DIY Dinosaur Dog Hoodies

Make your own Halloween dog costume! This easy DIY tutorial shows you how to turn an American Apparel dog hoodie into a dinosaur costume using felt paper and other craft materials. Template for the spikes included! Check it out on craftycarmen via @carmenshiu.

This year, I almost wanted to skip out on dressing up Ellie and Kingston this Halloween.

2013-2015 Halloweens with Ellie & Kingston

But, I've dressed them up every year so far...

And it's hard to when you suddenly get inspired. This year's inspiration came from a dragon* costume I saw at a pet store – I immediately thought it would be so cute if both Ellie and Kingston were dressed up as dragons* in different colors. Unfortunately, that didn't exist for this brand.

*Note: I actually didn't realize it was a dragon until I looked up the brand online. I thought it was a dinosaur at first.

I tried searching for other similar costumes online, including the dogzilla one I saw from American Apparel a year or two ago, but of course, it is now discontinued. Womp womp. After looking everywhere online, I realized it wasn't just wasn't possible – I had issues with pricing, shipping, and/or the costume just not looking right. I also didn't really want an actual costume, but a hoodie so that's a bit more year-round. (Because really, a taco costume for Ellie any other time of the year is just kind of silly.)

Then suddenly, the light bulb came on. Why don't I just make the costume myself? I already have a hoodie for Ellie from a couple of years ago. All I really needed to buy was a hoodie for Kingston and felt paper. As soon as I thought of this, millions of thoughts came rushing. I mean, it'll be great! It's cost-effective, I'll have it in time, and it'll be exactly what I had in mind – dinosaur hoodies in different color schemes.

Make your own Halloween dog costume! This easy DIY tutorial shows you how to turn an American Apparel dog hoodie into a dinosaur costume using felt paper and other craft materials. Template for the spikes included! Check it out on craftycarmen via @carmenshiu.

MATERIALS
01. Dog hoodie
Of course, you can make a hoodie for toddlers, kids, and even yourself! Which may or may not have crossed my mind...
02. Felt paper
Depending on the colors you want for the spikes, and the size of your dog, I wouldn't imagine really needing more than one or two sheets of felt paper.
03. Embroidery thread + needle OR sewing machine
A someday-goal of mine is to learn how to sew, but not today. I sewed the spikes onto the hoodies by hand, but of course, using a sewing machine will save time.
04. Cut out of this diamond template
This size worked well for my small dogs (8-20 lbs). For larger dogs (or humans), you may want to enlarge the template. Also, I recommend printing/tracing it on cardstock paper, just to make it sturdier. 
05. Pencil, pen, or chalk
This is for tracing onto the felt paper. You may need a pen (or chalk) to trace on dark-colored felt paper, but be careful, as it will bleed and appear in the spikes if you don't trim them.
06. Scissors
07. Hot glue gun + clear glue sticks
08. Iron + ironing board
09. Adorable dog(s)

INSTRUCTIONS
(Adapted from See Vanessa Craft)

01. To make the each spike, trace the cut out of the diamond template onto felt paper with a pencil, pen, or chalk. Again, be careful if you are using a pen, as it will bleed and appear in the spikes if you don't trim them off well enough. The number of diamonds/spikes you need depends on the hoodie size. For reference, a large dog hoodie from American Apparel needs 10.

Make your own Halloween dog costume! This easy DIY tutorial shows you how to turn an American Apparel dog hoodie into a dinosaur costume using felt paper and other craft materials. Template for the spikes included! Check it out on craftycarmen via @carmenshiu.

02. Fold the diamond felt paper in half, and iron the fold. This will help the felt paper stay creased, making it easier for you when sewing.

Make your own Halloween dog costume! This easy DIY tutorial shows you how to turn an American Apparel dog hoodie into a dinosaur costume using felt paper and other craft materials. Template for the spikes included! Check it out on craftycarmen via @carmenshiu.

03. Use embroidery thread + need OR sewing machine, and sew each spike onto the hoodie, starting from the top of the hood. To help me guide the spikes, I used the lining that's already split in the middle in the hood. Unfortunately, there's no lining on the rest of the hoodie, so I essentially eyeballed it and looked really closely to ensure it's as straight of a line as possible. I did try using a tailor's chalk and draw a line down the middle, but it didn't work out as well for me. When sewing, be sure to not sew over leash clasp opening!

Make your own Halloween dog costume! This easy DIY tutorial shows you how to turn an American Apparel dog hoodie into a dinosaur costume using felt paper and other craft materials. Template for the spikes included! Check it out on craftycarmen via @carmenshiu.

04. Use a hot glue gun in low-setting temperature with clear glue sticks, and glue each spike together. I saw online that Aleene's Tacky Glue and No-Sew Fabric Glue supposedly work on felt to felt, but I didn't find that to be the case. Hot glue gun, though can be messy, definitely worked better.

Make your own Halloween dog costume! This easy DIY tutorial shows you how to turn an American Apparel dog hoodie into a dinosaur costume using felt paper and other craft materials. Template for the spikes included! Check it out on craftycarmen via @carmenshiu.

05. Once the spikes are dried, you may need to trim them if they weren't cut perfectly in the first place or any excess glue.

Make your own Halloween dog costume! This easy DIY tutorial shows you how to turn an American Apparel dog hoodie into a dinosaur costume using felt paper and other craft materials. Template for the spikes included! Check it out on craftycarmen via @carmenshiu.

And that's it! How easy was that? Let's recap:

  • Pricing: I only had to buy one hoodie for Kingston, which was $28 from American Apparel, and felt paper for $0.49 per sheet. I already had everything else, and assuming you already do as well, it shouldn't cost you more than $30 for one costume. And of course, any dog hoodie will do, so yours can turn out even cheaper.
  • Timing: I didn't time how long it took me to create one hoodie, but it didn't take long at all, probably no more than an hour for one hoodie, if even. If you have a sewing machine, the time easily gets cut in half.
  • Style: One of the best parts is that not only is it a hoodie, which is what I wanted, but the color scheme is exactly what I wanted as well. If you want to get wild, you can even make the spikes different sizes, add spots to the hoodie, add eyes to the hood – the possibilities are endless!
elliekingston_dinos122.jpg

Have a happy woofin' halloween, and stay safe!

Make your own Halloween dog costume! This easy DIY tutorial shows you how to turn an American Apparel dog hoodie into a dinosaur costume using felt paper and other craft materials. Template for the spikes included! Check it out on craftycarmen via @carmenshiu.