Oct 09

No-Sew Animal Costumes

by Hannah Holt »


An old pair of sweats, a little fabric paint, a cheap mask… One awesome costume!

What you’ll need:

  • Sweatshirt and pants
  • Fabric paint ($3-$5)
  • A paint brush
  • Cardboard
  • A mask or face paint (optional)

Step1: If the sweats aren’t solid in color, turn them inside out and remove the tags. Like so…

Step 2: Look up pictures of the desired animal print. It’s a good idea to make a practice sketch before painting.

Step 3: Insert cardboard between the layers of fabric in the sweats. (I used an old cereal box.)

Step 4: Paint the design on the fabric. If the sweats are new, they should be washed and dried (without fabric softener) before painting.

Step 5: Because I was painting light on dark, I painted a second coat after two hours. When finished painting, dry on a flat surface for 24 hours.

Left: One coat, Right: Two coats

Step 6: After the sweats have dried, iron over the pattern (inside and out) on low heat. This helps the paint bond with the fabric.

Other considerations:

-I found our giraffe mask at our local zoo, but a quick google search showed a variety of animal masks available for $5 and under. You could also make one out of a paper plate.

-One bottle of fabric paint (4 oz) is enough to complete one coat of the above pattern on an extra small (four-year-old) sized sweatsuit. A less paint intensive pattern will require less paint. Larger sized sweats might require more paint.

Other costume ideas:

  1. tara

    fantastic!! great ideas, Hannah.

  2. Zina

    I ordered light gray hooded sweatsuits and painted on them to make dalmation costumes at Mabel’s behest one year (she wanted her toddler brother to match). They turned out cute, but everyone always thought they were cow costumes.

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