Homemade Halloween Costume - How To Make A Dinosaur Costume

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Home Stager with Sharon Tara Transformations
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Homemade Halloween Costume - How To Make A Dinosaur Costume

My three year old grandson, Jack, wants to be a dinosaur for Halloween...not just any dinosaur, Jack wants to be a Spinosaurus.

I looked online for ideas, but all I could find were cutesy dinosaurs... sew some triangles down the back of a hoodie and add a tail to the bottom.  Jack doesn't want to be "cute"... Jack wants to be scary.

I LOVE creating Halloween costumes and was excited to take on the challenge.  A couple of people online suggested using foam to create a dinosaur head...so  I bought a 46 x 70 piece of 1 1/4" foam ( I ended up using about 1/2 of it), got an old bike helmet, and got to work.

 

I couldn't be happier with the results!!

homemade dinosaur costume

Want to make a dinosaur costume for Halloween?  Here's how I did it....

Dinosaur Head

pattern for foam dinosaur head

Using scissors or a serrated knife, cut out a 16" x 22" piece of foam. 

Round off one end.

Measure down 14" from straight end, and cut a 3" slit on both sides.

Cut two more slits (on rounded end) as shown in picture.

 

Bending all the pieces and attaching them together forms the top of your dinosaur head.

 

Start by hand sewing section A to section B.  (A should overlap B)

Next, attach section C to section B.  (C should overlap B)

Next, attach the remaining side sections (D & E) to the rounded section.

 

 

Hot glue the top head section to a bike helmet.

top section of dino head

 

foam dino mouth

 

 

 

Cut out a 9" x 18" piece of foam for bottom of mouth.

Round off corners at one end.

Cut out a 5" x 7" opening at straight end.  (This is where child's neck goes.)

Cut out a 3.5" x 45" piece of foam for side of mouth.

Hand sew the two pieces of foam together.   Side piece should be on outside of mouth piece, not on top of it. 

 

 

Hot glue the mouth piece to the top of the head.  This gets a little tricky.  You have to glue it to both the foam and to the helmet.  If you have any glue gun experience at all, you know this is where the cursing begins.   After the bottom was glued on, I made a few tucks (See A & B)  using needle and thread, to give the head a better shape.  I then attached a piece of foam to cover the back.  (C)

making foam dinosaur head

adding details to foam dinosaur head

 

Time to get really creative and add some detail features.

I added two triangle pieces of foam to shape the eyes and another  longer triangle between the eyes.

I attached spikes running down the back of the head and neck.

I used hot glue to attach all the foam pieces.

You have to press hard and hold in place for a little while for foam to stick to foam.  

Expect more cursing!

 

As if I hadn't been burned enough yet, I then used the glue gun to cover the entire head with green felt.

I lined the inside of the mouth with brown felt.

I added teeth cut from craft foam....one sheet took care of the whole mouth.

 

dino head covered with felt

I cut a styrofoam egg in half and hot glued a plastic eyeball to each half.

I used brown and silver fabric paint on the entire costume to create more detail.  

make your own dinosaur head

 

Dinosaur Tail:

I followed this fabulous "How To Make A Dinosaur Tail" tutorial.

 

Dinosaur Hands and Feet:

Rather than have Jack wear the dino hands, I chose to make them to sit on top of his hands.  I cut pieces from felt, sewed them together and lightly stuffed.  I attached a piece of elastic to the palm side to fit around Jack's wrist.

dino hands and feet

The dino feet are the same pattern as the hands, just a little bigger.  I added a "cuff" and pieces of velcro to the top of each foot which will wrap around Jack's ankle.  A piece of elastic is attached to the bottom.  (The elastic will be under Jack's shoe and hold the dino foot in place.

I used packing peanuts for claws....cut a point at one end and attached with hot glue.  

 

The Dinosaur's Body:

My suggestion would be to use a sweatshirt and sweatpants.  I had green felt already glued to the head when I realized I couldn't find green sweats.  I had to improvise.  I found two matching sweatshirts at The Salvation Army.  I used one of the sweatshirts to make the pants.  Honestly, I won't even try to write a tutorial for Jack's dino body because I just sort of pieced it together and made it all work.

I recommend determining your body color (finding sweats) before buying felt for the other parts.  

 

If you do make your own dinosaur costume, I hope you will come back and share a picture!

Jack love's his costume!!

jack's dinosaur costume

    

More of My Halloween Costume Ideas:

Thomas The Train Costume

Costumes For Kids

Halloween Costume Ideas

Skeleton In Coffin Costume

Halloween Costumes For Groups

 

UPDATE Oct 2015

Here are some photos shared by others who have made this costume using my tutorial:

 

Robb Landis (Comment #57)

Adrienne Johnson (See her tips in Comment #80)

 

Hope Dulac (Comment #83)

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Evelyn Kennedy 10/28/2012 04:58 PM
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Anonymous
Val

I know this is made for a child but to an adult how is the size ratio? I need to make something similar but just not as big or bulky. If you search "Dry Bones" from Super Mario you will see what I mean. Do you think this setup will work for what I'm planning or should I keep looking?

Jan 15, 2015 08:14 PM #64
Rainmaker
1,422,275
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Val:  Size wise it would also work for an adult.  The difference would be the helmet used and the size of the opening that goes over your head.  I can't wear mine because the hole is too small to fit over my head, but the proportions of it overall would be plenty big enough to look right if I were wearing it.

As for Dry Bones....it's just a matter of the shaping of the foam to make it look like that character.

Yes, I think this would work for you.

Hope this helps!

