How to Make a Charlie Brown Costume

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Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang have been gracing the funny pages of the newspaper since October 2, 1950. This lovable character, created by Charles M. Schulz, is instantly recognizable by many generations, along with his unchanging style. He remains a popular Halloween costume today.

Things You'll Need

  • Mustard yellow polo shirt
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Black fabric paint
  • Paper plate
  • Paintbrush
  • Fabric marker
  • Black permanent marker
  • Bald cap

Making Charlie Brown's Shirt

Charlie Brown wears a mustard yellow polo shirt with a black zigzag pattern that wraps around the mid-section of the shirt.

Step 1: Prepare the Shirt

Get the shirt ready to receive paint by washing it, drying it, and making sure that it is free of wrinkles. If there are wrinkles, iron the shirt. Lay out the shirt on a flat surface, such as a dining room table or kitchen counter.

Step 2: Cut the Cardboard

Before you can paint, you need to insert a piece of cardboard between the front and back of the shirt. This cardboard will help to absorb any excess paint that bleeds through the shirt and will provide a hard surface on which to paint.

Lay a piece of cardboard on top of the shirt and cut the cardboard so it is just slightly smaller than the width of the shirt. Insert the cardboard in between the shirt layers and smooth out any wrinkles.

Step 3: Paint the Zigzag

Charlie Brown's shirt has a zigzag pattern circling the abdomen of the shirt. This is not a precise zigzag pattern but a roughly drawn one. Open the fabric paint, pour some of it on a paper plate and use your paintbrush to paint the zigzag pattern on the shirt.

Tip

  • Try painting the outlines of the zigzag first and then filling it in with more black paint. Use long, straight strokes and allow some yellow to peek through here and there, just like in the comic strip.

Completing the Charlie Brown Costume

Step 1: Add Black Shorts

Charlie Brown is almost always seen wearing black shorts that go to the knee. Choose black shorts to wear with the yellow polo shirt, which should be untucked.

Step 2: Choose the Shoes

Pick a pair of casual brown shoes. Shoes that lace are ideal, worn with yellow socks poking out a bit.

Step 3: Finish the Look

Charlie Brown is known for his single swirl of hair on his bald head. Purchase a Charlie Brown mask or a bald cap from your local costume shop. Cover your hair with the bald skull cap and use black permanent marker to draw the single swirl of hair.

Tip

  • Carry around a stuffed Snoopy doll to complete the costume. Charlie Brown also frequently walks around in a somber manner with his hands stuffed in his pockets.

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