My little project.


September 16, 2003, 02:28 PM
Was not sure whether to post this in the hunting forum, the accessories forum, or here, but here is my latest project. :cool:

Eventually I plan to do a set of pants to go with it. The color doesnt match my backyard well, but I am not planning to hunt in my little 1/4 acre :D

Some things I learned during this project:
1. It takes a hell of a lot of time to do all the sewing and knot tying
2. Ghillie suits are hot and heavy
3. It is incredibly hard to take a decent picture of a ghillie with a digital camera.

Has anyone else tried to make their own DIY ghillie suit?

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September 16, 2003, 02:37 PM
What are you talking about, man? All I see is a big bush!:D

September 16, 2003, 02:42 PM
That's both cool and HOT!:D

September 16, 2003, 02:47 PM
Those strips should work better once they are frayed more. Not bad so far! I bet that took a bit of time to do!;) A little natural foliage added and you should be good! Did you put some canvas patches in the key wear spots? elbows, knees, chest, and etc? Send some pics once you are done!

September 16, 2003, 02:51 PM
Thats a good idea about the dryer, I am going to go try that out right now. There is some canvas on the elbows, but none on the chest because I am not sure how I want to go about it while keeping the buttons and pockets accessible, and I also would prefer to keep some kind of camoflage pattern on the non-"ghillied" areas.

AJ Dual
September 16, 2003, 02:53 PM
Nice job!

I've been wanting to make one for some time.

I can see that color matching the location and season is indeed difficult. I would have to think that making 3-4 suits of different types and colors is the only real answer.

Maybe a Spring/Summer, a Fall/Dry Brush, and a Winter would cover all the angles. Although except for pure snow, any ghillie is probably superior camoflauge than BDU's and the like.

You could just throw the whole thing into a pot of Rit brand dye to darken and green yours up a bit. That would knock down the brightness on the un-printed light sides of your cloth strips without having to re-do the whole thing. When you wash it, be careful, as many detergents carry UV dye in them which they call "brightners" and these may make you stick out to animals, and "others". :D

You might also want to get some brown, tan, and green jute burlap strips and comb out the strands halfway to add some stringy looking "grass".
If you plan on doing some serious crawling in it, you should sew some heavy Cordura Nylon patches onto the chest, elbows and belly, and the knees on your planned pants to aid in crawling.

Under the knees and elbows placing a pad of thin dense foam could even aid in avoiding the "owies of gravel and twigs caught between the ground and your bones.

A ghillie suit is a water magnet, and I've seen the Marine Sniper school giving their suits a heavy spraying with Scotchguard, although be advised it makes you even more of a tinderbox than before. (I also think Soctchguard is "banned" voluntarily by 3M because of teenage "huffers"/paint sniffers, so I don't know what the substitute is.)

Without delving into black-helicopter territory too much, I'm wondering what the suit looks like under near IR night vision, or even a Sony "nightshot" camcorder. I also wonder what to do about a thermal heat signature, that dosen't involve reflective mylar, or extra insulation that won't eventually just make you "hotter" from a personal and a detection standpoint.

September 16, 2003, 03:00 PM
The way I figured I would handle the unprinted side of the burlap was to lay the sheet out and spraypaint half of it with flat black spraypaint and leaving the other bare. That gave me 4 basic patterns of burlap to work with: Black, tan, dark camo, and light camo.

After I do a little more work on it (the jute is a good idea) I plan on getting some more spray paints olive, brown, and black and doing some blending work on it. Before I do more blending I want to get a better idea of what the colors are in Florida forests in late fall as that is going to be my primary hunting season wearing this thing.

September 16, 2003, 03:08 PM
In addition, my father has a camera with "Night-Shot". Maybe later I will do a little test.

Mal H
September 16, 2003, 03:09 PM
Feeling trapped? Want to get away from it all? Didn't the original Daedalus try that and wound up losing a son? :D

Seriously, good job, but I bet that was time consuming. It may be my monitor's rendition of colors, but it looks like you have too much blue (ignoring the blue shirt) - a relatively unnatural background color.

September 16, 2003, 03:12 PM
Big Bird in camo?

Nice work!

4v50 Gary
September 16, 2003, 03:13 PM
I'm talking major league Black Lagoon from the '50s.

Naw, it does need to be frayed more. Don't forget to dress up your gun to match. Remember, it's "tacky" if the gun don't go with the clothes. ;)

September 16, 2003, 04:16 PM

Jesse H
September 16, 2003, 04:21 PM
LOL @ work!

50 Shooter
September 16, 2003, 04:29 PM
Here's a good source of info if you need anymore,

Just getting ready to start one myself, waiting on the flightsuit to get here in the mail. The hardest thing to find was netting, found a Volleyball net on sale for $10 at Wally World. Should have enough for a few suits now.

Looks good so far, what are you using for fabric? Looks like some kind of camo pattern cut into strips? I picked up a bunch of burlap for cheap at the local fabric store.

September 16, 2003, 04:56 PM
I did all of my shopping at Wally World. The shopping list was something like this:

Hunting Jacket : 20$
Boonie Hat: 10$
Head Net: 5$
Allen brand Camoflage Burlap (3 12'x5' Packages): 27$
Spray Paint (3): 3$

The other Items I had lying around the house. The netting I used was old fishing netting; I had bought a couple large sections and had used them as decoration. After moving out I kept them and finally decided to use them as the netting in this ghillie. I had a pair of cheapo camoflage gloves I bought for like 5$ a few years ago. Cut the trigger and thumb fingers out of the right glove and left the other alone. I will post some pics of the gloves themselves if you are interested. Needles and thread I had on hand as well as pins and scissors.

