Wacky Wavy Arm-flailing Costume

This crazy halloween costume idea came from one of my fellow interns from Hüify, Maurice, and he got this idea from this video:

Since I have some sewing skills, we attempted it.  But also, since I’m a genius, I didn’t take any pictures of my process (only the end product.) So this tutorial is something I drew up in Illustrator and then I’ll have an end result picture at the end.

Within this tutorial, I am assuming you have a basic sewing knowledge.

Let’s begin: Wacky Wavy Arm-flailing halloween costume

Things you will need:

  • 6 ft. child’s play tube
  • About 6 yards of stretchy fabric
  • Matching thread (or coordinating thread)
  • White/Black felt for eyes
  • Fray-check
  • Needles for hand-sewing

Most of this is hand sewing but there are two instances where you will need a sewing machine (or surger) to save time.


Step 1

Step 1

On the play tube, get in the tube (or have the person that’s going to be wearing it) and mark where you want the face to be.  Remember that your face only needs to be looking out of the mouth part, the eyes will go above that.  After that, take the fabric and stretch it length ways (or hot-dog style for those of us still in elementary school) around the tube.  Pin down.  Sewing Machine needed here:  Sew a seam (right sides together), turn right sides out and slip back over tube like a sock (this shouldn’t be difficult)

*You could probably get away with less than 6 yards of fabric, but it’s always better to have more than you need than less.  But I do believe I had about a yard or more left over.


Step 2

Step 2

Pin fabric around the top rung of the tube.  I took about an inch of fabric over the edge (to the inside) Hand sew fabric around that top rung in a circle fashion (follow the shape of the rung).  You want to have stitches close together and tight (but don’t break your thread like I did multiple times) You want to have the mindset that you don’t want this fabric coming loose while trick-or-treating.


Step 3

Step 3

Get in it again and re-mark (or make sure your marks match up) the face and arm holes.  I marked mine where the arms would be sticking out (without cutting it).  Another way to do this without drawing is with pins.  Pin the shape of the mouth and arm circles, just be careful not to stick yourself.  Another tip, make sure that you’re in between rungs, it’s not fun to go through metal.


Step 4

Step 4

This illustration is a little off.  I was trying to capture a view from the top of the tube instead of looking straight at it.  Get someone inside it again (or yourself, personally this project is more difficult when you’re on your own) Mark on the inside of the tube where shoulder straps would go.  I hand stitched mine and used jean material.  You want to mark a little below the front and back of the shoulder, just not on top of it.  The purpose of this is so that your arms are not supporting the costume all night.


Step 5

Step 5

Get the person in it again and double check that the marked arm holes line up with the actual arms that will be going through it.  Then cut (through main fabric and tube fabric, duh) Also you want to double check where you marked the mouth with the person’s face and cut that as well.

Just with the mouth, since I didn’t use black mesh, I folded the fabric in 1/2 inch or so and hand stitched so I didn’t have any raw edges.  You don’t have to do this with the arm holes


Step 6

Step 6

If you can’t tell, I can’t draw hands to save my life.  Sorry.  Measure arms of person to be wearing the costume.  Then cut the fabric a little longer than that.  You want it to have that waving effect when the person flails their arms.  Also, as you get to where the arm pit is, start to slope outward like the image.  This will give you some room to hand sew it to the tube/main fabric.  Sewing Machine needed here:  I doubled the fabric and cut, so I had two pieces for the left and right arms.  You will have to sew down the sides (with right sides together) before sewing to the tube.  I also left the end open in case Maurice needed to eat and could slip his hand out.  



Step 7

 Pin all around arm hole and hand stitch.  I folded both (main fabric and arm sleeve) to the inside so I wouldn’t have raw edges again.  Do this to both sides.  TIP: USE A CRAP TON OF FRAY-CHECK this will give you peace of mind and secure your knots. 

Step 8

Step 8

Cut the eyes out of felt.  White and black is what I used.  But you can be creative.  I also added a mustache for fun, but I didn’t include it in this tutorial for sake of sanity.  I also hand stitched/top stitched (however you want to say it) with matching thread (or you could use coordinating thread, thread is thread)


Step 9

Step 9

Right now the very top (above the person’s head) is open.  I left it open until the very end for ease of hand sewing and getting in and out of the costume.  But now we need to close it.  Measure the fabric to meet the circumference for the opening, then I’d cut an inch (seam allowance) or so bigger than what the actual opening is, this will give you more stability and more to work with while hand stitching.


There was much rejoicing!

There was much rejoicing!

Departing tip:  I said it before and I’ll say it again, USE A CRAP TON OF FRAY CHECK.  Clicking the link in the “what you need” list will take you to Amazon.

Here’s the final result:

Maurice scaring people at PCJ

Maurice having fun

Thanks for reading!  Please COMMENT below to let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them!


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