Homemade Prickly Porcupine Costume for a Girl
This is my daughter’s porcupine costume from this year. I had narrowed her costume choices down to a few and showed her some pictures of them. She got very excited when she saw the porcupine and exclaimed, “Poopy-pine!” That pretty much settled it. Every time anyone mentioned costumes or Halloween, she would yell “Poopy-pine!” and she told EVERYONE that was what she was going to be. It was super cute.
I started by carving a porcupine head from a block of white foam, which we made by gluing several layers of styrofoam together. I used a serrated knife to shape the nose and mouth, eyes, ears and rounded head. I cut a round opening in the bottom so she could wear it like a hat. We added ribbon inside the hat part that tied under her chin to help hold it on. We made sure to carve out places for the eyes and added ears for extra detail. For eyeballs, we used the black glossy rocks like they use in fish tanks.
Here’s the mess we had after carving the head:
We glued black fun fur over the foam head and ended up shaving/trimming the fur down so it wasn’t too long over the nose and mouth. We painted the nose and mouth a bit to add detail to the face.
I made a shirt and pants out of the same black fur which used about a yard between the head and body. They were simple black pants with an elastic band and a basic shirt, which I cut up the back and sewed ribbon to tie it in the back. I then cut a cape out of the gray, black and white patterned fur for the back. It tapered down into a wide, rounded tale like a porcupine. We also added a long piece of this fur to the head, from the ears back, so that it hung down to meet the cape.
We took several sheets of craft foam (10 sheets of 8×12 – 5 gray and five black) and painted white stripes on it long ways. Then I cut the sheets into strips about a 1/2″ wide at the base and tapering to a point. We got about 50 strips for quills per sheet, so there were around 500 total. I used a hot glue gun and added the quills to the head and down the cape.
I had to spread the fur apart to make sure the glue was getting to the material and not just sticking to the fur. I put glue along the base of quill, along the wider part, and stuck them to the cape and head, holding them until they set. I did use some smaller quills and mostly gray at the front of the face.
They stood up very well on their own and were super cute. Best of all, they stuck out like quills but were safe for a two year old in a crowd :)
It took most of one Sunday to make the head and sew the body. I spent the better part of another Sunday gluing the 500 quills to the fur, so probably 20 hours total. It turned out really well and we had a lot of great comments. The costume was very warm and light, which meant she actually kept it on for trick or treating both times we went! Keeping a two year old in costume for a couple hours at a time is not easy! Since the cape and head easily slipped off, she could take a break as well, which was helpful! She won both of the small costume contests that we did and had about 50 people stop to take her picture. Even better, my daughter still tells everyone she was a “poopy-pine” and had a blast.