Being a costume designer, I can sometimes make things a little more complicated than they need to be. In my search for the PERFECT fabric, the most accurate trim, or the proper fit, I can sometimes forget that the simplest solution is sometimes the best. When Red came home with a week’s worth of notice for “school friend costume day,” I initially chose a classic over thought concept. But I had to face it, active kindergarteners don’t need an elaborate costume for every school spirit day that rolls around. After Red chose from his school friends, I devised an inexpensive no sew dog costume for his mascot day.
Erwin the dog was Red’s choice, a yellow lab with a colorful collar and floppy ears. I stopped by our craft store and spent less than $5.88 on all the supplies I needed: a $3 t-shirt, a yellow foam visor, two sheets of matching felt and two bottles of fabric paint. Talk about CHEAP! It was less than any combination of Amazon items I could find. Sometimes local shopping is better.
For the no sew dog costume collar, I decided to paint it onto the shirt. Fewer items to lose and less to create from scratch. I used the knit ring around the neckline to cordon off the purple paint, adding a blue dog tag when the first layer was dry. Then I flipped the shirt and painted the backside. I also felt like strangely shopping for a grill after painting. 😉
To construct my no sew dog hat I sketched ears on the felt and hot glued them together. I left the bottom area open an inch or two in order to split the ear onto the hat. You can see in the photo below that the ears are split apart and laid onto the foam visor. This gave the ears a little more stability and let them stick out like the cartoon mascot.
When the big day finally arrived, Red was overjoyed to wear his costume. He had been asking for days in advance to don his yellow shirt and hat. Showing it off to his classmates, Red danced around the hallways and posed in front of the Erwin poster to share how much he and the yellow dog were alike. In the end, the no sew dog costume took only an hour or two (including drying time) and cost under $6. The amount of joy and fun it provided was immense.