DIY Plague Doctor Costume with Free Pattern

Create a hauntingly authentic Plague Doctor costume with our free pattern! Craft your own medieval-style mask and cloak for a DIY Halloween masterpiece.

plague doctor costume

This epic DIY Plague Doctor Costume is going to be a hit this Halloween!  It’s super easy to create an authentic plague doctor mask with this free printable pattern.

Too busy to make this right away? Pin it for later! Pin this post to your favorite board on Pinterest and it will be there when you’re ready!

Every year my kids challenge me to create unique DIY costumes and this year was no exception!  In the past we’ve made a Functioning Demogorgon Mask, Beeker Costume, Mario & Luigi Go Kart Costumes and a whole family of Angry Bird Costumes!

When you’re growing up in the middle of a global pandemic, dressing up for Halloween as a Plague Doctor is very appropriate in my opinion!  I think that this will be a classic, popular costume this year.

DIY Plague Doctor Costume

Plague Doctor History:

  • These were medical professionals who treated people for with the bubonic plague.
  • They worked in the middle ages during the black death during the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • Plague doctor attire included: beaked masks, a wooden cane, leather hat, black cloak and leather boots.
  • The full-face mask was a kind of respirator that housed aromatic substances like lavendar to counter the smell of death and prevent them from becoming infected
  • Charles de Lorme was one of the first doctors to treat plague patients in a beak-like mask.

I have detailed every step of how to create this plague doctor outfit for you.  It’s very easy with this step-by-step tutorial, promise!

plague doctor costume

Supplies that you’ll need to create this costume:

(affiliate links)

plague doctor costume

How to make this DIY Plague Doctor Costume:

I have included photos along the way but if you have any questions at all be sure to drop me a message.

plague doctor costume
  1. Print the pattern onto 8.5 x 11″ paper.  Cut it out and tape it together to be sure that the fit is correct for your mask.  
plague doctor costume

I used a large black leather bag that we found at the thrift store.  The bag does not need to be genuine leather, just have the look of leather.

plague doctor straps

We scavenged all of the embellishments off of the bag to use for costume details later.  This is not necessary but makes for an awesome finished look!

plague doctor assembly

2. Use a white chalk pen to trace the pattern onto the leather.  Important: add 1/4″ to each piece of the pattern.  When tracing simply draw the line 1/4″ away from the edge of the pattern.  This gives us a salvage edge to wrap around our base and stitch together.

plague doctor costume

Don’t forget to add 1/4″ when tracing the pattern onto the leather.

plague doctor cut outs

3. Cut out the mask pieces from the leather.

plague doctor costume

4. Trace the pattern onto card stock using a pencil.

plague doctor costume

5. Cut the pattern out of card stock.

plague doctor costume assembly

Now you should have two sets of the mask pattern.  One set of card stock and one slightly larger set of leather.

plague doctor costume

6. Trim the corners of each leather piece at an angle.  Basically you just cut off a tiny triangle so that the corners lay flat when glueing.

plague doctor costume

7.  Use hot glue to wrap the edges of all of the leather pieces around all of the card stock pieces.  We originally tried doing this with double sided tape but found hot glue to be the better choice.

plague doctor costume

Now all of your mask pattern pieces are sturdy and ready to be assembled.

plague doctor costume

Optional eye detail: 

I found these jar lids at Michaels to use as glasses.  We used a sharpie to color in the clear plastic but still have it be see-through.  The black acrylic paint was used to paint over the silver detail.

plague doctor costume

Be sure to have something that is see-through for the eyes on this mask.  You do not need these lids!  You could use black mesh or plastic instead.

plague doctor costume

I found leather working needles and black cording at Michaels.  The leather needles are important because they make piercing through the material way easier!

plague doctor costume

8. Sew all the pieces of the mask together to create the beak shape of the mask.  I used a basic stitch and laid each mask piece wrong sides facing before sewing them together.

plague doctor costume sewing

Work the needle in about 1/8″ from the edge of the piece.

plague doctor costume

Your finished seems should look like this.

plague doctor costume

9. Glue the eye pieces to the mask.  This can be tricky as the eye hole will bend and move.  Work slowly around the hole to glue the eye piece into place.

plague doctor costume

Your eyes should look like this.  Tip: we found super glue to work better than hot glue for this delicate area but use caution whenever you use super glue!

plague doctor costume

10. Stitch around each eye.  This edge is purely decorative, I did not stitch the eye to the mask as the layers of leather would be difficult to get through.

plague doctor costume

You can stop here and simply glue mesh or plastic to the back side of the eyes for a completed mask.

plague doctor costume

Details of the stitching around the eyes.

plague doctor costume

At this point I use super glue to affix the spice jar lids to the mask.

