How to Make a Woody Costume With Little-to-No Creative Ability

Before we begin the tutorial, we need to get something straight: Mommy is only a master crafter in her head… Usually, several things happen when she takes on a project:

* Daddy hides. Generally, Mommy’s projects end up involving outside “volunteers,” and Daddy lives here so he has no place to run. Mommy had a brilliant plan to host a toddler New Year’s Eve party last year, and poor Daddy ended up cleaning teeny tiny sticker pieces out of the carpet for hours afterward. When Mommy went nutso over my Mickey party? Daddy was up until 2AM cutting fruit and arranging it on kebobs. In rainbow order, because Mommy is a special kind of crazy and that is the way the voices in her head wanted them. Also, Daddy likes the dining room table to be kept relatively clear of clutter (HA!), and when Mommy gets “creative,” this is what it looks like:

To be fair, that bee has nothing to do with my costume, but Henry kept trying to steal him, and the dining room table is one of the few Henry-safe surfaces in our house.


* Mommy ends up frustrated and stressed out because nothing turns out the way she pictures it in her head. She has the vision, but not the skill. Also? DIY is supposed to be generally less expensive than mass-produced products, right? Somehow, other crafty-mommies are always finding the perfect accent for their wall decor at a garage sale for $0.15, or Michael’s just happened to be having the most giant clearance sale on the exact product they need to complete their project – AND they had a coupon! Mommy’s ideas? Don’t work out that way. Ever.


The fact that my Woody costume came out reasonably close to what she set out to make AND didn’t break the bank? Something close to a miracle. We figure we *have* to share for other homemade-challenged parents!

After we decided on Woody as my costume for this year, Mommy looked at what was available for purchase. She was less than enamored with the offerings at the local party stores and online – it seemed like the only toddler option was a cheap-looking polyester jumpsuit. Yuck. Also? $50! *IF* Mommy was inclined to spend that much more money on a Halloween costume, she would have gone for this supercute horsie. You know, right before Daddy had her locked away. Anyway, that was when she decided to make my costume for me. How hard could it be?

This is when alarm usually start going off, but, shockingly, the whole project only took a few hours AND it came out looking great! {We think it does, anyway. If you disagree, you can kindly keep that opinion to yourself.}

Toddler Woody Costume Tutorial

First, we took a look at what we already owned that we could use. What’s easier and cheaper than FREE stuff you have already, right? We got off to an excellent start because I have cowboy boots and jeans already, AND Mommy found a red bandana tucked away in a drawer. Half of my costume totally done without any effort at all!

After raiding our closets, Mommy made a list of items we’d need: hat, shirt, vest, belt buckle, & sheriff’s badge.

We checked Amazon for Woody hats, but the only nice looking one we found was a bit pricey. We ended up finding a cowboy hat at Party City for $7. It’s not *perfect* {Woody’s hat has a sort of triangular shape and has brown stitched edges rather than the white piping}, but it will totally do. I LOVE my cowboy hat, so it will definitely get use beyond Halloween, too.

Mommy scoured the internet for a long-sleeved yellow shirt with no success. She also considered buying a white oxford shirt and dying it, but wasn’t really thrilled with that idea. We finally stumbled upon the exact shirt we were looking for at a local consignment sale for $3! If we hadn’t found it, though, we would have made a yellow t-shirt work. We bought an orange fabric marker and a few oversized buttons, and voila!

The orange is a little bright {it was the only orange fabric marker they had}, and some of the lines are a little wavy {despite the fact that Mommy was using a ruler}, but overall we are SO pleased with how it turned out. Those buttons? First thing Mommy has ever sewed since Home Ec in junior high. True Story.

Confident after the shirt success, Mommy set out to create a cowprint vest. We found an amazing tutorial online, and *mostly* followed it. Mommy cut the white felt pieces a bit smaller than the template because I would have been drowning in it otherwise. {Originally, she wasted an hour trying to figure out how to print a PDF at 75% size, but then she just chopped about two inches off the sides when she was cutting the pieces out. She would have made it even a teeny bit smaller, but she couldn’t envision how to do it without making the shoulders too narrow.} After cutting and gluing the felt pieces together, Mommy went back and stitched over the seams for some extra enforcement, even though the original directions say the glue will be fine on its own. We turned it seam-side in and were excited to have a front and a back and two armholes all more or less where they belonged – YAY! The next step was to add the cowprint. The directions are to just cut shapes from black felt and glue them on. Mommy was a bit intimidated by that {she was worried her cowprint shapes would be too big or too small or too blocky or too something, and spent another good 25 minutes or so googling around and trying to find cowprint shape templates} but then she realized that the black felt cost about $0.50 and she could lay it out before gluing so the worse that could happen would be she’d need to buy more felt and she forged ahead. She did cut all the shapes and lay them out before attaching them, though, so if she wasn’t happy she wouldn’t have to redo the whole vest. After gluing on the black pieces, she finished it up with the optional step of stitching around the edges of the vest with black yarn. We totally could have gotten away without it, but it looks more finished with that detail, and it wasn’t all that hard, just time consuming.

