It’s easy to make your own costume appropriate for school Halloween parties or plays modeled after Julius Caesar, best-known Roman ruler. The basic costume can easily be adapted for any favorite Greek or Roman god, whether it be Zeus, Poseidon, Apollo or Hermes. Re-enact favorite scenes from “Gladiator,” “Spartacus,” or “The Lightning Thief” with your Greco-Roman tunic and laurel wreath.
Caesar Costume Supplies
2 yards heavyweight white muslin 36″ wide
White ½”double fold bias tape
Spool of green floral wire
Construction paper in 2 shades of green
Scissors, thread, sewing machine, wire cutter, hot glue gun
Create a Roman Tunic Costume
Fold the muslin in half lengthwise and cut a hole in the center large enough to fit over the head. Finish the edge of the neck hole by opening the bias tape out and matching it edge to edge with the raw neck edge. Pin in place and stitch along the foldline of the bias tape. Trim and clip the seam, and fold and press the bias tape back in place. Sew the tape in place to the wrong side of the neckline.
Match the edges of the muslin and sew the side seams from the bottom to about 12″ from the shoulders. Press the seams open. The arm holes can be left unfinished as selvage, or you may choose to add a narrow hem.
Press under ½”, then an additional 1″ on the bottom of the tunic and stitch in place to form a hem. Using the black Sharpie, draw a Greek Key pattern or other preferred design around the hem of the tunic.
Make your own Laurel Wreath
Measure the circumference of the head. Add 3″ and measure and cut 5 strands of the floral wire. Twist them together. Bend the ends to form hooks and put on the head to adjust fit.
Cut out a variety of 2″ leaf shapes from the green papers. You will need at least 60 leaves. For quicker cutting, fold the paper into quarters and cut out four leaves at a time. Gently crease the leaves lengthwise to make them more realistic.
Starting in the center front, glue the leaves to the wire base with hot glue. Alternate colors and space the leaves to cover the bases of the previous leaves and completely cover the wire frame. A ribbon accent may be added at the back if desired.
The Completed Caesar Costume
For a Greek or Roman look wear sandals underneath. A T-shirt in Imperial red or purple will help as a layer of warmth on cold Halloween nights. Practice your Latin, “Veni, Vidi, Vici,”and “Et tu, Brute?” and you’ll be all ready for your role as Julius Caesar.
Greek or Roman God Costume Variations
This costume can be easily adapted to impersonate your favorite Olympian god. For Zeus, omit the laurel wreath and carry a lightning bolt of cardboard wrapped in aluminum foil. Add a gold or white beard and wig. For Apollo, carry a lyre, bow and arrows. For Hermes, wear boots with tiny wings at the heels. For a Poseidon or Neptune costume, carry a trident (a repurposed devil’s pitchfork works well) wrapped in fake seaweed and wear a fishing net as a cape. Whatever your final costume choice, have fun!