Corban’s favorite TV show is “Jake and the Neverland Pirates”—it’s a spinoff of Disney’s “Peter Pan” about a crew of nice pirates (Jake, Izzy and Cubby) who interact with Captain Hook, Smee and their gang. He’s been in full Jake/pirate mode since last year, so naturally he wanted to be Jake for Halloween.
Of course this is the prime age for adorable coordinating sibling costumes, so I convinced Mara to be Tinker Bell (she makes a guest appearance on the show once in a while—it’s set in Neverland, after all).
Corban wanted to get the whole family involved, including stuffed animals, so Peter dressed up as Smee and I was Izzy. The stuffed animals were on their own for costumes, though. (Corban sighed last night, “But Quacky doesn’t have a Scully costume…”)
After browsing the costume selection available online, I decided it would be fun and easy to make all of our costumes.
Fun, it certainly was. Easy? Well, that would be a stretch. It was definitely doable, but all the little details added up and this ended up being the most ambitious costume undertaking I’ve attempted.
But I really did have a blast putting all four costumes together, and I’m pleased with how they turned out.
If you’re looking to make a DIY Jake, Izzy, Smee or Tinker Bell costume, read on for details on each of them.
First, some highlights from our Halloween:
Halloween crafts at the library, and the first test run of the costume.
Somehow we wrangled 15 kids into a Halloween party photo.
There’s my Izzy costume.
This poor pumpkin didn’t stand a chance.
Carved a pirate pumpkin.
And got a little fancy.
Eager to start trick-or-treating.
Tink didn’t end up doing much walking. Plus, it was cold and misting.
Pretty good haul. I showed them how to sort their candy.
Now, for the costume tutorials…
Jake the pirate
There are three basic parts to a Jake costume: The shirt, the vest and the boots. Let’s start with the easiest one.
About 10 inches black ribbon
Cut the collar and sleeve hems off the T-shirt. Cut a few slits in each sleeve and make a 3- or 4-inch cut down from the middle of the collar.
Cut two slits on each side of that cut and slide a black ribbon through to form a loose X. Tie the ribbon at the bottom inside the shirt.
Navy blue T-shirt
Yellow bias tape (found in the sewing department of a fabric/craft store—it is more like ribbon)
Fusible bonding web (such as Stitch Witchery)
4 yellow buttons
Yellow thread and needle
Cut off the shirt’s sleeves and collar and cut straight down the middle of the shirt to make a vest.
The 3T shirt ended up being a little too small, so for the final version I used a 5T (Corban is 3, going on 4).
Iron the bias tape to remove any creases. Iron the vest to make a collar.
Starting from the bottom of one flap of the vest, use the bonding web to attach the bias tape along the edge of the shirt. Since bias tape consists of several layers folded lengthwise, I actually attached mine around the edge—using bonding web on both the inside and outside of the vest. This looks nicer than just attaching it to the outside of the vest.
Work your way along the edge of the shirt, lining the flap of the collar*, around the back of the neck**, back down the other collar and around the back of the vest, cutting the bias tape into sections as needed (I used six separate sections of tape).
*I attached part of the collar flap to the shirt with bonding web to help keep it in place:
**”Pop” the collar up as you go around:
Sew two buttons on each side of the vest. (Side note, why are buttons so expensive?! It took me a good hunt to find inexpensive yellow buttons that were the right size and color.)
Jake’s boot covers
This was a serious challenge for me, so I’m pretty proud that they turned out. They fit over shoes and are a lot cheaper than Uggs (plus, you can paint Jake’s signature “J” on them). Here’s what you need:
4 yards brown felt
Yellow paint (I just used some acrylic I had)
I followed this tutorial. The biggest challenge was to decipher the instructions since they were a bit confusing at parts. One thing I didn’t realize until my mom stepped in to help is that “right sides” in sewing lingo means the sides you want to show in the end, not the sides opposite the left. With felt, it doesn’t matter, but knowing that will help clarify the linked instructions. Another helpful hint: at the start of step 5, turn the boots rightside out.
One thing we (my mom) added was to fold and hand stitch the tops of the cuffs into the boot. (Yikes, it’s not easy writing sewing instructions!)
After the boots are constructed, use a paintbrush to paint a solid gold rectangle on the tops of the feet and Js on the insides of the cuffs. Strangely, the J on Jake’s left boot is a mirror image of the right, so it’s backwards. (I’ve Googled “Jake pirate” images an embarrassing number of times while working on this costume.)
Other Jake elements
Red headband—just a thick strip of red fabric (we already had one from a pirate costume I’ve worn)
Hair—Find some mega extreme hold hair gel (that’s how the one I used marketed itself) and spike that hair straight up in front.
Thick black belt/cummerbund—you could cut up an old T-shirt or do what I did and tie a pair of black tights around your son’s waist (tuck in the ends in the back)
Wooden sword—Peter insisted we buy this instead of attempt to make it. I’m glad we did even though we payed way more than we should have on Amazon for an apparently discontinued Disney Store set of Jake accessories. It’s foam and nice and Corban loves it, plus it came with a spyglass (much better than the paper towel roll I had planned) and pouch of gold dubloons.
There are a lot of routes you can take with Tinker Bell. I wanted to be as authentic to the Disney version as possible while making it appropriate for a two-year-old (um, look at Tink…she is a mature, scantily clad woman).
My plan was to do something like this, but use a leotard instead of sewing the body myself. I found an adorable mint green leotard, but at the last minute decided the mint green didn’t look right, so ended up hand-sewing an alternative last night. It was a smart move. Here are the elements of our toddler Tink costume.
