This is a combo costume that I wore with my 7 month old daughter in a baby-bjorn. The concept was an octopus with flailing tentacles attacking a snorkeler. I was really excited to do a combo costume with my child from the moment I found out I was pregnant. I knew we would be able to pull off something really cool and original.
With my arms hidden inside the octopus tentacles, I was able to create the hilarious effect of the octopus looking alive. I was working with a zero budget in mind, although I did end up buying the snorkel gear (for $10second hand). All of the materials were things I had laying around the house. I made the costume in two weeks, working mainly in the evenings when my daughter went to bed. We had a great time wearing it for family, friends and neighbours. Hope you enjoy!
- Black long sleeve tshirt
- Purple fleece blanket
- Animal Print fabric
- Rubber gloves
- Stuffing (recycled from old pillows)
- Styrofoam balls
- Snorkel gear
- Baby-bjorn (structured baby carrier)
I drew out half the octo body onto the folded fleece, sizing it to make the most of the fabric, and to cover my body and accommodate my arms.
Once cutout, I had the full front half of the octopus body, I then used the blue animal print fabric to create the underside of each of the arms. On the second-from the top arms, I made a secondary lining (dark fabric) which was the pocket for my arm to slide into.
I prepped a black long sleeve shirt by cutting it up the back and attaching velcro closures. The Octo body was sewn to the front of the shirt. I then cut a hole through the shirt and the purple fabric – for the baby’s face to go through.
freehand pattern on blanket
Arms & Tentacles
I put wire into each tentacle arm to make it bendable, then used a long paintbrush to stuff the stuffing into each one. I stuffed my “arm-tentacles” only half full, and only on the underside of the double-lining to leave room for my arms, but padded it enough so it looked the same as the others.
The humans arms were stuffed and attached to the gloves and put into the sleeves of the shirt.
I slit holes in the shirt under the long sleeve in the armpit area – this is where my arms go into the tentacles.
Trying out the costume
Texture and Pattern
I obviously wasn’t going for a very realistic look, I wanted the look to very cartoony and fun. So the fabrics were random, and the patterns we painted were done in a really loose style. We used acrylic paints freestyle onto the fabric. This was a cheap way to impact a lot of bright colour and texture to the fabric. Since I used fabrics that were in my stockpile, I was relying on the paint to make the fabrics seem more intense.
Octo Baby Attacks
Because the costume did up on the back, it was really easy to pop it over the front of baby once she was strapped into her baby-bjorn. Then my arms slid through the shirt slits and into the tentacles. Flippers and snorkel to finish off the look! My baby didn’t mind the costume, she likes her carriers so I guess it was like being bundled up in a blanket. Happy Halloween!!!
In the carrier
Caspienne in the Octo hood