Have your kids decided on their Halloween costumes yet? Do any of them involve capes? Even if they don’t, this is a great project to keep in your back pocket for the upcoming stuck-inside-on-a-rainy-day days. You only need a few supplies, a few minutes, and a few dollars to create long-lasting fun. I might be so bold as to say this craft isn’t just good, it’s super (ha ha ha).
What you’ll need:
–an adult-sized T-shirt
–fabric paint and brushes (optional)
–a fastener, like velcro or a snap (optional)
What we’re going to do is turn the back of the T-shirt into a cape, using the collar as the neck band. It’s no-sew and so crazy-easy you have to try it.
Step 1. Lay your wrinkly old T-shirt on a work surface and cut the sleeves off. It doesn’t matter what side of the seam you cut on since we’ll be trimming all of these pieces later anyway. I used shirts my husband was done with, but you could also pick some up in the colors of your choice at Goodwill. If you wait for $.50 day, this project is practically free.
Step 2. Now you’re going to cut the front of the shirt off. Cut up the length of both sides and then across the top of the shoulder to but not through the collar. Cut around only the front of the collar, leaving the back of the shirt attached. Set the front panel of the shirt aside.
Step 3. Cut the sides of the shirt into an A-line cape shape. To make mine symmetrical, I cut one side, then folded the cape in half so I could trim the other side to match.
Step 4. I’m not comfortable letting my kids play with things wrapped around their necks, so I cut the collar open in the middle. You can use velcro or a snap as a good break-away fastener, but I found the capes stayed on just fine tied in a loose single knot. You could also sew on a length of ribbon or even a strip of extra T-shirt material if you want to make the neck tie longer.
Step 5. Find the sleeves you cut off, so we can turn one of them into a face mask. (Yes, I’m using a different color T-shirt now; I made the orange cape for my one-year-old, and since there was no way he was going to let me put a mask on him, I made a yellow mask to match my four-year-old’s yellow cape.)
Step 6. Pull the sleeve over your kid’s head with the sewn end at the top and the armpit seam in the back. Use a sharpie to lightly mark where the eye holes should be, then take the mask off before cutting the eye holes. Depending on how long the sleeve is and how big your kid’s head is, you might also need to cut some of the length off the mask so it doesn’t cover his whole face (unless he likes that, in which case you should also cut a hole for his nose and mouth).
Step 7. Wondering what those triangles are for? I cut them out of the fabric from the front of the T-shirt. They make awesome wristbands. Again, I just tied these in place but you could use velcro or snaps if you’re feeling fancy.
Step 8. Here’s where you can get creative. You (or your kids) can decorate the capes however you want. I taped the cape to a work surface and used fabric paint, but you are a cool person with cool ideas that will blow mine out of the water, so go for something awesome: puffy paint, glow-in-the-dark markers, fabric ink on rubber stamps, appliques, iron-on jewels, silk flowers…anything you want. I was initially going to do a freezer-paper stencil of my boys’ initials, but then decided I wanted them to be able to swap capes, so I went with simple stripes instead. If you want a repeating pattern or image, you could use the potato stamp technique. (I’m thinking little lightning bolts would be cute.)
Since it doesn’t matter which side of the T-shirt you use as the cape, you can also use a shirt that already has a logo on it. Check these out:
All $13 from Target.
I kind of like the idea of a more generic cape, though, since that doesn’t limit its super powers. So far our capes have been good for running, climbing, jumping, and sliding, but I’m also going to suggest they are clean-up-my-room-at-hyper-speed capes. We’ll see how that goes.