How to Make a Pumpkin Costume for Your Pet

Creative sewing turns two basic T-shirts into an adorable pumpkin costume for dogs.

Note for sizing: For dogs with a torso measurement (length from front legs to back haunches) 18 inches or longer, buy a "tall"-sized T-shirt. For much smaller or larger dogs, size the original T-shirts appropriately; as a rule of thumb, the chest measurement of the shirt should be 15 to 20 inches larger than the measurement around the widest part of the dog's torso.

Note for male dogs: For male dogs who will be trick-or-treating outside, leave one rib unstuffed in step 5. Before step 6, cut a half-oval about halfway into tube from bottom (T-shirt hem side), between the two seams of the unstuffed rib. Continue through steps to finish costume; when fitting tube onto dog, place open area at bottom back of torso.

What You'll Need


  • Two orange XXL T-shirts
  • Scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • Grid ruler
  • Fabric-marking pencil or chalk
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating machine-sewing thread
  • High-loft quilt batting (full size)
  • Large safety pin
  • Coordinating ribbon
  • 8-inch dish for tracing circles (or compass)
  • 6-inch cardboard plate or round plastic container lid
  • Zipper foot for sewing machine
  • Hand-sewing needle and thread
  • Brown and green felt
  • Leaf template
  • Hot-glue gun and hot-glue sticks


  1. Cut off the top of each T-shirt in a straight line from armpit to armpit, parallel to bottom hem, to make two large tubes. Set tops of shirts aside. Turn one tube inside out, and put the other tube (right side out) inside it. Line up raw edges at top, and pin together, all the way around tube, keeping tube open. Sew all the way around the top raw edge with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

  2. Flip sewn tube so the just-sewn seam is on the inside, matching the existing T-shirt hems at bottom. Press sewn seam flat at top. With a marking pencil or chalk, draw a line all the way around tube, 1 inch from top seam. Repeat to make two more lines around bottom hem, 1 1/4 inch and 1/4 inch from bottom edge.

  3. Lay tube on a flat surface, with sewn seam at top and vertical T-shirt seams along each side. Divide each flat side of tube into five equal sections by drawing four vertical lines from the top chalk line to the higher bottom chalk line.

  4. Sew around entire tube along top line to create a 1-inch channel. Sew vertically down T-shirt seams on each side; then sew along the eight drawn vertical lines to create pumpkin "ribs." Do not sew the bottom two lines until after the next step.

  5. Cut 10 18- by 20-inch rectangles of batting. Roll up batting pieces and use to stuff each rib of costume. Sew around two bottom lines on tube to secure batting and make a second channel.

  6. Inside the tube, open one set of T-shirt seams within the top and bottom channels. Attach a large safety pin to the end of a length of ribbon, and thread into and around entire top channel. Repeat to insert a ribbon in the bottom channel. Set costume aside.

  7. To make hat, trace and cut four 8-inch circles from the leftover top of one shirt. Cut three approximately 6-inch circles from batting.

  8. Sandwich one piece of batting between two T-shirt circles (there will be one piece of batting left over). Pin raw edges of circles together. On one piece, topstitch (quilt) six "wheel spokes" originating from the approximate center to make the top of the hat. On the other piece, pin two lengths of ribbon in a narrow "X" that crosses in the center; topstitch along edges of ribbon to hold in place. This piece will be the underside of the hat. Remove pins.

  9. Poke a hole in the center of the dish or lid. Stack the pieces of the hat as follows: underside (ribbon) piece first, dish, extra circle of batting, top ("wheel spoke") piece. Pin all raw edges together around the hat. With a zipper foot, sew all pieces together with a seam 1/4 inch from edge, securing dish and batting inside.

  10. With needle and thread, sew from the bottom center of hat, through the hole in the dish and through the top piece, then back through several times to cinch the center of the hat.

  11. Roll up a 2-inch-wide strip of brown felt to make a fat stem; print the leaf template and trace onto green felt to cut leaves. Use hot glue to attach both to top of hat.

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