How to Make a Dog Costume

Ready to learn how to make a dog costume? Start with a couple of capes!

If you're not inclined to make a cape today, we also have plenty of other ideas for how to make a dog costume so please browse around.

Capes are an easy, beginner project for a dog costume. Since you have a wide choice of fabrics (or papery materials), you can make it look as fancy as you like.

I used scrap pieces of cloth for demonstration purposes - I'd use a shiny, heavier fabric for the actual capes.

Below are two different ways to make a cape. But first, let's discuss the stuff you'll need to create these.

Materials and Tools


  • One yard fabric in your chosen color
  • Matching color thread
  • About 1/2 yard cord, ribbon or thick yarn (to match or contrast)
  • A pair of cloth scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing needle or sewing machine
  • 2 or 3 sheets of newspaper*
  • Black or colored marking pen*
  • Masking or other tape*

*for the Flared Cape

How to Make a Dog Costume:
Gathered Cape

This cape is simply a rectangular piece of fabric that is then gathered at the neck end.

This project may be easier if you have someone to help hold the dog.

Marking and Cutting the Fabric

  1. Drape the fabric over your dog.
  2. It needs to be long enough to go from the collar to near the base of the tail, and wide enough to come down to the bottom of your dog's tummy.
  3. Mark the edges and cut off the excess material.
  4. You should have a rectangular piece of fabric left.
  5. If the fabric needs it, hem the edges.
  6. Save the remaining fabric to make a matching hat.

Finishing the Gathered Cape

  1. Leaving about 4 inches (100 mm) of thread on each end, run a basting stitch along the collar (neck) end of the cape.
  2. Pull on each thread end to gather (or bunch up) the material.
  3. When you have it gathered as much as you want, pin your cord, ribbon or yarn over the gathered material.
  4. You can sew the tying material down by hand or machine - just be sure to space it evenly so that you will be able to fasten the cape under the dog's neck.
  5. Time to see how it fits on your dog!

How to Make a Dog Costume:
Flared Cape

This is a good project for kids of any age.

To start with, use newspaper to make a trapezoidal pattern so that you do not mess up your final materials.

Making the Pattern for the Flared Cape

Marking the Corners:

  1. Take one sheet of newspaper for a smaller dog or tape two newspaper sheets together for a bigger dog.
  2. Have your dog stand still with another person's help.
  3. Drape the newspaper over your dog's back and shoulders.
  4. Mark a spot (#1) on the paper near your dog's tail.
  5. Mark two others (#2 and #3) at the bottom of your dog's tummy on each side.
  6. Mark two more at your dog's shoulder points (#4 and #5).
  7. Take the newspaper off your dog and lay it on a flat surface.

Connecting the Numbers:

  1. Draw a straight line through #1 parallel to the bottom of the newspaper sheet(s).
  2. Draw straight lines through #2 and #3 parallel to the sides of the newspaper.
  3. Mark the points where #2 and #3 intersect the #1 line as A and B.
  4. Draw a line from mark #4 to point A or B, whichever is on the same side.
  5. Draw another line from mark #5 to point A or B (the lines you just drew should NOT cross).
  6. You should now have something that looks like a cape.
  7. Cut it out, tape the edges of the newspaper pattern to keep it together, and test it on your dog.

If it looks okay, you're ready for the next step. If not, try to fix it by changing your lines before proceeding.

Sewing the Flared Cape

  1. Pin the fabric or paper to the newspaper pattern.
  2. Cut around the edges.
  3. If your fabric needs it, sew seams around all the edges. First fold the edges twice so they won't unravel, and you won't see any raw edges if the cape flips inside out.
  4. Make a one inch (25 mm) hem along the collar edge to form a tube.
  5. Thread your cord or yarn through the tube.
  6. Secure the cord or yarn by sewing at the entrance points, first making sure the ties on each end are long enough for fastening.
  7. Try the finished cape on your dog and send us a photo if you can.

We hope you enjoyed learning how to make these dog capes!

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