DIY Shark Costume

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No one can forget the smooth moves of Left Shark from Katy Perry's infamous Superbowl half-time show. Surprise the whole party in this full-body shark suit, which requires no sewing and can be assembled in a few hours. No matter how good (or bad) a dancer you are, this costume is sure to accentuate your every move.

(Image: Sonya Nimri)

Things You'll Need

  • 3 pool noodles
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape in aqua blue
  • Aqua blue fleece, 4 yards
  • White fleece, 1 yard
  • Hot glue gun
  • Plastic baseball
  • Black sticky-backed felt, 8-by-10-inches
  • White sticky-backed felt, 8-by-10-inches
  • 1/4-inch thick foam, 1/2 yard 

Step 1: Cut the Pool Noodles

Cut two pool noodles at a 30-degree angle at each end so they fit together into a point, and then duct tape them together. Make a cut in the middle of each pool noodle and add another 8-inch piece of pool noodle to extend the sides. Duct tape these extensions to the noodles.

(Image: Sonya Nimri)
(Image: Sonya Nimri)

Step 2: Cover the Noodles with Tape

Cover the entire surface of the noodles in duct tape. This will prevent them from melting when the fabric is hot-glued to them.

(Image: Sonya Nimri)

Step 3: Cut the Aqua Fleece

Cut two pieces of aqua fleece in the same oval shape as the oval noodle structure except 1 inch bigger all around.

(Image: Sonya Nimri)

Step 4: Add the White Fleece

Cut an oval-shaped piece of white fleece 3 inches smaller than the blue fleece and glue it to the middle of one of the blue fleece pieces, turning under the raw edges by 1/2 inch as you go. Set aside the other blue fleece oval for later.

(Image: Sonya Nimri)

Step 5: Glue Fleece to the Noodles

Hot-glue the big piece of blue fleece to the edge of the oval pool noodle structure, leaving the raw edges exposed.

(Image: Sonya Nimri)

Step 6: Add a Gusset

Cut two pieces of blue fleece that measure 8 inches wide by as long as your yardage will allow. Hot-glue each piece on either side of your blue fleece, along the front edge, turning the fabric under 1/4 inch as you go to cover the raw edge of the blue fabric oval.

(Image: Sonya Nimri)

Step 7: Cut Gills

Using scissors, cut gills out of your black felt sheet. You'll need a total of ten gills (five per side).

(Image: Sonya Nimri)

Step 8: Make a Shark Mouth

Cut a black felt mouth and 19 pointed teeth from white felt. Glue the teeth to the black felt mouth, ten to the top and nine to the bottom.

(Image: Sonya Nimri)

Step 9: Glue the Mouth to the Shark

Hot-glue the mouth a little higher than half-way up the middle of the front of the white fleece on the costume. Cut away the blue and white layers of fleece on the backside of the mouth so you can see through the felt mouth. This is to provide visibility for you while wearing the costume.

(Image: Sonya Nimri)
(Image: Sonya Nimri)

Step 10: Make the Eyes

Cut a plastic baseball in half, and then cut a piece of black felt larger enough to cover half of the ball. Make sure the black felt curves in a semi-circle and and notch one side of it every 1/4 inch. Glue this sheet of black felt to one half of the plastic ball, overlapping the notches to pull the felt taut. Glue a strip of aqua fleece to the top, over the overlapping black felt, creating an eyelid. Cut a little white circle and glue that to the black of the eye for the glint. Repeat on the other half of the plastic ball to make the other eye.

(Image: Sonya Nimri)
(Image: Sonya Nimri)

Step 11: Glue the Eyes to the Face

Add hot glue to the back of the fleece and stick the eyes on each side of the shark face -- on the blue felt -- a few inches above the mouth.

(Image: Sonya Nimri)

Step 12: Create the Shark Fins

Cut two blue fleece triangles, two white fleece triangles, and two triangles of 1/4-inch foam that are as long as your arms and about 20 inches wide at the base.

(Image: Sonya Nimri)
(Image: Sonya Nimri)

Step 13: Glue the Fins to the Body

Glue the white triangle fins to the backside of the gusset, right where your arms fall on each side. Place each foam triangle behind each white triangle, and then hot-glue the blue triangles around the two long sides of the white triangles, leaving the short sides open at the back, which is where you will slide your arms through to wear the costume.

(Image: Sonya Nimri)

Step 14: Add a Back to the Costume

Add the second blue oval to the back of the costume, turning under the gusset's edge 1/4 inch and gluing it to the back side of the oval as shown in the photo. Sandwich the blue part of the fin to the oval where they meet.

Add back
Add back (Image: Sonya Nimri)

Step 15: Add Fins to the Gusset

Pull the sticky backing off of the gills and stick five of them to each side of the gusset right below the eyes.

Add gill
Add gill (Image: Sonya Nimri)

Step 16: Make the Shark Feet

Wear tights or slim fitting pants and put the costume on. Have someone else trim the gusset strips where they hit your shoes and tape the bottoms of the gussets to your shoes with the aqua tape. This will be the "legs" of your costume. You could also secure the gusset strips to your pant legs with a small piece of tape as well.

(Image: Sonya Nimri)

Now, strut your stuff in your new shark costume, and no need to worry about dance rehearsals.

(Image: Sonya Nimri)

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