Make a Rainbow & Sunshine Costume
You guys are just the best! Thanks for the all the love on my last post of Ellie’s Rain and Storm Cloud Costume costume! That really was a fun one to make…and even though there are only a couple days until Halloween, you really could still whip that one up! But hallelujah, you guys, I have now officially finished the other 4 costumes for my kids…..and am now just editing photos, so that I can share them here with you guys. (Anyone else still putting costume parts together? Hang in there….you’ve got this!!!) But today I’m sharing Chloe’s Rainbow and Sunshine Costume. Can you see the theme we’re going with? You got it ——> WEATHER! :)
And not just any Rainbow Costume….a big ol’ 3D Rainbow Costume, with a large puffy Sunshine belt! This costume is one BRIGHT SLICE of HAPPY!
I mentioned last week that the kiddos wanted to go with a completely different costume theme, but as time kept escaping me, I explained to them that we needed to come up with something easier, that wouldn’t keep me up all night sewing. (I’ve had some health issues and zero energy, otherwise, I can’t help but sew through the night most years!) Anyway, they understood and were more than willing to brainstorm something easier….but I know Chloe was still bummed I wasn’t going to make her original costume choice.
However, when I finished putting the final touches on this Rainbow costume and showed it to her….that cute face of hers kind of exploded into pure excitement! :)
Even though I always explain to my kids how I’m planning on making their costume and help them get excited about certain components of it, way before I even start making it…….they still doubt whether or not I’m able to actually execute it (especially the older kids). Haha!
My favorite is when they say things like “Oh my GOSH, mom!!! I didn’t think you could make it THIS COOL!” Haha! (I know, I know…..kids are pretty easy to impress, so I could slap trash together and they’d say the same thing…..but it still makes me laugh, knowing they doubt me—every.single.time!!! Hahaha!)
This Rainbow and Sunshine Costume is pretty basic though. It’s the obnoxiously large size of it, that makes it fun! :) But don’t worry, it’s REALLY lightweight. Any guesses what it’s made of??
Here’s a hint—–it’s light enough to work with, that I easily stabbed a whole bunch of wooden BBQ skewers in between each color, to help keep them together and in the arched shape that I wanted. (Okay, I’m sure you’re shouting at the screen, telling me what you think it is. Haha! Scroll down to the tutorial to see if you’re right! :))
Oh, and those fluffy clouds? That’s just stuffing……that I sprayed with adhesive, to help stiffen it up and keep it in place. Worked great!
From the back, you can see the cross-bar that has elastic loops attached, for the arms to slip through.
Oh, and that happy little sunshine is made from fleece, stuffing, and sheets of foam—and is extremely lightweight as well.
Even though this Rainbow and Sunshine Costume is pretty simple to make…..it sure packs a big punch! You can’t really help but smile when you look at it!
Wouldn’t it be fun to make for your own kiddo? Or grandkid? Or heck….grab some neighborhood kid! ;)
Oh Coco, I just love your spunk….and that you radiate so much happy energy! Not gonna lie—I’m kinda glad our other costume plans fell through, because you make the cutest little 8-year-old rainbow!!
All right, who’s ready to make this costume? Just think….this would work for anyone, of any age. Yep, that means YOU too! :)
Let’s get to work—
Supplies for Rainbow and Sunshine Costume:
- POOL NOODLES or foam tubes for pipe insulation (I couldn’t find pool noodles but found identical stuff used for pipe insulation that was $2 per 6 foot piece. Here’s the exact ones I bought.)
- Knit fabric in rainbow colors (If you can find pool noodles in all the colors you need, even better! But I sewed tubes of fabric to cover my foam tubes….so I could have the right colors. I tried spray painting, but it scratches off too easily.)
- Wooden BBQ skewers
- Glue Gun
- Yellow Fleece
- Yellow foam sheets
- Stuffing (Poly-Fil)
- Spray Adhesive (I bought the 3M brand, high strength, from Lowe’s)
- Wooden Dowel
- 1-inch wide elastic
- Sewing Supplies (here’s a list of my favorite sewing supplies, in case you need a few ideas)
***Check out my Sewing Terms 101 post, for additional help.
- First, determine how long you need your foam tubes to be. To do so, line your tubes up together so they’re touching and curve them into arch, or rainbow shape. Your outermost tube will need to be longer than your innermost tube, so that the bottom of each color reaches the same length. It’s helpful to have someone help you hold the tubes in place, while you measure how long you need each tube to be. It’s also helpful to have your subject lay down and form the rainbow around them, to decide how big to make your rainbow. (To understand what I’m talking about, here’s a picture of the tubes curved into an arched shape around Chloe….even though this is a step further down, after the tubes have been covered. But I didn’t take a picture of curving the bare tubes in this first step.)
- Once you determine how long each tube needs to be, you may need to cut up a spare tube to add some length. I ended up needing to add some length to 5 of my tubes, and cut off an inch or two from my 6th tube. I attached the extra length with some wide masking tape. (Hot glue will melt the tube.) Here are my varying lengths below. (My tubes started out 6 feet long and ended up needing 7 tubes total.)
