Homemade fish costume for a child

Updated March 21, 2017

A fish costume is a great idea for a child who loves sea creatures or has several fish. This costume can be used during a school play or for Halloween and can be made in a variety of different ways. No matter what your skill is in sewing, you'll be able to make a quality fish costume for your child.

Cardboard Fish

Take two pieces of cardboard roughly 3-feet long and 1 1/2-feet high. Draw an outline of a fish on cardboard and cut it out. With your child, cover the cardboard with butcher paper, using glue to make it stick. Colour a fish on both sides, making it any colour you wish. Have your child stand up and place the tail to the tail and the head to the head with your child standing in between the pieces. Using a stapler or super glue, fasten the costume together. Have your child step out of the cardboard fish and then attach two 3- to 5-foot pieces of string or twine to either side so that your child can put it over their shoulders. They can then use them to keep the costume on their body.

The Sew Fish

Purchase a hoodie and trousers that are the same colour (some suggestions include red, blue or yellow). Go to your local fabric store and purchase a piece of felt or cotton material that is similar to the colour of the trousers and hoodie you purchased. Purchase about 3 to 5 feet of material, depending on the size of your child. You will also want to purchase cotton or felt to decorate the fish with.

Next, you will make a vest out of the fabric. Fold your longer piece of fabric in half and cut a hole big enough for your child's head. Cut the front part of the fabric so it falls at about their knees, and then cut the back into a tail-shaped pattern. Cut the rest of your fabric into half-moon shapes to glue or sew onto the vest to create scales. You can use glittery fabric or just regular, depending on your preference.

After you finish the vest, put the hoodie on your child and mark where you'd like to make eyes. Purchase a foam ball and cut it directly in half, gluing each half where you made your mark. Take a permanent marker and colour in eyes. You child will wear the vest and the hoodie on his head to complete the look.

The Sewing-Optional Fish

Use the same instructions as the cardboard fish, but instead use foam core and material for the straps. Cover the fish with flashy glittery fabric that looks like scales, or cut half moons and sew or glue them all over the fish's body. If you'd like to use fabric but do not want to sew (it can be extremely difficult to use a needle in foam core), use glue instead. Make sure you stretch the fabric way out over the foam core so that it does not sag when attached.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Writing since 2008, Fiona Miller has taught English in Eastern Europe and also teaches kids in New York schools about the Holocaust. Her work can be found on, ConnectED and various other Web sites. Miller holds a B.A. in French from Chapman University and an M.A. in educational theater from New York University.