How to Make a Superhero Costume for Kids

Updated April 17, 2017

Halloween is a magical time of year. It is a day where children get to dress up as ghosts, goblins, princesses and superheroes and go tramping around the neighbourhood collecting treats. Mass produced costumes are expensive and allow for little creativity. Creating a homemade costume allows a child to have a one-of-a-kind costume that does not cost a fortune. Making a child's superhero costume is easy with the right materials and basic sewing knowledge.

Design or print a superhero applique pattern, such as a large "S" for Superman, or the first letter of your child's name. Also make a shield or oval background image, if desired.

Measure from the base of the child's neck to his knee.

Determine the width of the cape. The width will depend on the size of the child, but 20 inches works well for most children. It should be wide enough to cover the child's entire back, and wrap around a bit.

Fold the fabric in half.

Use a fabric pen to mark out the pattern of the cape. You'll be drawing one half of the pattern -- when you unfold the fabric, the two sides will be symmetrical. The pattern should be a biblike shape. Ensure that the pattern is half as wide as the desired width at the bottom. For example, the pattern would be 10 inches wide at the bottom if the desired width of the cape was 20 inches. Also make sure that the length matches the child's measurement from neck to knee.

Cut out the cape shape.

Fold the second piece of fabric in the same manner.

Place the first cut out of fabric on the second. Trace the shape.

Cut out the second shape.

Trace out the images for the superhero symbol on the paper side of Heat and Bond Lite. Trace the background image on a separate piece of Heat and Bond Lite for a shield symbol.

Cut out the superhero applique images, leaving excess paper around the traced line.

Iron the superhero applique images onto felt. Choose contrasting colours so the symbol pops out from the background.

Cut the superhero applique images out of the felt, cutting carefully along the lines.

Peel the paper off the superhero applique image.

Iron the superhero image onto the cape.

Use a sewing machine to applique the superhero image onto the cape to give it a finished look.

Lay the two pieces of cape cut out together with the symbol on the inside. Pin around the cap, leave enough room for a 1/2 inch seam.

Stitch the two pieces of cape together with a sewing machine. Leave a 4-inch opening on the bottom of the cape in order to turn it right side out.

Turn the cape right side out. Stitch the open 4-inch seam closed.

Attach hook and loop fasteners to the cape at the neck area so the cape can be fastened closed.

Outline a mask pattern around the child's eyes. Use either black or a colour slightly deeper than the main colour of the mask to set it off.

Colour in the entire mask area with one solid colour. Be careful to avoid the eyes.

Use a small sponge applicator to apply the eyebrows with black face paint.

Add highlights to the mask with white or black to give it a more realistic look. Concentrate on naturally raised areas of the mask such as the cheekbones and the forehead.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 2 colours of fabric, 3/4 yard each
  • Fabric pen
  • 3 colours of felt
  • Heat and Bond Lite
  • Sewing machine
  • hook and loop fastener
  • Face paint
  • Face paint brushes
  • Small sponge face paint applicator
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About the Author

Angie Oney has over 10 years experience in food manufacturing, in the fields of operations management, continuous improvement and human resources. She has a deep interest in green living, natural soap making and enjoys making pottery. Oney holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Kent State University and a Master of Science in management, human resources, from the University of Akron.