You Can Accomplish This Before Your Effing Head Explodes: Cheap Kid’s Sock Monkey Costume

I’m not a big Halloween person.

I’m conflicted.

The kids look so adorable in their costumes. . .The older kids and the parents trick or treating without costumes – ugh.

The pumpkin picking on a crisp fall day is glorious. . .The pumpkins smashed all over the neighborhood – really?

Candy!  Oh Jesus, Joseph, and Mary. . .too much sooooo good candy!

But it can’t be helped.  If you have a kid and you celebrate holidays, you have to get into the Halloween spirit.

So what was Mac going to be?  Turns out he was going to be cheap (and practical).

About 6 or 8 weeks ago we went into Old Navy to get Mac some pants and long-sleeved shirts.  We happened upon the Halloween costumes.  They make some pretty darned adorable costumes for about $25.

When we were there, they happened to be on sale for about $17.99.  Still, it seemed like spending almost $20 on something he would never wear again was a little much.

That’s when I happened upon a brown fleece hoodie that had a “sock monkey” face on the hood.  It was on sale for $12.  The matching brown fleece pants were on sale for $6.99.  I could get two separate pieces – that we could wear throughout the fall and winter – for nearly the sale price of the one-time-wear monkey costume!

It was on like Donkey Kong!

But I knew we’d need to doctor it up a little to make sure he didn’t just look like he was just wearing some cute everyday play-clothes.

Here’s How:

1.  I decided he would need some beige cuffs on the arms and legs and a little on his rear end like an authentic sock monkey.  I also needed to make a tail.  And I wanted to make sure none of these items were permanently attached to the pants or hoodie.

2.  I went to the craft store and purchased a standard sheet of red felt for about 30 cents and some medium width elastic.  I had plenty of drop cloth (because I’m nuts) as well as some dark brown chenille fabric left over from one of his nursery projects.

3.  I began by creating the beige “cuffs” that would go over the forearms and his lower legs.

a.  Take the washed and ironed drop cloth and measure an appropriate size to fit over the sleeves and pant legs.  You should have 4 rectangles, presumably the arm rectangles will be smaller in size than the 2 for the legs.

b.  Hem the top and bottom horizontal edges.  Make sure the top horizontal edge is wide enough to thread the elastic through.

c.  Thread the elastic through each horizontal top.  Bunching the fabric slightly over the elastic.  Leave ends of the elastic peeking out of the openings.

d.  Turn everything inside out and sew on the vertical to fashion a cylinder.  I sewed over the elastic as well (a few times to make sure it was very secure.)

e.  Trim edge and turn each cuff right-side out.  They should now slide onto the legs and forearms and stay put – giving the solid pants and hoodie the characteristic sock monkey arms and legs.

NOTE:  You could make the outfit even “neater” in appearance by placing elastic at the bottom of each cylinder as well but I figured since Mac was so young, it probably wasn’t worth my time.

4.  Next you need to create the beige and red monkey tush:

a.  Use an appropriately sized circular object to trace a circle onto the drop cloth.  (A lid for a pot or a mixing bowl, etc).  Cut out the circle.

b.  Fold the drop cloth circle in half and sew it leaving a little opening to pull the material right side out.

c. Pull the semi-circle right-side out.  Press and sew the small open edge so it’s neat.

d.  Eye-ball the approximate size and cut a semi-circle out of the red felt.  Sew the felt on top of the beige semi-circle.

e.  You can attach to the seat of the pants with safety pins in the upper corners.

NOTE:  For an older and more independent child, you might want to tack the tush in place with a few small hand stitches – which would be easy to remover later.  I decided to pin them, with the logic that Mac’s cloth diaper is think enough and he’ll be close enough to us at all times that a popped pin won’t cause any injury.

5.  Make a tail.  Again, you’ll want to start with rectangular shaped fabric.  A longer one in brown fabric for the top length of the tail and a shorter beige one for the bottom of the tail.

a.  Sew the beige to the brown by sewing them horizontally.

b.  With that horizontal seam exposed (so the fabric is inside out, make another cylinder out of the fabric by sewing the vertical length.

c.  Sew the beige bottom opening closed.  I made a curved stitch/arc here so the tail tip wasn’t just a blunt square.

d.  Pull the fabric right side out through the open top of the tail and stuff to desired fullness.

e.  Sew up the final opening (top of tail).

f.  Attach the tail to the waistband of the pants (or the bottom band of the hoodie) using either a safety pin or a few hand stitches.

NOTE:  I made this tail way fatter than a typical sock monkey.  I figured we might be able to repurpose the tail for other dress-up purposes.  I also left an area at the top that had very little stuffing.  This way, when I tuck it into the waistband of his pants to pin it, it will still lie flat.

6.  Set your kid loose on the neighborhood!

Happy Haunting!!

PS The whole project probably took me about 1.5 hours. . .1.5 hours after I had farewell cocktails with some neighbors who were moving.  Had I not be a little fuzzy, I probably could have done the whole thing in about 1 hour.  :)

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