DIY Octopus Costume
Full transparency, I have known what my own Halloween costume would be this year for like 6 months - a mermaid! Since it's been our tradition to have a family theme each year, I was crossing every finger that Jackson would be excited to choose some sort of sea creature for his costume so that my mermaid dreams could come true, lol! Jackson excitedly announced he wanted to be an octopus, and I got to work looking for inspiration!
I pretty much came up with my own tutorial along the way. And if you follow me on Instagram and saw my stories, you saw that there were some successes and some not so great moments in figuring out this costume! If you're curious, go take a look at the octopus highlight in my Instagram profile! I promise you lots of laughs!
Now that I've learned a few lessons on what and what NOT to do, this costume is a pretty easy DIY! So let's get to it! This tutorial can be used for both kids and adults. And feel free choose any color you like!
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2 sweatshirts in the same color - one in the size you or your child will wear and one larger so you have as much fabric as possible. I ordered a small for Jackson to wear and an XL to use as my extra fabric. Old Navy always has a large selection of gender neutral sweatshirts in various colors for adults AND kids! Don't forget to look at thrift stores too if you can find 2 sweatshirts in the same color!
sewing machine (optional)
thread (only if hand sewing or using a machine)
pom poms in your choice of color
eyes - I used Dollar Tree Halloween eyes, but see my note at the bottom on other ideas.
How to Make it
Take the larger of the 2 sweatshirts and cut off both sleeves at the shoulders. Cut off the hood at the base. The remaining sweatshirt will resemble a rectangle. Cut this into 4 equal parts length wise. These pieces, along with the sleeves, will become the tentacles, and the hood will become part of the head! Cut your sweatshirt like the dotted lines in the image above.
For the Tentacles
Take your 2 sleeves and 4 sections of the torso and turn them inside out. Some of the cut torso pieces will be 2 separate pieces. Just lay them on top of one another with the inside fabric facing outward.
At this point you will secure 3 sides together for each piece. You can do this with a sewing machine, hand stitch, or just use hot glue. See the image below.
You will stitch/glue the 2 longer sides and the short side that has been cut. I stitched the short side as a curve for the end of each tentacle. I initially sewed the cuff/trim end closed instead of the raw edge end and then realized that the result had an unfortunate phallic appearance when turned right side out. (again, see Instagram) Learn from my mistake, lol! Once your 3 sides have been secured, turn each tentacle right side out. Fill each one with poly fil. Set your tentacles aside for now.
For the Head
With the hoods facing the same direction, layer the hood you cut off over the intact sweatshirt's hood, lining up the top seams. The front of the cut hood should sit about 6 inches back from the front of the intact hood. Pin them together at the center seam.
Pin the 2 front ends of the cut hood piece to the base of the other hood right at the shoulder seams of the intact sweatshirt. (see the picture below) The cut hood will now be pinned in 3 different spots around the intact sweatshirt's hood.
Using hot glue, attach the front edge of the cut hood to the other hood the entire way around.
From the back, fill the cut hood with a few handfuls of poly fil. This will be the bulbous part of the octopus head.
Line up the back of the cut hood with the main hood at the center seam. Hot glue the 2 hoods together at the center.
At this point, the bottom edge of the hood will be secured by both shoulder seams and at the nape of the neck leaving 2 large gaps of fabric.
To secure the rest of the hood and keep the poly fill in place, follow the steps in the images below.
Repeat on the other side of the hood.
The entire base of the hood should now be secured to the sweatshirt! Hot glue the eyes to the front of the main hood just on either side of the center seam. You can use large googly eyes, half Styrofoam balls with pupils drawn on, cardboard, or eyes like I found at the dollar tree.
Securing the Tentacles to the body
I used hot glue to secure the tentacles to the main sweatshirt. First, I glued each tentacle opening shut, and then glued that end to the "body." 3 tentacles will go on the front and 3 on the back. I lined up my tentacles so they aligned with the sleeves.
Next glue white pompoms to the under side of each tentacle. An octopus's suction cups are positioned in rows of 2. I glued 6 rows of 2 to each tentacle.
I chose black leggings for Jackson to wear so his bottom half wasn't as visible since the octopus is only on his top half. Old Navy had shoes in the same color as his octopus and I couldn't resist them!
Not only does he look adorable, but I know he'll be nice and warm and comfy for Trick or Treating! I'm still waiting on a few pieces for my mermaid costume to come in, but I will include those later on this post along with the tutorial I followed.
I hope you find some inspiration here! Make sure to subscribe to my email list at the bottom of the page to be notified of new blog posts so you never miss an opportunity to be inspired! And follow along on Instagram and Facebook for more easy DIY's, home styling tips, and a peek inside our every day life!