Tag Archives: DIY dog costume

Day 11 of 13 Days of Halloween 2018

“Costumes are for the suckers”—Simon, Play Hard, Bark Often

I know that costumes aren’t for every dog. Some dogs don’t enjoy being dressed up, wearing silly things, or at least having something on for an extended period of time. Simon and Rosee tolerate us dressing them up because they know they’ll get a lot of treats during the process—;).

As a result, I came up with something that (I think) any dog could wear (or at least tolerate): A Cape. This is a quick and easy solution to help make your dog look festive and ready for Halloween.

Final Cape

All you need is some festive fabric, elastic, fabric adhesive (and an iron if you use iron on adhesive like I did), scissors, and a needle and thread.

Cape Essentials

  1. Measure a piece of the elastic fabric that is just a bit shorter than the length of your dog’s neck. I measured the elastic against one of the pup’s chain collars. You want to measure the elastic a bit shorter, so when you fit it around your dog’s lower neck it will stretch to fit and stay in place better.
  2. Cut a piece of fabric that is a bit longer than your elastic piece. This way the fabric will scrunch a bit when you thread the elastic through.Cape Construction
  3. Take the fabric adhesive and lay it on the backside of the fabric about 2-3 inches below the top. You want to make a smallish opening at the top that will be big enough to thread the elastic fabric through. Then fold the top of the fabric over and iron in place. I did end up using a pencil as a guide while I ironed in order to ensure my opening remained the right size.
  4. Once the fabric adhesive is set, thread the elastic fabric through your opening.
  5. Using the needle and thread, sew the two end pieces of the elastic fabric together. I ended up leaving about 3-4 inches of the end of either side of the elastic free of fabric and sewed all of it together. It may not look the prettiest, but despite what my mother says, no one’s going to see it.Cape Opening
  6. Fit the cape around your dog’s neck and you’re done!

The best part of this cape, besides the ease of making it, is its versatility. Of course, it could be worn by itself simply as a cape. However, it could also be accessorized with a festive hat if your dog is willing, or a black mask. This way your dog, like Simon, could pretend to be a superhero—the way he really feels inside, if he’s being honest.

Cape Accessorized

Costumes may not be for every dog, but that doesn’t mean they can’t celebrate Halloween either!

Day 4 of 13 Days of Halloween 2018

Its day two of costumes and these two ideas are extra special because they are group costumes. While not as simple and inexpensive as yesterday’s ideas, these two group costumes are definitely worth the extra effort. To begin with let’s start with the group costume that takes at least four participants.

Costume #1: S’mores

What’s even better than a dog costume, you ask? Well, it’s a group costume that dogs and their humans can wear together!

All you need is two large pieces of cardboard, two small/medium pieces of cardboard, some yarn/string, a brown marker, white fabric/cloth (this can be the same cloth from the ghost costume), and scissors.

Smore Materials

Now, in my imagination of this costume two humans represent the graham crackers while one dog is a marshmallow and another dog is the chocolate.

First, measure the cardboard to each person and cut appropriately. Cut two holes at the top and thread a piece of yarn through and tie off the ends. This way each piece of cardboard can hang around each person’s neck comfortably. Then, take the brown marker and draw on the cardboard so that it resembles the markings of a graham cracker.

Smore Parts

Next, to make the chocolate take the two smaller pieces of cardboard and fit them long ways on your dog, cutting appropriately so that they cover your dog, but aren’t too long. At the top of each piece make two small holes—one at the front of the cardboard and one at the end. String some yarn through the front hole of one piece of cardboard and connect the other end of the yarn through the other piece of cardboard, and then do the same with the holes at the other end. The idea is that the cardboard pieces will hang on either side of your dog. Then, using the brown marker, draw on the cardboard so that it looks like a piece of chocolate.

Thirdly, take the white cloth/fabric and simply wrap it around the middle of your other dog and secure it—I found a couple of safety pins worked well.

Finally, dress each person and dog in their respective costume and there you have it: a s’more!

Smore Costume

Costume #4: Soap and Loofah

This is idea is another group costume, but I’m going to leave it to just the dogs for this one.

