DIY Rain Cloud Costume Tutorial
How much fun is this DIY rain cloud costume? I love it! And if you can punch holes in foam board and wield a pair of scissors – you can make one too! Our inspiration was a picture my 8th grader saw of a very elaborate beaded rain cloud costume with a very large headpiece.
I thought it was simply amazing, but really very heavy with all the beadwork. Plus all the weight was resting on the neck so it wasn’t very practical for trick-or-treating. And since she’s only got a few years left of trick-or-treating – that was important! Our version is lighter and the weight of the costume rests on the shoulders.
What You’ll Need
- Foam Board
- Polyester stuffing
- Hot glue gun with glue
- Ribbon (I ended up using way more than I show in this picture – in shades of gray, white, silver, and blue)
- Tulle (white, gray and/or silver cut into 2 inch strips)
- Beads (blue or silver/gray)
- Pipe cleaners
- White material (to form the hood – doesn’t matter what type – just needs to be white)
- Suspenders (we ordered these on Amazon – this is an affiliate link)
- Glow sticks (optional)
Step 1 – Shape Foam Board
The very first step in making this costume is to cut out your foam board shape. I free handed an oval shape on the piece of foam board and then cut it out with scissors.
Next, I cut out a hole for the head. I started out with a small hole and then simply kept shaving off a bit at a time until it could fit over my daughter’s head without pulling her hair.
Step 2 – Attach Ribbons and Tulle
The next (and most tedious) step is to punch holes in the foam board and thread the ribbon and tulle through it one strip at a time. My advice is to use a chopstick since the thinner end works great at poking the hole and pushing the ribbon and tulle through. Once it was through the hole – I just tied a knot to secure the end and keep it from falling through.
I used strips of ribbon/tulle that were pretty much floor length for my daughter. This could be modified to shorter or longer depending on the costume wearer.
I started out with two rows, but ended up adding a third row to add more fullness and depth to the “rain”. My advice is to get comfortable with a podcast or your favorite TV show and plug away on this. Punch, thread, tie, repeat!
Here’s a shot when I was satisfied with how many ribbons I had threaded through. I glued beads on a few of them as well.
Step 3 – Thread Suspenders
This step took a little trial and error. I had a pair of men’s black suspenders laying around from another costume and thought at first that I’d just use those. Well, it turned out that they were too thick and they practically tore the foam board in half. Which would have made me really sad seeing as how I had just spent all that time threading strings of ribbon through it!
I ended up ordering a thinner sequin-encrusted pair of men’s dress up suspenders from Amazon that didn’t have quite as much pull to them. At each shoulder point – I cut two small holes to thread the suspenders through.
Here’s a shot of the suspenders ready to be inserted.
And here is a picture of the two slits in one shoulder that I threaded the suspenders through.
Here’s the suspenders fully threaded through the foam board.
Finally, here’s the whole contraption with the ‘Y’ shaped suspenders threaded through both sides.
Step 4 – Create Hood
This is where the pipe cleaners and white material will come into play. Since I had my sewing machine out – I simply sewed two pieces of white fabric together to make a sort of sweatshirt looking hood. I also sewed pipe cleaners along the front of the hood so it could be bent and shaped while the costume was being worn. But if you don’t have a sewing machine – just use a needle and thread. Or if you avoid sewing altogether – just use some duct tape to attach the hood pieces together and the pipe cleaners to the front of the hood.
Once the hood was assembled – I just hot glued it to the foam board.
Step 5 – Glue on Stuffing
Now you’re ready to get your glue on! This step is just gluing all that polyester stuffing around the ring of the foam board. And then gluing stuffing all over the hood. I found that massaging it with my hands to sort of create individual puffs and then gluing each one on separately worked the best. And using lots and lots of glue!
I also avoided the area where the suspenders were so that we could make adjustments if needed. There’s so much puffy stuff that you can’t even see it when the costume is all finished.
To round it all out we added gray leggings and a gray T-shirt and some heavy duty eye makeup. Here’s a shot of the final product.
Light Up Extra
The wonderful art teacher at my kid’s school made these awesome lanterns covered with stuffing for a project the year before. When she heard about this costume – she sent them home to be used as an add-on. We punched extra holes in the sides of the costume and hung them. With the addition of a few glow sticks in the top portion – you can make the costume light up in such an awesome way! No one missed her while she was out trick-or-treating!