LIFESTYLE

DIY Dog Halloween Costumes: Amazing Ideas for An Amazing Time Together

Dog costumes
Emily Young
Written by Emily Young

Halloween should be a fun time for everyone involved, so why leave your pet being on the festivities? Sure, he may not be able to eat any of the Halloween candy that you have stashed away, but he can partake in the parade of costumes by having one of his own. Finding costumes at the pet store can be a fun and exciting time, but they can sometimes be a little pricy and might not fit your pet quite right.

Instead of struggling to find something at the store, why not consider DIY dog Halloween costumes that you can make at home? They can be quite fun, and your dog will simply love them.

13 DIY Dog Costumes

The main component of many of these costumes is a child-sized hoodie, jacket, or t-shirt. Any color is suitable, depending on the outfit you’re going for. Other materials that you’ll need for these homemade dog Halloween costumes are felt, a needle and matching thread, and any extra material you may need to make capes, depending on the costume. It’s best to keep in mind that the fabrics you choose should be non-toxic, non-flammable, and securely fastened to your dog.

Making a mummy costume

This costume can be quite easy to make, and requires a lot less sewing than you think. One of the easiest ways to make it is to buy several rolls of cotton gauze or multiple ACE bandages. Wrap the material around your dog’s legs, torso and head, and then fasten the ends with some masking tape. Plenty of space should be left open for your dog’s face and so that he can go to the bathroom. Be sure not to wrap them too tight, or your dog may end up choking.

Making a mummy costume

Another way of making this costume is to choose a white hoodie or t-shirt. The gauze bandages can be arranged and fastened to the hoodie through the use of sewing thread or non-toxic fabric glue. Use the bottom corners of the hoodie around your dog’s back legs in order to figure out the circumference, and then add a few stitches towards the bottom of the leg.

Making a skeleton costume

What’s not to like about a dog dressed as a skeleton? With his penchant for chewing on bones, he may even mistake the costume as a treat. This costume does take some time to make, and does require a bit of artistic proficiency. Using a black hoodie as a background, you can use white fabric paint or purchase some white felt fabric. Draw on with fabric paints, or cut the bone shapes out of the felt and affix them to the hoodie with fabric glue or stitches.

Making a skeleton costume

You can be as folksy and cartoony as possible, or you can be extremely detailed and make it look like a real dog skeleton. This costume can also be used again on the Mexican holiday for the Day of the Dead. For larger dogs, you can choose to add a pair of bicycle shorts with the crotch cut out and paint or dew felt bones onto them as well.

Making a ghost costume

We’ve all experienced not being able to come up with a Halloween costume, and choosing to go with a ghost. After all, it’s just a sheet with a pair of eye holes cut out for the face. It’s one of the easiest costumes that can be made, and the same can be said for this dog costume. All you’ll need is a white sheet, a length of elastic, a black marking pen, and a needle and thread.

You’re going to need your dog to be calm for this, as he’s going to have to sit there for a long time with a sheet on his head as you figure out how to turn it into a costume. Place the sheet over him, including his head, and arrange it so that it falls over his head evenly. Pin the spots that hang past your dog’s feet so that you can trim the length. Using a pen, mark the spots where his eyes, ears and snout would be.

Also mark where is neck is so that you know where to attach the elastic around his neck. Remove the sheet, cut out the holes, trim the length, and attach the elastic to the inside so that there is a neckband to hold the costume to the dog’s body.

Underdog costume

Not everyone remembers the famous cartoon, Underdog, the canine super hero, but it’s another easy costume you can make with a red t-shirt, some blue fabric, and some white paint or felt.

Underdog costume

After all, every dog is a hero to his owner, even if they don’t know it. Details are not a must in this costume so even a beginner can make this costume. Get a red child-sized shirt and draw a large U on it with white paint, or you can cut the shape out of white felt. It can be affixed to the shirt using thread to sew it on. Attach some Velcro to the back of the neck of the shirt, and attach half a yard of blue felt to it to form the cape. And you’re done!

Frankenstein’s monster

Why not go with a classic idea and dress your dog up as Frankenstein’s Monster? It will certainly be the talk of the town, and you can reuse it again and again each Halloween. This is not a costume idea for beginners, as it entails a lot of work. What you’ll need is a child-sized t-shirt that has been made ragged along the edges, some black felt, elastic, black ribbon, fabric glue, grey fabric, and a temporary collar with bolts attached to the sides.

