5 easy & cheap DIY Halloween costumes for your dog (and how to make them)

I love Halloween. And I love dogs. And since it's October I think it makes perfect sense to post about Halloween costumes for dogs!

Does this make me look like a "crazy dog lady?" I guess. But I know how cute dogs look in costumes and I know there are a lot of you out there who feel the same. This is what we call a "no-brainer."

So I looked for creative, homemade costume ideas on the interweb and figured out how to make them all myself using as much as I could from materials I already had in the house, supplemented by the bounty you can find at Amazon.com. Then I modeled and photographed each costume on my patient pup, Jessie Belle (JB for short). And by "patient" I mean -- she will let me put them on her, but she will shoot hatred through her eyes into my soul until I take it off. (It's all worth it for the art though, amirite?)

Here's the key of JB's hatred toward wearing a costume:
1 = doesn't hate it at all  
2 = knows it's there but isn't trying to rip it off  
3 = she's officially annoyed by it; I have to take a pic quick before she rips it off  
4 = she officially hates it
5 = she hates it and she's going to kill me in my sleep

Here we go...

5 easy and cheap Halloween costume ideas for dogs that you can make yourself:

Beanie Baby. This is probably the easiest costume you'll ever come across. All you need to do is find the Ty logo online, enlarge it, print it on sturdy paper (card stock or photo paper) and cut it out. Punch a small hole in the top of the tag and attach it to your dog's collar with a small piece of ribbon or string. Super easy and super adorable, especially if you have a beautiful doggie like JB.

Materials = the internet, a color printer, photo paper or card stock, ribbon or string
Cost = $0
Level of hatred JB feels toward wearing it = 2

Jessie (Belle) Pinkman from Breaking Bad. True, this one is a little outdated - Breaking Bad ended last year. But since I had the yellow raincoat I wanted to make it happen anyway. 

If you really want to take this to the next level, you can find more of a full body yellow rain suit for dogs on Amazon (yes, they do make such a thing. Find one here), as well as a respirator mask costume set (here). I tried to keep this thing cheap so these are just the basics.

Materials = a yellow raincoat (buy here), safety goggles (buy here), Ziploc bag, blue powder or rocks (I used blue bath salts)
Cost = $5-15 (I already had the raincoat and the blue powder so I only had to shell out $3 for the goggles)
Level of hatred JB feels toward wearing it = 2 for the raincoat; 5 for the goggles

Kissing Booth. This one is really cute but logistically only good for a couple photos. Knowing that JB would hate having this anywhere near her, I just cut the flaps off of a cardboard box and made the front side of the booth by taping on two paint stirrer sticks (free at Home Depot or Lowe's) and glued on signs I printed on my home printer. If your dog will sit still for any length of time in this thing - or even let you box him/her in completely - you could use the whole box and cut out the section for his/her head to go through. That was not an option for me, but I got my photo so I'm happy. 

I also taped some pieces of string on the back -- one to loop around her head and one to secure to her collar so the sign would stay upright. If you are using the whole box you won't need the string.

Materials = a cardboard box, a color printer, paper, 2 paint stirrers, tape, string
Cost = $0
Level of hatred JB feels toward wearing it = 3


Pizza Rat. This one is the most topical and probably the least practical, because really, your dog isn't going to just sit idly by while there's a slice of pizza in sight. Jessie Belle sure didn't. She took that thing DOWN. But she looked cute doing it.

Anyway, I found rat (mouse?) ears on Amazon but then realized JB had a raggedy (un)stuffed shark toy in her toy stockpile that looked pretty beat up. So I cut it down along the seams, wrapped it around a 1" headband and used safety pins to secure it, then sewed on the sharks "fins" as ears. And yes, I went one more step and sewed in some pink earlobes.

Yeah yeah yeah, I know. I have too much time on my hands. 

Materials = a slice of old pizza, rat ears (I made mine but you can buy here)
Cost = $8 for the ears if you don't make them yourself (not including the pizza)
Level of hatred JB feels toward wearing it = 3 (it goes down to a 1 when you factor in that she wolfed down a piece of pizza; once the pizza was gone it went up to a 4 as you can see from the bottom right photo.)

Martini. Of all the costumes I tried, this one was the most expensive to make. Although by expensive, I mean it cost me more than $0.

Basically the only effort here is buying the materials and making the olives. I found green 3" green Styrofoam balls (I think they are for flower arranging) on Amazon. If you have a bigger dog, you may need 4-6" size balls. 

To make the olives, cut out three round pieces of red card stock or fabric and glue or pin to the top of each Styrofoam ball. Spear the three "olives" together using some kind of skewer or stick (I had really long metal BBQ skewers, but you could also use wooden skewers too). Put the dog collar on your dog then balance the stick of olives inside the "drink," put a cocktail shaker and bottle of vodka in front of him/her and voila! Straight up vodka martini with three olives!

Materials = large clear dog cone collar (buy hereprice depends on size of your dog's neck), 3 green Styrofoam balls (buy here), red fabric/paper, some sort of stick, a cocktail shaker and bottle of vodka (for the picture)
Cost = $18 ($12 for the cone; $6 for the Styrofoam balls)
Level of hatred JB feels toward wearing it = 3 

The moral of the story here is that if you want to be a little crafty, you can come up with a creative, homemade costume for your dog for less than $20 (in some cases less than $10). For me personally, because of all the stuff I already had on hand, the total amount I spent on Amazon for all five of the costumes was just $21.

Of course, if you are aiming for just cuteness and wearabilty above all else, a store bought costume is always a hit too. Not much can compare to Jessie Belle as a lobster:


Happy Halloween boys and girls! Special thanks to Jessie Belle for putting up with all of the above. I'll sleep with one eye open.