November 04, 2013

DIY Ninja Turtle Costume

My 3 yr old son is obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. So he chose long before Halloween, that is what he wanted to dress up as, specifically Leonardo.

Besides our family not having much money to spend on store bought costumes, I love having a chance to get creative and come up with our own homemade version of a costume. So here is a tutorial on how I made a Ninja Turtle Costume.

First I bought a green sweat suit. This actually was one of the most difficult parts believe it or not. I could not find a plain green sweat suit anywhere! Everything I found had some sort of design on it!

I eventually settled for one I found on eBay, it was a girl's suit and had a design on the front of the sweatshirt, but I knew I would be covering it up with a shell so I could make it work.
My son was so mad when I made him try it on. He kept saying "this is for a girl!!" He eventually gave in, once I convinced him it would be covered with a shell. 

To make the front shell, I used large pieces of felt I bought from the craft store. I didn't have a stencil so I just eyeballed the size shell I would need, and then cut out smaller pieces for the shell's details.
For the smaller pieces I used tacky glue to glue them into place (because it was easier than stitching, since I am horrible at stitching).

After all the little pieces were in place, I stitched the large shell piece onto the sweatshirt.
I didn't have to make a back shell, because my mom bought Elias a Ninja Turtle shell backpack this summer, so we decided to just use that as his costume shell. 

(It can be purchased on Amazon)
But I still needed a way to hide the backpack straps, so that it could look more like a real turtle shell. So I decided to cut slits on the sweatshirt, so that the straps could be fed through underneath the sweatshirt and then reattached. This worked out perfectly!
The final touches were to add the "ties" or whatever you call those pieces that the ninja turtles wear on their knees and elbows. For these pieces I bought a cheap $5 blue t-shirt at the craft store, and cut it into strips that were big enough to tie onto his arms and legs. 

The backpack his Nana bought, came with some maskes but I didn't like them, so I took some of the blue t-shirt and glued it to the mask, so it would match the blue ties and still keep that classic mask shape. 
Here is the finished product. I didn't get a picture with his outer shell until we were actually trick or treating, and if you have a toddler you know how hard it is to get them to pose for a picture any time, let alone when there is candy involved!
And the final touches were stuffing his sleeves to give him muscles, and then spraying his hair green, he loved it!
I hope your little ones had a Happy Halloween! 

Happy Crafting!

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