Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Last Minute Spider Costume

Do you still need a last minute Halloween costume?  Make this spider costume in under an hour.

My daughter was a spider in her school musical last week.  This costume was quick and easy and apparently very fun to wear.  You only need a few inexpensive items to make this costume.  You may already have them around the house.  Here's what you'll need.

  • long sleeve black shirt and pants (sweats would be great if you'll be trick-or-treating in the cold)
  • foam pipe insulation
  • 4 safety pins
  • black heavy duty thread (such as upholstery or carpet thread)
  • 2 pair black tights
  • extra large googly eyes (or white & black felt circles)
  • hot glue gun
I actually took this picture after disassembling the costume, so the tights legs are already cut off and the googly eye cap is finished.

I bought a black long sleeve T-shirt and leggings at Target for about $6 each.  I love that she'll get lots of use out of these basic pieces after Halloween.

Step 1:  Cut foam pipe insulation into 4 pieces about the same length as the wearer's arms.  We debated adding 6 spider legs to ours, but decided that her legs count as - well - legs, so we went with 4.

Step 2: Cut the legs off of the tights and slide them over each foam insulation spider leg.  Tie the open ends closed so that they fit snugly.  I only had that one pair, so I used some black cotton ribbing scraps to make a couple tubes for the other 2 legs.  I tied both ends so they look a bit like sausages.  You'll want to leave a little bit of fabric past the knot to make pinning the legs to the shirt easy.

Step 3:  Use a safety pin to attach each leg to the T-shirt.  Position one leg on each side at the mid-point of the side seam and the remaining two just above the hem.  Pin from the inside of the shirt, catching the fabric next to the knot.

Step 4:  To keep the extra legs moving along with the wearer's arms, use black carpet thread to connect the legs to each other and to the shirt sleeves.  You could use ribbon or string just as well, but I like that the carpet thread doesn't show.  I'm sure this detail tricked many people into thinking that my daughter was a real live spider.  ;)  Just lay the shirt out on a flat surface, arrange the legs with the desired spacing.  Then tie the thread securely around each leg, leaving a length of thread between each leg to maintain the spacing.

Step 5:  Now you need to attach the thread to the wearer's arms.  Instead of attaching it directly to the T-shirt, I made little cuffs out of pantyhose scraps so they can be put on and off as needed.  This proved quite valuable when it was time to fasten the seat belt in the car. 

I cut the scraps of the tight legs to be about 2 inches long and sewed to make them a bit smaller around to fit my daughter's wrist.  Then I strung the thread through the middle of each cuff and tied it.  Easy peasy. 

Step 6:  I sewed the top "panty" part of the panty hose shut to make a skull cap and hot-glued large googly eyes to it to finish off the costume.  I love the way it turned out and so does she. 

Here's a shot of my musical spider during the performance.  It was great how the spider legs followed along with all the hand motions.

And here she is in her natural habitat ejnoying her post-performance ice cream cone.

Happy Halloween!