Goldfish Costume

I asked Owen for a month what he wanted to be for Halloween.
A fisherman….something MineCraft……O-bot the Robot??
I was out of ideas.
Then finally on Saturday he looked at me with a straight face and gave his final answer—-
a Goldfish.

Okay!  Fun!
Do you want to be a bass fish, or a beta fish like you have in your room?
Nope. I want to be a goldfish.

You mean you want me to make a costume out of orange and yellow felt???
With circles and big eyeballs??
(happy sigh)

This costume was really fun and easy to put together.  And I’m so happy he thought of it—I like a creative challenge.  It’s sorta like a crossbreed of a fish and a bird.  But overall I think it works.
So if you’ve got your own big fish in a little pond,
Here’s how to make a Goldfish Costume…..

In my mind I thought—I’ll either make him a fish face hood out of felt, OR  I’ll find an orange hoodie and embellish the scales out of that thing.  Of course where are you going to find an orange sweatshirt 4 days before Halloween?  Um….apparently at Joanns!  Woohoo!  And for only $6. What??
Fishy fate.

Now, they only had adult size hoodies which I thought was a problem at first….but then it ended up being a huge help. Heh heh.  Huge.  Puffy?  Round fish?
Here’s what you do….

• Cut some length off the sleeves and hem them under, which actually works well because it makes the arms big and wide, sort of like fins.  And if you’re making this as a bird costume, they can be wings!
• Cut off the bottom of the sweatshirt, remove the pocket, then sew the ribbing back onto the sweatshirt hem, just to make it a little shorter (and tighter)

• Grab felt in a variety of orange/gold shades and trace/cut circles.  I cut out 3 circles at a time and it went pretty fast.

• Arrange the circles on your sweatshirt to see how it looks—and the more random they are, the better.  I also left spaces here and there since most fish are missing a few scales.
• Start at the bottom of the sweatshirt and at the bottom of the sleeves and glue each scale to your sweatshirt with a hot glue gun. Then move your way up to the top of the sweatshirt and do the same thing on the back. I didn’t do any scales on the hood.

• Use a bowl or cup to trace eyeballs and pupils.
• Sew the black circle to the white.
• For added fun, cut a circle of clear vinyl and sew it on top of each eyeball, then sew the eyeballs to your hood.

I love love LOVE how the vinyl looks on the costume!  It’s hard to see the full effect in these photos, but it adds that perfect touch.

4. FIN
Now this didn’t execute as well as I’d hoped.  It looks kind of like feathers.  But you could improve the process on yours.  I think it’s the initial shape that was wrong—I should have angled it down more.  But here’s what I did….
• Cut a few layers of felt and sew them down the middle back of the costume.
• Fold the layers up and sew them together.
• Fringe the edges.

Finish off the look with an orange T-shirt underneath and some orange shorts or pants.  Can you believe the mileage these KID Shorts have gotten over the last year??  I’ll pretend I saw the goldfish future when I selected that orange fabric….

And finally….

To get a nice round goldfish, throw a bit of batting inside.
I took about 1 1/2 yards of quilt batting and just folded it up inside the costume, so it’s like there’s a blanket wrapped around his abdomen.  I didn’t even attach it or glue it; it just kind of sits in there.   And if you live in a cold climate, it adds extra layers of warmth.

Of course if you live in a hot Texas climate…’re sweatin’ scales.  Good thing we’ve got those shorts on.

Oh little Owen, you make the cutest fish.
Thanks for the fun idea!….and for bringing this fish to life.
Every time I caught a glimpse of this on my cutting table, I saw a big dead fish.

“Owen are you a dead fish?”
“No. I’m just sleeping.  Fish sleep with their eyes open!”
(and their lips puckered)

Happy Halloween!

  1. best best best! Love this so much. 🙂

  2. 2) agnes

    You have the best costume ideas – love this!

  3. 3) Mel

    love that he came up with the idea and you made it happen. He looks so cute!

  4. Aw he is the cutest little goldfish! That’s such a great idea to use an adult’s sweatshirt, I wouldn’t have thought of that but it worked out so well!

  5. What a great idea Owen had! I love your take on it Dana. Great job!

  6. How cute is that? I love the happy colours. Great Job, Dana!

  7. 8) Emily

    A great idea, very creative!

  8. 9) Bree

    Darling costume!

    If you take a dollar plastic pumpkin pail from Walmart and spray paint it white to look like a fish bowl and then add blue paint for the water, Owen would be like the Dr. Seuss story, ‘A Fish Out Of Water’ by Helen Palmer. It’ll be cute for his candy while trick-or-treating .

  9. 10) Laura J.

    This is so awesome! Pinning to keep in mind for next year!

  10. OMG I love it!! This has just made my day! 🙂

  11. 12) Judy

    How adorable! You guys have the best ideas. Great job!

  12. 13) Julie R.

    What fun! I love it!

  13. 14) Pat

    Absolutely adorable & so creative. As you point out, you can make so many creations out of the basic pattern.

  14. 15) Julie H.

    I love love love that he out of the blue came up with a goldfish for his costume! What a kid! 🙂 I love this, and here in northern Illinois where it’s 25 mph wind gusts and 40 degrees today (boo), that would be the perfect costume…with orange sweat pants that is. Great job!

  15. 16) Hillarey

    Thant looks like great fun! My son wanted to be a fox so we scoured the stores for an orange hoodie and unfortunately none of the felt or fleece matched the hoodie but he loves his fox costume and runs around the house singing “What does the fox say?” !!!

  16. So cute! And what a time-saver to find the orange sweatshirt! 🙂 Lisa

  17. 19) netty

    He is adorable! That close up of him smiling is just the cutest! 🙂

  18. 20) Susan Y

    It’s simple and perfect! I love his costume and thinking!

  19. This is really cute!! Good idea Owen! He is so adorable amd has officially lost his “im a toddler” look (always makes me sad haha). He now looks like a big boy

  20. 22) Krista

    That’s great! He must be on the same wavelength as my 9 yr old daughter. She was an octopus today!

  21. Great costume ! I envy you (only on Halloween lol), here in Minnesota it was 24 yesterday night. No shorts and no sweating, but very cold feet !

  22. 24) Deb

    What a fun costume! That would have worked well here. It was so cold and rainy that my daughter’s costume would barely close over her warm clothes. I’ll keep that in mind for next year.

  23. heee!! that is so great!!!

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  25. 28) Jean McCoin

    Out of the mouths of babs! You did a Great Job and jealous that I didn’t do it.

  26. 29) Bdaiss

    This is fantastic! Might have to do this one for ME next year. (I could also see a whole Cat in the Hat family theme…)

  27. oh man what a cute little fishie! i love the giant arms. i’m with you, i think halloween costumes are so fun because they’re a creative challenge. how do you make a boy into a goldfish? here’s how! 😀

  28. that is sooo cute!! I love how easy it was too when you used the hoodie as the base… I need to try and pick up some clearance hoodies to make these for my boys next year ;o)

  29. 35) Stacey

    Love it! Great job. And I love that he thought up such a creative idea!

  30. This is so great! I made a shark costume with your inspiration. Thank you Dana!

  31. 41) Heather

    I just wanted to thank you so much for this tutorial! I followed it mostly (just went a different direction on the fin as you suggested!), and my son is super happy with it! Thank you thank you!

    • 42) Dana

      Oh my gosh. Yay!! That makes me so happy to hear!
      Happy Halloween 🙂

  32. 43) furryanon

    would this be nice for furries

  33. 44) Brook

    I made this costume for me this year. So easy and cute! I ran out of time for the fin but it was still super cute! Thanks for the inspiration!

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