Thursday, February 3, 2011

Easy Dinosaur Costume Tutorial

Daniel's preschool had Dino Day last week and I somehow missed them memo about dressing up or bringing along a dinosaur toy. Naturally, I chose the ridiculous option of making a costume myself the night before. Much easier than buying a $2 toy...right? Besides, I'm pretty sure there were at least 3 dinosaurs at Halloween.

I wanted it to be cheap, quick and fun so I decided to make the costume on a hoodie (we got ours at American Apparel) so I could take it apart and put the sweater in his closet.

You will need:
Hoodie in color of your choice
Stiff felt in contrasting/co-coordinating color (minimum cut, 0.2 m was plenty)
Regular felt (not flimsy craft felt) to match hoodie (0.2 m)
Stuffing (wool or recycled polyfil are best)
Enough elastic to go around your child's waist OR 2-3 safety pins

1. Fold the matching, soft felt in half. Cut a tail shape approx 4" tall and 20" long.

2. Cut triangles out of the stiff felt. I cut a 3" strip out of the felt and cut triangles with a base that is slightly smaller than the sides. Aprrox 3x3x2.5". Pin the triangles into the fold of the tail.

3. Trim the end of the tail to the edge of the last triangle and sew the triangles onto the tail. Stuff the tail.

4. Pinch the opening of the tail closed perpendicular to your seam and pin. 

5. Sew the tail shut. The beauty of using felt is that there is no turning. That's part of the reason this project is quick! You can either use safety pins to fasten the tail onto your child's pants, or sew a length of elastic (1 inch shorter than your child's waist measurement) onto the tail. I sewed mine on the under-side of the seam that closed the tail up.

 6. Cut more of the same size triangles out of the stiff felt and cut a small slit in the center of the bottom side of each triangle. You will need 4-6 depending on how big they are and how big the hood is.

7. Line each triangle up, one at a time, on the center seam of the hood. One side of the slit goes on the left of the seam, and one side on the right. Sew with a running stitch, and NO back stitching, along each side of the split to fasten the triangles. This is the hardest part.

I didn't back stitch and used a running stitch is so I can easily rip it out after. If you want yours to stay on forever, by all means do it differently!

8.  Next, I cut out little claws to attach onto the sleeves. Same thing, running stitch and no back stitching.

9. Now to embellish! I used small and large circles on the back and chest only. I tried using a fabric spray adhesive to keep the felt on the hoddie, but it wouldn't hold. I think if I could have found a thinner felt in the same blue, the spray adhesive would have worked. Instead, I sewed just a few stitches in the center of each circle so I could take them off easily.

Sparkly felt, an oval-shaped tummy on a pullover sweater or multiple colors would be fun too.

And here's my little dinosaur all dressed up. Ironically enough, he was the only one with a costume! Maybe I need to drink less coffee!


  1. LOL!!! SOOOO CUTE! You're such a great and creative Mom! I bet he was so proud!

  2. The good thing about preschool is that if you are the only one in a costume, you're cool, not weird!

  3. awesom idea!!. this save my day. because i also miss memo about dressing up for Vappu. (finnish traditional spring festival). i come back whit a link when i´m ready.. :D

  4. Kiitos! Happy Vappu! Look forward to seeing what you made!

  5. This is SO neat, thank you for posting. Both of my kids want to be dinosaurs for Halloween and I refuse to buy a flimsy, premade costume. I wanted to use a hooded sweatshirt, it is like your idea read my mind and improved upon my idea. Thanks again for posting!!!

  6. That's a really good idea. I need to make one for a school musical soon so I might try this too - thanks for posting it!


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