Our Frugal Halloween: DIY Dinosaur Costume

As with many different things, a little bit of advance planning for Halloween can keep costs down.  I had been asking my children about their costumes since September in the hope of getting ahead of the game.  Unfortunately, Goofball seemed to change his mind on a daily basis.  I waited to buy anything out of a fear of spending money on a costume that he wouldn’t want to wear.  Tornado, on the other hand, was quite consistent in telling me that she wanted to be a pink dinosaur (so she could “rawr” at everyone).  There was a little hesitation, but Goofball finally agreed to also be a dinosaur too.  With a few weeks left until Halloween, it was time to get into SuperMom mode.  It took some effort, but with some help from Pinterest and a bit of creativity, I was able to make two really cute dinosaur costumes for less than $10.00, combined!


DIY Dinosaur Costume



I used this great tutorial as the inspiration for these dinosaur (or dragon) costumes – it even includes a downloadable pattern.  They were a bit too plain for Halloween, so we embellished.  I will say that this is a very easy, and forgiving project.  My results were far from expertly sewn, but still looked great.

There were a couple times that I deviated from the tutorial.  First, the hoods were not big enough for my kids.  I made Tornado’s second and added some width to her hood.


Adding a bit to the hood


I kept Tornado’s cape a bit shorter, so it wouldn’t be dragging on the ground.  It’s easy to estimate the ultimate length of the cape – using the length you want it to come down from the bottom of the neck as the distance between the first semi-circle and the second one.




I decided to use bigger spikes for our dinosaur capes.  They measured 3 1/2 inches by 5 inches (instead of 3 inches by 4 inches).




The thing that really brought the capes to life was adding some teeth and eyes to the hood.  I didn’t use a pattern for the eyes.  I just cut out an oval shape and then used it as a pattern for the second one.  I didn’t want to spend money on Velcro, so I sewed on longer pieces of felt that can be tied.




Another added item was a tail.  All you need to do is sew two long triangles of fabric and one extra spike to the bottom of the center seam.  Again, you can improvise.




Finally, gloves are usually a part of Halloween costumes in our neck of the woods.  So why not make them fun?  The kids loved having claws and have continued to wear them.  The process was similar to the spikes.  I made a longer, curved shape and flipped the two sewed halves inside out so the seam was on the inside.  Then, I just stuffed them and stitched them onto the gloves (50 cents per pair at Wal-Mart).




They had fun and were really happy with the costumes.  I liked that the costumes were warm.  Goofball and Tornado definitely stood out from the other kids, who were predominately wearing thin fabric costumes from the store with frequent duplications.  Our costumes were much cheaper, but will survive longer as dress-up clothes.


Checking out their loot 🙂


I hope that everyone had a fun Halloween.  We had a great time without having to spend much money at all.  Feel free to use these costumes next year, or you could always make them as a Holiday gift.  Oh, and Tornado says, “RAAAAWWWRRRR!”





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