How to Make a Cape out of an Old Coat

Updated November 21, 2016

Making a cape out of an old coat is a wise way to create a cost-saving costume. Using an old coat is fast and effective; whether you are intending to get into character for a Halloween or theme party, or you are crafting costumes for a school play. Dress up as a vampire or wizard, for example, by following a few basic steps to transform your idea into a dynamic wardrobe piece.

Select a coat that drapes to your waist or below -- a trench coat, for example. Pull the sleeves inside out. Sew or hot glue the sleeves to the inside of the coat. Use an "F" or "G" size thread -- thicker threads -- to enhance durability. Remove any buttons on the outside of the coat as well.

Place the end of a measuring tape where your chest and right shoulder connect. Pull the tape across your body to where your chest and left shoulder connect. Cut a piece of 2- to 3-inch wide elastic band to this length. Sew each end of the band into the shoulder regions of the coat. The band will hold the cape in place as you wear it.

Make and attach a hood. Measure the width and height of your head. Add 3 inches to each dimension. If your head is 6 inches long, for example, it now measures 9 for the sake of this step. Mark down these enhanced dimensions onto a large piece of felt. Cut out a semicircle using the length and width dimensions. Sew the bottom of the semicircle into the upper back of the coat. Adding those 3 inches to the width and height gives the hood fullness to drape over your head with ease.

Trace and cut out patches -- different sized stars, for example -- and glue them on the outside of the cape. Add glitter to make the cape sparkle.

Things You'll Need

  • Trench coat
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Elastic band
  • Felt
  • Hot Glue
  • Markers
  • Glitter
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About the Author

Jeffery Keilholtz began writing in 2002. He has worked professionally in the humanities and social sciences and is an expert in dramatic arts and professional politics. Keilholtz is published in publications such as Raw Story and Z-Magazine, and also pens political commentary under a pseudonym, Maryann Mann. He holds a dual Associate of Arts in psychology and sociology from Frederick Community College.