Two hesitations about my (Lindsay) first Halloween as a dog-owner: the first is that I will spend a small fortune on a unique but uncomfortable costume my dog will tolerate for six minutes; the second is that I will spend days making a costume that will get only one night of wear. I don’t know how to use a sewing machine, I have no patience for hand sewing, and (tempting as it is) the Petco Lobster Costume isn’t going to cut it. If you feel where I’m coming from, let this No-Sew Dog Costume DIY (with printer-friendly templates) make your hound’s Halloween a little less frightening. Make it with craft felt with the pattern as a quick base for costume embellishment, then make it again with warmer fabrics later in the year for a cold-weather coat.
What you need:
Printer-friendly PDF (or full template JPEG)
36 x 36” square of craft felt
12 x 12” square of craft felt (optionally, in a different color)
Hot glue gun and glue
Iron-on Velcro strips
What you do:
Print, cut, and tape together the printer-friendly PDF, then cut out the template outlines. Note that this template was made for a 25-pound dog that measures 20” from neck to tail – if your dog is considerably bigger or smaller, you can resize the full template JPEG or freehand the general shape to a piece of butcher paper.
Line up the body template with the folded edge of your 36” felt and cut it out, such that the piece now unfolds into a sort of saddle. Cut out two copies of the strap from the smaller piece of felt. Using your dog’s body as a guide, mark on the inside of the “saddle” where the straps can comfortably connect under the belly.
Draw a generous line of hot glue on what will be the inside edge of the saddle, then attach straps. Lay out the Velcro on the far edge of the straps with the toothy side facing toward the work surface and fuzzy side facing you (when you connect the pieces on your dog, you want the toothy part to be close to the body, while the fuzzy side warps up to meet it).
Follow the instructions on the Velcro package to iron the pieces into place. Once the straps are attached, drape whole piece over your dog and attach the straps you just glued under his/her belly. Fold the arms of the U-shape around the chest and use a marker to note where two more pieces of Velcro will hold the arms in place.
Once all your pieces are in place, suit up your pup!
Might I offer a humble suggestion for creative costume direction?
I’m technically going for a little more “Liz the Chameleon” from The Magic School Bus and a little less “Baby Bop” from Barney, but hey, that’s why you start these things on the early side!