The Vanishing Man Costume

Is he perhaps the victim of an experiment gone awry? All we know is this once-dapper gent has nearly faded away. Now he lurks under the cover of a gauze mask and dark glasses. Even his drink of choice -- a crystal-clear Gibson -- is invisible; its unraveling pickled-onion garnish resembles the bandages that shield his secret from the world.


False shirt cuffs, made from a pillowcase and tucked into jacket sleeves, create the illusion of invisible hands, especially when one is outfitted with a martini glass that seems to float on air. To finish the costume, wear a dark suit, a white collared shirt, and a tie.

What You'll Need


  • Scissors
  • White pillowcase
  • Fusible webbing
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and thread
  • 4 shank buttons
  • Hot glue gun
  • Clear acrylic martini glass
  • Gauze bandages
  • White first-aid tape
  • Fedora or other brimmed hat
  • Dark sunglasses


  1. vanishing-man-group-3-0814_vert

    For the shirt cuffs, cut fabric: From a white pillowcase, cut a 12-by-12-inch rectangle, with the pillowcase's cuff at one short end (you will not need the L-shaped remnant). Cut rectangle in half along lengthwise seam and separate into two pieces, one for each shirt cuff. Cut two 12-by-9 1/2-inch rectangles of fusible webbing.

  2. Fuse fabric: Place 1 pillowcase rectangle wrong side up. Fold bottom upward so the edge is aligned just below the cuff; sandwich 1 piece of webbing between layers and iron to fuse. Hem sides: Sew a 1/4-inch hem from cuff to fold and 1/8-inch hem on the cuff (so cuff is slightly wider than the rest of the fabric). Fold cuff down so right side is facing out; press.

  3. Finish shirt cuff: Fold fabric in half lengthwise and tack sides together with a needle and thread. Sew 2 shank buttons onto cuff to resemble cuff links. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make second shirt cuff.

  4. vanishing-man-group-1-0814_vert

    For the floating glass, hot-glue a clear acrylic martini glass to the top side of a clear plastic cake server.

  5. vanishing-man-group-2-0814_vert

    For the face, wrap face (except eyes) in gauze bandages, securing with white first-aid tape. Wear a fedora or other brimmed hat and dark sunglasses.

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