Perhaps you have an aversion to store-bought costumes. (Though, have you seen this one? It’s by Aeromax and it is fantastic.) Perhaps you waited just a little bit too long and can’t find a firefighter costume in the stores and shipping won’t reach you in time. Whatever the case, I’ve got some tips for you as to how to make your own firefighter costume. This is not a free option. You’re going to have to buy a few things and search, possibly quite hard, for a few things. This is a no-sew/sew-free costume, however, so even if you don’t know a needle from a straight pin, you should be fine.
Let’s get started.
1. To form the jacket, you have a few options. If you have a yellow, black, tan or red rain jacket on hand, you’re good to go. The good news is that at this time of year, rain jackets are usually on sale. The bad news is that they’re often very picked over. If you cannot find a rain jacket, get a small man’s dress shirt in black. Cut the hem off the bottom of the shirt (not the jacket!) and also remove the collar (again, shirt, not jacket).
2. If you are using a black or tan shirt or jacket, you need to locate some yellow tape. The good news is that the “official” brand of duct tape, Duck Tape, just so happens to make it in yellow. If you can’t find yellow in your area, grab the regular duct tape and paint it yellow with your child’s poster paint. If you are using red or yellow jacket, you need the regular silver colored duct tape. You want a stripe near the bottom of the shirt or jacket, three or so fingers from the bottom of the fire jacket. You want another stripe mid-chest. Lastly, put stripes on the bottom of each sleeve.
3. Place a flag sticker on either the upper left hand corner of the shirt or on the upper sleeve. You can find flag stickers very easily (here’s an example). If you are coming up short-handed, print one out and glue it onto the fire jacket.
4. Your fire pants are the easiest to find and fix. Simply get a pair of sweat pants (black would be acceptable no matter the color of jacket but if you can match to your jacket, more power to you!). Put another stripe of your colored tape near the bottom, again about three fingers up from the hem.
5. Now for the fire boots. If you have rain boots in black or yellow, you’re set. If not, take whatever rain boots you can find (remember, they’ll likely be on sale right now as snow boots are already flying off the shelves) and cover them with either yellow or black duct tape. Voila! Fire boots!
6. Locate a fire helmet. This is one you might already have, especially as your child’s school may have just sent one home in celebration of Fire Prevention Week. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can buy this fancy one for $20.99 (10.13.09) or go a little more low tech for $0.99. Your local brick-and-mortar stores may also carry fire helmets. You need one though so get to looking!
And voila! You have a little firefighter without sewing!
As an added bonus, if you used the silver duct tape (and possibly the yellow; someone let me know, please), it will be reflective if lights shine on it. While trick-or-treating at night isn’t your safest option, it is good to be safe if you’re heading outdoors when it is dark this Halloween season. I’ll be bringing you some Halloween safety tips in the near future. In the meantime, get to work on your sew-free firefighter costume. Feel free to send us pictures if you go this route!
Happy (homemade) firefighting!