DIY Arrow Black Canary Costume

Our girl Laurel Lance is trying to come into her own as Canary and you can too! To become CW Arrow’s Canary from season 3 you will need to be a little resourceful. Shouldn’t be a problem for a budding superhero though! Note that to complete this costume it you will need to do some simple sewing. Don’t worry. It’s all straight lines!


Top to bottom Costume Breakdown:

  • Blond Wig (no bangs)
  • Black Mask
  • Black Jacket
  • Black Catsuit/bodysuit
  • Black Knee High Boots
  • Baton Prop (optional)

Items used to Complete Costume:

  • Blonde wig with no bangs (
  • Black Jacket (already owned similar to this)
  • Catsuit (
  • Over the knee Boots (Amazon)
  • Angelus Leather Preparer/De-glazer (link)
  • Angelus Black Leather Paint (link)
  • Black Pleather fabric (Joann’s)
  • Buckles (found Link)
  • Two separating zippers the length of boot (from where top heel sole of shoe meets shoe up to the leg hole boot) (Amazon)



Tools Needed:

  • Sewing Machine or Hand sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Sponge Brush
  • Painting Dish
  • 1-2 Clean Rags
  • Ruler and Measuring Tape
  • Paper for Mocking up Pattern

Painting the Boots


Painting shoes is not scary. In fact, it’s very simple! Mostly you just need time and patience. The boots used for canary are knee high. To make it easier to paint them I stuffed them with paper to keep their shape. I was unable to find shoes in the right style (low heel) and color (black) so I opted for shoes in the right style and to paint them. If you are lucky enough to have shoes in the right style you can skip the painting process and move onto the shoe harness part of the costume.


IMG_0600Step 1: Get a rag and the leather preparer. Leather preparer removes the finish that is put on shoes and by removing it the paint is better applied. Wet cloth with the preparer and apply it to the shoe small sections at a time. I find that wetting new sections of the rag at a time better remove the finish of the shoe.


Step 2: Once the finish on the shoes is removed you will need your paint dish (something you don’t mind being stained or throwing away later) 1 inch sponge brush and Angelus Black Leather paint. Pour a small amount of paint into your dish. Starting at the bottom of the shoe paint a thin layer on top of the shoe leather. Cover the entire shoe in your first coat. Let it dry. While it dries you can paint the same first coat on the second shoe. Repeat these steps so that both shoes have three coats of paint. I found that three was the right amount to cover the existing brown color of the shoe.

Step 3: To finish the job you can us Angelus Matte Finisher to seal the paint on the shoe. Clean and dry your brush, and paint a light coat over the entire shoe where the paint is. Let dry and you are good to go!


Making the Leg Straps The Jacket

This is the more complex part of the costume. Canary is pretty much made of straps. To make them you will need some patience and trial and error. With these straps (and when in doubt) make your measurements a little bit longer to give yourself some room for error.


IMG_0637Step 1: To start I sketched out what the harness would look like when it is laid flat. Using a soft measuring tap measure the length of the boot from heel to it’s top. Then measure the circumference of the boot from ankle to boot top where the 5 horizontal straps would go. It is important to note that the harnesses will be mirror images of themselves so that the buckles face the correct direction. My measurements were: Horizontal strap with Zipper – 3 inches. Straps for buckles – 5 inches, Longs straps – 16 inches.

Step 2: Make a mock up with your scrap paper. Once you are happy with your measurements take out your fabric.

Step 3: Transfer your pattern to the backside of your fabric using your ruler for help. Cutout your pieces and keep them organized. It’s easier to do one side/shoe at a time.

Step 4: (A) Start with the back vertical piece where the zipper goes. Sew the back fabric strips to the zipper sides. Place the newly sewn piece along the back of the boot and mark the placement of the other strips so there are evenly spaced with one of the strips ending at the top of the zipper. (B) Start with the short strips. These will be the buckle side and face the outside of the boots. With right sides of fabric facing each other, edges together, sew the two sides together with a straight stitch. Do the same with the long strips on the other side.


Step 5: Add the buckles to the short strips. Fold the fabric over the ‘back’ end of the buckle. This is the part behind the buckle prong. Sew fabric down. Trim excess off.

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Step 6: Punch/cut holes in long strips for buckles. It is easiest to do this by lining up the harness and marking on the wrong side of the fabric where the buckle prong goes.

IMG_0646Step 7: Repeat above steps for other shoe. Be sure to mirror (flip) your harness layout.


Costume Note: The garter harness is the most complicated part of this costume. For simplicity of getting the look together it has been left out of this article.



Making the Mask

Step 1: Draw out the areas that you want to remove from the mask with a ballpoint pen. This is the top portion and the lower cheek portions. I also widened the eye holes.

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Step 2: Cut and remove the parts of the mask.


Step 3: Get your painting dish, black paint, brush, and paper towels. Paint the mask using the towels to blot and rub the excess paint off as you go.


Step 4: Let dry and you’re done!



Putting it all Together

Now that you have all the parts for this costume you get to do the most fun part of all. Put it all one and wear it!