I'm a DIY mommy that loves Halloween a little too much and HAD to go all out for my sons first real year. Loving a little dark humor I thought a crocodile eating a baby was a great costume. However, in the middle of making it, it struck me - Captain Hook! How funny?! And from there it became the best costume I have ever made.
If you want to make this costume you will need a sewing machine, needles for hand sewing and roughly 35$-50$ for materials. I recommend medium to advanced sewing knowledge and a lot of ambition.
Step 1: Materials
The first thing you need is fabric and stuffing. I bought everything with coupons at Joann Fabrics so it was very cheap. Never pay for anything regular price at Joann's! Always use a coupon.
For the Crocodile you will need-
2 yards of dark green fleece
1 yard of light green fleece
1/5 of a yard of white felt (teeth)
1 sheet of black felt (paper sized)
1/3 yard of pink fleece
36 ounces of stuffing (I bought a giant bag at Walmart for 10$ and still have leftovers)
Suspenders (Mine were from HM pants that I knew fit him)
For Captain Hook-
3/4 yard of red fleece
1/2 inch gold trim
Iron on bonding 5/8
1/5 a yard of lace trim
A white tee shirt
Step 2: Crocodile Body
The first thing I did was draw a general crocodile shape onto wrapping paper. I used this as a pattern.
Cut one dark green body piece and one light green body piece. I chose to make the dark piece an inch wider, so I cut an inch away from the pattern. I wanted the dark green body to be larger than the light green. After I cut the pieces out, the next step was to do the body details. Using my sewing machine I sewed straight lines an inch or so apart along the entire length of the dark green fabric top. I wanted to add a little texture.
Next I cut 3, 1.5 inch wide 6 feet long(as long as the body) strips of the dark green fabric. Take these strips and cut triangles out of the fleece on the top half of the strip. Then I cut the dark green body where I wanted the triangle spikes to be placed. You take the dark green body pieces and sandwich the triangles between the right sides of the fabric with the triangles facing inside. Sew 3/8 inch away from the edge. When you turn the fabric upright the spikes will stick straight up. You can place these where ever you'd like, and add more if you want. I did three rows that went all the way to the end of the tail.
After the details are done on the dark green I sewed the light and dark green together with right sides together. Then I stuffed the body until it was full and taut.
Step 3: The Crocodile Head
The first thing I did was sketch a pattern shape of what I thought the crocodile head should be. Paying attention to the proportions is really important here. You will have two separate pieces that mirror each other but are different sizes. Make the bottom jaw larger with a longer green neck area. This is where the holes for the child's legs will go so you will want a lot extra. You can always make it smaller later.
Cut the top out in the dark green fabric and do the same for the bottom of the jaw.I chose to scallop the edges of the jaw, attempting to make it similar to a real crocodile. It didn't turn out exactly right but looked great enough.
I folded the paper pattern where I wanted the jaw to wrap down and made the pattern for the pink from the inside of the folded paper. I sewed the edges of the green like a pin tuck where I folded the paper on the wrong side of the fabric. I cut teeth out of fleece and sandwich them between the pink and green head to sew. Then stuff them until they are full as you'd like.
I added an eyeball area to create a more animated face and sewed that onto the head top.
So at this point you should have have 3 separate pieces. A body and head top and jaw bottom.
Step 4: Attaching the Head
So this is the trickiest part. If you think that last part was frustrating you haven't seen nothin' yet! You want to attach the head to the top of the body so that it sticks straight up but does not fall back. The jaw needs to be attached to the bottom of the body far enough away so that you can have a kid fit. I can't even explain how difficult it was estimating where to put my son and have it still look like an illusion. He does not stand still for anything so I used stuffed animals and boots.
I needed about 8-10 inches of the neck area to be where he stands. I separated some of the dark green body neck area from the light green body neck area. I sealed the body stuffing by pulling down the extra 8 inches of the top perpendicular to the body and sewed it down on the bottom edge. You will have extra green fabric on the bottom that you can cut off. (Do not cut anything or sew anything until you've pinned it and found the right placement)
After it is sealed you can pin the head on the edge of the top. Then pin the jaw to the edge of the neck on the bottom. I folded the pink fabric back and hand sewed to hold the stuffing and make room for someone to stand. In the bottom jaw area I cut holes as close to the neck as I could get.
As I mentioned before, I highly suggest pinning things and not sewing them until you have the right position. I hand sewed the head and jaw on at the last minute.
At this point it will look strange and like it is not coming together. You still need to add what I call the 'jowl' area. This is what single-handedly hides your child, holds the jaw in the right position and makes the illusion work.
Step 5: Jowls
Now that you have the head and jaw pinned and the holes cut you will want to add the suspenders. This is where you need your model. While they are standing in the holes pin the suspenders into the jaw so the weight is distributed evenly and most importantly the jaw is placed exactly where you want it. If you have the suspenders into the wrong spot the jaw will flop all over.
While the suspenders are in the right spot you will want to make a jowl pattern in the shape of half moon. I used my wrapping paper again and drew a shape that resembles a jowl and also would cover what I didn't want to be seen. I cut out the paper a little bigger than I wanted and held it up to the mouth and traced areas that need to be scaled down. After you get the right shape cut out two pieces with the pattern and sew them together leaving a little hole to stuff fabric. Invert the fabric and stuff. Now hold it up to the mouth. Here you will pin the jowl and make sure it fits and hides the butt of your model. if it holds the jaw where you want it and looks good then make another for the other side. If it doesn't look right go back to the drawing board. You might need to adjust the suspenders to hold the weight differently.
After the jowl is ready this is the point where I sew everything on that is pinned. Sew the head on, the jaw, the suspenders. Then last sew the jowl.
Step 6: Eyes, Legs, Pants and Booties
I wanted the eyes to look a little maniacal so I added some red and mean eyebrows. I cut it out of felt and glued them together and then glued them onto the head eyeball area.
For the legs I made a tube with a round top thigh area and a flat bottom oval shape with triangle claws. They need to be really stiff so they can stand on their own and be dragged around. Attach the open end of the tube to the oval paw area. Hand sew these in place where you want the back legs.
I made my son pants in the dark green fleece. I used pants that fit him now as a pattern.
For his booties I made them to cover some booties I bought from old navy. I did this by looking at the seam lines on the old navy ones and cut fabric in those general shapes. I added the green triangles as claws to match the back legs.
Step 7: Captain Hook
For the captain hook I used some things I had around the house along with sewing a few things. You will need a hook, sword and pirate hat( I glued white feathers to a cheap hat).
For the coat sew a very simple fleece jacket(simple patterns available at Walmart) and iron on some gold trim to the edges. Cut 2 inch strips of lace and gather them. Attach the lace to the inner wrist areas. Then sew an inverted pyramid of gathered lace to a white t-shirt in the center collar area.
For the mustache I used a water proof eyeliner pen, but it was impossible to put on, he kept moving. If you have a fake stick on mustache that would be so much better.
Last but not least test it out. Put the suspenders on over the shirt. Then put the coat on last. Tuck in the jacket so you can really see how Captain Hook is getting chomped.
My son absolutely loved this costume. He cried every time I took it off. It was so much fun and worth all the hard work. And now it is a body pillow. How many costumes can be used forever?!
First Prize in the
Halloween Costume Contest
Participated in the
First Time Author Challenge
Participated in the
Superheroes and Supervillains Contest