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 Best Homemade Costume Ideas for Dogs

There are lots of costume shops that sell pre-fab costumes for dogs, but isn't the sense of daring fun lost when we buy a plastic encased costume that any dog on the street might be wearing come All Hallows' Eve? We here at PetMD think so. That's why we've done a little research to find the easiest, do-it-yourself costumes. Now your dog can be the ghoul of the ball!

The main component of most of our picks is a child sized hoodie top or jacket, and/or a child sized T-shirt -- color and size depending on the theme and your dog's size. Other materials include felt cloth, needle and matching thread, and yards of material for capes and such, again, depending on the theme you choose. Just make sure the materials are safe, non-toxic, non-flammable, and securely fastened. We wouldn't want any doggies accidentally choking or getting sick from the costumes.


#5 Mummy Dog

Why we like it: It is super easy to make, and s-s-s-scary.

There are a couple of ways to go about making a mummy dog. One is the quick and no-nonsense way: using a large roll of cotton gauze or multiple ACE bandages, wrap the bandage material around the dog's legs, torso and head, leaving plenty of open space around the face and   "elimination" sites.

Another method is to go with a white hoodie jacket. The gauze bandages can be arranged horizontally across the back of the jacket and fixed in place with sewing thread or non-toxic fabric glue. Back legs can be made with a few quick stitches. Just wrap the bottom corners of each side of the jacket around your dog's back legs to figure out the circumference and then make a few stitches toward the bottom of the leg. This will leave the bottom open for the dog to be able to do her "business."

#4 Skeleton Dog

Why we like it: What's not to like about a skeleton dog? Or any skeleton, for that matter? Walking bones -- inconceivable! And, it's a two day costume, since it can be worn for El Dia de los Muertos too.

This project requires a bit of artistic proficiency, but not a whole lot. Start with a black hoodie. For the skeleton bones, you can go with either white fabric paint from your local craft store, or use felt white felt fabric that has been cut into bone shapes and glued (with non-toxic fabric glue) or sewn into place. Traditional Mexican Day of the Dead skeletons do not place a lot of importance on skeletal detail, so you can go with a primitive, folksy skeleton, or you can get very detailed and make it look like a real skeleton.

If you have a small dog, you can get away with just a hoodie jacket that has been altered so that there are little legs. Just wrap the bottom corners of each side of the jacket around your dog's back legs to figure out the circumference and then make a few stitches toward the bottom of the leg. This will leave the bottom open for the dog to be able to do her "business." If you have a larger dog, pair the hooded jacket with a pair of black bike shorts (or cut-off leggings) that have leg bones painted or felted on them, making sure to cut out a large piece of the shorts' crotch area to make room for the dog to have freedom in the lower body.

#3 Ghost Dog

Why we like it: Number one, just saying “ghost dog” makes us think of martial arts anime (because Ghost Dog would be an awesome character name). Number two, it also makes us think of Charlie Brown's Halloween special, also awesome. And number three, it doesn't get much easier than this.

All you need is a white, twin size sheet, a length of elastic, a black marking pen, needle and thread, and a dog that is laid back enough to allow you to throw a sheet over his head. Start by arranging the sheet over your dog (including the head) so that it falls evenly all around. Pin the spots that hang past the dog's feet so that you know where to cut it -- you want the sheet length to be just above your dog's feet so that s/he won't trip over the edges. With your marking pen, mark the spots where your dogs eyes, ears and snout are, so that you know where to make holes -- do not cut the holes while your dog has the sheet over his head! Also, make a small mark at the spot where his neck is so you will know where to attach the length of elastic. This is to keep the sheet from sliding off while your dog is moving around.

Once you have everything marked, take the sheet off, cut the holes for the ears, eyes and nose, making sure the holes are not too big but are big enough for your dog to see clearly, cut the edges of the sheet so that the dog's feet will be free of any excess fabric, and attach the elastic on the inside of the fabric at the neck so that there is a neckband to hold the fabric onto the head and body securely.

#2 Underdog

Why we like it: This is almost impossibly easy to make, and well,we like the idea that our dog has an alter ego and can save us from evil villains -- also that he can shine our shoes when not in super dog mode.

There's no need to fear this one, since this character is always working for good, not evil. And there is no need to be bothered by the details that go into making his costume. You will be able to find everything at your local fabric store. You will need a red child-sized T-shirt, a square of white felt fabric for the U, a half yard of blue fabric for the cape, Velcro to attach at the neck to hold the cape in place, and needle and thread. To make attaching the U to the T-shirt easier, iron on hem tape or fabric glue can be used. We have included an image of what you want your T-shirt to look like, with the distinctively shaped U for Underdog.



#1 Frankenstein's Monster

Why we like it: It doesn't get much better than the classic lab-born monster created by Dr. Frankenstein, and we love, love the idea of the pieced together, brought-back-from-the-dead lab dog.


This costume entails a little more work than the others, but we think it's worth it. In no time at all, you'll have your dog quoting Milton, too. For this costume, you will need a child-sized T-shirt that has been made raggedy at the edges, a square of black felt fabric to be fashioned into a cap of hair, elastic to attach to hold the "hair" into place, a thin strip of red elastic, a long length of thin black ribbon, fabric glue, a small piece of gray fabric, and a temporary collar with fabric bolts attached to the sides. Cut the black felt so that it looks like short hair, with a little fringe falling over the forehead, and attach the elastic to the sides of the hair so that it can be fitted under the dog's chin, as you would do with a party hat, making sure it is not too tight for comfort. With the red elastic, measure it around your dog's head so that it fits snugly but not too tight for comfort, and stitch the ends together to make a head band. (This is to make it appear as though the dog has had head surgery.)

The thick black ribbon will be for making the little "stitches," or Xs for the head band. Cut a couple dozen small pieces of equal length and attach them to the red headband in the shapes of Xs using your fabric glue (see how this Etsy artist made hers). You can either make a costume collar with fabric, or buy an inexpensive one at the pet store, and use fabric glue or thread to attach the fabric "bolts" to the collar. The bolts can be easily made by making little tubes out of gray fabric, using the fabric glue to close the sides, and stuffing the tubes with cotton balls until they look like bolts. Close the ends with a few stitches and attach to the collar. Or, if you want the bolts in the skull effect, you can attach the bolts to the red headband. (We included an image of a Monster mask to give you an idea of what you want to look like.)

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