Homemade Skunk (Fox? Cat?) Costume
We aren’t really big tradition people over here. In fact there is very little that we do every year, but as it turns out we now have a tradition of homemade Halloween costumes in the Johnson residence. This is largely due to my love for hasty impromptu sewing with faux fur (see also: that time in 10th grade when Bethany and I were dietician cats in a school skit. yeah!)
I get it honest though. Check out the time I was both Charlotte and her Web back in oh, 1988-ish.
My mom is the champion of homemade costumes, and mine are much less elaborate for sure. But there’s something just plain fun about throwing something together without overthinking it, using stuff that’s been laying around plus some store-bought faux fur, obvs.
Here’s a my progress over the last three years:
And also, I totally lucked out this year because Ransom actually requested something really cute all on his own. I figured this would be our first year of something commercial ala SpiderMan, Bob the Builder, Elmo but I guess we haven’t connected those dots yet and instead he asked to be a skunk.
The kid is really into smells right now. One of his favorite things to do is exclaim loudly in a crowded room or elevator – “Mama! I smell something STINKY”. Sometimes he does smell something stinky, ahem. I usually respond with “I bet its a stinky skunk” which sends him into fits of laughter. And then we also frequently call him a skunk as a term of endearment aka “Come here you little skunk” when he’s being, well, skunky.
So, I thought a quick easy and cheap skunk costume was a perfect selection for Mr. Ransom. Here’s the finished product! Definitely the most time consuming (prob 3 hours or so) and expensive (pushing $25 geez louise but priceless right?)
To make this costume you will need:
- A black hoodie and sweatpants – $10 from Wal-mart
- Black and white felt – $2
- Black and white faux fur – $7
- Packing peanuts – $5 (outrageous! I’m sure you can get ’em cheaper than I did)
Plus I had the following laying around:
- Needle & thread & sewing machine
- Little bit of fiberfill
- Fishing line
Piece the tail by making two mirror-image thick “S” shapes for the sides. For the top and bottom, go for sort of a beaver tail shape, but cut the top and bottom pieces to “match” the upper and lower sides of the tail. Here’s what my pieces looked like:
Nothing here is critical, dimension-wise. Just go with it! I drew out patterns on kraft paper, and then just cut out leaving an extra 1/2″ or so for seam allowance. Flipping the patterns over is the easiest way to make things symmetrical. Sew all the tail sections with right sides together. Flip inside out and then stuff with…. packing peanuts! Fiberfill was too heavy and unwieldy for Ransom and his sweatsuit. Then sew the base of the tail to the booty of the sweatpants. Finally, add an 8″ section of black thread or fishing line to each side of the tail at approximately shoulder level to form some supports.
For the sweat shirt, just cut out white felt stripes and sew them down with your sewing machine. My cheapo machine hated this for some reason, and there are tension issues galore inside the sweatshirt, but who cares? For the ears, just cut out two pairs of black triangles and make tiny triangle shaped pillows with fiberfill. Stitch these on the hood wherever looks the most “realistic”. Ha. And finally, sew a couple of buttons right where the collar seam and the shoulder seams of the sweatshirt intersect. Then you can put loops in the fishing line anchors to hold that stinky skunk tail up just like Pepe Le Pew. You can see the buttons in this pic but ya can’t see the fishing line, hooray.
And that’s it. You could easily modify this to be a fox, cat, racoon, and so forth. I was *this* close to seeing if Ransom would rather be a more culturally relevant fox. I resisted. But YOU could find a brown or red sweatsuit (or dye one), modify the tail pattern to be just red with maybe a white tip, and then train your child to make jibberish noises when asked “What does the Fox say?” And then y’all will be the coolest on the planet.
Seriously, go sew something with faux fur. Its unbelievably satisfying.