Homemade Costumes for Dogs

"My mom turned me into a bat!"

"My mom turned me into a bat!"

Have you seen pet costumes in stores and thought, "I could make that?" The good news is you can! There are a myriad of homemade dog costume options for every pet owner, regardless of skill level or expertise. All you need is some time and a little creativity.


You can still make a quality homemade costume for your pooch even if you don’t know a cross stitch from a slip stitch. Some of the easiest pet costumes start in the children’s clothing department. Infant or toddler T-shirts make a great foundation for costumes, such as a skeleton. Simply outline a rib cage with white acrylic paint on a black toddler shirt and voila, your pup has transformed into a spooky skeleton! How about a cowboy? If you can find a bandana and small enough cowboy hat, you can easily make your buddy the next lone ranger.

Intermediate Level

Somewhere in between rounding up household items and sewing a costume from scratch lies the intermediate level tools of the trade: hot glue, scissors and creativity. How cute would your pup be as a snowman? Hot glue some oversized cotton balls to a white T-shirt or onesie, cut some buttons out of black construction paper and quick, give him a carrot for that perfect finishing touch and photo.


If you’re handy with a sewing machine, there are no limits to the costumes you can create for your dog. Make a ballerina costume by altering a little girl's dress to fit your dog. Trim the bottom of the skirt off the dress, and sew a homemade tutu out of tulle and elastic. Measure your dog's waist to ensure a snug but not tight fit. Pop it on your little girl and get ready to watch her pirouette!

Special Occasions

You don’t need a holiday to warrant making a costume for your pup. Special occasions such as weddings and birthdays call for a dapper dog. He will make a precious ring bearer with a simple bow tie from your fiancé’s closet, a small pillow and some ribbon or lace. Loop the ribbon around your pup several times and place the rings in a pouch or box for safekeeping. A birthday hat is simple to make out of construction paper and elastic. Try distracting your dog with a treat if he doesn’t tolerate hats very well, it may buy you enough time for that perfect photo-op.

If you just can't pass up a good holiday photo, turn your pup into a Christmas tree. Cut out and sew felt ornaments onto a green doggie sweater to make a cute little Christmas tree. Top it off with a bow on his collar for the perfect amount of holiday cheer in your family's Christmas card.

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About the Author

Christina Stephens is a writer from Portland, Ore. whose main areas of focus are pets and animals, travel and literature. A veterinary assistant, she taught English in South Korea and holds a BA in English with cum laude honors from Portland State University.

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