Frankenstein pet costume

Cut out the black felt so that it looks like short hair, and have a bit of fringe falling down at the front to look like a fringe. Attach the elastic to either sides of the hair so that it can fit under your dog’s chin. Using another piece of elastic, measure around to the dog’s head so that it fits snuggly and not too tight, and stitch the ends together to form a head band. Cut several piece of black ribbon and attach them to the head band with fabric glue in the shape of Xs, so that they’ll look like stitches.

To make the bolts, cut tubes out of the grey fabric and close the ends with fabric glue after they’ve been stuffed with cotton balls. Then attach them to the temporary collar using fabric glue.

Eggs and bacon

This can be a costume for you and your dog, or you can wear one and your dog wears the other. What you’ll need are several different colors of felt in order to achieve the look. If you choose to make these costumes for both your dogs, you can wear an apron and a chef’s hat to complete the look.

The tutorial video for making these costumes can be found here:

Corn dog

Why not go for a pun this holiday season? Instead of dressing your dog up as the fried snack, why not dress him as a corn on the cob? That way, you get the opportunity to make a horrible pun that will either get your friends laughing or having them rolling their eyes in dismay. You’re going to need a little more money to make this costume work – about $25 – as it requires some more unusual materials. What you’ll need are craft foam balls, yellow spray paint, Velcro, spray adhesive, an exacto knife, making pen, pinking shears with zig-zag pattern, and yellow and green broadcloth.

Dog corn

You’ll first need to measure your dog in three important areas: the shoulder blades to the rump, the middle of the chest to the beginning of the back leg, and the circumference of the chest.

To create the corn kernels, you’ll need to cut the foam balls in half with an exacto knife. Once that’s done, place them on a flat surface on some newspaper and spray pay them yellow. Be sure to have some windows open in order to provide good ventilation. Allow the balls to dry for an hour or so.

Using the yellow fabric, measure 1/3 of the circumference and then mark the back measurement along the fold, starting from the front end. Cut the fabric along these lines. To create the belly straps, cut two three-inch wide strips that are roughly eight to twelve inches long, depending on the size of your dog. Using the pinking shears in this process will prevent the fabric from fraying.

To create the leaves, use the side measurement from the beginning of the fabric and draw a rough leaf shape, then cut it out with pinking shears. Next, add Velcro to the leaves by cutting it into two-inch square and stapling or sewing them to the lead. Then put the leaves together and place the yellow fabric over the dog’s back. Use pins to pin the leaves to the yellow fabric, taking care not to injure your dog. Remove the fabric from your dog and pin on the belly straps.

Dog in corn costume

Reinforce the belly straps by sewing around the edges and then a diagonal line through it. To attach the leaves to the yellow fabric, sew at least an inch away from the edges of the leaves. Then, flip the fabric over and sew an inch away from the edge of the yellow fabric. This makes the costume sturdy. Trim all of your loose threads when you’re finished.

Now it’s time to complete the straps that go on your dog’s belly with Velcro. Extend the straps out by placing the costume on a flat surface. Add two inches to the chest circumference and you’ve got the measuring of the belly straps. Make marks and cut away any fabric that is not necessary. Use about 3” of Velcro and attach them to opposite sides of the straps.

Once that’s done, it’s time to add your kernels. Lay the costume flat again and spray the flat ends of your foam balls with glue. Place them on the yellow fabric in a regular pattern until it’s completely covered. Wait an hour for the glue to completely dry. Your corn dog costume is now complete.

Hogwarts uniform

The great thing about this great costume is that you can customize it with a different color tie to represent each house, allowing you to wear the costume next year without it looking old. The costume is adorable, is made to last, and your dog will certainly turn a lot of heads.

