Bjork Swan Dress Costume Tutorial

Love this Bjork Swan dress for Halloween! (click through for full tutuorial)So… adult Halloween parties. Let’s talk about this for a second. You have the people who show up dressed to the nine in full makeup and super elaborate costumes, and then you have the non-committers who show up with cat ears or a fake knife through the head and call it good. Which kind are you? I’ll be honest here and admit that I’ve been both. This year, though, I’m ready to stand with the over-achievers—not that the non-committers are under achievers. Basically I’m just looking to pat myself on the back for being better prepared than I’ve been in the past.

Do you remember that time Bjork showed up to the Oscars in that swan dress and everyone on tv and fashion magazines flipped out? I do. And I loved it. I still love it, actually. That’s who I’ll be dressing up as this year!

Bjork Swan Dress CostumeI know at first glance this tutorial looks crazy involved, but it’s actually a pretty simple step-by-step. (Click to enlarge) Let’s start with the supplies:

Supplies- white fabric (I used linen), 10-15 yards of tulle, elastic, wire & cutters, stuffing, black and orange fabric scraps, tape measure, scissors

Step 1-2:

Pull the elastic around your waist and cut to fit. Stitch the ends together with your sewing machine (or by hand) to create a circle.

Step 3: Fold your tulle in half and cut into strips. When folded, the strips should be 30 inches long or 60 inches total.

Step 4-5: Make sure your tulle strip is folded in half and feed under the elastic band. Grab the tail and pull through. Repeat (and repeat and repeat) until your skirt is full.

Step 6-7: Measure from your chest, around your neck, and down to your waist. Take this measurement and cut a long strip from your white fabric, making sure one end is rounded.

Step 8: Use your sewing machine (or thread and fingers) to stitch around the rounded end and straight down to the other end. Leave the end open for stuffing.

Step 9: Clip little triangles around the rounded edge. This will help your swan head stay rounded. Flip right-side out.

Step 10: Before you stuff your swan head, cut a piece of wire the length of your swan neck. Insert into the swan.

Step 11-12: Stuff your swan head and cut your shapes for the face.

Step 13: Stitch the beak up with your sewing machine and flip right-side out. Stuff it and hand stitch the black piece and beak onto the face.

Step 14: Sew several layers of tulle (tiered) down the neck to create a seamless transition between the swan neck and the skirt.

Step 15: Hand stitch or safety pin the bottom of the swan neck onto the skirt. Now you’re finished!

Beautiful Swan Dress detailsCostume Tutorial for the Bjork Swan dress!This swan dress is perfect! (click through for full tutorial)Grab yourself a nude bodysuit and a black wig (unless you already have the right hair, of course) and you’re set! I’m so excited about my costume this year! Will you be attending any Halloween parties? xo. Katie

  • It is easy to edit a little bit if you don’t want to be Bjork. I edited it a bit and I am a swan for Halloween.

  • Wow – this is absolutely amazing – great job recreating Bjork’s Swan Dress!! And thanks for sharing the detailed tutorial – it’s very inspiring.

    I thought that you and your readers might be interested in the Creative Costume Contest over at

    You can enter multiple times as long as each entry is a different costume and there is a grand prize of $250.

    Thanks again for sharing – and Happy Halloween!


  • Saving this for the future. The skirt is actually exactly what I want for my wedding dress. If I ever marry, that is 🙂

  • I ended up doing this costume for work today! I made the swan at like 5AM though, so it didn’t turn out too well due to sleepiness.

  • Looks better than on bjork… glad your pinky-toes weren’t hanging out of your sandals!

  • My friend and I were going to do a Black/White swan thing (she being all scary and dramatic, me being sweet and pretty). But this is a better, tongue in cheek idea for the white swan! Totally doing it 🙂

  • AMAZING! I have been wanting to be this for so many years but I never got around to making the costume. Thanks for the motivation!

  • That is a hoot. And looks like you could whip it up pretty quick if you had to. I continue to love those silver shoes.

  • You are so pretty and talented! I love how this DIY turned out.

  • This looks amazing! And oh my gosh you look so different with dark hair x

  • Adorable! Nice tips! Anyway, I found your page on Pinterest and I found interesting themes to customize our Pinterest page!
    Try it now! It’s FREE! Here’s the link:

  • This is amazing. I don’t have any plans for Halloween yet, but if I end up doing something I will be trying to make this costume for sure.


  • You are so ambitious! Better than my galaxy costume aka a Forever 21 galaxy bandeau + shirt…

  • I have a tendency to go way over the top for halloween costumes… I will spend days slaving over making my own or entire group costumes.
    I love this idea!
    Leah Faye
    a clover and a bee

  • Best costume of the year, hands down! I have a feeling Katie could pull off any color hair…

  • Love this! So much better than all the stripper style costumes for adult women…..

  • This is such a great recreation!

  • I also thought-who was the model they hired?
    You do look absolutely stunning with black hair….cute costume idea!

  • katie this is absolutely amazing!
    i didn’t even recognize you with that black hair 🙂

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

  • So nice! Personally I’m one of those who puts way to many hours into finding and making the perfect costume. But it’s so much fun! Your costume Katie is really nice. Well done!

  • I love it!!!! And I love Björk! And I love dressing up

    Thank you so much,


  • Cute!!! All you need is a big swan egg thing like Bjork pulled out of her dress 😀

  • Totally looking for a sewing machine project. Totally looking for a costume idea. Totally doing this! Thanks Katie.

  • I want this for a wedding dress. And the bridesmaid would be lion, zebra and panther!!!

    Bravo Katie, you’re so talented!

  • Nice post….I could not resist commenting. This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate information… Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!

  • So fun! Loving it, I remember how much media this dress got, funny too.


  • This costume is seriously AMAZING! Such a fun outfit! To be honest we don’t really celebrate Hallowen in the same way that you do in the States here in the UK – which is a shame as it looks much more fun on your side of the pond! It has a much darker side over here with people just focussing on the dark and scary, also adults don’t really dress up, it’s more for children. Shame! I’m going to bookmark this tutorial for a future fancy dress party as this is too good an outfit to miss out on!
    Claire @ Celebrate Creation. x

  • OMG you look stunning with black hair! And the costume is awesome as well of course!

  • Did anyone think of that movie white chicks besides me? They also wear swan dresses haha

  • This is the best costume idea ever! Love it!

    ♥ Naomi {Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups}

  • I think you just gave me my costume for this year – have to make a few adjustments to make it plus sized (like a dress in place of the bodysuit), but it’s going to be epic!

  • Hello Everyone. I was wondering if you could help me. I would like to start designing shirts and was wondering how I could make simple designs on them using methods such as stamping (or any other easy methods). I find plain shirts all the time and was wondering how I could make them singular, truly one of a kind. I realize this question is too broad, but I will take any advice that you’ve got! Any ideas are accepted, honestly! I would deeply appreciate hearing your opinion 🙂

    -An upcoming indie kid

  • My first thought was who is the model they hired for this post. Then I realized it was Katie who always looks gorgeous but is quite stunning here.
    Such a neat idea!

  • Holy cow, I was totally thinking of dressing as Oscar Bjork this year and can’t believe you have a tutorial for it! So much better than what I would have put together! Thank you!

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