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Cooper's Swashbuckling Pirate Halloween Costume

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Cooper's Swashbuckling Pirate Halloween Costume Instructions
Designed by Cheri Carlson

This adorable pirate costume will transform your pet into a swashbuckling pirate, whether you are planning a photo shoot or a special event like a Halloween party. Cooper was a wonderful sport and let us dress him in the entire costume. If your dog is high-strung, you may want to choose only a few elements. Either way, you can still achieve the look of a pirate as dashing as Captain Jack Sparrow.

We sewed Cooper's costume together. Depending on your sewing skills, you may choose to glue it instead.

The Shirt
The shirt is the easiest part of this costume. Go to a local thrift store and chose a toddler-sized white shirt that looks the right size to fit your dog. Our shirt didn't need any modifications at all. If you notice that your dog is tripping over the shirt, you can take in some of the fabric around the middle. In our case the sash kept it cinched in.

The Pants
Step one: Go to a local thrift store and purchase some toddler-sized pants that look the right size for your dog. Don't worry if the legs look too long. You can adjust this later.

Step two: Try the pants on the dog and note how much the legs of the pants need to be shortened. Remove the pants and cut the legs to the appropriate length. Cut 3/4-inch long slits evenly spaced every 1/2-inch around the bottom of both pant legs to give them a ragged look.

Step three: Try the pants on your dog again and note where the tale is. If there is a seam, open it up or cut about a 3-inch slit along that area so that the tale will be able to poke through. Use a zigzag stitch around the edges of the slit to prevent fraying.

Step four: You'll need to cut a hole in the crotch of the pants for your dog's comfort. We cut our hole like a half-oval, with the flat portion closest to the belt area of the pants. To keep the hole from fraying, use a zigzag stitch around it.

The Sash:
We pieced together several short pieces of fabric to make our sash, but a long piece of fabric would work just as well. For a sash the same width as ours, the fabric should be 9 inches wide. The length of the fabric depends on the size of your dog. You'll need enough length to wrap the sash around your dog's chest twice and then tie it.

Determine the length of your sash and fold it lengthwise with right sides together. Sew the raw edges of the fabric together to create a long tube. Cut both ends of the tube so that they have a mirrored diagonal slant. Sew one end closed and sew the other end half closed. Turn the tube inside out and hand sew the remaining end shut.

The Compass
We used balsa wood and some black spray paint from a local craft store, but you can use any wood scraps you might have.

Step one: Make a template for the base of the compass using a piece of paper. We drew a 2-inch square and cut off the corners. Use the template as a guide to cut two pieces of balsa wood.

Step two: Glue the two pieces of balsa wood together, one atop the other, using Mod Podge. Cover the entire surface with Mod Podge. Let it dry. Once dry, spray paint the wood black. Let the paint dry.

Step three: Glue the resin 30mm jet ring to the center of the compass using E6000 glue. Glue the 18mm round glass jet cabochon to the jet ring. Glue the antique brass ovals link to the bottom of the compass. Let these elements dry.

Step four: In this step, you will create a 1 1/2-inch pin with a wrapped loop attached to a toggle piece. Cut a 3-inch piece of 20 gauge brass non-tarnish artistic wire. At the center of the wire, create a wrapped loop around the ring of the loop end of the antique brass-plated futurist toggle. We added an extra loop of wire around the toggle and six wraps for strength and durability. For help creating a wrapped loop, be sure to visit the Handy Tip section of the Learning Center. Use a sewing needle or pin to poke a hole in the balsa wood at the top of the compass. Apply glue along the length of the pin that you just created and insert it into the hole. Let it dry.

Step five: Slide the piece of ultra micro fiber black suede through the toggle loop. Tie a knot in the suede on both sides of the toggle where you want your beads to rest. Slide the stoneware short round red tube bead on one end and the stoneware round white smooth finish spacer bead on the other end. Tie a knot about two inches from the toggle to create a loop. Tie another knot about 1 1/2-inches away from the previous knot. Snip off any excess suede.

Step six: Glue the Swarovski SS9 XILION crystal dorado rose flatbacks to the compass in the design of your choosing, using Gem-Tac permanent adhesive.

The Hat
For the hat, you'll need some felt or other black fabric that has some body and some black ties. (We used shoe laces.) For the fake hair we used black roving wool, but you can use some ribbon or yarn.

Step one: To make the dome of the hat, cut the felt into a circle that is a little larger than you want the dome to be. Evenly space 1-inch slits around the circumference of the circle. Overlap the edges of the slits so that the circle forms a dome. You may want to pin the edges together at first and compare them to your dog's head. Adjust the overlap or cut the circle smaller to get a tighter fit. When satisfied, you can sew or glue the edges of each overlap.

Step two: Decide how large you want the brim of the hat to be. Cut a circle of felt that size. Place the dome of the hat at the center of the brim and mark where it lays. This will be your sewing or gluing line. Remove the dome and cut out a center hole about 1/2 inch smaller than the sewing line. Sew together the brim and the dome so that when the brim lies flat, the seam will be underneath it. Lift up the brim in three places and tack it in place to create the look of a three-cornered or tricorn sailor hat.

Step three Get some bright fabric to create a sash for the brim of the hat. Sew it into a thin tube, leaving one end open. Turn the tube inside out. Sew the tube to the inner seam of the brim so that when the tube is flipped down it will cover the seam. Slide a thin piece of cardboard into the open end of the tube to give added stability. Once the cardboard is added, hand-sew the end of the tube shut. Finish off the the other end of the tie. Tie the trailing pieces into a knot.