Tinker Bell’s skirt
1 1/4 yards green fabric (get something that won’t fray)
Matching green thread
Non-roll elastic (for the waist)
Ruffled ribbon/trim (for the waist)
1 roll cream or white tulle
Thin elastic (for the waist of the tutu)
I followed this tutorial for the skirt. It was simple, even for a sewing novice like me. The ruffled ribbon is a good addition to cover up the seam along the waist.
Tulle tutus are the easiest thing to make. Just loop-tie strips of tulle to a thin elastic waistband. It’s a fun touch for under the Tinker Bell skirt.
Tinker Bell’s top
White long sleeve shirt
Leftover green fabric from the skirt
Matching green thread
Cut and pin green fabric to the shirt, starting under the arm on one side and continuing all the way around the shirt. Hand stitch the fabric to the shirt, then stitch it down the side. You’ll tuck the shirt in, so don’t worry about the bottom.
Tinker Bell’s wings
This took me a bunch of finagling and trial and error. I will try to explain what I did, though.
2 white wire hangers
1 pair white adult women’s tights
Small piece of tape
Glitter glue (optional—I never ended up adding it)
Tink’s wings each have a tall pointed section on top and a smaller, round part on bottom. For a toddler, one hanger is plenty large enough for each wing. First, untwist the necks of the hangers and use pliers to form each into the shape of the wings. Leave a few inches of the end sticking out from the middle and use that part to hook the two wings together by twisting them around each other.
Now, unhook the wings from one another (stay with me for a minute). Cut the legs off the tights and stretch them tightly over the wings starting over the top section of wing. I twisted them a little in between the two wing sections to help keep the shape, then pulled the open end of the tights back up to the middle after going over the bottom section.
Poke the end of the wire (the part that will hook the wings together) through the tights once the tights are in place. Now, re-connect the wings. The ends of the tights will just be hanging out for now. Wrap tape around the connecting pieces of wire to keep them together (it’s OK if it’s not totally secure at this point).
Tie the thin elastic into a loop that will fit across your little one’s back and hook around her arms. Poke the elastic into the hole of the tights on one wing and finagle it to loop around a section of wire inside, then repeat on the other wing so the wings now have elastic straps coming out from the middle.
Tie the loose ends of the tights together around the connecting wire, pulling one leg around the back, then tying it together with the other leg on the side of the wings that will be facing out (the side without the elastic straps), then bringing both sides around to the side with the elastic and tying them together there (so the legs are tied together on both the front and the back of the wings).
Paint glitter onto the wings if desired.
Tinker Bell’s magic wand
1 chop stick or other thin, wooden stick
Silver washi tape
White or cream tulle
Wrap washi tape around the stick in a spiral motion to cover.
Make two tulle pom poms. To make each, cut 20-30 4-inch strips of tulle (1/2-inch-wide). Lay a wider (2- to 3-inch-wide) 4-inch strip of tulle down and stack the 20-30 strips perpendicular on top of it. Tie the thicker strip around the center of the stack of strips and knot it tightly, then knot the ends around the end of the tape-covered stick. Repeat to make the second pom pom and tie it to the same end of the stick but on the opposite side. Tape the ends of the tulle strips you used to tie the pom poms together down to the stick, using the same spiral taping motion to cover them completely.
Separate the 1/2-inch strips in all directions to form a puffy ball, trimming where necessary to form a sphere around the tip of the stick.
Other Tink elements
Shoes—Make tulle pom poms as described above, but tie or pin them to the toes of a pair of white or green ballet flats (technically Tink wears green shoes).
Hair—She wears her hair in a high bun with a little ribbon around it and bangs sweeping down and to the side.
Izzy the pirate
Light pink T-shirt
Darker pink permanent marker
Cut the hems off the sleeves and bottom of a light pink T-shirt. Cut wide scallops around the bottom and sleeves. Outline the edges in marker, adding loops between each scallop. Outline the neckline, adding an upside down V shape at the neck (I messed this part up so it looks pretty bad).
Medium pink bandana or old T-shirt
Light pink fabric paint
If using an old T-shirt, cut the hem off the bottom, then cut straight up the middle as high as you can get before hitting graphics, or up to about the sternum or mid-back. Cut all the way around the shirt from that point, so you end up with a large rectangle. Cut it into an obtuse triangle.
Paint loops and dots along the edge of the triangle, as pictured.
Izzy’s pouch necklace
8-inch circle of yellow fabric
24-inch strip of felt (1/4- to 1/2-inch wide) or two 12-inch strips (or use brown yarn, string or cord)
We had a pouch lying around so I just used that, but you can easily make one by cutting a circle from yellow fabric and gathering the edges together to form a pouch. Tie the felt strips or string around the top to secure it. On the show, this pouch contains pixie dust.
Other Izzy elements
Hair—Pigtails, or if your hair is really long like mine then add braids in to keep it under control. Wrap strips of brown felt around each pigtail. Corban called me out because Izzy has a piece of hair sticking out from the front, so if your hair is the right length to do that, you should probably do it.
Boots—I just wore my Minnetonkas, but you could make boot covers like the Jake ones I made, just without the painted parts (note the pattern I used is for toddler size 8 to 10).
Pants—Izzy wears purple pants. I found these purple fleece-lined leggings on Amazon for $5. They are super warm and comfy, though not the greatest quality (but hey, only five dollars!).
Earrings—Like any good pirate, Izzy wears gold hoop earrings.
This is oh so easy, hence the reason I switched from the original plan of Peter being Captain Hook.
Hat—Bright red stocking cap.
Shirt—Blue and white striped T-shirt.
Shorts—Royal blue (it was cold so Peter wore jeans).
Glasses—He wears round glasses on the tip of his nose. (Forgot this.)
Belly—Stuff a pillow in if you don’t naturally have a pot belly. Peter was going to, but ended up not bothering.