No Sew Last Minute Halloween Costumes For Kids {Or Adults}

[ 1 ] October 30, 2010 |
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A couple years back, I made The Diva a homemade LadyBug costume. I had actually seen it on the Martha Stewart Show and because she needed two costumes that year (One for a party that she could trash & one for actual trick or treating), I decided to try it.

The original costume was made with a couple of pillow cases, some poly-fil, black felt and a neck drawstring, but I didn’t really like the end result. So I modified it by using a red sweatshirt & t-shirt. The original was also sewn with a sewing machine. I have a sewing machine, but no instructions, so I used Fabri-Tac glue instead {It works on just about anything}.

You can use this same “recipe” to make several different costumes by just changing the color of some of the elements. The basic pattern will be the same.

I cannot find the pictures I took of my daughter’s costume, so I found some stock images that are similar to use. Once I do find the pictures, I will add them to this tutorial.

What you will need for the LadyBug costume:

  • Adult size red t-shirt
  • Adult size red sweatshirt {One size larger than sweatshirt}
  • Black felt
  • Poly-fil
  • Velcro or snaps
  • Pre-made LadyBug wings & headband with antennae {You can make these yourself by using the tutorial at the end of the post, but honestly it would be quicker and easier to just buy a set. I got mine from Claire’s Boutique at our local mall for less than $10}
  • 1 large bottle of Fabri-Tac glue {And/or sewing machine if you sew}
  • White fabric pencil or chalk
  • Black long sleeve t-shirt or onesie/leotard
  • Black tights or leggings
  • Black shoes

How to put it all together:

  1. Measure the distance between your child’s neck and start of the inseam area  {Inner thigh}. Add 2 inches to that measurement.
  2. Measure circumference of child’s upper thigh. Add 2 1/2 inches.
  3. Cut off the sleeves of both the t-shirt & sweatshirt at the shoulder seam.
  4. Cut banding/hem off of bottom of sweatshirt and t-shirt.
  5. Turn t-shirt & sweatshirt inside out. Put sweatshirt inside t-shirt. make sure sweatshirt is as flat/smooth as possible and that cut edges line up with t-shirt as much as possible.
  6. Cut both t-shirt and sweatshirt {at bottom} to the length measured in step 1.
  7. Cut semi-circle the diameter of the measurement from step 2 at bottom corners of the t-shirt/sweatshirt combo. This will be 4 layers, so make sure your scissors are sharp.
  8. Cut a slit in what will be the back of the costume long enough to let the wings come out and show when worn with the costume.
  9. Use Fabri-Tac {Or sew} the two shirts together, making sure to leave open areas in the arm holes, neck and back areas to add the fiber-fil.
  10. Find a round object approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter {I used the cap to my Neutra Air air freshener can} to use as a template for the Lady Bug spots. Trace around the object on the black felt {The number of spots needed will depend on the size of the costume being made}. Cut them out.
  11. Stuff semi-finished costume with fiber-fil. Try costume on child and check to see if  it can easily close in the back, the wings sit correctly and it is not too filled that your child cannot walk or sit easily.
  12. Once this is done, glue or sew the remaining seams closed, attach Velcro or snaps to back opening {making sure to leave room for the wings} and either glue/sew seam between the legs together or add snaps for easy removal {Bathroom breaks} for younger children.
  13. If the neck area is too wide, you can “close the gap” by making a collar  out of the remaining black felt or the left over sleeves. I made mine with the black felt by cutting a piece of felt the length of the circumference of the neck opening by 3 inches tall, making the edges curved and gluing it onto the neck of the costume.
  14. Glue spots onto costume. Let dry for a couple of hours.
  15. Put on costume, wings & headband antennae.
  16. You’re done.
  17. Go trick or treating.

You can easily change the costume from a LadyBug to a pumpkin or just about anything that would have a puffy body simply by changing the color of the t-shirt/sweatshirt & felt you buy and adjusting the instructions accordingly. If you are going to make a pumpkin, just find {Or make your own} a template for the “face”, print it out to size, cut pieces, glue on and you’re done.

If you want to make your own LadyBug wings, you can use the tutorial below, which is for faerie wings, with two minor adjustments: LadyBug wings are more of an elongated  teardrop/semi-circle shape, so ignore the funky shapes the video tells you to make and pull the wire into that shape.You also do not need the lower section of the wings, as ladybugs don’t have them.

For the wings {all shapes/versions}, I would add two rectangles of felt, or some other fairly stiff, thick fabric, to encase the ends of the wires and connect all the pieces together, after wrapping them in yarn for extra strength as the video shows.

All you really need is a couple of pairs of red tights or stockings and black glittery fabric paint for the LadyBug wings. However, if you can find red tights with black spots or a similar sheer fabric, all you have to do is add some glitter and you’re good to go. I would also use elastic, instead of ribbon to “attach” the wings to your child. You can do this by getting a couple yards of heavy duty 1/2 inch wide elastic and making a figure 8 around your child’s shoulders, then cutting to length, gluing and sewing it at the ends and where the figure 8 “crosses”.You could also make a “sleeve” for the elastic to make it match the costume.

To make the antennae you will need:

  • 1 inch wide plastic headband
  • Black fabric
  • Black and red pipe cleaners {4 of each color}
  • 2 Black craft pom-poms
  • Fabri-Tac glue

Put it all together:

  1. Twist one each of the black & red pipe cleaners together {You will do this twice}
  2. Bend the bottom of each pipe cleaner at a right angle. Set aside.
  3. Measure enough fabric to cover the headband. Mark on fabric where the antennae will go and cut a small slit for each.
  4. Glue pipe cleaners to the headband {Or wrap the ends around the headband. But this can make the headband more likely to fall off the child’s head}.
  5. Push antennae through slits in the black fabric. Glue fabric to headband so that it fits tightly and trim excess.
  6. You now have LadyBug antennae for you homemade LadyBug costume.

Now you can take your child out Trick-or-Treating. Happy Halloween, everyone! Have fun!

Please note: Even if you do not find the time or materials to make this for Halloween this year, all kids love to play dress up, especially little girls, regardless of a nearing holiday. So why not make {Or buy} it for her anyway? You could find the wings and antennae already made {And probably pretty dang cheap} here.

Halloween costumes Check Out All The Hot Halloween Costumes For Your Family and read more about all kinds of Halloween Related Posts!

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I'm Shan and I 'm the creator of The Asylum and a magnet for The Free Range Stupid™. I'm a little nutty, a lot sarcastic and pretty damn smart. I am also a graphic designer, blog coder, virtual assistant, free lance writer and can whip you up a killer resume, media kit or press release that would make others green with envy. Go to Skewed Design Studios to check out my services. You won't be disappointed.

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