- Now, if you have pool noodles that are the colors you need…..you can skip the next few steps. If they’re not, you can cover them like I did, with some stretchy knit fabric. Measure the circumference of your tube and cut a piece of fabric that is that same measurement (PLUS 1/4 inch) for the width and then a few inches longer than your tube length. So, for a tube that is 6 inches around and 72 inches long, cut a strip of fabric that is 6 1/4 inches by 74 inches. If your fabric only stretches 1 way….then BE SURE that when you cut your strip of fabric, that the stretch goes across the width of the strip (like the arrows show below), so that it will stretch around the tube as you put it on, in a later step.
- Then fold your tube in half lengthwise (with right sides together) and stitch together, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
- Turn fabric right side out and slide over your tube.
- Repeat with all your tubes. (Some of my fabric was stretchier than others, so my ends are different lengths.) ALSO, I couldn’t find all the colors of knit I needed, so I cut up a knit dress and a knit shirt from the thrift store, and pieced it together to make a strip of fabric the size I needed.
- Now, line up your tubes so that they’re in the correct color order AND are even at one end. Then start pushing a wooden skewer through the tubes (I started from the purple tube), right down the center of the tubes and about an inch from the end, continuing to push through as many tubes as the skewer will reach.
- Then, push a 2nd skewer through the tubes from the opposite direction. (From the red tube heading towards the purple tube.) The skewers will overlap a bit, which will help secure them even better. Keep sliding the skewers together until the tubes are touching each other and snug.
- Now that you have one end of the rainbow lined up, hold that end in place (the left side in the picture below) and curve the tubes into your rainbow shape, manipulating the tubes the best you can so that the other ends of the tube line up. (They may not…and that’s okay. You can trim off any excess.) It helps to have someone help you to hold the tubes in place and also helps to have your subject lay down and be sure that you’re creating a good rainbow shape that curves around their body and also isn’t going to be too big/small.
- Now, begin pushing skewers through the tubes from all directions, securing the tubes together. Be sure you’re pushing through the center of the tubes, to keep the skewers hidden. Also, be sure to have someone help you hold the tubes as you push the skewers through from both sides of the rainbow, to keep the arch the same the entire time. (Keeping it stable will eliminate gaps in your layers of tubing.) The sharp end of the skewer is sharp enough to poke through the fabric, but twisting the skewer as you push through the layer of fabric is helpful. Also, pushing your skewers through at a variety of angles is also helpful in keeping the tubes together tightly.
- I kept the ends of the skewers out so I could see where I had placed them. Once they were all in place, I pushed them in the rest of the way. (If any ends poke out, you could always cut them off.)
- Now, the skewers held my rainbow into the shape I wanted….but to be sure nothing loosened up, I weaved string in and out of the tubes at each end and then knotted it together nice and snug. And then I tied a string between the two ends, securing them together and from pulling apart……just to be sure the arch of the rainbow didn’t widen at all.
- As for the cross bar in the back, I forgot to take pictures while I was putting it in. But all you do is measure the distance between the purple tubing, where the wooden dowel will go. Then add 1-1.5 inches to that measurement, and then cut your dowel that length. Use a pair of scissors and snip a little hole in the fabric where the dowels will be placed, and the twist your scissors through the foam tube, to create a hole for the dowel to fit. Use a generous blob of hot glue inside each hole and then set your dowel in place. Hold in place while the glue dries. Then, measure 2 pieces of elastic that are large enough to slide over the shoulders but are snug enough to not fall off. Add a little extra length to that measurement so that the ends of the velcro can overlap. Place one elastic piece around the dowel, overlap the ends, glue in place, and then glue the elastic to the dowel. Repeat with the second piece.
- To create the clouds, grab your stuffing and the can of spray adhesive. Make sure and grab drop cloths or plastic because this stuff is messy.
- Now, using the same technique as the Rain & Storm Cloud Costume, spray the ends of the rainbows and begin adding flattened layers of your stuffing. Then spray more glue on top of the stuffing, let dry briefly, and then continue adding more layers. Once finished adding enough stuffing for your clouds, finish it off by spraying one last layer of the adhesive and then let dry completely.
- For the belt, I cut a circle piece of cardboard and then a piece of fleece that was an inch bigger, all the way around. Then I added a layer of stuffing between the cardboard and fleece and then pulled the fleece around to the back of the cardboard, enclosing the stuffing, and hot glued in place.
- Continue gluing the fleece onto the cardboard, keeping it pulled nice and snug.
- Then, place the stuffed circle on top of a yellow foam sheet, trace around it with some triangle spikes, then cut out the entire thing. Then cut out a second identical piece (to make the backing of the sun a little thicker), and then cut out as well.
- Glue the two layers together and then glue to the back of the stuffed fleece circle.
- Cut some strips out of the foam sheets that are big enough to fit around your subjects waist, and then cut another identical strip to double them up, to make them a bit stronger. Use hot glue between the 2 layers. Glue your strips to the back of the sun. Then add some velcro to the ends of the belt you just made, with some hot glue, making sure the velcro is placed appropriately to fit around your subjects’ waist.
- And that’s it. All your pieces are complete.
- Now let your little rainbow DO HER THING!!!! :)
If you decide to give this a try, let me know how it works out!