Don’t you love it? We LOVE it!

Finally, we needed to add a few accessories. Mommy got a piece of foam for the belt buckle and was lucky to have plenty of extra because her first attempt was really pretty sad. She used a zero piece from one of my puzzles to make the oval shape and then tried to freehand the design. Mommy is no artist. Luckily, we found this graphic online and were able to print it out and use it as a stencil. We made the Sheriff’s badge from felt and it’s probably the weakest link – Mommy is thinking about redoing it, but for now it’s good enough.

That’s it! What do you think?


You’ll have to wait until Halloween for pictures of me IN it – Mommy is afraid that once she puts it on me, I’ll never let her take it off! [ETA: You can find pictures of me modeling it here.] Also, Henry definitely needs a Buzz Lightyear costume, am I right?

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18 Comments

  1. awwwwe-dorable! I am impressed with your mommy's mad skillz! Especially since she sounds just about as crafty as me (I'm still working on my knitted scarf I started last winter). I can't wait to see pics of you in the costume!

  2. Oh my gosh, the cookies made me spit soda all over my keyboard. Hahahahahhahaahahah. And I'm laughing WITH you, not at you.

    You did a GREAT job!!! I am very impressed!!! From a fellow non-crafty – you get an A++++ And I'm with Molly, I can't WAIT to see Cole in his costume!!

  3. The costume looks AWESOME. I think you did a great job. Can't wait to see Cole in it! And the cookie monster pic….Hilarious!!!

  4. Haha I'm thinking og dying a long sleeved onsie peach so The Munchkin can wear it under his Toadstool vest and still more or less give the illusion that he's JUST wearing the vest. I want to do the same thing with some white leggings & then I'll just put a white cloth diaper over them.

    Unless I decide he's going to be a baby Howard Walowitz from Big Bang Theory. I found the most prefectest shirt ever for the costume, which would be completed with black leggings and a batman belt buckle made out of Shrinkey Dinks.

    With option A, I would be Princess Peach & with option B, I would be Amy. (Because it would be weird if I was Bernadette…even if the curly hair and glasses naturally points me in that direction.)

    I LOVE HALLOWEEN!!

  5. I am EXTREMELY impressed. It looks a zillion times better than those cheap plastic ones from the party store!

  6. That is super cute! I've been trying to decide between Mr Potato Head and Woody for Spencer. I might make him a vest at least, he could wear it with his straw cowboy hat.

  7. I LOVE this page!!! I stumbled across it and it has saved me from certain insanity trying to justify spending $90 on a woody costume. Thank you sooo much for posting this!!! I am making my woody vest from the tutorial you linked now, and borrowing your idea for the yellow shirt, and I just gotta say your cookie monster cupcakes rock!!!! D

  8. great stuff! i just facebook'd your page!!

  9. I stumbled upon (for real, not with a time consuming search engine)this blog looking for a homemade Woody costume (for my grown husband who is not in the least interested, in case you wondered).. and loved it. What a cute idea (the entire blog, I mean).. and I love the way your costume turned out. Super cute kids!!

    Thanks for sharing

  10. Hi – It’s good to read such interesting stuff on
    the Internet as I have been able to discover here.
    I agree with much of what is written here and I’ll be
    coming back to this website again. Thanks again for posting such
    great reading material!!

  11. Thanks for the information, and for the laugh.

  12. Thanks for this. My baby is turning one and it’s a cowboy themed party. It’s difficult to find a Woody costume, but this post gave me an idea. 🙂 thanks

  13. Love! My own little Henry will be Woody for Halloween (and DOUBLE USE with it being his birthday party outfit a couple months later with awoody&jessie joint bday party with his sister), and can’t wait to try it out!

  14. I love this!! I have looked all over for a woody vest and was about to search for a pattern to start sewing and found this! You did a great job, thanks for posting!

  15. Pingback: Big Daddy Wizard and Baby Witch, Halloween 2014 » Love the Ludwigs

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