No Face & Chihiro Spirited Away Costume Tutorials

 In Cosplay

Looking for a last minute costume idea that’s both budget and time friendly? Today I’m going to show you how to make both a No Face and Chihiro (bathhouse) costume from Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. Either costume can be made in 1 day, on limited budget.  Last year Ron and I attended our local Nerd Nite dressed as King Arthur & Patsy from Monty Python. We wanted to keep the costume tradition alive this year, so we went with a Spirited Away theme. No Face was definitely a hit!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

No Face Costume Tutorial

Materials:
Black fabric (we used 6 yards of a billowy, slightly stretchy fabric, split into 3 yard sections -you may need longer depending upon your height)
Foam or cardboard (we used EVA foam floor mats to create the mask)
Paint (acrylic white, red, and black)
Helmet, hardhat, or other object to give extra height to your mask (we used extra foam and a plastic bowl)
Black, elbow length gloves
Black nylons or sheer fabric
Chocolate coins or gold candy to use as a prop to hand out (Optional)
Directions:
1. The first piece of fabric will be used as a basic poncho. Fold the 3 yards in half and cut a small slit for your head to fit through. Trim off the bottom 4 corners to round them out.

No Face costume fabric diagram

 

2. Form your mask using your material of choice. We use 1/2 inch foam floor mats. We traced a template (1 & 2) and cut the mouth and eyes out using a box cutter. We then used a heat gun to heat up the foam and form/mold its rounded shape. To harden the foam and create a smooth painting surface, we used 3 coats of thinned out white glue (thinned with a little water), layered on in alternating directions.

No Face mask paper pattern

Making No Face's face out of foam

Shaping the foam No Face face

Sealing the foam mask

3. Once dry, paint your mask white (using layers, just like the glue, if needed). Then draw and paint in the rest of the face details. Seal with a clear sealant if desired. We used a spray paint clear coat to ensure the paint wouldn’t get wet and run.
4. Glue black nylons or a sheer fabric to the back openings of your mask. It will look solid from the front, but will be see-through from the back side (remember, the mouth opening will be at eye level).

Painting the No Face mask

5. Cut a hole out of the center of your 2nd piece of fabric that’s just smaller than your mask. Staple or glue the edges of your fabric hole to the mask with the inside part facing up. To achieve this, the bulk of your fabric will be collected in the center of the front of the mask, with the inside of the fabric facing up. Once stapled, you can release your fabric and fold it over the edge of your mask to hide the raw edges and staples.
Alternatively, lay your fabric down on the floor with the outside of the fabric facing the floor. Place your mask face down on top of the open hole you cut out. Take the inside edge of the cut hole and fold it back towards the outer edge of the mask. Staple all around the edges.
This will be the layer you wear over your poncho.

No Face Mask Diagram

Adding see-through fabic to the back of the No Face mask

6. Time to elevate and support your mask. To make the mask easy to wear and give it height, we created a tall “crown” out of the EVA foam. The width of the foam puzzle piece block (wrapped in a circle and secured together) was the  perfect width for Ron’s head. We topped the cylinder with a plastic bowl from the kitchen (to give the costume a rounded shape at the top of the head), then used E6000 glue to secure it to the back of the mask -remember to measure out the appropriate height of your headpiece to ensure the mouth is at eye level)

Making the No Face mask wearable

 

7. Cut hand holes/slits in the black fabric if desired.


Chihiro Costume Tutorial

During the course of the animation, Chihiro wears two main outfits; her ‘human world’ clothes, and her bathhouse outfit. Since my fiance, Ron, was dressing up as No Face, I decided to recreate her bathhouse look to compliment his costume.
Materials:
Salmon colored nursing scrubs (top & bottom)
Long white ribbon or white fabric to sew
Long maroon ribbon or maroon fabric to sew
String or shoe laces (for tying pant legs -optional)
Sewing machine & thread or fabric glue & fray checkProps- Boh mouse plush, soot sprite (puff ball or pipe cleaners with googly eyes), bathhouse bath token (painted cardboard or wood chip) -Optional
pink nursing scrubs

 

