How to Make a Pumpkin Costume

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A pumpkin costume is cute at any age.
A pumpkin costume is cute at any age. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

One of the most recognized symbols of Halloween is a big orange pumpkin carved into a jack-o-lantern with a scary, silly or happy face. Pumpkin costumes are typically made using orange fabric with friendly, black facial features attached to the front. Whether you're looking for a costume to whip up for yourself, a child or a group, a pumpkin costume can be put together fairly quickly, inexpensively and with no sewing necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 or 2 sheets self-stick black felt
  • Marker
  • Orange t-shirt, with long or short sleeves, 2 sizes bigger than you normally wear
  • Scissors
  • 1/4-inch wide elastic, long enough to go around your waist
  • Large safety pin
  • 1 cardboard toilet paper roll
  • Elastic headband
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • 1 sheet self-stick green felt
  • 1 green pipe cleaner
  • 1 green pom-pom
  • Recycled plastic grocery bags and/or newspapers

Making Your Pumpkin Top

Draw the eyes, nose and mouth shapes for your jack-o-lantern on the paper side of the sticky-back black felt and cut them out.

Put on the orange t-shirt and use the marker to make a small dot to mark the placement of the nose on your pumpkin costume, then remove the shirt. This will help with the placement of the other facial features.

Lay the t-shirt flat on your work surface. Place the facial features on the shirt however you'd like. When you are happy with how the pumpkin face looks, remove the paper backing from the felt pieces and press to stick on the t-shirt.

Turn the t-shirt inside out and cut a small slit through one layer of the bottom hem. The slit should be just large enough to fit the safety pin through. This will be the casing for your elastic.

Hold the elastic around your waist, making sure it is loose enough so that you can easily stretch it over your shoulders. Cut it to this length. Attached the safety pin to one end of the elastic and feed it through the bottom hem casing on the t-shirt. The elastic will gather the hem of the t-shirt as you work your way around. When you've gone all the way around, tie the ends of the elastic in a knot. You will adjust the elastic to your waist when you put the top on.

Put on the t-shirt. Untie the elastic if necessary. Be sure to hold onto both ends so they don't slip back inside the casing of the t-shirt. Cinch the elastic to your waist so it's comfortable and re-tie. Cut off any excess elastic, or tuck it up under the t-shirt hem to hide it when wearing the costume.

Making Your Pumpkin Stem

Remove the paper backing from the green sheet of sticky backed felt. Line the cardboard tube up with the bottom and one side edge of the felt and gently press down. Roll the tube, pressing gently to secure the felt to the cardboard,until the tube is completely covered in green felt. Be sure to stay aligned with the bottom edge.

If there is extra felt you can either cut it off or continue rolling it around the cardboard tube to make a thicker stem. You now have a green stem that is open at both ends.

Find the center of your elastic headband and cut it open, so now instead of a circle you have a flat strip of elastic.

Apply a blob of hot glue to one side of the bottom, inside edge of the stem. Press one end of the elastic headband into the glue and hold until secure. Apply a second glob of hot glue directly opposite the first blob on the bottom inside edge of the stem and press in the other end of the elastic headband.

Now you have the stem at the top with the attached headband hanging below.

Curl the pipe cleaner by wrapping it around the marker. Slide the pipe cleaner off the marker, keeping it in the curly shape.

Take one end of the curled pipe cleaner and hot glue it to the top, inside edge of the stem then hot glue a pom-pom to the other end of pipe cleaner. Bend the curled pipe cleaner around the stem in a fashion that suits you.

Wearing Your Pumpkin Costume

Put on the pumpkin costume top and fill with recycled plastic bags. The more you stuff your shirt, the fatter and rounder your pumpkin costume will be.

Wear your stem hat as you normally would a headband or slide the elastic under your chin.

Put on a pair of brown or black pants or leggings to complete your costume.

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