All you need is some tulle (I got a couple of rolls at the Dollar Tree), a piece of cardboard or two, some string/yarn, a marker, glue, and scissors.

Loofah and Soap

First, to make a loofah costume, take some tulle and cut it into pieces. Take the pieces and twist them, and then wrap in a circle. Then, take these circles and glue them onto a piece of cardboard  that is fit to the curve around the back of your dog. Cut holes in the front and back of the cardboard and string some yarn through so that when you fit the cardboard on your dog you can tie the ends of the yarn together. This way the cardboard will be more fitted to your dog and stay on.

Next, to make a bar of soap cut the cardboard in a similar way to fit your dog as was described in the previous costume when creating the chocolate costume (from the previous s’mores costume explanation). Except this time we are going to draw on the cardboard so that it looks like soap.

Finally, put both dogs next each other and the desired effect of soap and loofah will be achieved!

Soap and Loofah

If you missed last year’s costume ideas make sure to check that post out here.

Day 3 of 13 Days of Halloween 2018

One of my favorite parts of Halloween is all the costumes. Specifically, I love the dog costumes. From Weiner dog costumes, taco costumes, or the dogs dressed up as cats I enjoy seeing all the different characters and things dogs can be transformed into.

So, this year I have gathered four costume ideas that can easily be put together. I’m going to share the first two costumes today because they are individual, standalone costumes and couldn’t be simpler (cheaper) to put together. They are more DIY rather than store-bought because I have two big dogs. Simon and Rosee weigh about 70-75 lbs each and with wide necks and more muscular builds, courtesy of their pit bullish natures, it can be difficult to find store-bought costumes that fit, ones that don’t have to be ordered online or ones that don’t cost a small fortune. I mean really, it’s only going to be for one night. No matter the size of the dog though, I think these costume ideas can be made to work for any size dog and will only take a few minutes to put together.

Before we start I have to say that as much as I love dressing Simon and Rosee up, costumes are not for every dog. If your dog is not into being dressed up, then just don’t make them. You can try to encourage their acquiescence by the use of treats (preferably high value treats) so they learn to associate dressing up in costumes with a positive association. However, don’t force your dog to do something they really don’t want to do. Otherwise, maybe they’ll allow you a few minutes in costume at least to take cute picture!

Costume #1: Ghost Dog

This costume idea is pretty simple. All you need is a white sheet/cloth(I used a pillowcase I bought at the local Dollar Tree), a pair of scissors, and a marker.

Day 3 of Halloween 2018

First take the white cloth and using the marker mark where the eye holes as well as a nose/mouth hole will be. Next, carefully cut the three holes out (you can also cut out ear holes if you want). If the cloth you use is a little too long, now is the time to figure out where to cut it so it fits your dog the way you want it to. Also, I did end up cutting slits in each side of the pillowcase as it allowed Simon more ease of movement.

Extra tip: To help keep the cloth from moving around too much it can be helpful to cut small slits around the part that will sit at your dog’s neck. Then, take some decorative yarn/ribbon and weave it through the holes and tie a small bow at the front of the costume. This will help the costume stay on your dog and not move around too much.

Finally, fit the cloth over your dog. Arrange the eye, ears, and neck areas appropriately. Voila, you have yourself a Ghostly dog!

Ghostly Simon

Costume #2: Beauty Queen

As the only female of the house (at least of the pet variety), Rosee is definitely the ruling Queen Bee. Therefore, it’s only natural that for Halloween she should be a Beauty Queen. All you need is a crown (I chose a Halloween-inspired spider crown), a long strip of white fabric (or even paper could work), a marker, a piece of string, and some fake flowers.

Day 3 of Halloween 2018 (2)

First take the long strip of white fabric and make sure that it can fit your dog appropriately. Ensure that it can wrap around your dog like a sash without being too long. After fitting the sash, take a marker and write “Queen Bee” (or whatever you choose) on the sash. Next, fit the sash around your dog and tie the two ends together with the piece of string. Then, place your desired crown on your dog’s head.

