Hermione, Dobby, and a Park Ranger

Our October Project Challenge is to make something seasonal, and from the start we knew that the Halloween costumes for the kids would be a big part of that. With zero extra budget to put towards costumes and access to a pretty-much-craft-store in our house, making them was more of a must project than a woo-hoo! one. Luckily, Eliza declared this year Harry Potter themed, and we had just the stuff to pull off Hermione and Dobby. We went trunk-or-treating with family on Sunday (isn’t the kids’ cousin Nathan adorable?), so we got to give the mostly-done costumes a test run.

My Mom Sewing

Firstly, I’m super lucky to have a crafty mom. She does wonders with a sewing machine, and she came over last week to help me do the hardest part of the costumes: Dobby’s head and Hermione’s robe.

Dobby Hat in Progress

My mom is seriously magical. I showed her a picture of Dobby, told her that I was thinking of a version similar to a tie-on winter hat for his head, gave her some faux leather material I picked up at a thrift store last year, and she measured the circumference of Jonas’s head and just whipped it out. She drew a pattern freehand from paper towels so she could “test” the pieces on Jonas’s head first.

Dobby tie. #harrypotter #halloween #diy

The other major DIY aspect of Jonas’s costume was a horseshoe tie. In the movies, Dobby wears a dirty pillowcase, even after he’s freed (which I find to be super annoying). In the books, Dobby gets crazy and eccentric with his clothes: and he’s super proud of them. I used the description of Dobby from Harry Potter in the Goblet of Fire as inspiration: he has a horseshoe tie, children’s soccer shorts, a vest over a bare chest, and mismatched socks. He also has a tea cosy as a hat with bright badges with that outfit, but I gave our Dobby a bunch of S.P.E.W. hats instead. And I swapped the vest for a sweater vest; it’s pretty cold, after all.

Anyway, I went as easy as possible with the tie. I cut a tie shape out of flannel (which I chose because it doesn’t fray easily so I wouldn’t actually have to sew). I found a stock image of horseshoes, repeated the pattern in Photoshop, and printed it out on Avery T-shirt Transfers for Inkjet Printers, 8.5 x 11 Inches, Clear, Pack of 6 (03271). Ironed that on, wrapped a bit of fabric around the top so it’d look like a clip-on tie, and checked horseshoe tie off of the list.


I also added the “bare chest” element by sewing some of the faux leather onto a t-shirt. I didn’t need to make a whole shirt out of the “skin” because the vest covers the rest of him up. I also sewed the tie directly on the shirt so Jonas would be more comfortable with it.

Gryffindor tie out of felt and washi. #diy #halloween #costume

My main contribution to E’s costume was a tie as well. That’s just felt and washi, folks. Cheap and easy. I put a pinback on it so she can clip it onto her shirt.

DIY Hermione

My mom made E’s robe out of black broadcloth, which I bought on sale last Spring for about $2 a yard. Win! Other than that, all that we needed were some uniform clothes (which Eliza already has from school), a sweater (which she actually borrowed from Jonas; she’s super tiny), crazy hair, and a wand (found in our yard).

I’m going to try to embroider a Gryffindor patch and a S.P.E.W. badge for Eliza’s robe tonight, but if that doesn’t happen, the world won’t end.

Trunk or Treating

We had fun trunk-or-treating and we can’t wait for the real thing tomorrow!

Have you ever made costumes yourself?