plague doctor costume

11. Using the straps of the bag make a strap for the mask.

plague doctor costume

12.  Glue the straps into place using hot glue.

plague doctor costume

13.  Add coordinating embellishments to the rest of the costume.  I used hot glue to glue pieces to the jacket and umbrella that we used as a staff.

plague doctor costume

Costume details over the entire body and leather ensemble created our final image of the plague doctor.

plague doctor costume

Our finished bird beak mask!

plague doctor costume

I absolutely love how authentic this mask looks! These creepy masks brought around the early modern period of medicine.

plague doctor mask

Using the embellishments from the leather bag really helped to add texture and detail to the whole medieval doctors costume. Can you imagine seeing this masked figure in a long black coat treating you for the black plague?

plague doctor costume

We tested out paint, black marker and sharpie and found the Sharpie to be the best medium to use to colour the plastic black.

plague doctor mask

And while stitching around the eyes was tedious, it was well worth the effort!

plague doctor mask

Costume of death details:

plague doctor details

We found our jacket at the thrift store, the hat at a local halloween store, the balaclava, gloves and umbrella (staff) at the dollar store.

plague doctor details

The costume all put together!

plague doctor costume

I love how customizeable this plague doctor costume is!  You could add a cane or lantern, embellishments to the hat or mask to make it truly unique.

plague doctor costume

More of our crafting essentials:

plague doctor costume pattern
plague doctor costume
plague doctor costume

Download the free printable mask pattern by filling out the form below:

Enter your name and email below to get an instant download of the files! You are then registered for my weekly email Newsletter that is full of fun recipes, easy crafts and free printables.

File usage:

  • All digital files on Homemade Heather are for personal use only.
  • Please direct others to the original website link when sharing.
  • Digital reselling, resharing or distribution is prohibited and NOT allowed.

If you like this DIY Plague Doctor Costume please help us by sharing on Facebook or Pinterest so that others can enjoy it too!

DIY PLAGUE DOCTOR COSTUME

DIY PLAGUE DOCTOR COSTUME

Yield: 1
Active Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy

This epic DIY Plague Doctor Costume is going to be a hit this Halloween!  It’s super easy to create an authentic plague doctor mask with this free printable pattern.

Materials

  • Printable pattern
  • Large leather bag
  • Cardstock
  • Black Sharpie marker
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pencil
  • White chalk pen
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Two small black jar lids
  • Black waxed cording
  • Leather needles
  • Long black jacket
  • Black balaclava
  • Leather black gloves
  • Wide brimmed hat
  • Cane or black staff

Instructions

  1. Print the pattern onto 8.5 x 11″ paper.  Cut it out and tape it together to be sure that the fit is correct for your mask.
  2. Use a white chalk pen to trace the pattern onto the leather.  Important: add 1/4″ to each piece of the pattern.  When tracing simply draw the line 1/4″ away from the edge of the pattern.  This gives us a salvage edge to wrap around our base and stitch together.
  3. Cut out the mask pieces from the leather
  4. Trace the pattern onto card stock using a pencil.
  5. Cut the pattern out of card stock.
  6. Trim the corners of each leather piece at an angle.  Basically you just cut off a tiny triangle so that the corners lay flat when glueing.
  7. Use hot glue to wrap the edges of all of the leather pieces around all of the card stock pieces.  We originally tried doing this with double sided tape but found hot glue to be the better choice.
  8. Sew all the pieces of the mask together to create the beak shape of the mask.  I used a basic stitch and laid each mask piece wrong sides facing before sewing them together.
  9. Glue the eye pieces to the mask.  This can be tricky as the eye hole will bend and move.  Work slowly around the hole to glue the eye piece into place.
  10. Stitch around each eye.  This edge is purely decorative, I did not stitch the eye to the mask as the layers of leather would be difficult to get through.
  11. Using the straps of the bag make a strap for the mask.
  12. Glue the straps into place using hot glue.
  13. Add coordinating embellishments to the rest of the costume.  I used hot glue to glue pieces to the jacket and umbrella that we used as a staff.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

about heather

Hello, I’m Heather!

I'm an active mom of twin boys who is always looking for opportunities to inspire creativity through fun crafts, do-it-yourself projects and delicious recipes. This blog has been an integral part of supporting my little family and I am so grateful to have you become a part of our journey! Let's create together... Read more...

Subscribe
Notify of

10 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Just made the mask for my 7yo. He loves it! Thanks for the great tutorial.

For some reason, I have not received the download of pattern. Could you please send me it, looking forward to making this costume! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

Hi I’d love to make this but can’t see the pattern for the mask. Could you please send me link? thank you Hilary

Hey, Where are the lower right and left pieces supposed to go when stitching the mask together. I need this for a school project so if you could answer soon that would be wonderful!

Thank you so much for this great tutorial! Used a leather thrift store bag and it turned out perfectly. Your instructions were spot on. Deviated a bit because he didn’t want goggles. Thanks again!