DIY Pumpkin Costume Tutorial
My six year old is always very clear about what she wants her costumes to look and feel like. So this year when she asked for a “squishy pumpkin with a jack-o-lantern face” – I knew she meant it. This DIY pumpkin costume was one of the easiest costumes I’ve ever made. The primary costume piece is made up of two large men’s t-shirts. There’s only a small bit of sewing to do and then some gluing to make the headband “stem”. And I think she looks adorable in it!
This costume is dressed up with some store bought pieces, but the main two components are do it yourself. The best of both worlds – just how I like my costumes!
What You’ll Need
- 2 Large men’s orange t-shirts
- Green ribbon
- Black felt
- Brown felt
- Polyester stuffing
- Green mesh tubing
- Small piece of cardboard
- Orange headband
- Hot glue gun and glue
- Sewing machine or needle and thread
- 1″ elastic (long enough to fit around the hips of the person wearing this costume)
- Safety pins
Pumpkin Body Suit
Step 1 – Put the shirts together
It sounds crazy to add this as a step, but it’s actually a bit of a process. Leave one shirt right-side out and turn one shirt inside out. Then slide the inside out shirt into the right-side out shirt so that they look like the picture below. Both right-sides of the shirts should be facing out (one outside and one against the skin of the person wearing this costume.)
Step 2 – Create a casing for elastic at the bottom hem
Now sew the two shirts together along the existing hem. This is the beginning of the pouch that will hold the stuffing and make this costume look very full.
Now that you’ve got one seam sewn – take your elastic and use it to loosely measure where you’ll sew a second seam to create a casing for the elastic to fit in. It doesn’t have to be perfect because this will be buried under the giant body of the pumpkin suit. When you begin sewing – make sure you leave about 3-4 inches open so that you can thread the elastic in.
Here’s a shot of the finished seam all ready for elastic.
Step 3 – Thread the elastic through the casing
Using a safety pin on one end (which allows you to have something to grab onto while you scoot it through the casing) – carefully thread your elastic through the casing until it comes out the other side. Be careful not to pull your elastic all the way out the other side or you’ll have to re-thread it through.
The casing will bunch up a LOT while you’re threading the elastic through – that’s what you want.
Here’s a shot with both sides showing and the elastic fully threaded into the casing. The last thing we do is to sew the elastic together and then close up the opening we used to thread the elastic in.
Here’s the finished product with a lovely little gather that will keep it cinched up the costume wearer’s legs.
Step 4 – Fill between the layers with polyester through the opening in the neck
Take that polyester batting and liberally stuff between the two layers of the shirts (in order to create the body of this pumpkin suit.) You can use the opening in the neck or one of the arms. Make it as fluffy as you like.
Step 5 – Cut the sleeves and stitch closed
Trim the extra material from the sleeves (you’ll want a tank top look) and stitch the opening closed. There should be no way for fluff to escape through the arms once we’re done.
Step 6 – Sew around the neck
Finish the neck by stitching it closed so that no fluff can escape through the hole.
Step 7 – Add ribbons to the tops of the sleeves
Add a bit of green or orange ribbon to finish off the sleeves. The ribbon will help keep the sleeves manageable for the costume wearer. It also adds a nice decorative touch.
Step 5 – Add the black felt cutouts
In order to make the face – cut the black felt to make eyes, nose, and mouth. You can do any shapes you want and it’s something that even young kids can help with because felt is very easy to cut. My six year old did her shapes herself with no help from me. Once you’re happy with the shapes – hot glue them onto the front of the body suit.
Pumpkin Stem Headband
Step 1 – Cut out cardboard shape and fabric
Begin by cutting out a smallish oval from whatever cardboard you’ve got laying around. You just need something that’s not too big to sit on top of the costume wearer’s head. Then cut out an oval of orange fabric that is slightly larger all around. Your best bet is to use the leftover fabric from the sleeves you cut off.
Step 2 – Glue and stuff the head piece
Begin gluing the fabric down around the circle. Stop before you get all the way around since you’ll want space to stuff polyester fill into.
Now finish gluing all around the edges. It doesn’t have to be pretty because you’ll be covering it up with felt in the next step.
Step 3 – Finish the bottom
Next, cut an oval of brown felt that is slightly smaller than your cardboard. Then attach it with hot glue.
Step 4 – Make the stem
Cut a long strip of brown felt and then roll it up like a fruit roll-up. Secure the end with hot glue so that the felt stays rolled up.
Now hot glue it to the top of your pumpkin top.
Step 5 – Make the leaves
In order to make the “leaves” for the topper – cut up lengths of the green mesh tubing into roughly the same length. Take a piece of green ribbon and cinch them up together. Then do it again so you’ll have two bundles of “leaves”.
Glue one bunch of tubing to each side of the stem.
Glue the headband to the bottom of the pumpkin topper. Then, to make sure it’s extra secure – cut a small rectangle of brown felt and hot glue that over the top so that that headband isn’t ever leaving that pumpkin top piece.
The finished product!
And the costume is complete! We paired the pumpkin suit and topper with an orange t-shirt (kid sized!) and a pair of crazy green striped pajama pants. My kiddo also wanted orange lipstick and orange hair so she’s ALL orange!