This DIY Skeleton Costume is as easy as it is cute, making it the perfect last-minute Halloween solution for kids, adults, or the entire family. I’m breaking down this entire (quick!) costume project from start-to-finish and sharing some of my best tips and tricks along the way!

Hand using Cricut EasyPress onto skeleton bones decals

My Skeleton Family

Years ago, my oldest son needed a (very) last-minute costume for a Halloween party. On a whim, I cut a bunch of skeleton bones out of white vinyl, stuck them to his black long underwear, and sent him on his way.

Although a bit haphazard, I couldn’t get over how good he looked in about 15 minutes of crafting. So that same year, I decided to cut lots of skeleton bones (from different colors of glow-in-the-dark vinyl) to create an entire skeleton family (Greg and I rounded out the rainbow with pink and blue).

Three kids wearing homemade skeleton costumes in different colors

But beyond being quick, easy, and cheap…what’s especially fun about this costume idea is that, thanks to a wide variety of glow-in-the-dark vinyls now on the market, this costume transitions perfectly from day-to-night, light-to-dark!

While inside or during the day, the bones are bright and visible…

Easy DIY skeleton costume made from iron-on vinyl and a black sweatsuit

…but in the dark, people only see neon bones walking around collecting candy!

Black sweatsuit with glow-in-the-dark bones ironed on to create a skeleton costume

This skeleton costume is just so fun and whimsical; we received tons of compliments on how great we looked (especially all together). And as someone who doesn’t love Halloween, I couldn’t get enough of this simple, inexpensive costume concept!

If you, too, tend to leave Halloween costumes until the very last minute or you’re just looking for a fun, easy option this year, this DIY Skeleton Costume is just the ticket.

Supplies Needed

White table with Cricut cutting mat, Cricut Maker 3, Cricut Heat Press, Cricut Glow-in-the-Dark iron-on and a black sweatsuit

Quick FAQs Before Getting Started

Should You Use Iron-On Vinyl or Standard-Adhesive Vinyl for This Skeleton Costume?

This skeleton costume can be made using either iron-on vinyl (HTV) or standard adhesive-backed vinyl. I’ve done it both ways, so here are a few things to keep in mind!

Adhesive-Backed “Standard” Vinyl

The nice thing about using standard, adhesive-backed vinyl is that this costume would be 100% temporary. You can stick the bones onto any black clothing for the night, then peel them right off when Halloween is over.

Case in Point: We first made these skeleton costumes back in 2021 using this set of standard glow-in-the-dark vinyl. But we peeled all the bone stickers off when Halloween was over, and my kids still wear these jammies to bed to this day!

Another benefit of using standard vinyl is that assembling the costume is quick-and-easy: just peel and stick. After everyone is dressed, you can “assemble” their costumes right before their very eyes. This also means that you can easily adjust placement or layout if you don’t get something quite right.

Toddler wearing black pajamas and Mom placing skeleton bone stickers onto him

Iron-On Vinyl

That said, the ease and temporariness of adhesive-backed vinyl may not be exactly what you’re looking for. Not only might you loose a sticker (bone) throughout the night, but they surely won’t last through several Trunk-or-Treats or post-Halloween dress up time.

So if you need more staying power for your skeleton costume, I highly recommend using glow-in-the-dark iron-on vinyl instead.

This vinyl is adhered to the fabric with heat, meaning it is permanently affixed to the clothing. The black top and pants will forever have skeleton bones on them, but they will likely last through Halloween and beyond!

Simple DIY skeleton costume made from iron-on vinyl and a black sweatsuit

Do You Have to Use a Cricut Machine to Make This Skeleton Costume?


While using a Cricut machine (or similar e-cutter) will make this project MUCH quicker and easier, you CAN pull this one off with just a scissors.

To do so, I recommend purchasing this skeleton graphic and using a free program like Canva to isolate and re-size the various bones. Then, print each bone onto printer paper and trace the shapes onto iron-on or vinyl before cutting them out with a scissors. Once cut, you can follow the rest of the application instructions outlined below.

Can You Make This Skeleton Costume for Adults Too?


I cut the exact same set of bones, just in bigger sizes, in order to make adult skeleton costumes for my husband and I. Just be forewarned that adult-sized bones will require (much) more material, so you might want to order a few extra rolls!

How to Make a Skeleton Costume | Step-By-Step

Step 1 – Take Measurements

For this costume to look right, the bones need to “match” the person’s size. So before you start cutting out bones, first take some measurements:

  • The front of the shirt (height, width)
  • The length of the sleeves
  • The length of the pant legs
  • The width of the pants at the hips

Step 2 – Size Bones to Match

Next, find some skeleton bone designs and size them to match those measurements.