Directions:
1. Cut your scrub pants off below the knees.
My pants weren’t quite as baggy as Chihiro’s, but I still wanted to bunch and tie them up above the knee. I cut a 2 inch slit on the outside of each pant leg. I then folded the bottom edge up and “hemmed” the pants, making sure to leave a channel in which to thread a shoe lace through as my pant leg ties. I did this step with my pants inside out for sewing ease.

trimming scrub pants off at the knee

Adding pant ties to Chihiro's outfit

2. Hem the lower pant legs you cut off to prevent fraying. Position them to fit on the short sleeves/shoulder area of your scrub top. Pin in place and attach to simulate the long, baggy type sleeves of a kimono.

Sewing Chihiro's oufit

adding sleeves to Chihiro's top

3. Your white ribbon or fabric will serve as your tasuki (used to tie up the sleeves of a kimono to keep them out of the way while working). I used 2 -4.5 inch x 1 yard strips of stretchy white fabric to sew my tasuki. I sewed the lengths together to create one long strip, then folded the ribbon in half (inside out). I sewed along the entire length, then folded it right side out (to hide all my seams), then stitched the ends closed.

sewing Chirhiro's outfit tie

4. Repeat step 3 using your maroon fabric to create your belt. I used only 1 yard of fabric for my belt.

sewing a sash

Soot sprite made from pipecleaners


No Face and Chihiro costumes

Spirited Away Chihiro and No Face Halloween Costumes

That’s all it takes to create 2 costumes from Spirited Away on a time and budget friendly deadline. Do you have any question about a particular step or the creation process? Please leave a comment below and I’d be happy to provide additional assistance!

 

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Showing 16 comments
  • Nichole Miller
    Reply

    How fantastic! I love this. And love how you broke it down into steps. Maybe I could even use this for inspiration for Halloween!

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      Thank you Nichole! Hopefully I broke it down enough for everyone to follow easily 🙂

  • Ashlee
    Reply

    Those costumes look amazing! I have absolutely no sewing skills, and I’m super lazy on top of that, but something like this would be a lot of fun to put together:)

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      That’s the great thing about both of these costume’s Ashlee -they’re so simple, especially No Face which can be completely sewing-free! To be honest, I pretend I can sew. That is one skill I have not acquired yet (it’s a work in progress). Hehe.

  • Ron(The Nifty Nerds significant other)
    Reply

    A heads up to any that wish to make no face. The costume was very warm to wear do to the amount of fabric we used. But as you can see from the picture it was worth it!

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      You did pick out a decently thick/heavy fabric. Also, many people don’t run naturally as warm as you do.

  • Ravanel Griffon
    Reply

    This is so cool! Actually considering making this for Halloween now.

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      Thanks Ravanel! Would love to see photos of any Halloween costume you decide upon -I’m sure it’ll be great!

  • Pepi
    Reply

    This is great!!! Guess who is giving this tutorial to her mother! MEEEEE ( I know it sounds childish, but if it has to be me the one trying to make it work, it will take me centuries! LOL )

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      Thank you Pepi! Haha, no shame in that. We all have our strengths. Sounds like you have an awesome Mom 🙂

      • Pepi
        Reply

        Yup, the crafty one with costumes is my mother 🙂 So, guess who is printing out this post xDDDDD

  • Sanja
    Reply

    This was so amazingly helpful as a basis for my noface cosplay. I was trying to configure a body build to reduce the strain a head build would create, but at the end of the day, the foam really alleviates the neck strain as it’s light weight and easy to work with. Thank you so much!

  • .
    Reply

    Would a hairdryer on a high heat setting work for the mask?

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      You could definitely try, but I don’t believe a hair dryer would get the foam hot enough. If you don’t want to purchase a heat gun, you could also try an iron. Please be very careful using this method and place an old towel in between the foam and the iron. You’d want to start by testing with a lower heat setting and by continually moving the iron around to prevent the foam from over heating and melting.

  • Gau Bong
    Reply

    This is so cool!
    I like Noface and will be cosplay him at a festival, wish me luck guys!!!

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)
      Reply

      Good luck! I have faith that you’ll have great success. Enjoy your festival.

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