4 Safe & Easy Halloween Costumes You Can Make Yourself (Video)

Kids Dressed Up as a Unicorn, Shark, Dinosaur and Lion

Finding Halloween costumes your kids want to wear is one thing, finding affordable, safe options is another. The UnityPoint Health creative team put together four, DIY Halloween costume ideas for you, all made from hooded sweatshirts and a few supplies. Keep your little ones safe and warm this Halloween on the cheap!

*Prices are for supplies only, not including the hooded sweatshirts.

#1 Hooded Sweatshirt Unicorn: $11 and 1 hour

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 hooded sweatshirt
  • 9 pieces of 9x12 felt in preferred colors
  • 1 piece of gold foam board
  • Felt and fabric glue (hot glue, optional)

How You’ll Make It (Video)

  1. Fold a piece of felt horizontally (hotdog-style) in half, bending the top edge back toward the folded seam.
  2. Place glue about an inch and a half from the edge of bottom side. Press felt onto glue. Then, cut toward (not through) the glued area. Repeat using six pieces of felt total. These will form the mane.
  3. For the tail, fold each of the remaining three pieces of felt horizontally (hamburger-style), leaving an inch between the edges.
  4. Cut each until the folded line, creating long strips. Next, stack the three pieces of felt almost on top of each other, and place a heavy line of glue at the top. Roll felt onto glue to seal.
  5. Attach the mane with the six pieces of felt you prepared earlier (steps 1 & 2). Place a line of glue on the felt edge, and press along the hood seam of sweatshirt. (You may need to snip tiny cuts into felt edge to help felt bend and lay against the curve.) Once the first two pieces are attached, one to the hood of the sweatshirt and one down the back, layer the remaining four on either side of the first pieces.
  6. Roll the gold foam into a cone shape, and seal the edge with glue. Once dry, firmly glue to the top of the hood. (If you cut the gold foam to make the horn, use the extra scraps to create “hooves,” which can be glue at the edge of the sleeves.)
  7. Attach the tail to the back of the sweatshirt using glue or safety pins.

#2 Hooded Sweatshirt Lion: $14 and 45 minutes

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 hooded sweatshirt
  • 4 pieces of 12x18 felt, 2 orange and 2 brown
  • Felt and fabric glue (hot glue, optional)

How You’ll Make It (Video)

  1. Fold a piece of felt horizontally (hotdog-style) in half, bending the top edge back toward the folded seam.
  2. Place glue about an inch and a half from the edge of bottom side. Press felt together onto glue. Then, cut toward (not through) the glued area. Repeat using two pieces of felt total, one of each color, which will form the mane.
  3. Cut the remaining pieces of felt in half horizontally (hotdog-style). Use half of the orange and brown, and cut three long strips out of each. Layer the strips on top of each other, then braid to make tail. Wrap and glue small scrap of felt at the bottom to secure.
  4. Use the left over half of brown felt to cut lion ears.
  5. To attach the mane, line the outside of the hood with glue, and press felt down. Continue gluing and placing felt around the hood to form layers. Alternate felt colors for every layer.
  6. Glue ears into place between layers of felt. Secure tail with glue or safety pins.


#3 Hooded Sweatshirt Shark: $7 and 30 minutes

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 hooded sweatshirt
  • 1 pieces of 9x12 white felt
  • 1 pieces of 11x17 gray foam
  • Felt and fabric glue (hot glue, optional)

How You’ll Make It (Video)

  1. Cut one piece of the white felt horizontally (hotdog-style) into thirds. Layer the three pieces one on top of the other, forming a stack. Then, cut one edge in a zig-zag pattern through the three layers, not cutting through the top edge of the felt. After cutting the zig-zag, use the triangle pieces with the straight edge as the teeth.
  2. Line the flat edge of the teeth with glue and attach to the sweatshirt on the inside of the hood. Repeat to line the entire inside of the hood.
  3. For the fin, fold the gray foam in half (hamburger-style), and cut a triangle. Unfold, so a diamond is formed. Place a line of glue in the center of the diamond shape, and press against the middle back of the sweatshirt. Once firmly attached, place glue along one side of the diamond shape, and press together to form large triangle.
    Optional: feel free to add a button eye, if desired.


#4 Hooded Sweatshirt Dinosaur: $7 and 30 minutes

What You’ll Need

  • 1 hooded sweatshirt
  • 4 pieces of 9x12 lime green felt
  • Felt and fabric glue (hot glue, optional)

How You’ll Make It (Video)

  1. Fold a piece of felt horizontally (hotdog-style), and cut into triangle shapes. Unfold, so a diamond is formed.
  2. Place a line of glue in the center of the diamond shape, and press against the top of the hoodie along the seam line. Continue placing glue and the diamond shapes down the back of the sweatshirt.
  3. Once dry, line half of the diamond shapes with glue, and bring the points together and press firmly. Repeat this to form all triangles down the back of the sweatshirt.
  4. Take the remaining piece of felt, and cut a thin, angled triangle. This will form the base of the tail. Attach the tail to the sweatshirt by gluing it under the hem.
  5. Attach the remaining triangle to the base of the tail, so you finish with a line of spikes all the way down the back.

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