Tutorial: Dog Taco Costume

After much debate, I decided to make Whiskey a Taco Costume this year. He loves to wear anything that has straps like his winter coat (he seriously jumps for joy when I dig out his sweaters.) It was a blast to make, and has been a smash hit around town today. Can’t wait for him to strut his stuff at the Halloween party tomorrow.

And of course I had to share this with all of you, so here is a tutorial on how to make a Taco Costume for your own dog.

You’ll need:

  • Felt (tan, brown, green, yellow and red)
  • Embroidery Thread (tan, brown, green, yellow and red)
  • Cardboard
  • Velcro (the kind that you sew on, not the kind that has the adhesive)
  • Poly Fill
  • Measuring Tape
  • Washable Marker
  • Scissors

 

You’ll need some felt:

  • Tan for the taco shell
  • Brown for the beef filling
  • Green for the lettuce
  • Yellow for the shredded cheddar cheese
  • Red for the tomatoes

 

You can use normal cotton thread for the stitches (and even use your sewing machine), but I prefer to use different coloured embroidery thread and hand sew the pieces together. You can match the embroidery thread and felt really well, or even have some fun with contrasting colours.

Measure the length that you want the taco shell to be. For Whiskey I measured on one side from the arm to the leg, which was about 9 inches.

On a piece of stiff board, cut a “taco shell” shape (half circle), the length that you measured on your dog, and half that for the height. Cut the shape out twice.

Lay one of the pieces on a length of tan felt. Measure a 1/2 inch border around the cardboard. Use this felt piece to cut 3 more pieces out of the felt.

For each taco shell you should have one cardboard piece and two felt pieces. Take the board, sandwich it between the felt pieces and pin in place. I used a backstitch to go around the entire piece. Try to get as snug to the cardboard as you can. Repeat with the other side.

Cut two strips of felt to go under your dog’s arms and under their belly.

 

One at a time, put them around your dog and mark where they meet. This will help you to determine where to put the velcro.

 

Cut a piece of velcro to fit between the mark you created, and the end of the strip, leaving a border all around. Sew the velcro on with a running stitch.

 

Repeated with the other piece of velcro on the other end of the strip. You should have a nice loop when you connect the velcro pieces. Continue with the remaining belly strap.

 

Now we need to adhere the straps to the taco shells. I suggest putting the straps on your dog, then positioning the shells where you want to go and marking the spot where the strap and shell meet. Be sure to have the good stitching on the taco shell on the outside.

 

Use a backstitch to attach the straps to the shells. Repeat the remaining shell.

 

To make the “beef filling”, cut a piece of brown felt the length of the taco shells and the width of your dog (because you want it to sit between the two shells)

 

Now take the scissors and make a creative taco filling shape.

 

Do a running stitch all the way around, leaving a hole for the poly fill to go in.Its okay if it gets puffy and imperfect like in the photo above.

 

Stuff the filling with poly fill, being sure to get into all the spots. Play around with it. Sew the hole closed.

 

And here is the beef filling. Looks like a brown cloud pillow to me…

 

Now its time to make the toppings!!! You can really be creative and add whatever you want. I’m going to add lettuce, cheese and tomatoes, but you could make sour cream, hot peppers, whatever you can think of.

 

For the lettuce leaves, cut a piece of green felt in a 10″ x 2″ strip. Draw on a “lettuce leaf” edge and cut it off. Take some green thread and do a gathering stitch the length of the felt piece. For a gathering stitch, do a running stitch, then pull the thread, gathering up the fabric and knot the end. make 3 more lettuce pieces (2 for each taco shell side)

Postion the “leaves” on your shell and pin in place. Use a running stitch to attach it to the inner piece of felt on the shell.

 

Now you have some nice ruffled lettuce. Repeat for the other side of you taco.

 

For some shredded cheddar cheese, cut 1″ x 1/2″ strips of yellow felt.

 

For the tomatoes, I took a 1 1/2 ” x 1 1/2 ” piece of red felt, ran a running stitch in a circle all around the felt and then pulled it to gather into a little ball, and knot the thread. You can stuff pieces of scrap felt in the balls before you gather them to help them keep their shape.

 

Sew the pieces of cheese to the filling with a few simple stitched in yellow embroidery thread.

 

Use red embroidery to add the tomatoes to the filling.

 

Place the taco with the inside exposed, and the outsides of the shells on the table.

 

Place the filling on top, and pin it into the place you would like.

 

Flip the taco over and stitch the filling into place with tan embroidery thread.

 

And there you have it a felt taco costume for your pooch.

 

Whiskey just hopes that some houses are giving away dog treats when he goes trick-or-treating this year.

 

Anyone feel like Mexican food tonight?

 

Happy Halloween from Whiskey! *wink*

 

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Comments

  1. says

    This is a really clever dog costume – thanks for sharing! Unfortunately my dogs never seem to have the patience for staying “dressed up” too long!

    In case you and your readers are interested, there is a creative costume contest happening over at http://www.halloweenhero.com/costume-contest-2013.html and the grand prize is $250. You are free to enter more than once, as long as each submission is for a different costume.

    Thanks again for this great pet costume tutorial!

    Best,
    Peter

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