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DIY Jellyfish Costumes

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Jellyfish - Homemade costumes for women

DIY Glowing Jellyfish costumes

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Photo #1 - DIY Glowing Jellyfish costumes Photo #2 - Jellyfish costumes Photo #3 - DIY Jellyfish costume Photo #4 - Jellyfish Photo #5 - Jellyfish
Costume type:  Costumes for Women
Categories:Halloween Costumes, Animal Costumes

This homemade costume for women entered our 2012 Halloween Costume Contest.

A word from Helen, the 'Jellyfish' costume creator:

I was inspired by pictures of jellyfish costumes that I saw on other websites, plus the fact that they glow! I was going for something not too expensive and also not heavy or cumbersome so I decided to use a hybrid of methods I found on the web and added my own twist.

Materials:

  • Inexpensive hat with a brim from party store (choose one that fits you well)
  • Foam board (I reused from one of my kid's projects)
  • Bubble wrap- both big and small (recycled from home and bought some at the dollar store)
  • Drycleaning bags
  • 3 Thin wire battery operated warm led lights (purchased from Amazon)
  • 3 "tap on" battery operated lights- can purchase just about anywhere. The kind that are "stick on" and can attach with the adhesive back.
  • Iridescent and colored metallic tissue paper- from the dollar store
  • White duct take and clear shipping tape
  • Iridescent mesh tubing- purchased at AC moore for 1/2 price. Can also find on the web easily.
  • Variety of white, clear and/or iridescent wired ribbon purchased on sale or with discount coupons. I used 1 and 1/2 rolls of both the wide and the more narrow widths.
  • Glue gun
  • Material - I used an old veil, but any sheer and/or iridescent material you like is fine.
 

How to make a jellyfish costume:

Started with the cowboy hat (sombrero seemed to flimsy as I wanted to be able to move about and dance easily).
Cut foam board in a 20 inch diameter circle (this was pretty large- I would do smaller next time, maybe 18 inches). Then cut a closefitting hole in the foamboard for the top of the hat to fit through (foam board is sitting on top of hat). I cut carefully each time to ensure the hole and hat fit my head closely.

I then applied hot glue around the top of the cowboy hat rim and firmly pressed the foamboard circle onto it. I poked a hole from underneath on each side of the hat in order to thread the battery operated light wire through from underneath the hat. Hot glued and adhered the 3 tap on lights underneath and behind where my head would fit – these make the large tentacles.

I covered the top of the hat with white duct tape and then glued metallic tissue all over the top and underneath of the hat. I also taped some of the colored tissue over each of the tap on lights. I used blue for one jellyfish and pink for the other one.

Hot glued the battery operated light control to the underside of the hat – one on each side (near where my ears were for balance). Made sure that tops were exposed so that I could change the batteries if needed.

To build up the top of the hat, I used a some white plastic bags, lots of drycleaning bags and even some toilet paper rolls – attached with the shipping tape. * make sure to keep the light string out!

Once I achieved the basic shape and height I wanted, I then taped the iridescent, metallic tissue all over the top with clear tape. Next, I attached the lights. No particular pattern, just enough to make sure the entire top would glow and be spaced out nicely. Used the clear packing tape to attach. Then I covered the entire top of the hat with the large bubble wrap bringing over the edge and attached it underneath (about an inch or so inside/underneath) with staples and glue.

Now it was time for the tentacles. For the three inside tentacles, I unraveled a long white loofah and cut them at my knees. Then attached them around the 3 tap on lights – so the light would shine down inside of the tentacle. I measured the mesh tubing, ribbon and small bubblewrap and cut so each tentacle came to my knees and varied the lengths a little. I scrunched the ribbon. Attached all to the underneath of hat with hot glue. I used an old veil found at the thrift store to cover the entire jellyfish, leaving about 3 inches extra underneath the hat, but you can use any sheer, iridescent material – just look for something you like!

Dressed all in white (can do all black too if you like). We glowed all night and had so many compliments and photos taken. The kids loved seeing us out trick or treating! Fun, fun, fun!

Rating: 4.4 of 5. Votes: 93

93 votes
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Comments

#1 comment by Ginger June 9, 2013

these are awesome!! I would love to see some pictures of the making process to go with the instructions!!

#2 comment by Debbie November 7, 2013

I made this costume for my 7-year-old and it got many "best costume ever!" votes with extra candy offerings. Thank you ladies for sharing and posting. I did have some troubles translating the instructions, but in the end it turns out great!

#3 comment by Jennifer September 3, 2014

I really want to make this but I'm having a hard time with some of the instructions. Any chance you took pictures of the process?