Here are some options to start with:

If you’re curious how I designed this set of bones, I isolated out the various ribs, arm, and leg bones from the Skeleton Shirt (#M285B9667) and Skeleton (#M72D842) graphics (everything shown in black). I liked their really simple lines that also wouldn’t require a ton of material in order to achieve the overall skeleton look.

Cricut Design Space Screenshot | Bone Designs

No matter which bone graphics you use, don’t assume they will be the right size.

I highly encourage you to ungroup the bones and size each every one individually so they fit appropriately on whoever is wearing the costume. I would worry less about keeping the bones proportional to each other and instead make sure each bone fits on the body correctly.

Next, I recommend laying everything out as tightly as possible (in order to conserve iron-on/vinyl). Once you have your sizing and layout just right, Attach them all together before cutting (using the button in the bottom, right-hand corner of Cricut Design Space) before sending them to your machine. (Not sure what I mean? How (& Why!) to Use Attach In Cricut Design Space)

Cricut Design Space Screenshot | Bones on Canvas

If you are cutting the skeleton bones out of iron-on vinyl (HTV) AND your bone design is NOT symmetrical, be sure you “Mirror” your design on the Prepare screen before proceeding.

Cricut Design Space Screenshot | Bones on Cutting Mat

Step 3 – Cut Bones Out of Vinyl

With your bone designs ready to go, load a piece of vinyl onto a cutting mat as follows:

Hands placing glow-in-the-dark iron-on vinyl onto a light blue Cricut cutting mat

Press the flashing Cricut/Go button to load your mat and cut out all the bone decals.

Cricut Maker 3 loaded with a light blue cutting mat

Step 4 – Prepare Bone Decals for Application

Once your machine is done cutting, unload the mat and then use a weeding tool to remove the excess vinyl from around and within the bone decals.

Hands weeding away iron-on vinyl

If using iron-on vinyl, cut apart each bone (or set of bones) so that they can be individually applied in the correct places.

Skeleton bones cut into individual decals

Step 5 – Adhere Bones to Black Outfits

If using standard adhesive vinyl, you can literally just peel-and-stick each bone into place by hand (you don’t even need to use transfer tape!)

Toddler wearing black pajamas and Mom placing skeleton bone stickers onto him

If you opted for iron-on vinyl instead, preheat your Cricut EasyPress (or iron) to the correct settings for your specific vinyl as specified in the Cricut Heat App or this Heat Guide. Notice on the app below, I’ve selected “Glow In the Dark Iron-On” for this project.

Hands demonstrating Cricut Heat app

After pre-heating the material, place each bone decal down onto the fabric, clear shiny side UP.

Hands placing skeleton rib bones onto a black shirt

Take your time to get the positioning just right based on where the bones will sit once the clothing is put on.

Hands placing iron-on arm decals onto black shirt

Also keep in mind where the shirt will overlap the pants (or get tucked in) and place the decals appropriately.

Iron-on bones placed onto black pants

Once ready, heat the decals into place using the time settings identified on the app (or the Cricut Heat Guide).

Hand using Cricut EasyPress onto skeleton bones decals

Once the clear liner sheet is cool to the touch, peel it back slowly to reveal the bone decal fully bonded in place!

Hands peeling away clear carrier liner sheet from bone decal

Repeat for all the remaining bones across the entire outfit!

Hand removing clear carrier sheet off skeleton bone decal on black shirt

And in just a few minutes (seriously…that quick!), you have an adorable skeleton costume ready to go!

Easy DIY skeleton costume made from iron-on vinyl and a black sweatsuit on top of a Cricut cutting mat

If you did choose glow-in-the-dark vinyl or iron-on, be sure you “charge” it in the daylight for a good few hours…

Toddler skeleton costume made from iron-on vinyl and a black sweatsuit

….before heading out into the dark to have some spooky fun!

Black shirt with glow-in-the-dark bones ironed on to create a skeleton costume
Black pants with glow-in-the-dark bones ironed on to create a skeleton costume

Other EASY Costume DIYs

When it comes to Halloween costumes, I am ALL about quick, easy, and cheap! Here are a few more favorites:

I first made these skeleton costumes years ago using (temporary) standard vinyl, but just recently re-created it for this post using the iron-on version. My little guy won’t stop wearing his “new” skeleton pajamas; and now, my middle boy is asking for some too. Good thing I didn’t use up all my glow-in-the-dark iron-on!

See You Soon!