Good morning! This is Sarah’s sister Rachel, and last Halloween I somehow created a really darling and really easy no-sew ghost costume for my kids. I mean, take a look for yourself: aren’t they the cutest little ghouls you’ve ever seen?
Now lest you get the wrong idea about me, I must start off my admitting that I am not a crafter or a blogger; I am merely Sarah’s little sister who does not have domestic abilities. Despite this truth, every once in a while I get lucky and create something cute for my kids, and when that miraculous and sporadic event occurs, Sarah convinces me to share my ideas on her blog. The problem is, I don’t really have ideas; I just have dumb-luck. But I am more than willing to try to share some of that with all of you!
I’m sorry if this tutorial is sub-par. I don’t have detailed photos of the process or exact measurements for the materials, but I will do my best to explain what I can. And the good news is, this costume is really forgiving and doesn’t have to be exact. Just look at my photos and read my basic instructions and then create something truly unique with your own flair.
So let me explain how these no-sew costumes came into existence:
My three-year-old son, Noah, asked to be a ghost for Halloween, and I will admit that I was initially disappointed. He has had some really unique and cute costumes in his few years of life, and honestly I thought a ghost sounded pretty boring. I pictured a kid with a sheet over his head with holes cut out for eyes and a mouth, similar to the ridiculous picture of my brother-in-law below, and I just wasn’t feeling it.
My dismay increased as I started to look for costumes to purchase online. Like I mentioned, I am not a crafter, and I could not find anything online that I could just buy. Everything was too scary and zombie-ish for my liking, or it was just corny and not very cute. Did this mean I was actually going to have to make something for my child’s Halloween costume?? Gulp.
To top this dilemma off, my son wanted to match his baby sister, so I needed something that would work for both of them, but I don’t have the skills or supplies to sew anything!
I scoured Pinterest (and sorted past all the photos of kids dressed as zombie ghosts because that just gives me the creeps) until I found this photo. Unfortunately, this Etsy seller was all sold out so I couldn’t just buy it—but I thought the idea of a poncho was really cute, and when I realized that I could probably make this costume without sewing a stich, I was sold.
I took this photo to the friendly ladies at the fabric store, and they helped me buy some supplies. That is what I love about workers at fabric stores: they really know what they are doing. They give great advice to inept crafters like me, so if this “tutorial” that I am writing isn’t detailed enough for you, but you’d like to make some ghost ponchos for your own kiddos, just take a photo of my kids’ costumes to the fabric store and ask those talented ladies how to recreate them. They will probably do a much better job explaining it than I will!
What I bought at the fabric store:
- Two yards of white fleece for the poncho. (This was enough for both my 3-year-old son and my 4-month-old baby, but you should measure your child’s heights before you go to the store and plan accordingly.)
- Three 8.5 x 11 sheets of stiff black felt for the ghost face
- Fabric glue so I wouldn’t have to sew on the faces. (I bought Beacon Adhesives “Fabric-Tac Permanent Adhesive” and it worked great.)
- Sharp sewing scissors
How I made the ghost ponchos:
- I folded the piece of fleece in half and held it up to my son. I marked how long it should be if I wanted it to end just above his ankle. I also had him reach his arms out so I could measure his wingspan, and I marked the fabric at about his palms.
- I laid the folded piece of fleece on the ground and, using the markings as reference, drew half an oval onto the fabric with a pencil. I then cut out an oval from the fleece.
- I cut a hole in the middle of the oval for his head to go through. I used a water glass to measure this (diameter of 3.5 inches), and, honestly, I think it was a little too big. Fleece really stretches, and you’d be surprised how small a hole can go over a child’s head. I would start small (maybe 2 inches?) and try it on your child. Then trim a little bigger if you need to.
- I cut strips that were about 1.5 inches wide and 6 inches long all the way around the oval of fleece. They weren’t completely uniform in width, and it didn’t matter. There were also a few spots where the angles got all wonky as I went around a curve, and that didn’t matter either. Just do your best to make mostly uniform, straight cuts, and if you have a few weird ones, don’t sweat it.
- I tied each of the strips into a knot. They were not tied to each other; each individual strip was just knotted around itself and pulled tight. One strip=One knot.
- My husband made the ghost faces. He consulted the internet for ideas and got input from my son, and then he simply drew some designs onto construction paper, cut them out, and put them against the poncho to make sure they were the right shape and size. Once we were sure about size and design, he traced them onto the black felt and cut them out.
- We then pinned the felt pieces to the poncho and had my son try it on, so we could move the face around to be just perfect. After we got that right, we took it back off of our son and glued the felt on with the fabric glue.
Victory! So cute and so easy!!
We repeated this same process to make a ghost poncho for our four-month-old baby girl. And need I remind you of how cute she looked in it?
I know what you’re thinking, what about their cute hats?? They really make the outfit, don’t they?
I searched high and low for a knotted white stocking cap for my son because I knew it would complete his ghostly look. I ended up finding one on Amazon called “Solid Color Knotted Baby Hat” by Jacqui’s Premie Pride Inc. I bought the size 12-24 month, even though he was three years old, and it worked! Unfortunately, this hat is no longer for sale on Amazon. I did a quick Google search, and I found it for sale in infant sizes here, but I could not find it for bigger boys.
The good news for all of you crafty people out there is that I’m sure this type of hat would be simple for someone with minimal sewing skills to make. I found a tutorial from Fish Kiss on YouTube here, and there were many more tutorials and patterns online.
In the end, I absolutely loved this Halloween costume, and I’m so glad that my son suggested it. It was easy to make, comfortable and warm for him to wear, quick for him to throw on over a pair of black sweatpants and a white long-sleeved shirt, and pretty stinking cute in my unbiased opinion!
Dumb-luck and no-sew costumes for the win!
If you like this tutorial then be sure to check out Sarah’s no-sew Elsa Tutu dress and other handmade costumes ideas on the posts below: