a semicircle shape out of the black felt that’s 2 inches at the widest point.

Step 5: Draw a police badge shape on the yellow square of felt, using a photo as a guide. Cut out the badge and decorate it with a permanent marker, writing phrases like “POLICE” or “PRECINCT 8.”

Step 6: Fold the blue piece of felt in half and make a diagonal cut at a 40-degree angle, creating a triangular peak for the hat.


1. Center and pin the badge to the blue felt, then sew it in place with a straight stitch using yellow thread.

2. Place the blue felt on top of the black band, aligning the bottom edges. Stack the black semicircle on top, creating an accordion fold to make the bill stick out.

3. Sew the layers together with a straight stitch using blue thread.

4. Hold the hat to the “police officer’s” head, wrap the straps snugly, and secure with a pin. Remove the hat and sew the band together using black thread. Trim off the excess ends.

Part 3: Fashion the Accessories


1. Cut four rings from a six-pack ring.

2. Wrap duct tape tightly around two rings to create handcuffs.

3. Attach to the belt with duct tape.


1. Poke a hole in a paper towel tube.

2. Create a duct tape thong to hang the baton.

3. Attach the baton to the belt with the thong.


1. Cut two cardboard shapes.

2. Cover in duct tape or aluminum foil.

3. Write on the badge with a marker.

4. Attach one badge to the hat.

Rank Shield

Create a shield for the sleeve based on rank.


Prepare police gloves from an old pair of socks by following these steps:

1. Cut the old pair of socks in half.

2. Make markings for spaces between fingers.

3. Hand sew along the markings to create openings for each finger.

4. These hand-sewn openings will serve as your police gloves.

Part 4: Assemble the Costume

1. Begin with dark pants and a long-sleeve white T-shirt.

2. Wear the crafted bulletproof vest.

3. Strap the belt around your waist.

4. Put on black hoes

5. Put on the crafted hat.

5. Add sunglasses and toy accessories.

Safety Tips

  • Exercise caution when using sharp objects such as needles and scissors, especially if children are involved in the costume-making process. Ensure proper supervision and handle tools responsibly especially if children are involved
  • Consider using child-friendly alternatives to sharp objects, such as safety scissors or fabric glue, to involve children safely in the DIY costume-making.
  • When incorporating accessories like police shields, badges, or other embellishments, ensure they are securely attached to prevent any choking hazards or injuries.
  • Prioritize comfort when designing the costume, especially for children. Avoid tight or restrictive elements that may cause discomfort or pose safety risks.
  • Choose comfortable and safe footwear, especially. Ensure they are suitable for walking and won’t cause tripping.
  • Ensure that the hat does obstruct visibility, especially for children who need a clear line of sight.