Extra tip: If you want to help ensure that the crown stays on your dog’s head, take apiece of string and cut it in half. Tie one end of one of the pieces of string to one side of the crown and do the same thing with the other piece of the string to the other side of the crown. Then, when you place it on your dog’s head you can take both pieces of string to tie it underneath your dog’s head. This way the crown is more likely to stay on your dog’s head…at least for a little while.

Finally, give your dog a bouquet of beautiful (fake) flowers, and they are definitely ready for their close ups!

Queen Bee
#QueenBee

Make sure to check back tomorrow for two more DIY costume ideas that everyone can take part in.

Day 1 of 13 Days of Halloween 2018

It’s that time of year again!

The weather is cooling down, the leaves are starting to change colors, festive holiday decorations start to make an appearance, and pumpkin spice seems to permeate the air everywhere you go. It’s the start of the holiday season, and it all starts with Halloween.

That’s right: It’s the start of 13 Days of Halloween here at Play Hard, Bark Often!

It’s our annual countdown to Halloween, which means for the next 13 days until October 31st we’ll be posting every day to share tricks, treats, and other Halloween-related and inspired content.

We’re kicking things off this year by dressing up our favorite blocky-headed dogs into our favorite “blockhead.” We may still have quite a few days until the Great Pumpkin makes an appearance, but what better way to start off the 13 Days of Halloween than dress up as the original character himself.

All you need to pull off this punny costume yourself is an old yellow shirt (I found one at the local thrift store), some black material (it could be another old shirt, scrap material, felt, or pillowcase), and some fabric adhesive.

Day 1 of Halloween 2018

Next, simply cut out the wavy pattern from the black material. Then, adhere the black material to the bottom of the yellow shirt. Finally, put the shirt on your dog.

I really like this costume because it’s a great way to usher in the season of the Great Pumpkin, and doubles as a fun, creative way to celebrate the “blocky-headediness” that defines pit bulls.

Day 1 of Halloween 2018 (2)
My blockheads as the blockhead. #GreatPumpkin #CharlieBrown

Thanks for being here for Day 1 of 13 Days of Halloween and make sure to check back tomorrow to see what’s in store for Day 2.

In the meantime, the annual search for the Great Pumpkin is on!

Day 4 of 13 Days of Halloween (2017)

Let’s face it…costumes are not for every dog, or even every human.

Sometimes we just want something that’s easy to put on our pets, no hassle, quick, and is fashionably festive without being over the top. As fun and silly as dog costumes can be, they can also be expensive, difficult or tricky to put on, or an unnecessary expense for just one day of the year. Then there are those dogs that just don’t enjoy playing dress up. Believe it or not, Rosee is not a fan of wearing a costume for too long. She’ll usually tolerate it for 15 minutes, but beyond that she’ll start rolling around on the ground until she gets off any and all clothing, or she’ll incite Simon into playing that ends with him pulling off the offending garment. She really can be scarily smart sometimes.

Never fear though, I have come up with a solution: festive holiday bandannas!

For most dogs, wearing a bandana is tolerable since they’re used to wearing a collar anyways, and they can be easy to make yourself. Now, while I do know that bandanas can be purchased, I have personally found it nearly impossible to find ones that actually fit around Rosee and Simon’s necks. Plus, the best part is that I have a way to make your dog a bandana that requires no sewing!

First what you’ll need is:20171022_161324.jpg

  • holiday fabric
  • fabric adhesive tape
  • velcro
  • scissors
  • measuring tape
  • pencil/marker
  • iron (if you use fabric adhesive that requires one)

What you need to do:

