Karate Kid: A DIY Costume for Kids Who Love Ninjas

Our favorite costumes are created from things we already have around the house and can be worn again and again. Check out this simple DIY ninja costume you can throw together in no time. 

The Halloween costume debate in our house has raged on for months. We have a few guidelines by which the boys have to abide, but we are generally pretty flexible about what they wear.

Every day, it seems, they land on a new and better idea for the perfect costume (even when Halloween was months away). However, a ninja costume is one of the few ideas that keeps circling back into play, and because it’s so practical, I’m a big fan. Dressed head to toe in all black is an easy costume to create from everyday clothes and re-wear time and again. We were all in.

Who knows what they will actually wear when they trick or treat. Most likely, the costume du jour will win out (provided they can create it with pieces we have at the house). Halloween aside, the boys decided to don the ninja costumes for a little dress up session without any special occasion.

Want to dress up your little one as a ninja for Halloween this year (or anytime, really)? It’s a simple formula you can almost certainly pull together with clothes already in their closets.

DIY Ninja Costume: What You’ll Need

  • Black pants
  • Black socks
  • Black sweatshirt or long sleeve shirt.
  • Black T-shirt (adult size, to be torn into strips to cover the face and hair)
  • Black gloves

DIY Ninja Costume Accessories: What You’ll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Duct Tape
  • Scissors
  • Jump Rope

If your children’s black clothes have designs on them, try turning the pieces inside out.

If you don’t have solid black clothes on hand (or don’t have black clothing you can turn inside out), Primary.com is the best place to find solid colored everyday pieces for children. I have a mad crush on this company, particularly because the pieces are so simple, soft and sturdy that they last a while and match with just about anything.

DIY Ninja Costume & Accessories: How To Make Them

Step 1: The pants, long-sleeved shirt and black socks provide an easy foundation.

Step 2: To cover the eyes, cut a strip of fabric of the bottom of the black t-shirt that’s about 4 inches wide. Cut parallel to the bottom hem of the shirt all the way around the shirt. Set the rest of the shirt aside for now. Step 3 – Step 5 work with the bottom strip of fabric cut off in this step.

Step 3: Lay the circular piece of fabric flat (so it’s two layers of fabric) with the side seams on top of each other down the middle. In other words, the ends of the flat fabric rectangle would have been the middle of the front and back of the shirt before it was cut.

Step 4: Parallel to the bottom hem, cut a 2″ slit, 1/3 of the distance from the top of the rectangle, into the right side of the fabric rectangle. This will become the eye hole.

Step 5: Perpendicular to the bottom hem, cut up the left side of the fabric rectangle. This should result in one long strip of fabric with a horizontal slit for the eyes in the center. This will be tied around the head.

Step 6: Using the remaining portion of the shirt (set aside previously in step 2), cut off one sleeve along the shoulder seam (the seam that connects the sleeve to the body of the shirt).

Step 7: Assemble the costume. Place the sleeve on your child’s head. Wrap the fabric mask around the child’s face, tying it in the back and with the hole over the eyes so the child can see. Put on the shirt, pants, socks and gloves.

Step 8: From the cardboard, cut out a sword of the desired length and wrap duct tape around the entire thing. We rolled up the jump rope and used it as another tool in their ninja arsenal.

We love costumes that include pieces the boys can wear time and again. They’re more cost-effective, convenient and better for the environment.

If you try it, be sure to tag us on Instagram or Facebook @kidssportslab and share with #SmartsForSportyPants so we can see your kids all dressed up!


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