So at the end of this process the total cost was somethere in the neighborhood of 70$ in materials, and about 15-20 hours of construction time. I could have cut down on costs by buying cheaper unprinted burlap and dyeing it myself. I probably could have bought a cheaper BDU jacket at a local Army/Navy for 10$ and just used a regular camo cap (5$) for the headwear.

Ive run the suit through the dryer a couple times and the fraying is improving a great deal and providing a Darwinian test to my stitching abilities :p

September 16, 2003, 05:04 PM
A long time ago as a child, I recall watching on occassion a TV show with a few animal characters. Never really got into it but the sight of the odd looking creatures stuck in my head to this day. The show was The New Zoo Revue. One of the characters was an owl named Charlie the Owl. This was the first thing that came to my mind (before even reading runt's post) when I opened this thread.

(He is the one in the middle.)

Not saying your ghillie is bad, just an old flashback.

50 Shooter
September 16, 2003, 05:11 PM
If you want some indestuctable thread, go to a flooring supply place and get some carpet thread. It's used to sew carpet back together and will hold up to any abuse.

I found different colored burlap at the fabric store and on the plus side they had naugahyde/vinyl for the front of the suit. Just need to get a different pair of boots to use as people at work might find it strange to see burlap hanging from my work boots.

September 16, 2003, 05:13 PM
Looks great, but how do you iron it? :D

September 20, 2003, 11:26 PM
I did a test of the effectiveness of the suit under night vision. For starters, can you see the suit in this picture?

Its the dark patch on the left.

A view of the ghillie in the open.

A friend of mine hiding poorly :D

Another easy to see pic.

Some observations I made is that the night vision does not seem differentiate between patterns so there is not any spraypaint blending I can do to help increase the effectiveness of the suit. The ghillie appears as a much darker patch than the rest of the environment under NV. Of 3 tests where an observer, armed with the camera tried to locate a hiding ghillie user the following results:

1. Spotted but dismissed as a pile of leaves.

2. Spotted, primarily due to the pants and shoes protruding.

3. Not fouund, he hid too far back in the woods and we didnt want to go in after him without aid of flashlight.

So I would grade the effectiveness under NV as fair. Adding of local foliage to the suit would probably improve the effectiveness drastically.

September 20, 2003, 11:39 PM
Looks good !
I agree you ight want to add soe jute and soe burlap strips
and then wet it and dry it, or drag it around the parking lot to frat it up a little

Sees your on the right track tho.

Ive ade a couple and its a labor of love to get it just right.

September 21, 2003, 12:57 PM




4v50 Gary
September 21, 2003, 09:28 PM
Dunno about wearing that while hunting. Some hunters are rather cavalier about what they shoot at. We'd rather not see a post announcing a hunting accident.

Runt - knock it off! :)

September 21, 2003, 10:14 PM
dude have someone start a scary story pass it on to others to finish. print it out and send those pictures in with the story to one of the tabloids and you have some fast cash.

AJ Dual
September 22, 2003, 12:11 PM
Of course, you know what you have to be wearing near the front porch for trick-or-treat. :D

Now all that's left to do is call your local utility company this fall for a free home heat loss check with the thermal camera, and see if you can get the guy to look at you as a favor...

September 22, 2003, 12:30 PM
Of course, you know what you have to be wearing near the front porch for trick-or-treat. :D

And if you do this, be sure to post pics (or vids!) here!

Very nice suit. You know, except for the (lack of a) neck, I was reminded a lot of the 'Big Bird' character on Sesame Street. In the dutch version he's blue-whitish with a lot of ruffling feathers.

ErikM :evil:

Mike Irwin
September 22, 2003, 12:45 PM
snicker snicker...


Sorry, just too funny looking...

September 22, 2003, 01:46 PM
Exactly what does one hunt while wearing a suit like that?
I'm not saying its a bad ghillie suit; I just can't think of any type of hunting where someone would need that. Around here, wearing that in the woods would more likely get you shot, or laughed out of the woods. :D

September 22, 2003, 01:54 PM
I not only think it looks silly, I can't imagine HOW you'd hunt in a suit like that!
I mean, wouldn't all of that stuff get caught in the action of your bow or rifle? I could see a cape of some kind (it would still LOOK goofy..) where you could manipulate the weapon with free hands and arms. And what about visibility and hearing? Heck, an elk could walk up next to you and start grazing on you before you saw or heard it...

Just get BEHIND a bush, don't wear it!


September 22, 2003, 05:36 PM
Ghillie suits are not generally worn by hunters. They are most often used by military snipers.

I've never seen a short jacket used before. The only suits I've seen have been a long jacket with normal pants underneath. But you'd still need to camo the boots. Be interesting to see how that works out. I wonder if you could use one of those USMC shooting jackets they have in the back of Shotgun News for something like that?

September 22, 2003, 06:57 PM
Well hunting is just the justification I am telling myself for all the time and money that ive been spending on it :p . In reality I have always been fascinated by ghillies and always wanted to make one and finally got the materials and the will to do it. I have been doing more work fraying up the burlap and I have got several tubs with jute and burlap in them dyeing right now. Ill post again when I am finished.

50 Shooter
September 23, 2003, 02:31 PM
A little history.

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