These instructions are for a Gryffindor uniform, but you can change some of the colors to suit your favorite house. The materials you’ll need are:

  • black colored fabric
  • deep purple colored fabric
  • maroon colored fabric
  • a big, yellow, and fun ribbon
  • one of your used grey t-shirts that you don’t use anymore
  • a shirt with a white collar
  • red, black, white, and gold felt
  • adhesive especially made for fabric
  • adhesive that you can iron-on
  • needle for sewing
  • thread colored grey and black (separately)
  • Velcro
  • a black marker to mark the edges

To create the vest, you’re going to need a grey child-sized t-shirt. Make sure to choose a size for the t-shirt that will best fit your dog without it being too tight. Cut the sleeves off the shirt and then make a cut on the middle of the back of the shirt.

To make the tie, you can either use one that you’ve found, or you can make your own by hand. If you decide to make it, begin with a piece of maroon fabric that is seven inches long and two inches wide. Hem both sides of the fabric and attach pieces of yellow ribbon to the fabric using the adhesive that can be ironed on. Fold the edges over to the back side and fix with more adhesive. In order to make the knot, you should cut one piece of the maroon fabric that’s four inches long.

Continue with wrapping around the top of the toe and glue together with adhesive. Fold the top down to cover the ends and use more adhesive, and your tie now has a knot.

Take your collared shirt and trim it until you have only the piece that goes in front. Sew it into the piece (in front) and add the tie with a few stitches or some adhesive. Then sew around the whole shirt and sweater piece to keep everything in place. Either hand stitching or using a sew machine will do the trick.

Hogwarts uniform

Next, using iron-on adhesive or stitches add Velcro on the back of the piece you just created. The front piece is now complete. Now it’s time to start with the cape. Take a ruler or a measuring tape and measure your dog from his front leg to his back leg, and add two inches. Measure from the neck to the tail and again add two inches.

Cut out the black colored fabric to these measurements and then hem all the sides to make the hood. Cut a piece of black and purple colored fabrics, and bring the opposite sides together. Pin the two short sides and one width, and then sew on these three sides. Turn the fabric inside out and then fold a one-inch hem. Sew it to the cape.

In order to make the ties, cut two pieces of black fabric measuring 2 1/5 inches by 12 inches. Hem the strips to one inch and sew onto the cape.

Now your dog is ready to parade throughout the night wearing his school uniform. Too bad he won’t be able to carry a wand, but his appearance will be nothing short of magical.

E.T. costume

If you thought making a ghost costume was easy, this may be an even easier costume to make and requires no sewing at all. The only down side to creating an E.T. costume is that it only really works with small dog breeds, as you’re going to have to be carrying them around most of the time. Basically, just wrap your dog in a blanket and place him in the basket of a bike that you can carry around. That’s all you really need. Just don’t try to offer him any Reese’s Pieces if you don’t want him to get sick.

E.T. dog costume

No matter which Halloween costume you choose to make, it’s important that you and your dog are safe throughout the evenings. It can be a night of fun and excitement, but it’s not meant for every dog, so if your dog is extremely shy and becomes quite nervous around screaming children and people being rowdy, then it might be best that you stay home for the evening. Make sure that any children you encounter don’t offer your dog any candy or chocolate, as this is not only bad for his teeth, but also really bad for his health.

You can still take him for walks during the day when less people are out so that you can show off the costume you made. You might even get a few dog treats from the neighbors for his wonderful costume. In the end, however, if it seems that your dog is not fond of his costume and is always trying to take it off, it’s best to take it off so that it doesn’t frustrate him further.

About the author
Emily Young
Emily Young

Emily is originally from China where she graduated from The University of Hong Kong with high distinction learning about fashion and design. During university she opened her own magazine about Dog Fashion as dogs were always in her heart. She was surprised, when she moved to a beautiful British Columbia 10 years ago, to see many great Boutiques with dog's designer clothing and desire of pet owners to make their babies look nice.

  • Alicia Jane

    The Hogwarts one is the best!!

    • Thank you, Alicia! I honestly like the Frankenstein one :)

  • Leny Brown

    Yeah, making dog costume is great especially for bigger breeds. My Mom used to make those adorable costumes for our big dogs (80lbs+) and it was hilarious! Nowadays, are there any stores that sell costumes especially for large breeds? There seemed to be lesser options for bigger breeds than those cute small dogs. :(

    • Emily Young

      You are right that there are more compatible options for Halloween costumes for smaller breeds than the medium and large sized dogs, but it does not limit your potential to make a great costume! You should expand your horizons and try to blow-up the patterns of the smaller sized costumes and see how it goes.

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