Last year, my son wanted to be a Ninja Turtle for Halloween so I bought him a costume. But since we always do a family theme, I had to figure out how to make something for my husband and me, for cheap, and relatively easy! After looking at pictures online (especially this site), I saw some Ninja costumes that didn’t look too hard to make so I thought I’d give it a shot.
I went to Walmart and found purple and red fabrics for the masks (1/8 yard per color for less than $1 each), a big box for free (no dumpster diving required), and two olive colored fleece blankets for $4 each. The box was big enough to make 2 shells. For each shell, I basically made a big oval, tall enough to cover our neck down to our knees, and wide enough to be wider than our shoulders. Then I cut the 4 corners of the cardboard diagonally inwards (about a 6 inch long cut at each corner from the outer edge of the shell towards the middle). At each corner, I pulled the cut edges together so they overlapped each other and stapled them together to make the shell curve and pop up higher in the middle. I trimmed the corners a little to make the edges smoother. Then I used duct tape to reinforce the stapled corner. Didn’t want the staples popping out and have my shell fall apart later! Then I stretched the fleece blanket over the cardboard shell and stapled that all the way around the outer edge of the shell, and trimmed the extra fabric around the edges. I drew on the shell details with black markers. For the masks and belts, I just cut the fabric in half lengthwise to make 2 strips of each color. I cut out eye holes in one of the strips and the other strip became the belt. I spent less then $10 total for both adult costumes.
I was a little worried at first since I’m not particularly creative but I actually enjoyed it once I got started. The hardest part was figuring out how to attach the shell because they were too heavy to just attach with the stretchy fleece fabric. And I didn’t want it tied around the neck like a cape and be choked all night either. So I ended up leaving a little cardboard flap by the shoulders that I also covered in the fabric. I left extra fabric at the end of the flaps so I could loop that under our armpits and tie it on our back, under the shell. The first one took a while to figure out, but the 2nd one probably took less than an hour.
Wearing all black clothes, with our shells in the trunk, we went downtown where they closed off the main street and had booths with games and candy for the kids. It took us less than a minute each to assemble ourselves in the parking lot. We definitely didn’t look like anybody else there and people were super friendly. Some asked where we got our costume and some even knocked on our shells! A lot of fun overall and I wouldn’t have dared ‘making’ my own costume if I hadn’t stumbled upon this site and got inspired.
Thanks everyone for your ideas on a Ninja Turtles Group Costume!