Homemade Dog Costumes

Why create homemade dog costumes? Isn't it easier to buy them?

Sally the diva in her flapper dog costume complete with peacock feathersSally the diva in her flapper costume

Sure you can always go and buy a costume, especially when you're in a hurry.

But there's simply no satisfaction like coming up with a unique design to wow the spectators at a contest, party, or parade!

Same biker chic costume but with mohawk helmetBiker chic with mohawk helmet. Cuffs are black pleather and skirt is gathered netting.
Bassett Hound in black pleather motorcycle costume with cap and gogglesSally in a costume using black pleather vest trimmed with red braid.

Expert sewing or crafting skills can really help, as shown by the photos of Sally in her  "flapper" and "biker chic" costumes.

The anonymous person who sent these to us made them for a neighbor's dog!

However, you don't need to be a pro - you can make a costume that stands out without major talent. A little planning goes a long way - I suggest you read through the sections below for assistance.

If you're still stuck for ideas of your own, check out additional submissions by visitors all the way at the bottom of this page.

Also, be sure to check out these tips for training your dog to wear a dog costume...

Getting Started

Scroll down the page for some basic suggestions regarding combining colors, choosing a theme for the costume, and materials you can use. 

Or, if you'd rather look at designs straight off, check out our pages containing ideas for Small and Medium or Large Dog Costumes with Matching Outfits.

Please note that many of our designs came to us through visitors - if you'd like to add your idea and photos - or view others' ideas - jump to the bottom of this page.

Homemade Dog Costumes
Possible Color Combinations

What If I Wanna Get Fancy?

Wearable Arf may be just what you're looking for - (Kindle version available for about half the cost) -

A simple idea for many holiday occasions is to match the colors of your materials with the colors for that particular holiday.

For example, make a pink cape for Valentine's Day or a green one for St. Paddy's Day.

For holidays where several colors are used, consider using a base color for the cape, then sewing or gluing on stars, hearts or other shapes in the other colors.

Adding some type of hat, tiara or crown makes for a more complete dog costume.

The hat can be the same color, more than one color, or have colors that contrast but go well with the cape.

Themes for Dog Costumes

Fit your dog costume ideas to the event your dog will be attending:

  • Are you entering a dog costume contest with categories such as "Best Dressed Dog," "Funniest Costume," "Best Homemade Costume"?
  • Is it an anything goes type of event such as Mardi Gras,  or a Halloween or New Year’s Eve party?

Is it a fancy dress party with "pirates," "superheroes," "Hawaii" or "wedding bells" as the theme?

Materials for Homemade Dog Costumes

wide range of materials can be used. Just be careful what you use if your dog is inclined to chew and swallow non-food items.

Some suggestions are:

  • Crêpe and construction paper
  • Brown paper bags and cardboard
  • Store-bought fabrics, cotton batting, cotton balls
  • Old quilts, afghans and old clothes
  • Ribbons and yarns (including crocheted and knitted oufits)
  • Multi-colored dry pasta pieces, rhinestones, plastic beads
  • Plain or colored aluminum foil and cellophane wrapping
  • Colored plastic bottles, clear or opaque
  • Plastic Christmas ornaments

Visitor Contributed Costume Ideas

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Indiana Jones Dog Costume Idea 
Here are the steps. Step 1: Get a cowboy hat that doesn't cost very much and cut holes in it for ears. Make sure it's not plastic because that will …

Dog Costume Ideas: Bed Time 
All you need is: 1 Baby jumpsuit 4 Pink sponge rollers So easy.... and cute :) Thanks for another of your great dog costume ideas, Laura! …

Dog Halloween Costume Ideas: Boxer and Ring Girl 
Izzie (Shih Tzu) Ring Girl Costume Bailey (BOXER) Boxer Costume My cousin and I entered our dogs together in a Petfest Best dressed contest (we …

Homemade Dog Costume:
1st Place Bubbles
If you are wanting something a bit different this year for your pet's Halloween costume, but you do not want to spend a lot of money or a lot of time on …

Musketeer dog costume pattern wanted 
I am looking for a pattern for a nice musketeer dog costume.

Large Dog Costume Idea: Hannah the Princess! 
Hannah's princess outfit surprisingly has lasted for two seasons now. Sure the dress isn't quite as long this year, but it still works! I found the dress …

Dog Costume Contest: "Cereal Killer" 
Here's a photo of Sahara, Boston Terrier, in her killer outfit. This costume won 2nd prize in the Creative category of the dog costume contest at our local …

Homemade Dog Costumes: Fauna and Flora 
Cyd is a dog my daughter rescued from someone who was unable to care for her properly. Cyd's costume complements Molly's (See Halloween Costume For Dog: …

Homemade Dog Costume: Goldfish 
Here's a picture of Maggie, our 8 year old Pomeranian. She doesn't really like costumes but I made her homemade dog costume anyway so that we could take …

Homemade Dog Costume: Cat In The Hat 
I ordered a costume for Lucy, our one year old pug, but it got lost. I wanted her to wear it at Dogtoberfest, the annual ASPCA benefit here in Jacksonville, …

Dog Ring Bearer:
Rhonda needs your ideas
 Not rated yet
I'm getting married in the spring and couldn't decide which nephew to ask for the ring bearer so we decided to use our dog - he's great. We are going …

Dog Graduation Cap & Gown Not rated yet
I work at Petco as Dog Trainer and I would love to do something that would really be enjoyed by everyone by making a dog graduation cap and gown. I …

lady bug (lg dog costume) Not rated yet
I didn't make this lady bug dog costume: I paid $1.00 for the wing & antennae set at local dollar store (kids' section). I tied the wings to the antennae …

Dog Costume Ideas Without Photos Not rated yet
Want to turn your dog into a zombie or a witch? Here are some quick and easy ways to make a couple of homemade dog costumes. To make a zombie: Wrap …

Doggy TuTu Not rated yet
Directions to make a Doggy TuTu: 1) Take a ribbon and cut it so it is the size of the waist of the dog; add more length for a bow and to be able to tie …

Lion puppy costume ideas needed! Not rated yet
I am going to a costume show with my dog and 6 puppies, the puppies will only be 5 weeks old. I want to dress up the puppies as lions, all the costumes …

Make a cap for your pal Not rated yet
A friend of mine once complained because her dog didn't like the sun and summer was difficult for her dog :( That made me think a little. then with …

Homemade dog costume:
M'n'M candy costume
 Not rated yet
Go on google and type in "images of M'n'M candies." Find ones that you like and print and cut them out. Then find a top for your dog that fits very …

Homemade dog costumes:
Hawaiian Tandem Costumes
 Not rated yet
For Halloween this year, I had an idea for a dog party. I stole the Dogtoberfest name (lol) and thought about hosting contests for my g-ma's neighborhood. …

Homemade Dog Costumes:
Angel/Bumble Bee/Witch
 Not rated yet
I buy from Wal-mart just the basics; like child-size angel wings and halo, bumble bee wings. For the witch, again, I buy a child size cape and buy …

Dog Suit! Not rated yet
Okay, let's say we have a normal pug, but you wanna dress it up to look like a um, T-Cup poodle, or a Dachshund, get it? a mixed dog! xD like, a Pug Dachshund....lol, …

Dog Pirate Costume: Patches the Service Dog Goes Aaarrh! Not rated yet
The pirate costume was fun to make...cut out some paper into a pirate hat shape...use a can about the size of the top of your dog's head. (save the paper …

Bumble Bee Dog Costume Ideas Not rated yet
Last Halloween, my children and I wanted to put Bowzer, our 6 month old German Shepard in a costume. It was just moments before leaving the door to go …

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