It’s full-on Fall mode in our house right now (and technically it IS Fall), so this week I thought I would share a DIY Halloween costume. Last year I made Moana, Maui, and Tamatoa (shiny crab) costumes for my littles, but I didn’t finish until the day before Halloween. And it felt weird to share costumes after Halloween, so I thought I would share them this year instead.
I’ll start with Maui, because I think I spent the most time on it. You definitely have time to do this yourself if you start this weekend (heck, you could probably crank it out in one weekend if you really focus on it). But I spent a couple hours a night, a few times a week.
It was essentially an art project, so really fun if you like drawing! First, I ordered khaki-color long-underwear (I was going for skin-tone since Maui just wears a leaf skirt). Then I got a set of black, fabric markers (believe me – you want the range from fine to blunt tip, as I learned the hard way).
Once you have your clothes and markers, search for a Maui image (well, multiple images) you want to leverage. Now just put some cardboard between the front/back of your shirt, and start sketching away!
One tip: start by sketching pencil borders of each section to help with the scale of each tattoo. I also started with pencil for each sketch, so I could course correct as/if needed as I went along. And I used the fine tip marker a LOT, since it doesn’t take much to show detail, and I didn’t want the pictures to look like black blobs. If you look closely below, you can see how I drew all of the sections/tattoo borders in pencil, and then started sketching the first tattoo (again, in pencil):
My tattoos are far from perfect, but it’s all about doing small sections of each tattoo as you go. The end result as a whole looks good enough that you can see past any mistakes (and you’ll probably be the only one that notices them anyway).
When I first started, I actually didn’t have a blunt tip marker, and ended up moving on to the chest tattoos until I got one. Which leads me to my next tip: sketch anything you’re unsure of how to draw on paper first. The Heart of Te Fiti symbol on Moana’s sail was really throwing me for a loop, so I got used to it on paper before sketching it on the shirt.
And the best thing about Maui is that his tattoos are always changing, so with some of them I went with an easier version (or even made up my own fill-patterns as I went).
Ahhh, finally – a blunt tip marker!
You definitely want your cardboard between layers for this!!
Get ready, this is so satisfying!!!
I really liked how the “lasso the sun” (upper left) and “Moana” tattoos turned out, but the back was my favorite to sketch:
I hardly stopped to take pictures, haha! But this shows how I truly just made up filler tattoos around the shoulders! 😁
Next up, I did the arms. If you google Maui pics, you’ll see I really took the easy way out for both the shoulders and arms. But, my 4-year old couldn’t tell, and my kids watched the movie approximately 213 times before seeing this costume, so… I think you’re good to cheat on the arms, too. 😉
And here’s some more after pictures of the shirt; I’m really happy with how it turned out!
The legs don’t have many tattoos, so by this part it was smooth sailing. Although for the legs my tip is: have your kid try the pants on, eye how long the leaf skirt should be to look right, then mark the placement of your leg tattoos accordingly.
My little guy was very good at trying his costume on during various stages of development for me (below is obviously after leg tattoos were drawn)… 😄
For the leaf skirt, I used a few different types of fabric in varying shades of green. Huge tip: stick to felt (or fleece, if you really want those colors) leaves. I got some stretchy cotton (jersey cotton?), and it was a pain to work with and to get to lay flat.
The main idea here was I made a few different paper stencils in varying sizes, then cut a LOT of leaves out of each fabric using the stencils. Again, didn’t have to be perfect here, and the oval-shaped leaves are obviously your friend, haha. But you need at least one huge one with cuts like the one below!
The picture above reminds me of the last part of the costume – a shark tooth necklace! I felt like this was a huge part of the costume, but in hindsight I should have cheated and got a fake Maui necklace (like I did for the light-up hook). I think the issue was using jute rope, which was too itchy for my little guy to wear. So another option if you want to DIY your own would be to try a softer cording material.
If you do want to try this, you can find shark teeth (similar – actually better than what I got) on Amazon (I could’ve made some out of cardboard, but I thought my son would be geeked about a real shark tooth necklace, haha). Then use thin, metal wire to wrap around each tooth, while also twisting a loop shape for the necklace to thread that you secure the wire around. Lastly, wrap your necklace material (this would be less itchy than mine!) around the metal to cover it up. Before attempting I recommend watching some YouTube video tutorials – this tutorial shows what I did, except I skipped the jump rings because I was trying to hide the metal:
Then you just thread each tooth onto the necklace cording and tie the necklace at the desired length. I promise it sounds more complicated than it is. 😊
To attach the leaves to the pants, I laid them in the pattern I wanted them, pinned them, and sewed them directly onto the pants. But first I loosely threaded some jute rope through the leaves all the way around the waste (emphasis on “loosely” since the pants have an elastic waistband and can stretch a lot). The idea was to give the illusion that the rope was holding up the leaves, so I used minimal stitches where visible on the outer layer of leaves.
Here’s the finished costume laid out:
And this IS a Maui costume, so while making or buying a hook is obvious, I recommend you also get a muscle shirt to go underneath! It was definitely the icing on the cake. ☺️ Here are pictures of the costume in action!
Oh, and did you notice the shark shoes (similar)?! Thanks, Target (also where I got his Maui hook, btw)! 😁 He also wore the costume when meeting Moana herself during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party at Magic Kingdom last December! Plus, he wore it for a while last fall/winter as pj’s and it survived the wash well. Somehow the shirt was lost in early winter, but the hubs just found it last week tucked into his sweaters! Not sure how that happened, but I might see if it still fits him for pj’s, haha!
The kids all still play with the Maui hook, too! Highly recommend it if you have any Maui fans. (“You’re welcommmme…” 😉)