Introduction: Charlie Brown Ghost Costume

About: Dad and graphic designer. Co-producer with my youngest of WREXLabs, a web show where we take things apart and see how they work.

In the Halloween TV Special "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" our hero apparently has some trouble making his ghost costume as it has eye holes cut out all over the bed sheet. We wanted to recreate this great costume because nothing says Halloween better than poor, pathetic, wishy-washy Charlie Brown saying "I got a rock".

Step 1: Materials Needed

1 white bed sheet - We used a twin size sheet bought at the local thrift shop (Support your local Salvation Army!) This worked well for the size of our costumee who stands a little less than 5 feet tall. Taller ghosts would need larger sheet sizes which could be cut down if needed.

Black material - We used a black velveteen maxi-skirt we found at the local thrift shop (Support your local Salvation Army or St. Vincent DePaul or Goodwill!) This worked well because it didn't have any stretch to it and it was relatively thick and a nice dark black.

1 Deluxe Invisible Mask - Purchased at the local Halloween shop.

1 tube of Invisible Stitch fabric glue - Purchased at the local fabric store.

1 old baseball cap (preferably white) - Found in the closet. Another type of hat could probably be used but it should be white so it doesn't show through the sheet.

Pins, sewing needle, seam ripper or pocket knife, white thread, general purpose cutters, 1 large and 1 small circle template (we used the two ends of a tapered drinking glass), scissors, pencil and a white crayon.

Step 2: Cut the Hat

To keep the sheet from moving around on the head during Halloween activities we decided to attach the sheet to a hat. We found a white baseball cap in the closet that seemed like it would work well.

Before cutting the rim we adjusted the hat for fit and marked the adjustable tab in the back just in case it got un-adjusted in the process.

Although it probably would have worked to just turn the hat around catcher style with the rim angled down the back we decided to cut the rim off the hat so it could be worn more evenly on the head. We chopped off the rim with a pair of general purpose cutters. Sharp heavy-duty shears may have worked better but we hacked our way through the thick lid with what we had.

Step 3: Fitting the Sheet

The young one put on the hat and we draped the sheet over him so he was right in the middle of the sheet.

Since it was a rectangular sheet the length was draped over him from front to back. The sheet was just wide enough to where he could lift his arms and have them come out the sides. This kept us from having to cut slits in the sheet for his hands to come out. Slits are fine but some extra sewing work would have been necessary to keep them from eventually ripping and becoming much larger holes. With smaller trick or treaters or larger sheets arm slits would most probably be necessary.

So, standing there with the sheet perfectly even we pinned the sheet to the hat in four spots doing our best not to impale our human sewing mannequin.

Once it was pinned we took it off the young one and hand-sewed the sheet to the cap in those four spots. We avoided the extra work of sewing it all the way around as that seemed like overkill and it might have made it too obvious that it was sewn.

Step 4: Cut the Eye Holes

While wearing the costume in its present condition the young one poked his fingers against the inside of the sheet where his eyes were. We marked those spots with a marker and then removed the costume.

Since we were going to cover the eye holes with the invisible mask material, we needed them to be smaller than the circles we were going to cover them with. We used the same tapered glass we would use for the black holes but used the small end as the template.

Once the circles were drawn we cut them out with a pair of sharp scissors and then donned the costume again to check our handiwork.

Step 5: Harvest Invisible Mask Material

We bought a Deluxe Invisible Mask at the local Halloween store for less than $6. This is the kind of mask that allows the wearer to see things quite well while the viewer sees only a black empty space. Very nice for Dementor, Grim Reaper, or Spirit of Christmas Past costumes.

We turned the mask inside out and since for some reason we don't have a seam ripper in the house we used a little pocket knife to rip the seams. We'll save the now Deluxe "Visible" Mask hood for future costume designs.

Step 6: Cut and Glue the Eyes

Using a white crayon we traced two circles onto the Invisible Mask material with the large end of the tapered glass. This is a rather flimsy material and we found a crayon worked better and showed up better than pencil or a marker.

We cut out the circles and ran a bead of Liquid Stitch Fabric Glue around the edges of the circles. It appears that the material is the same on both sides so there was no need to make sure we were putting the glue on the right side.

With the glue laid down we carefully placed them over the eye holes after previously laying out the costume on a flat surface.

Step 7: Cut and Glue the Holes

Using the large end of the tapered glass as the template we drew out over 35 circles on the back of the black velveteen skirt material we got at the thrift store. There wasn't any calculation for how many holes we needed. Once we drew out that many it seemed like it would be more than enough.

We then cut out all the circles, laid out the costume on a flat surface and started gluing them down in a random fashion. Our flat surface area was smaller than the full costume which made it a little difficult to tell if the distribution of holes was looking good. It also meant we had to glue holes in shifts. We would glue about a quarter of them down and then wait for them to dry and then glue down another section.

If we ever make another one we will definitely make enough room on the floor to layout all the holes before gluing them down but all in all we are very happy with the final result.

Now to start work on a prop rock.

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