Make Your Costumes Look Filthy | Season 2: Episode 5

Our short film Corpse is based in a world of scavenging and depleting resources, and our character's clothing needed to match. Here are a few simple methods to make clothing look worn and dirty.

I've got this simple white t-shirt. To make it look like it's been unwashed for weeks, I grabbed a few simple household items:

  • Teabags
  • A cup of warm water
  • Sandpaper
  • Shoe Polish
  • Newspaper
  • and a Sponge

Firstly, for a base weathering, give the clothing a complete sand down.

Once this is done, you can pay close attention to areas like the collar and give them little details.

After you have weathered it down, take a brewed teabag and dab the clothing, giving it stains. I add more tea stain to the collar and underarms to make it look like stale dried sweat.

Grab the sponge and add a bit of shoe polish. Then dab the sponge onto your newspaper until most of the polish is off of the sponge. This method is very similar to dry-brushing with a paint brush. It only applies to the top-most part of surfaces, like the collar here.


We used these methods for all of the costumes in our film Corpse. For some costumes, we cut a hole at the stitching point and ripped it open to damage the clothing.

Make Your Costumes Look Filthy.jpg


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