Turn an unwanted or damaged blanket into a childrens Halloween costume or a sleeping bag for some camping fun! This is a fun and fairly simple project that beginners both young and old might enjoy.
Step 1: Materials and Prep
- Small to medium-sized throw blanket or scrap of fleecy material.
- Contrasting fabric scraps for eyes.
- A 2-3 ft zipper.
Layout to Cut:
- Fold the blanket in half the long way and decide how long you want the sleeping bag to be without the hood. If the child is sleeping in the bag this length should make it so the bag goes all the way up to the neck, or long if you want to leave extra room to grow into.
- Fold again where you want the top edge of the sleeping bag main body to be and cut the folded top off. This top part will form both the hood and the antennae/rope.
- For the last cut, trim about two inches off the long edge of the top/hoodie piece that you just cut from the main body of the sleeping bag. Look at the pictures below to see what you should end up with.
Step 2: Pinning and Sewing the Body
Fold under and pin any raw edges that have just been cut and sew along the edge so that they won't unravel (if you have a surger you can just serge these edges.)
2. Sew Edges Together
Fold the body piece so that the edges are lined up and it is inside out. Figure out how far you zipper will go down on the side by laying out the body piece with the hoodie and zipper (see the third picture below). Mark the end the zipper with a pin. Sew the open bottom and side edges together, leaving from the pin till the top edge open for the zipper. If you want this to be a Halloween costume simply do not sew the bottom edges together.
3. Round Bottom Corners (opt.)
To give the creature a more caterpillar look you can sew rounded bottom corners, making sure to keep the bag inside out while sewing.
Step 3: Add Zipper and Hoodie
- Sew top edge of hoodie. This step is not clearly depicted below in the photos, but it is simple; just fold the hood piece in half and sew along the longer edge that is sandwiched together.
- Line up and pin the zipper on the body part of the bag starting from where you want the hoodie opening to be (from center toward the outer edge.) ***Your zipper must open from the neck then down the side, otherwise it will be difficult to get into!
- Sew the zipper from about the center of the top end of the front side of the body round the corner and down the side. (see photo below for result)
- Now you can pin and sew the zipper to the other side of the opening of the main body piece (not the top though, that is where the hoodie goes!)
- After attaching the zipper to the body you can pin and sew the bottom of the hood all the way around the top of the body. Make sure to line up the zipper in the center with the part of the hood that will become a flap. Be extra careful sewing where the zipper stops and the back of the sleeping bag is sewn directly to the hoodie.
Step 4: Make and Attach Eyes
1. Large Eye Section.
Decide how big you want the eyes to be and find something (circular, oval, triangular...) to trace. I chose a CD. Cut the large eye section out and iron.
2. Eye Pupils
Any shape will do, depending on the emotion of your creature. If you want to give the eyes a more finished look iron the edges under before sewing the eye pupils to the larger section.
Lay the eye parts out to get an idea of how you want your creature to look. First sew the pupils to the larger eye section, then sew the large section to your creature. After you sew the eyes to the creature you might want to add a lining around the eye to make them stand out more. I used an old shoelace.
Step 5: Creature Antennae
- Take the two-inch piece you cut out in step one and pin and sew along the long edge.
- Once sewn, you need to pull it right-side-out. I did this by attaching one end to a largish safety pin and pulling it through the middle.
- Figure out how long you want your antennae and cut the ends off of your rope. Both of the end pieces should already have a finished edge if you started with a blanket.
- Tuck the raw edges under and pin and sew to appropriate spot on the hoodie.
- You can use the remainder of the rope to keep the bag tied up when not in use!
Step 6: Finished Creature
Here are two I made for the children of some of my friends. The blankets were slightly different sizes, but I think both bags turned out pretty close. The first is still my favorite though!