Homemade Halloween Costume - How To Make A Dinosaur Costume

Home Stager with Sharon Tara Transformations

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  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.


I bought the foam at Jo-Ann Fabric. It was a remnant piece and cost $19.99. I had quite a bit leftover for future projects. It is 1 1/4" thick.



Hot glue the top head section to a bike helmet.

top section of dino head


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. 

foam dino mouth



SEE COMMENT #102 BELOW: for a suggestion from Laura, who wishes she had covered foam with fabric prior to sewing them together. I don't know if it would work better that way, but it sounds like a good idea.


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.

See Comment #108 below: Laura suggests using Barge Rubber Cement to glue foam to helmet.

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

I lined the inside of the mouth with brown felt.


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.   


Jack love's his costume!!

jack's dinosaur costume

 If you make your own dinosaur costume, I hope you will come back and let me know. If you send me pics and allow me to share, I will add pics of your dino to this post.



More of My Halloween Costume Ideas:

Wearable Coffin

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Shell 

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)


March 2016

Received these pics from Mara (Comment #85) in France



Mara also made a Triceratops version for her daughter:



November 1, 2016

I received these pictures today

From Leah Kramer...Her son won 1st place with his costume:



From Heather Hemphill:



January 2017

Kathryn Todd sent these pics of her daughter Tilly. (Lincolnshire, England)



October 2017

Jessica Garrett's 4 year old son won First Place in his dino costume!

Jessica added a t'shirt and headphones for a rock'n good original look!



Nina Elder sent this picture and video of her son:




Melanie Kostopoulos sent these pics of her son:


November 1, 2018 

Mary Jo sent these pics of her son:


 November 1, 2019

Paige Bartos from North Carolina sent me these pics of her son in his dino costume!


November 5, 2019

Kelly Edmunds from Toronto Canada sent these pics and video of her son in his dino costume.





Does this ruin the bike helmet? Is it possible to pull the glue off the helmet when done? Just trying to decide if I should use the helmet we have or get a cheapo one somewhere.

Oct 07, 2017 12:35 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Erin:  I would consider it a fairly permanent application....I haven't tried removing the head from the helmet, but it's still well attached after 5 years. I would use an old or cheap one.

Oct 07, 2017 04:25 PM
kelley glidden

just finished this costume, probably the coolest thing I've ever made. thank you for the great tutorial .

Oct 15, 2017 08:49 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Kelley:  Thank you for letting me know! I would love to see it. Please contact me via the MESSAGE box at the upper right of this page and I will send you an email so you can send me a photo. I would love to share your dino with the others who I've added to the post.

Oct 15, 2017 12:53 PM
Cassandra Perez

Where did you buy the barges rubber cement? Do you think elmers rubber cement would work too?Thanks!!Cassandra

Oct 17, 2017 04:01 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Cassandra:  I didn't use rubber of the other commenters did. I used hot glue. I have no idea about the Elmer's....sorry.

I'm sure a google search would tell you where you can get it.

Oct 18, 2017 10:24 AM
Carrie M

What type of foam did you use for the head -- and any suggestions on where to purchase? (Is it styrofoam or a softer, bendier foam?

Many thanks!

Sep 18, 2018 07:18 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Carrie M:  I got the foam at JoAnn Fabrics. It was a remnant, 1 1/4" thick. See photo in Comment #71.

Sep 18, 2018 07:39 AM
carrie m

Thank you so much! Exactly what I needed :)

Sep 18, 2018 09:20 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Carrie:  If you send me a pic of your finished dino, I will add to the others I've received at bottom of post. Good luck!

Sep 18, 2018 09:55 AM
terri oppenheimer

I just finished making this for my grandson ... it turned out great! Thank you so much for posting the instructions. I would love to send you pictures but can't figure out how to send them to you.

Oct 20, 2018 11:05 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager


Scroll back up to top of page and under my profile pic on right hand side you will see an orange box that says:

Questions about Home Staging or Redesign? Send me a message.

Send me a message. You cannot include a photo, but I can reply to you and you will then have my email address and will be able to send the pic.


Oct 20, 2018 02:14 PM

Is there a video

Oct 25, 2018 03:52 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Rae:  No video. Sorry.

Oct 25, 2018 04:28 PM

How did u apply the fabric on the head???

Oct 26, 2018 07:38 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Rae : I used a hot glue gun.

Oct 27, 2018 01:28 PM

It was a lot of work, but when I showed my 3 year old the finished head and he said "it's perfect!" it was all worth it! Thank you for sharing all your instructions and tips for this costume!

Oct 31, 2018 11:45 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Mary:  I'm so happy your son was happy with your work. It's not an easy costume to make, but obviously it was made with love, and that helps!

Can't wait to see it!

Oct 31, 2018 05:16 PM

Best Halloween Costume I ever made . Tons of work but well worth it for my 4 yr old. Thank you so much for your great idea and o structions

Nov 01, 2018 12:12 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Rae:   I'm so happy that your child was happy with the costume!

  Scroll up to comment 121 for instructions on sending me a photo. If you do I will add it to the post with the others I've received.

Nov 02, 2018 05:09 PM