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5 Homemade Halloween Costumes

We asked readers to send pictures of homemade Halloween costumes. Hundreds of parents responded! It was tough, but we picked just five, then re-created them. Follow our directions or improvise a little -- the point is to have fun!

Little Lamb

Start with a black, long-sleeved shirt (or leotard) and black tights.

What You Need:

  • White bodysuit or leotard
  • About 500 white pom-poms or cotton balls
  • Fabri-Tac glue by Beacon
  • White and black felt
  • White hat (or felt for a hood)

Instructions:

1. Download the Little Lamb pattern. (This requires free Adobe Acrobat software.)

 

2. Cut sleeves off bodysuit. Use glue to cover the bodysuit in pom-poms.

3. Cut two ear shapes out of the white and black felt. Glue the black pieces onto the white. Glue onto hat. (Instead of a hat, you can make a felt hood.)

4. Cover hat with pom-poms.

Start with white sweatpants and either a white hooded sweatshirt or a white shirt and hat.

What You Need:

  • Adhesive-backed black felt
  • White, pink, red, and gray felt
  • Fabri-Tac glue by Beacon
  • Small amount of stuffing
  • Velcro sew-on tape

Instructions:

1. Download the Dalmatian Puppy pattern. (This requires free Adobe Acrobat software.)

 

2. Cut adhesive-backed black felt into spots and stick on pants, shirt, and hat or hood.

3. For ears, cut two ear shapes out of white felt and two out of pink felt. Glue pink to white. Glue ears to hat or hood.

4. For a tail, cut an 18-x-4-inch piece of white felt. Stitch one end to another lengthwise. Stitch one end closed. Fill with stuffing. Glue closed. Glue one strip of Velcro on the tail, another on the sweatpants. Attach tail.

5. For the collar, cut red felt in an 18-x-1-inch strip. Glue it onto the sweatshirt's collar. Cut a circle of gray felt and write a name on it in marker. Glue it to the center of the collar.

What You Need:

  • 2 pairs of panty hose
  • 1-pound bag of fiberfill
  • 3 pairs of opaque tights in bright colors
  • 2 pipe cleaners
  • 2 large pom-poms
  • Fabri-Tac glue by Beacon

Instructions:

1. Determine the size of the tubes that make up the caterpillar's body by measuring the thickest part of your baby. We found that 36 inches was the approximate size for an 18-month-old.

2. Cut the legs off two pairs of panty hose to create four tubes in whatever size your child needs. Stuff each tube evenly with fiberfill.

3. Cut the legs of the opaque tights to the same size as above. Slip the stuffed panty-hose tubes inside the tights.

4. Form circles with the tights. Secure the ends of each tube with glue, or, for a sturdier costume, stitch the ends together.

5. Lay the circles on top of each other. Glue them together.

6. If the tubes fit your child loosely, glue ribbons on each side of the front and back as shoulder straps.

7. For antennae, curl one end of each pipe cleaner into a circle. Glue a pom-pom to the other. Glue the curled ends to the hat or hood.

Start with a hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants.

What You Need:

  • Stiffened felt in red and orange
  • Fabri-Tac glue by Beacon
  • Regular red and orange felt
  • Velcro sew-on tape
  • 17-x-17-inch square of felt to match the sweatshirt
  • Small feathers in assorted colors
  • Scraps of black and white felt

Instructions:

1. Download the Rooster pattern. (This requires free Adobe Acrobat software.)

 

2. For the beak, cut a visor shape out of red stiffened felt and one out of orange stiffened felt. Glue the red to the orange. Then glue the visor to the front of the hood.

3. For the rooster comb, cut two comb shapes out of red stiffened felt. Glue them together, leaving the bottom end unglued. Open the bottom up into a T shape, coat it in glue, and attach it to the hood.

4. For the wattle at the neck, cut three wattle shapes out of regular red felt. Use Velcro sew-on tape to attach them to the shirt collar.

5. For the feathered cape, use the 17-x-17-inch square of felt. Fold the square in half and, along the fold, cut out a semicircle to make the head opening. Cut a 3-inch slit coming out of the circle for a better fit. Glue feathers all around the edges of the cape.

6. For the eyes, cut two white circles and two black circles from felt. Glue to hood.

Start with a red or orange hooded sweatshirt and matching tights or pants.

What You Need:

  • About 1 square yard of orange felt
  • Fabri-Tac glue by Beacon
  • 1 yard of each: yellow satin, multicolored metallic fabric, gold metallic fabric
  • Roll or sheets of laminate, enough to cover 3 yards
  • Small sheets of black and white felt

Instructions:

1. Download the Goldfish pattern. (This requires free Adobe Acrobat software.)

 

2. For the fins on baby's arms, cut the shape of four equally sized fish fins from orange felt. (It's roughly a teardrop shape.) Glue one piece to another, so you have two double-thick fins. Glue those to the back of each shoulder of the sweatshirt.

3. Cut a fish-tail shape out of orange felt to cover the back of the sweatshirt and to end at baby's feet.

4. Apply laminate to back of the satin and metallic fabrics to stiffen them.

5. Cut scalloped edges into three rows of yellow satin, five rows of multicolored metallic, and three rows of gold metallic fabric. Glue these rows to the back of the fish tail. Trim any excess.

6. Glue the scale-covered fish tail to the back of sweatshirt.

7. Cut extra scallop shapes and glue them to the front of the shirt.

8. For the eyes, cut two 2-inch circles of white felt and two 1-inch circles of black felt. Glue them together. Glue one onto each side of the hood.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, October 2004.