Build A Ghillie Suit

Ghillie suit

Ghillie suits are most often used by hunters as camouflage to keep prey from spotting them while hunting. This article will teach you to make your own ghillie suit.


Making the Ghillie Suit

1. Cut your burlap into five sections of approximately equal length.

2. Prepare your dyes. Choose one color as the base color, which should be the predominant color in the environment in which you are going to wear the suit.

3. Dye two sections of your burlap your base color and one section each of the other colors. Hang to dry.

4. Lay the BDU jacket out on your work surface. Stretch the netting over the jacket, then cut the netting so that it is half again as wide as the back of the jacket. (This will allow it to wrap around and attach to the front of the jacket.) Cut the nettting around the sleeves of the jacket so that there are flaps 3 inches long that will go around the sleeves and over the shoulder to the front of the chest. Cut out a square area for the neck.

5. Pin the netting in place on the front and back of the jacket. Sew a few of the knots to the fabric for extra hold, then, using the Shoe Goo or Goop, glue the knots on the perimeter of the back of the jacket to the fabric, including the sleeves and around the collar. Let the glue dry completely (30 to 60 minutes).

6. Flip the jacket over and glue down the perimeter of the front the same way. Let the glue dry completely.

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7. Lay the BDU pants out on your work surface. Cut two panels of netting wide enough to go around each of the legs from back to front and from thigh to just above the ankle. Do not put netting on the inside of the leg, as that will create bulk and make walking difficult, or over the rear of the pants, because that part will be covered by the jacket.

8. Pin the fabric around the legs and sew a few knots down as a guide. Make sure you don’t sew the top pockets closed. Glue down the knots on the perimeter of the back of the pant legs. Let the glue dry, then do the same on the front.

9. Cut a long piece of netting that will sit on top of the BDU cap and drape over your shoulders on all sides and in the back. The netting should hang 1 to 2 inches over the bill of the cap. Pin the netting to the top of the cap, sew down a couple of knots, and drape the net over the bill of the cap. Glue the knots around the perimeter of the top of the cap and let the glue dry completely.

10. Spray splotches or stripes onto some pieces of the burlap and let dry. Cut all the burlap into 1-inch strips. Cut half the strips 18 inches long and the other half 24 inches long. Working first with the predominant color, fold a strip in half. Place the loop of the strip under a horizontal strand of one square of the netting and pull the ends through, forming a knot around the netting. Next place another strip or two of burlap on the bottom horizontal strand of the square of netting. Move on and do the same with the vertical strands of the square, until each side of the square has one or two burlap strips knotted on it. Alternate randomly between the 18-inch strips and the 24-inch strips and alternate between colors, placing only one or two strips between each knot of netting. Do not make a pattern. Continue doing this until all the netting on jacket, pants, and cap is covered with burlap strips of varying colors and lengths.

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11. Using cans of olive drab and tan spray paint, lightly spray splotches on the suit, breaking up any patterns that might have formed. Shred areas of the burlap into individual strands using a large-toothed comb. Cut 36-inch lengths of jute cord and thin black, tan or olive green rope and knot them the same way as the burlap in random places all over the suit. Fray the rope and the jute cord. Add bits of twigs, dried leaves and grasses that would be found in the environment.