Homemade Spiderman Costume Instructions- Tutorial

Lee dressed as Spiderman, in a pose
he assumed Spiderman would take
We recently had a family event where we were supposed to attend in costume. I don't believe in buying store bought costumes, also because of the cost, and also because I love the creativity required and artistic side of me that comes up in making my own homemade costumes.
I wasn't sure what to dress up as, and I like making our whole family dress up with a theme when we dress up, and since Lee asked to be Spiderman (not that he even knew what that was until a friend insisted on educating him on the topic), I decided that the rest of the family would be superheros as well.

I went to the local thrift store, where all clothes is sold for 25-50 cents a piece, and purchased all the necessary clothes that I would use to make our costumes. It helped that our costumes all would be made with 4 basic colors- red, yellow, white, and blue. I just searched for as many articles of clothing with solid colors (or mostly solid), also to be the base of the costume, and also to be accents on the costumes.

See all those clothes?

6 dollars total.
And I had more than enough to make all our costumes.

My goal for the costumes was to make them look as decent/accurate as possible for as little work as possible. Though I have a sewing machine, I didn't feel like taking it out- so everything was sewn by hand. Or attached with a glue gun. I didn't use a glue gun to attach anything to clothes that I wasn't cutting up, because I wanted to leave the option open to use the clothes afterward, and a glue gun would ruin the clothes, but hand stitching could be removed.
I ended up overbuying- there was one shirt I bought that I didn't need for the costumes in the end. :-D 25 cents over, not too bad.

I think everyone's costumes came out pretty awesome, but for ease of people finding this tutorial through google, I'm separating the costume ideas into posts of their own. For now, I'll post about how I made Lee's Spiderman costume.
Doesn't he look cute?

To make the Spiderman costume, I looked online to see what a spiderman costume consisted of- it was blue pants with red webbed boots, and a top that was mostly red with webs, with some blue as well, and a red webbed mask with white eyes.
Because of this, I used blue pants and a blue shirt as the base of the costume. I contemplated how to make the mask and the red body, and found a red hooded sweatshirt in the thrift shop- turned backward, it would make the perfect mask and body!
Only problem was- the hood didn't have a drawstring to pull it tight so it could be a proper mask, so I made my own by cutting two holes in the bottom of the hem of the hood, one on each side, and threading some yarn through it (with the aid of a pen). Voila- problem solved!
Lee wanted the mask to be as accurate as possible- he didn't want a hole for the mouth cut, and he wanted the eyes to be white, not holes. So I had him wear the sweatshirt backward and he wore the hood as a mask, I drew with a permanent marker the shape of the eyes in the exact place his eyes were, and then when he removed it, I cut it out with a scissors. To make the white, I wanted something very see-through but still white- I used a very threadbare white cotton cloth that I had lying around the house, and sewed it in place behind the eyeholes.

I cut out holes on the side of the body part of the red sweatshirt to let the necessary blue show through, sewed it on to the blue shirt, and then sewed a belt of the same red material around the shirt. (I had to cut the sweatshirt shorter, otherwise it would have been too long.)

To make the webbing, I used a permanent marker and followed the patterns in pics I saw- the web on the mask started from the nose area and radiated outward. On the shirt, the web stared right under the chin and radiated downward and outward from there. Once I drew the spokes of the web, I made the webbed look by making little half circle shapes connecting the arches, all facing the same direction, and all connected to each other.

To make the spider, I drew a smaller black circle on top of a larger black circle in the middle of the chest, then drew two legs coming out of each side of the spider's head, facing upward, and two bent legs out of the lower circle, facing downward. I drew oval "pincers" on a few of the legs.

The hooded shirt I used was short sleeves, and Lee wanted the red to go all the way down to his hands, so I cut the sleeves off one of the thrift store red shirts, pulled them over the sleeves of the blue shirt, until they met the sleeves of the red sweatshirt, and then sewed them in place with a few stitches. Again, as little work as possible was my goal!

To make the red "boots", I took a pair of red kid shorts, and cut them in half, up and down, so that I had two short pant legs, as well as half of the seat of the pants.

I pulled each of these over the blue pants, red pant legs upward and cut pant seat facing downward, and positioned it so that the cut pant seat would cover Lee's shoes, and be boot like. I sewed these in place, again, with as few stitches as possible.

I added more webbing to any places that were missing it, and the costume was ready!
I used one shirt he already had, plus 3.5 other articles of clothing. 
Total cost? $1.12.

I think it was a pretty cute job for $1.12.

And I kid you not- it really was not a lot of work. And I had a lot of fun making it!

To wear the costume, I used a rubberband to attach the red bottom of the pants to Lee's shoes so they wouldn't flop around. And Lee only wore the mask part of the time- when he wanted to show the costume to his friends. He was able to see through it just fine, but he wanted to be able to eat as well. I tied the drawstring shut with a bow tie, and gave him the ends of the yarn in his hands, so that he could pull it to release the knot whenever he wanted to.

Do you ever go to costume parties? Do you go in costume? When you or your kids wear costumes, what do you wear? Costumes put together from things in the house? Sewn costumes from cheap things? Sewn costumes from purchased fabric? Costumes that require only gluing/cutting, but no sewing? Or store bought or borrowed costumes?
Does this look like a costume you'd try to make?
Have I inspired you to make your own costumes?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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