Sunday, November 2, 2014

DIY Octopus Costume

A couple of months ago, I started feeling out the boys for what they might want to be for Halloween. I'm not super crafty, so if I'm going to need to make something, well, I need lots of time. Lex wavered quite a bit between the creeper from Mine-craft (which would require some crafting) and Spider-man ($15 at Walmart). He settled on Spider-man making his Halloween preparation incredibly easy. Eli, however has insisted since the day I asked that he wanted to be an octopus. Why you may ask? I have no idea. We don't have any toy octopuses, and I haven't seen any on the cartoons they watch. He knows what one is because we do have some non-fiction books on marine animals, but I have never heard him talk about liking the octopus any greater than other animals until the costume conversation began. I kept asking him just to be sure, but he never wavered - even a little bit. He wanted to be an octopus.

So I started my research on Pinterest and found surprisingly few DIY octopus costumes there. I spent quite a while looking on Google images but didn't find a good how-to guide. I did however find inspiration in understanding that really all we needed were 8 legs and some eyes. How hard can that be? 

So I started piece by piece putting our octopus together. Eli and Lex both offered lots of help along the way.

The first purchase were these leggings which I purchased mainly for the color. I got the largest size available because I envisioned the legs going from Eli's neck and wanted them to be fairly long.

 Next, I tied each leg in a knot at the end. Yes, I could have sewn them or something else, but I liked this look too. And let's face it - no octopus is perfect.

My next purchase just goes to show how little I actually craft. I had no idea how much filling it would take to fill 8 legs, so I bought the biggest bag there was. Let's just say I see some pillow making in my future. 

 Here is where the boys got to help by stuffing the legs. I held them at the top, and the boys took turns shoving handfuls of stuffing in them. Can you start to envision an octopus?

These legs sat in my dining room for a couple of weeks while I thought about what to do next. I had the legs but wasn't sure what to do with them from there. Someone at school suggested I sew them around elastic and then attach them with Velcro.

This is what I ended up with. I purchased black elastic, but if I had the time, I would have bought white and tried to die it blue. The black worked though.

.  I sewed a simple stitch on my sewing machine to sew the tights closed at the top and create a loop for the elastic. Really, this is the extent of my sewing skills so I'm glad it didn't get any harder than that. The boys are fascinated with the sewing machine so they also took turns either sitting on my lap and pushing through the material or sitting on the floor pushing the pedal.

Here it is from the backside. Since this part was going to be hidden, I didn't worry about cutting it off or anything.

I found this Velcro for fastening the elastic together. It is really strong and just peels and sticks onto the material. I was worried about how long it would hold up since I was attaching it to elastic, but not once did it come undone. 

So the idea was that Eli would wear a hooded jacket and the octopus legs would fasten around the neck of the jacket. I found these half circle Styrofoam spheres which I thought would make good "eyes" for the top of the jacket. I painted black pupils on with acrylic paint and then attached them with the Velcro as well.

Here was the final product. It's a little grainy because I took it on my phone, but I think you get the idea.

This was an "after" picture of both the boys. We lost a Styrofoam eye while we were out trick-or-treating. I wished I had hand sewn a stitch through the Styrofoam and the hood or something, but fortunately we had this hat which also seemed to work for the "eyes" of the octopus.

Again, it's not the best picture, but you get the point. It was in the 20's while we were out so it worked out good to have the jacket built in to the costume. Both boys were able to dress in layers and stay fairly warm.  And Eli was finally at the age when he could keep up for more than one street so they hit the jackpot on the candy stash! 

Happy Halloween and stay tuned if you're interested in reading up on our other recent fall/Halloween adventures.

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