Step four: Cut two 4-inches pieces of 100% silk - no. 12 (0.98mm) black Griffin bead cord. Tie one double-sided paua small round pendant to the end of the first cord and secure the knot with superglue gel. String a stoneware small red round, a stoneware round white smooth finish spacer, a 10x6mm black with white polka dots glass roundel bead, a Metallite 8x7mm antique silver treasure chest tube bead, a stoneware short round red tube and a 7mm gold-filled round matte bead. Tie a knot to finish off the dangle and secure it with superglue. Tie one TierraCast® antique silver piece of eight charm to the second cord and secure it with superglue. String the following beads: a stoneware round maroon spacer, a 9x6mm opaque turquoise with half Picasso roundelle, a stoneware white spacer, a Metallite 8x6mm antique silver hex tube bead, a Picasso roundelle, a stoneware red tube and a gold-filled round matte bead. Tie a knot to finish off the dangle and secure it with superglue.

Step five: Sew one dangle and a few strips of fake hair to a 1 1/2-inch piece of felt. Repeat to create a second strip. Attach the strips to the inside of the sash, each about one inch away from the knot at the back of the hat.

Step six: Cut the black shoe laces in half. On either side of the hat, the shoe lace pieces should be placed so that one goes in front of your dog's ear, and the other goes behind it. You will tie the shoe laces together to hold the hat in place.

Step seven:
Attach the TierraCast® antique gold piece of eight charm to the left side of the hat. Apply Gem-Tac to the front of the hat where you want the 30x40mm white and black resin skull and crossbones cameo to lay. When the Gem-Tac is dry, apply more Gem-Tac to the back of the cameo and press it onto the hat. Let it dry.

Be sure to check out our Halloween Dog Fashion Show Video to see all the fun our dogs had while wearing these costumes!
Estimated time: 3 hours (plus drying & sewing time)
Difficulty level: Beginner

Tools and Supplies Used:
Superglue gel (SPRGLUE)
Griffin bead cord 100% silk - no. 12 (0.98mm) black (GSILK12BK)
Knotting tweezers (TOOL-112)
Round nose pliers (TOOL-108)
Chain nose pliers (TOOL-106)
E6000 glue 1oz tube - medium/clear (E6000-01)
Gem-Tac permanent adhesive (GEMTAC)
Ultra micro fiber suede black by the foot (MSUEDE01)
E6000 glue tip (E6000-TIP)
20 gauge brass non-tarnish artistic wire, 6 yard spool (AWR20BRS6)
List of Components:
30x40mm resin skull & crossbones cameo-white and black (RESCAM12, qty 1)
7mm gold-filled round matte bead (GF-RND7-M, qty 2)
Stoneware short round tube-red (SW-BD063, qty 2)
9x6mm opaque turquoise w/ half picasso roundelle (CR-RL100, qty 2)
Metallite 8x6mm antique silver hex tube bead (M-BD0132, qty 1)
Stoneware round spacer-white smooth finish (SW-BD173, qty 3)
Stoneware round spacer-maroon (SW-BD162, qty 1)
TierraCast® antique silver piece of eight charm (SA-2269, qty 1)
Double sided paua small round pendant (PS-PEND10, qty 1)
Metallite 8x7mm antique silver treasure chest tube bead (M-BD0161, qty 1)
10x6mm roundels black with white polka dots glass beads strand (LB-983, qty 1)
Stoneware small round-red (SW-BD189, qty 2)
TierraCast® antique gold piece of eight charm (GA-2269, qty 1)
Antique brass ovals link (BBA-LX32, qty 1)
Resin 30mm jet ring (RES-JET30, qty 1)
18mm round glass cabochon - jet (GCRD-JET18, qty 1)
Antique brass-plated futurist toggle (BBA-TOG06, qty 1)
Swarovski 2028 SS9 XILION rose flatback crystal dorado (2028-DORA9, qty 75)
Swarovski 2028 SS12 XILION rose flatback crystal dorado (2028-DORA12, qty 87)

Related Video

Watch video
Play Video
Dog Halloween Fashion Show Video

Purchase Idea Kit Components

7mm Gold-Filled Round Matte Bead
Code: GF-RND7-M
Length 7mm 
$2.37 $1.94$2.24 $1.83$2.11 $1.73
Antique Brass-Plated Futurist Toggle Clasp
Code: BBA-TOG06
Loop 19x14mm, Bar 26mm 
$1.57 $1.20$1.48 $1.13$1.38 $1.06

Purchase Tools & Supplies

Griffin Bead Cord 100% Silk - No. 12 (0.98mm) Black
Diameter .98mm, Length 2 meters 
$1.89 $1.56$1.79 $1.48$1.69 $1.40
Knotting Tweezers
Code: TOOL-112
4.5 Inches 
Sale Price: $3.94
Price: $4.59
Round Nose Pliers
Code: TOOL-108
Sale Price: $6.67
Price: $7.67
Chain Nose Pliers
Code: TOOL-106
Sale Price: $6.67
Price: $7.67
E6000 Glue 1oz Tube - Medium/Clear
Code: E6000-01
Sale Price: $3.70
Price: $4.69
Gem-Tac Permanent Adhesive 4 fl oz.
4 fl oz 
Sale Price: $11.56
Price: $12.99
Ultra Micro Fiber Suede Black by the Foot
Code: MSUEDE01
Length 1 foot, Width 3mm 
$0.29 $0.24$0.27 $0.23$0.25 $0.21
E6000 Glue Tip
Code: E6000-TIP
Sale Price: $0.41
Price: $0.69
20 Gauge Brass Non-Tarnish Artistic Wire, 6 Yard Spool
Code: AWR20BRS6
20 gauge, 6 yards 
$2.79 $2.45$2.59 $2.27$2.39 $2.10

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