  • Measure the neck of your dog so you know exactly how wide to cut the top of the bandana
  • Sketch out a basic outline for the bandana on the backside of your material using a pencil/marker
    • the shape is simply a triangle with flaps of material left on each end
    • make sure you leave at least 1/2 inch extra to your outline for the hem
    • repeat this step, so you’ll now have two pieces of fabric in your basic bandana shape
  • Line your two pieces of fabric up so that the patterned side is on the inside
  • Starting with the outer edge of the triangle cut your fabric adhesive to size and place it on the inside or patterned side of your fabric of the bottom piece of fabric
    • I used fabric adhesive that is activated by an iron and found it worked great, but there is another kind that doesn’t require an iron and while it does work it can be tricky to peel the backing off
    • basically, the fabric adhesive will be sandwiched between the two pieces of fabric
  • Lay the top layer of fabric on top of the adhesive and bottom fabric and iron
    • let the hem cool for at least a few seconds so it sets before moving on
  • Repeat the previous two step on the other side of the triangle, the flaps on each end, and the top but make sure to leave about a 2-3 inch opening at the top
  • Through the opening pull through the fabric (so you turn it right side out) with the pattern on the outside
  • Cut some adhesive to the size of the opening and fit it along the inside and carefully iron closed
  • Attach some velcro to each flap on the end of the bandana
    • I did put fabric adhesive (the non-iron kind) behind the velcro to help it stick better

20171022_180856

  • Put your creation on your dog and you’re done!

20171022_181306

 

Ultimately, I love having holiday-themed bandanas for Simon and Rosee and they love wearing them because they are easy to put on and can be worn anytime or anywhere. It’s a great way to show off their love for Halloween all month long!

Day 3 of 13 Days of Halloween (2017)

Halloween costumes, they’re not just for humans these days.

These days dogs can get it on the fun too, and there are so many options to choose from!

From hot dogs to Star Wars characters, to just about anything you could think of is available as a pet costume for Halloween.

So, in honor of Day 3 I thought I would share some Halloween pet costume ideas.

Now, if you’re going for ease when it comes to  outfitting your pet a store bought costume is easy to find with numerous options to choose from. Simon and Rosee are partial to being a skeleton and lion, respectively.

Unfortunately, for bigger dogs, especially ones with larger necks it can be a bit more difficult to find a big enough size. The other downside to store bought costumes is the price. Like most things for your pets, costumes aren’t exactly cheap, and usually the bigger the size the more expensive it is.

Luckily, I’ve found some alternative costume ideas that are easy to put together and relatively inexpensive.

Simple costumes that require just a few accessories you might have in your home can also be good options. This way you save money and don’t have to buy anything extra.

Rosee here is sporting some groovy glasses and few flowered headbands I had lying around to turn into the grooviest flower child around.

IMG_3110
Rosee as a 60’s flower child.

Another idea for a simple costume is to visit your local dollar store for a few supplies to put together into a costume. This first costume requires a roll of white streamers or (what I found and thought would be perfect even if it was glittery) was decorative mesh. Then, all you have to do is wrap the streamers or mesh around your dog and you have created a monster! A monster! I’m just kidding, Simon was always a monster, but you have made your dog into a mummy.

I also like this one because it doesn’t require a lot of forethought or imagination, and always works, even if your dog wriggles around a lot.

However, if you are feeling truly ambitious about creating a costume for your dog all you need to buy is a bag of balloons, and a large plastic bag.

Actually from comments of other DIY costumers, because I adapted this idea from a costume idea for humans, a plastic shower curtain liner would work better because it wouldn’t break as easily as, say a gift-wrapping bag, which I would agree with. The plastic of the bag was too thin and broke too easily, but it worked for the moment.

And, what do you know, with just these two simple things you can turn your dog into… (imaginary drum roll)

A bag of jelly beans!

IMG_3119
Rosee as a bag of jelly beans.

Whatever you choose to do with your dog for Halloween do try to keep in mind a few things:

  • Do get your dog used to wearing a costume if they’re new to it buy putting it on them for a few minutes everyday leading up to Halloween and make sure that the experience is a good one. Give them treats or lots of praise while wearing the costume.
  • Do make sure the costume is comfortable and easy to move around in for your dog.
  • Don’t force your dog to wear a costume if they really don’t want to. At the end of the day, dogs are dogs and not necessarily meant to wear clothes. Although, some dogs with less body fat benefit from wearing sweaters in the colder temperatures, some dogs may not tolerate it well. If wearing a costume makes your dog uncomfortable, anxious, and unhappy don’t make them wear it.
  • Do make sure you come back tomorrow to check out a holiday-inspired fashion alternative to pet costumes that any dog would love!