How to Recycle an Old Toddler Costume into a Fun Mama Costume WITHOUT SEWING!

I have a dinosaur-obsessed 6-year-old who has requested that I dress as a dinosaur for Halloween. That’s okay — I love dinosaurs, too! In fact, three years ago, he also asked me to dress as a dinosaur. I was ready for this!

Three Halloweens ago, after not being very excited with the options, I decided to turn an old toddler triceratops costume into a cute mommy costume! Here is the toddler costume:

And here’s how it ended up — we were all dinosaurs!

My little dino family.

This year, I decided to recycle that recycled costume — and make a tutorial! Also, I didn’t get a good photo of my tail that time, so obviously I needed more pics.

Here’s how to do it. I laid the costume out and cut off the arms, legs and tail. Since I wasn’t going to use the middle section, I cut on the opposite side of the seams, when possible, for each of these pieces. So, the arms and tail pieces I cut out had a seam at their edges. (This wasn’t possible with the legs, but that’s okay!)

Front of the cut-up triceratops costume.
Back of the cut-up triceratops costume
Close-up to show cutting on the opposite side of the seam to preserve the seam at the top of the arm.

In this case, the triceratops costume came with its own hat, which totally fit me. That is the case with nearly all toddler Halloween costume hats I have tried (and I’ve tried several!). If the hat doesn’t fit, you can just cut one or two slits in the back or sides to make it fit. Also, if your costume has a hood instead of a hat, it will still work! Just cut off the hood and wear it as a hat.

The next step is to put the pieces of the costume on with safety pins as necessary. I was going for “sexy dinosaur” three years ago, so I wore faux leather leggings and a low-cut top. I safety-pinned the tail onto the back of my leggings. I used the legs from the costume as boot covers and safety-pinned the tops onto the zippers of my boots to hold them up (although I suspect masking tape would have worked too!). I put the arms from the costume on and safety-pinned them to my sleeves so they were like long cuffs. It was adorable — and it’s so much fun to have a tail!

This year, I toned down the look and only wore the hat and tail. I safety-pinned the tail onto the back of a light, army-green jacket so I can throw it on or take it off as I please, and I wore the hat. I also wore a green dress to match the dino accessories. It’s a little more of a slacker costume, but I’m okay with that! And I finally got a photo of the tail!

Ta-da! My super-chill, recycled triceratops costume.

The great thing about this is that you can do it with almost any toddler costume, and you can either go as a sexy mama or a chill, slacker mom. Win-win either way.

Happy Halloween! What’s your costume?

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