Dinosaurs are a perennial children’s favorite. They are popular in both children’s literature and television. Many children decide to portray dinosaurs for Halloween parties and trick-or-treating.
Like other commercial costumes, licensed store-bought dinosaur costumes can be costly. And not everyone is adept at the sewing machine. The following provides suggestions for creating homemade dinosaur costumes inexpensively. These suggestions do not require any advanced knowledge of sewing techniques; anyone can make these with their children. Homemade costumes are not only cheap, they provide a fun activity for a parent and child to share.
Materials needed include paper towel rolls, a balloon, an old pillowcase or a cardboard box, papier mache, an old hat, old pantyhose, cardboard scraps, scissors, and paint.
Choosing a Color: Traditional dinosaur colors of green and brown areas extinct as the dinosaurs themselves. Popular children’s TV dinosaurs – such as Dino, Barney, and Dorothy – come in many vibrant colors and patterns. Encourage your child to use their creativity when selecting a color and pattern. Blue dinosaurs with yellow polka dots are not that unusual and is fun to paint. You can use the old standbys of green and brown if your child prefers a more realistic-looking dinosaur.
The dinosaur costume is made in three parts: head, body and tail.
The head is made in the following steps:
- Blow up the balloon and tie it off. Wrap the papier mache mache around the balloon.
- If horns are desired, cut and attach the paper towel tubes to the balloon with the papier mache.
- Let the balloon head dry.
- Cut the bottom of the balloon to fit stationary on the hat.
- Paint the dinosaur head the desired color. Be creative in designing the eyes, ears and teeth. Let your imagination run wild. Why not put a bow or a beanie on the dinosaur’s head?
The body of the dinosaur can be made with either a large cardboard box or a discarded pillowcase:
- Cut a hole in the top of the box or the pillowcase for the head.
- Using a magic marker or paint, paint scales on the pillowcase or box. Be creative in painting the box. Why not put a tie around the dinosaur’s neck, or paint on a baseball jersey.
- Cut out holes in the box or pillowcase for the arms.
- You can glue on scraps of cardboard down the back of the costume to represent back plates.
Making the tail is the final step in the dinosaur costume:
- Cut one leg off of the old pair of pantyhose. Preferably use a shade of pantyhose that matches the body of the dinosaur costume.
- Stuff the leg with crumpled newspaper or packing foam to give it body and dimension.
- If desired you can glue cardboard spikes along the tail and on the end.
- Attach the tail to the body of the costume by either gluing it to the box or sewing it onto the pillowcase.
There you have a fun homemade dinosaur costume your child can be proud of.