Jan 16, 2015 12:02 PM #65
Anonymous
JP

This just looks so real... Have you ever made a giraffe costume for kids? My son has a show at his school and wants to dress up as a giraffe. Any ideas on how to make one??????

Jun 18, 2015 02:50 AM #66
Rainmaker
1,422,275
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

JP:  I have not made a giraffe costume. But a quick google search and I found these ideas:

DIY Giraffe

Homemade Giraffe 

No Sew Giraffe

You could certainly use my directions and just modify the length of the neck, but it's a lot of work for a school show.  I would make something using ideas from all of the above links.  Good luck!  Hope your son is happy with his costume!

Jun 18, 2015 06:18 AM #67
Anonymous
Hope

Hi Sharon. Amazing costume. I'm attempting to make it now for my son. He's super excited. Can you share how you have his tail attached? Thanks!

Sep 25, 2015 07:29 AM #68
Rainmaker
1,422,275
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Hope:  That is Awesome!  I may be making another one this year for my granddaughter...she wants to be a purple dino.

Follow the link to the instructions for the tail....there's a belt attached that velcro ties around the waist.

Please come back and share a photo when you are done!!!!

Sep 25, 2015 08:28 AM #69
Anonymous
me

really cool costume, but what kind of foam did you use?

Oct 05, 2015 06:48 PM #70
Rainmaker
1,422,275
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I'm not sure what they call it. I bought it at Jo-Ann Fabric. It was a remnant piece and cost $19.99. I still have quite a bit leftover for future projects.

It's 1 1/4" thick.

Oct 06, 2015 10:40 AM #71
Anonymous
Adrienne

I was trying to figure out what foam you used and had hoped it wasn't the $19.99 a yard stuff. That's all I could find at Joanne's. I'm making 2 of your costumes, so i can't justify spending that much on foam. Trying to figure out an alternative because i LOVE your costume :) Thanks!!

Oct 09, 2015 07:41 PM #72
Rainmaker
1,422,275
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

It wasn't 19.99 per yard. It was a pretty big piece rolled up and marked 19.99.  I hope you find some....wish I had a better source for you. 

Oct 09, 2015 07:50 PM #73
Anonymous
Adrienne

Oh yes, sorry! To clarify- I looked at the prices last night and the 1 inch thick stuff was 19.99 per yard and it's only about 25 inches wide I believe. So, I will keep lookin! :)

Oct 10, 2015 04:53 AM #74
Rainmaker
1,422,275
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Go in the store and look for remnant rolls. Good luck! It will all be worth it when you are done!

Oct 10, 2015 06:10 AM #75
Anonymous
Adrienne

Oh boy, me again! Sorry! Any chance you have tips (or a pic!?) on how to sew the rounded front of the top of the head together? I have my pieces cut, but am having a hard time imagining how to sew it....? Thanks!

Oct 10, 2015 06:34 PM #76
Rainmaker
1,422,275
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

No other pics. I just kind of pushed it into place and used needle and thread to keep it there. Sorry....wish I could be more specific. 

Oct 10, 2015 07:41 PM #77
Rainmaker
715,228
Inna Ivchenko
Mannis Real Estate Group - Calabasas, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Los Angeles CA

My daughter can not stop bugging me for a perfect Halloween costume:) Halloween fun is coming again!

Your post is so great, love it ( again:)

Oct 11, 2015 11:55 PM #78
Rainmaker
1,422,275
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Inna Ivchenko  Well whatever costume you make for your daughter, please share a picture of it!  Do a post so we can all see!

Oct 12, 2015 06:57 AM #79
Anonymous
Adrienne

I just finished making two of these costumes. I love how they turned out, but it took me almost 30 hours over the past month to complete them (yes I kept track! Haha)Some things I learned:- when seeing b to c (and others) cross over at least two-three inches to achieve the shape the head needs. - I found that fabric spray adhesive what much less frustrating and time consuming than hot glue when applying the fabric to the foam.-I found that individually covering all the head pieces in fabric (I used fleece), it was much easier, less stressful and a better finished look. -I decided not to do fabric paint just to save money and allow rewear to the hoodie and pants I made and it still looks okay.- I sewed a hoodie for both kids with matching triangles to the tail so if they get sick of the big head they can put their hood up and still have a costume. -seeing foam is hard! You need a sharp needle (I had to replace at least once!) and a thimble (or 4) to make the process easiest. -for the hands and feet I sewed a strip of fleece to go around their wrists and ankles, but I also attached elastic to go around their hand and bottom of their foot to hold it in place. That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Wanted to share in case people ere interested because I loved your tutorial! Is there a way to share a photo of my costumes with you?

Oct 28, 2015 06:28 PM #80
Rainmaker
1,422,275
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Adrienne: I appreciate you taking the time to add your suggestions from your experience making the costume.  TWO of them....wow? Impressive!  It's a lot of work!

  Send the picture to me at sharon@sharontara dot com  ( I'm not putting the  .com  at end of email because I don't want spam)  I hope this isn't too confusing.

I will share the picture here in the comments.

Thank you!!!!

Oct 29, 2015 11:25 AM #81
Anonymous
Hope

Just wanted to say thank you a million times over for the amazing instructions on this dinosaur costume. I made it for my son and it was a HUGE hit. First place in the town halloween parade for scariest costume. Best costume at his school. Rave reviews from everyone and best of all my son LOVED it. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Here is a link to a photo - I hope it works. Not sure how to place a photo in the comments. Thank you again.

Nov 03, 2015 11:28 AM #83
Rainmaker
1,422,275
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Hope:   Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and tell me how happy you are with your dino!  Made my day!  I'm adding your pics to the post like I did the others who shared.  You did a great job!

Nov 03, 2015 01:06 PM #84
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