#4 comment by Nancy Breu September 13, 2014

We're going on a cruise for Halloween and I want to make these for my husband and I but am having trouble understanding how to do the light strings. The instructions call for 3 led thin wired lights but to put as hole on each side of the hat which sounds like you use only 2 of the light strings? Can you please elaborate? Thank you

#5 comment by Kelle September 30, 2014

Yes I have the same question about 3 led string lights but only two seem to be mentioned in the instructions. Not sure about where the third goes?
Taking a few girlfriends with me to visit one of my college daughters on Halloween and this costume is gonna be so much fun!!! Thanks!!!

#6 comment by Helen September 30, 2014

Hi all,
Sorry for the confusion. I'm sorry, but I did not take pictures as I was experimenting. I put one hole on each side of the foam/hat base circle. So, each light control was taped underneath the hat/jellyfish base with the light string strung through the hole. I think I had intended to use 3, but realized that two was enough light and the 3rd base made the hat too heavy for me. I hope that answers your questions, but if you have more, please ask away!

#7 comment by Kelle September 30, 2014

Thanks Helen!
Yes that makes sense. Thanks! One more question. Were those lights colored or white? It looks like the colored tissue illuminates the pink (or blue) and the lights are white, but thought to ask anyway. Sorry to pester!
Kelle

#8 comment by Helen October 1, 2014

No bother at all! I did use colored lights. Pink for one and blue for the other costume. bought the lights (online). Very thin wire, led. I think they are called Fairy lights. check amazon for a selection. The tissue did not add as much color as I thought it would. Also, more of the white and irridescent materials looked better in the daylight.

#9 comment by Amy October 1, 2014

would you agree to loan it? I'd love to wear your brilliant creation and return it to you after Halloween. Save resources, etc.

#10 comment by Helen October 2, 2014

Sure. txt. me at 301-537-1546 and I can call you

#11 comment by Denise October 3, 2014

I too am trying to make this costume...Awesome by the way. Why the laundry bags? What purpose do they have? They are $3.00 a piece.
Denise

#12 comment by Helen October 3, 2014

$3?? I just used plastic dry cleaning bags that I took off my returned dry cleaned clothes. I used them around the top of the hat to fill in and shape- make more like the jellyfish shape. otherwise, it will look like just a hat with lights. Plastic grocery bags or even light trash bags would probably accomplish the same. I thought that bubble wrap was too expensive to use as filler, so I used it as the top layer only. Hope that makes sense!

#13 comment by Deb October 8, 2014

I am confused about the long white loofah. Not sure what or where you would purchase this. Could you explain further? Thanks. Love the idea. Me and another person I work with are going to dress up like this - great idea!!!

Thanks

Deb

#14 comment by Helen October 9, 2014

The loofah is a scrubber usually sold in the bath department or at the dollar store. Easy and cheap. I think I bought mine at Walmart. It comes in a poof so you need to cut the string in the center that binds it together in order to unravel it. Hope that helps!

#15 comment by Deb October 11, 2014

Wondering how to keep the cowboy hat tighter to fit the head. Do you have ideas/suggestions. Thanks.

Deb

#16 comment by wendi October 12, 2014

What did you use the mesh tubing for?
Thanks, wendi

#17 comment by Helen October 12, 2014

Answering both #15 and #16 comments. I bought a hat the was pretty tight fitting- is yours a good fit? I guess duct taping the outside of the top might help? Maybe the hole you cut in foamboard is too big-- it should fit tightly around your head. I cut mine very small and then kept trying it on for fit. I just shaved more of the hole until I had a perfect fit, but snug.

The mesh tubing (iridescent) is part of the tentacles. If you look closely at the picture, you can see that the tentacles are made of twisted bubblewrap, ribbon and the mesh tubing. Hope that I helped!

#18 comment by Michelle October 13, 2014

Hi! Did you use 7ft led lights?

#19 comment by wendi October 14, 2014

Ok thank you, that did help! Doung this costume for my daughter who is 9! We are very excited to see how it turns out! Thank you

#20 comment by Helen October 14, 2014

hello all. The 7ft lights is a 7ft strand of lights. They are on a light wire (see Amazon to buy) and I wound them around the top of the hat and secured with clear packing tape.

Can't wait to see the pictures of your daughter's costume!

#21 comment by Deb October 14, 2014

It looks like you have a colored band of pink or blue for each costume on the bottom on your hat. Is that correct and if so what did you use? Thanks

Deb

#22 comment by Helen October 15, 2014

It does look like it! I covered the underside of the hat with the iridescent tissue (blue or pick) from the dollar store (or Michaels) and the "band" is where I carried it up over the edge of the hat. I used spray adhesive to glue the paper to the foamboard.

#23 comment by sue October 26, 2014

Why did you cover the top of the hat with white duck tape? Just wondering because I am using a white hat to start with. Thank you.

#24 comment by Helen October 27, 2014

Mine was a black cowboy hat- all they had available. You don't have to cover it since you have a white one.

#25 comment by Lauren December 2, 2014

At the top where the tentacles are, is that the veil? The thing that goes all the way around? Struggling to see what that is

#26 comment by Keisha December 6, 2014

Absolutely awesome!

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