strong man costume DIY

Halloween will be here before you know it, and if you’re planning to make costumes, you know that the time to get started is NOW!  This is the costume I made for my son last year:  a carnival sideshow strong man.  I lost track of how many compliments I received on this costume!  It was incredibly easy to make, and by using items from the dollar store, like the t-shirt, I saved a bundle over a store bought costume.

Project estimate:

  • Black T-shirt, $1
  • Paint, on hand
  • Styrofoam balls (2), $3
  • Dowel rod, $1

Total:  $5

Step one:  Use a shirt that is large enough to go from the child’s shoulders to mid-thigh.  Turn the shirt inside out.  I used a one piece romper as a pattern, otherwise you can measure your child to determine where to cut.   Cut as pictured.

Step two:  Sew along the edges that you cut.  I sewed it while the shirt was still inside out, then flipped it right side out for the next step.

Step three:  Paint a buckle and belt onto the costume.  I use washi tape or painters tape to help make straight lines.  Let it dry.

dumb bells

Step four:  Now to make the weight for muscle man to carry!  First, carve out a small hole in each styrofoam ball, and push the dowel rod in.  You can use a small amount of hot glue (not too much or you’ll melt the styrofoam) to hold the rod in place.  Paint everything black.

DIY strong man costume

I had added a tattoo sleeve, found at Dollar Tree, to the costume, but he did not keep that on.  Draw on a loopy mustache, and your muscle man is ready for the carnival….I mean, Halloween!  I live in South Texas, where it’s still pretty hot at Halloween, so during the day he wore the costume as is, and at night I just had to put a shirt underneath to keep him warm.

side show costumes DIY

If you’re going as a group, you can add lots of side act characters to accompany your strong man.  I went as the bearded lady, and my husband was a sword thrower.  Who says Halloween is just for kids?