Americans will spend about $330 million on costumes for their pets this season, according to a National Retail Federation survey. About 13 percent of Americans celebrating Halloween will include their pets in the fun. That’s 22 million pet costumes—a 65 percent increase from 2010, according to News Week.
Here’s a look at four do-it-yourself costumes for your pet—to save you a few dollars and to bring the satisfaction that comes with completing a creative project.
1. The Classic Ghost
What you’ll need: a white sheet, elastic, needle and white thread, marker, scissors.
If you can get your dog to stay still long enough, throw a sheet over its head and pin the sheet to mark where you want to cut it so it’s above your pet’s paws. Use a marker to mark where your dog or cat’s eyes and snout are so you can cut holes after you’ve removed the sheet. Also mark with a pin where your pet’s neck is, being careful not to poke your pet with the pin.
Take the sheet off, cut where you’ve marked, and sew elastic to the inside of the sheet where your pet’s neck will be to keep the sheet in place.
Only rudimentary sewing is necessary, but here’s a video to show you the basics of sewing if you have not sewn before:
2. Eggs and Bacon
What you’ll need: pieces of fabric in maroon, pink, white, and yellow; fabric glue; scissors.
3. Frankenstein’s Creature
What you’ll need: a piece of black felt, a piece of gray fabric, elastic, fabric glue, needle and thread, scissors.
Cut a piece of black felt the size of the top of your pet’s head with fringes so it looks like black hair. Sew an elastic strap to either side to strap under your pet’s chin. Make sure it’s tight enough to keep the felt in place, but not too tight for comfort.
Take a strip of red elastic and measure it around your pet’s head so it fits snugly. This will be placed around your pet’s head to look like an incision where it had head surgery. You can use left-over pieces of the black felt and cut them into tiny, rectangular pieces. You can also use black ribbon for this purpose. Use the fabric glue to glue them in X-shapes along the red elastic to look like stitches.
It will look something like this Etsy Halloween choker:
The last touch: bolts in the neck. You can either use fabric to fashion a collar, or buy a cheap one for the purpose. Cut two rectangular strips of gray fabric and fold them each into a tube shape about the width of a bolt, stuffing them with cotton; use fabric glue to hold hold the tube shape. Cover one of the open ends of the tube with another piece of gray fabric, and secure the other open end to the collar using fabric glue.
Voila, Frankenstein’s creature.
4. Pepé Le Pew
What you’ll need: Tape measure, black faux fur, white faux fur, black doggy t-shirt or black children’s tank top of an appropriate size for your dog, hot glue gun or fabric glue.
Measure the length of your pet’s body. Cut a portion of the black faux fur in a sort of guitar shape; the body of the guitar is the length of your pet’s body, and the neck of the guitar is the skunk’s tail. Glue it to the shirt. Cut a white faux fur strip and glue it on the black fur.
See video for a demonstration: