If your child has his heart set on being a dinosaur for Halloween or a costume party, you don't have to break the bank by buying an expensive store-bought costume. You can make an adorable dinosaur costume with a simple green sweatsuit and some craft foam. Some of the best costumes are homemade costumes, and they allow you to showcase your artistic talents. Your child's costume is sure to get noticed and people will rave about your creative skills. You can use any colours you want for a custom dinosaur costume that your child will love.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Green hooded sweatshirt
- Green sweatpants
- Yellow craft foam
- Black craft foam
- Green craft foam
- White craft foam
- Hot glue
- Hot glue sticks
- Red fabric paint
- Large foam block
- Nylon stocking
- Green paint
- Brown paint
- Elastic string
- Old shoes
- Coloured glitter pens
Make the dinosaur belly by cutting out five rectangles and two triangle foam shapes of different size from yellow craft foam. You'll need a wide rectangle for the centre of the belly, two rectangles that are two inches shorter than the first, two rectangles that are two inches shorter than the second rectangle sizes and two triangles with bases that are two inches shorter than the third rectangle sizes.
Glue the yellow foam pieces onto the front of the sweatshirt, starting with a small triangle at the top of the shirt, using larger pieces as you get to the centre of the belly and then gradually descending to a small triangle piece on the bottom. The top triangle should point up and the bottom triangle should point down.
Cut out triangles from yellow craft foam for the spikes and glue them up the back of the shirt so that the point of the triangles stick out and the base is glued to the shirt. You can make three-dimensional spikes by making cones from the foam and gluing them to the shirt. To make a cone, cut a circle out of the foam and make one cut from the outside to the centre of the circle. Slide one edge of the new cut over the other to make the desired depth of cone. Hot glue one or both edges of the cone to itself to retain its shape. Allow them to cool before putting them on the costume.
Paint the inside of the sweatshirt hood with red fabric paint. This will be the inside of the dinosaur mouth.
Cut out small white triangles of craft foam for teeth and glue them along the inside edge of the hood. Make them as cute or gnarly as you please.
Cut two three-inch diameter circles from white foam and two one-inch diameter circles from black foam. Glue the black circles inside of the white circles to make eyes and then glue one eye to each side of the hood, just above where the person's ears would be.
Cut two 1 1/2-inch teardrop shapes from black foam for the nostrils and glue them on the top of the hood near the front edge.
Carve a rounded tail from a large foam block, using your child's back as a guide for the size of tail and angle of the base so that it hangs properly when he wears it. You can carve it with a regular knife or use a hot foam-cutting wire if you have one.
Pull an old nylon stocking over the tail to prevent the foam from chipping and tie it off at the base of the tail. Paint the nylon to match the sweatsuit using either spray paint or acrylic craft paint.
Cut out foam circles and glue them to the tail and sweatshirt to give your dinosaur some spots if you wish. The circle colour can coordinate with your spikes or belly or you can use any colour of your child's choice.
Cut a small, deep, rectangular hole through the tail near the base and fit a belt through it to hold it around your child's waist. You may need to hold the tail up to your child's back in order to get the right angle for the hole. Ensure the hole is deep enough that it won't rip the foam when carrying the tail's weight.
Trace large webbed hands onto green foam paper and cut them out. Paint the tips brown for the claws and draw on scales if you wish.
Staple two pieces of elastic string to the inside of the hands so your child can wear them. Measure them on your child so that one fits around his wrist and the other fits across the palm of his hand so he can grip it.
Draw large claw feet on green foam paper and cut them out. Paint brown claws or draw on scales if you wish.
Glue the foam claw feet onto an old pair of your child's shoes or staple elastic string to the underside so he can stretch them over his shoes.
Give your dinosaur glistening scales by tracing the foam pieces with glitter pens in matching colours and drawing scales onto the sweatsuit with a green glitter pen. Skip this step if you prefer.
Tips and warnings
- You can make the same costume using a leotard or a pair of footed pyjamas, but you'll have to sew on a hood.
- Feel free to use your own combination of colours and take creative liberties for this costume.
- If you are a very dedicated costume maker and want the dinosaur to be covered in scales, you can cut out foam scales to match the colour of the sweatsuit and glue them on in layered rows to cover all the fabric.
- If needed or desired, you can use the colour for the tail to colour areas of the sweatshirt -- using other colours on both if wished -- to make them look more similar in colours and patterns to look more like one whole instead of two pieces.
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