Each year it seems our kids get more and more excited for Halloween and begin plotting their costumes months in advance. This year was no exception and our kids couldn’t wait for us to get started on their Superman, Pippi Longstocking and Flash costumes! Since neither one of us has a sewing machine or the know-how to sew a costume from scratch, we love to create “no-sew” costumes for our kids. Last year we found a brand of kids clothing called Primary, which allowed us to easily make colorful no-sew costumes for our kids. Primary has now become our go-to brand for kids’ costumes not only because they are comfortable, but they have a large assortment of styles in an endless array of colors. The fact that nothing is over $25 also sweetens the deal quite a bit!
For Henry’s Superman costume we started with the long sleeve pj top and the pj pant in Cobalt. For the Superman logos, we used red and yellow felt squares, and for his cape we used a 1 yard piece of red felt. We wanted to make our lives simple, so we used superhero stencils that we found on Max California. To use the stencils, we printed the artwork out on card stock at 71%, and then cut each template out with an X-Acto knife.
To make Superman’s red S, we placed the S template upside down on the red fed and traced around it with a Sharpie. Then we traced the diamond template on the yellow felt. After we cut out the red S and yellow diamond, we glued them both together using felt glue. To finish off Henry’s shirt, we glued the Superman logo onto the front of the blue pajama top.
To create our Superman belt, we drew a diamond shape for the front of the belt and then long narrow sides. We cut out the belt and glued it to the front of the pajama pants using felt glue. Then we cut a thin red strip of felt, the same width as the front belt, and glued it to the waist band on the back of the pajamas. We wanted to make sure we made the belt out of two pieces of felt fabric, that did not connect at the sides so that there was still some give in the waist band.
No Superman would be complete without his cape! To make Henry’s Superman cape, we cut a long 2.5 foot trapezoid out of a 1 yard piece of red felt. We cut a half moon shape about 6 inches long, out of the top of the trapezoid so that the top of the cape would fit right along the neckline of the back of the pajama top. The logo on Henry’s cape is larger than the logo on his shirt, so we printed the Superman template onto white card stock at 100%. Then we traced the S template onto a yellow piece of felt, cut it out and glued it to the red cape with felt glue. We didn’t want to attach the cape permanently to the pajama top just in case Henry wanted to wear the costume without the cape later on, so we attached the cape using fashion tape.
Mia’s Pippi Longstocking costume could not have been easier! We started with the Primary short sleeve dress in Cobalt and the sleeveless dress in Grass. Then we cut the hem from the bottom of the blue and green dresses in a haphazard way so that the hems looked more ragged. It’s important to cut the green dress shorter so that you can see the blue dress underneath. To make sure the sleeves of the blue dress matched the rest of the costume, we cut the hem off the short sleeves as well.
To create the patches of Pippi’s dress, we cut several squares out of colorful bandanas that we found at Michaels. Then we glued them to the front and back of the green dress using felt glue.
We wanted to make the patches on her dress look more authentic so we sewed large stitches around each patch using black embroidery floss. This step is by no means necessary so feel free to skip it.
We wanted to give Mia braids that stuck out just like the real Pippi Longstocking, but we also wanted her to be comfortable for a full night of trick or treating. This meant we had to come up with a way to make her braids stick straight out that was more comfortable than using the traditional coat hanger trick. We started with an inexpensive plastic headband and hot glued four red pipe cleaners to the bottom 2 inches of the headband, on the outside of each end of the head band. Then we wrapped a red pipe cleaner around the four pipe cleaners on each side, hot gluing as we wrapped it around the base of each side of the headband.
Once Mia was dressed in her costume, we placed the headband on her head and braided her hair around each end of the pipe cleaners. We secured the ends of her hair with rubber bands and then trimmed the ends of the pipe cleaners. Voila…stiff Pippi braids that she can wear all night long!
Most pictures we found of Pippi Longstocking had her wearing mis-matched tights or socks. To create this look we bought a pair of red tights and a pair of red and white striped tights on Amazon. In order to make it look like Mia was wearing one red stocking and one striped stocking, we cut one leg off of the striped pair of tights and had her wear them over the red tights.
Charlie decided to be Flash months ago because he loved his lightening bolts and super sonic speed! We started with Primary’s long sleeve pj top and pj pant in Cherry. We printed the flash logo templates we found on Max California onto card stock and traced the templates onto white and yellow felt. In order to get the logos just the right size, we printed the templates at 71%.
Using the felt glue, we glued the smaller white circle on top of the larger yellow circle, and then glued the yellow lightning bolt on top of the white circle. Once all the pieces were in place we glued the logo to the front of Charlie’s shirt.
To create the lighting bolts on Charlie’s arms and waist, we folded a piece of yellow felt in half and drew 2 long, narrow lightning bolt shapes on the yellow felt. Then we cut along the lines and unfolded the felt. Using felt glue, we glued one of the long narrow bolts to the front of Charlie’s shirt at the waist, and glued the second narrow lightning bolt to the back of Charlie’s shirt at the waist. It is important to make sure that the lightning bolts line up on the sides, but that they are not glued together so that the shirt can still stretch. For the sleeves, we folded another piece of yellow felt in half, drew 2 shorter lightning bolts and cut them out along the lines. We cut those lightning bolts in half to give us 4 bolts. Then we glued each lightning bolt to the front and back of Charlie’s sleeve, making sure that the ends of the bolts lined up on either side.
Charlie’s Flash mask was a fun puzzle to solve! We hadn’t made a mask from scratch before, but with a little ingenuity we figured out an easy way to construct one.
Starting with the lighting bolts on the side of the mask, we drew a lighting bolt template onto a piece of card stock and cut it out. Then we traced it onto the yellow felt to create four lightning bolts and cut each one out. We glued two lightning bolts together, making sure not to glue the last 1/2 inch together so that we could eventually open the ends and glue them to the mask.
To create the mask shape, we traced a sleeping mask onto a piece of red felt. Then we drew a 2 inch wide and 3 inch long band at either side of the mask. Flash’s mask has points at the bottom, so we added points to the bottom of ours. Once our drawing was complete, we cut out the mask. We had Charlie place the mask over his eyes, then we gently drew ovals on the felt where his eyes were. We had him remove the mask and then we cut out the ovals to create holes for his eyes. Once the glue was dry on the lightning bolts we opened the un-glued ends and glued them to each side of the mask using the felt glue. To make sure the lighting bolts stayed in place while the glue dried, we placed a heavy book on top of the mask. Once the glue was dry we sewed elastic to the sides of the mask.
The beauty of Primary’s clothing is that we were able to create Halloween costumes that will last far longer than any store bought ensemble, which means our kids can wear their costumes morning, noon and night…and anywhere in between! Knowing our kids that could mean they’ll be wearing these costumes until next Halloween!
Ashley + Hallman